Monday, October 3, 2011




Since I had been stymied by trying to look for a job on Sunday...who knew Buddhists closed for Sundays...I decided to work on getting a job on Monday.

It is harder than I thought.

Tonto had suggested I go to a place called 'Canterbury Tales' to talk to expats there and get the scoop on what goes on and where I could find a job. The owner of the place is named Dave. Dave was asleep when I got down there at around one PM so I talked to some of the other expats.

I found out a few interesting things about hiring foreigners in Thailand. First, the company must employ four Thais for every one foreigner they hire. In addition, the company must pay to get you a working visa. In addition, the company must pay one million baht (BHT) to the government. Tonto says that in some ways the Thai are rather xenophobic.

One of them told me about a language school and gave me directions on how to get there. "It's a bit up the street." he cautioned.

After walking three or four kilomteters I figured he meant 'A bit up if you're on a scooter' as opposed to walking. I am pretty sure that if I tried to ride a scooter around this town a few bad things would happen. 1) it would drain my money - those are not cheap to rent and I'd want to get the insurance and such - which is optional because 2) I've never ridden on a scooter or motorcycle. Ever. I'm not sure if the 'we drive on the opposite side of the road with all of the same care people take when absentmindedly strolling around a mall' is the best place to really learn this skill.

So, I caught a scooter taxi back. Bargained him down from 60 BHT to 40 BHT. He didn't enjoy bargaining with me. Few people do.

Eventually, I went back to visit Dave. I started the conversation in an unusual way "I'd like to do some illegal stuff" and we went from there. What I learned from him is that teaching for free will actually be a potentially much bigger boon to me than attempting to charge for it. I will make more social contacts, get the goodwill of the natives, build up my references for teaching, etc. Since I have figured out a way to live within my budget, this appeals to me. Plus, the police are apparently not at all upset by people who are just donating their time rather than trying to illegally work. It will also give me a chance to find out if I enjoy teaching English. If I don't, I can just sit quietly instead.

The one English school that I managed to find was talking along the lines of 100 BHT per hour - I think that's too little to even worry about right now. I'd rather get the good will and contacts for later. Plus, I'm not going to get deported over such a trifling amount.

I'm very happy that Tonto sent me over to the 'Canterbury Tales' bookstore. Seems to be one of those places where there is a lot of information available.


If you're not here to pay for pussy (which I'm not), you need not bother to show up. There is also simply too much of the same thing over and over again. It's like Amsterdam on crack and speed. Food, internet cafes, bars, book stores, massage parlors, trash, people, motorbikes and scooters, getting hit in the face unexpectedly by the smell of raw sewage which smells like a million rotten eggs, smelling something very tasty, smelling something very strange you can't identify and may have never smelled before or again, traffic - all of these things seek to overwhelm you. If I was eighteen and rich, I'd gladly feed myself into the psycho meat grinder and never come out again. I'd be swallowed whole by the city. Many people are. They get here and blow all of their money on girls, booze, drugs and crap then find themselves wanting to jump out of a high window (some do it) because they've got nothing left. I guess that going through all of that when I was young - as well perhaps as being an old cynical bastard - has saved me from that particular sewer. But the town is a bit much. Maybe twenty times to much. It is a complicated problem in that navigation is difficult. Everything looks the same. There are no addresses nor street names in evidence that I can find - or they're in Thai. The locals are worse at giving direction than even the Hungarians.

Since I have found a good housing deal for three weeks of self imposed sitting at home and reading books/internet, I am going to stick around here for at least three weeks. I will be able to keep on my very strict budget of $20/day hopefully. I'm going to try it out here for a bit as it will give me a chance to visit with Tonto a bit. After I save up some money I may choose to extend my stay here (the room becomes unavailable after about three weeks) by renting a different room or I may move to a different place in Thailand in order to see more of the country.

I'll have to be careful where I choose to go as I've heard that much of the country is physically underwater now.

Also, for some people, Thailand's busy season starts this month. For others, it starts December first. I may head over to (hopefully even cheaper) Cambodia then for my 'Christmas in Cambodia' section.

Seeing things isn't currently as big of priority to me as saving money. Saving money is much, much more important right now. More important even than 'do I like Pattaya'. The problem is that if I save hard for three weeks (and don't go over my goal - good luck with that) it will only be like $400. Better than a sharp stick in the eye, I suppose.


So, Tonto wanted to get my opinion of a local 'go go' club. Sometimes, being able to read people's expressions is not a good thing. It's not that rough in a place like that. Seventy percent of them are bored out of their fucking minds, the other thirty percent are trying to figure out how to squeeze some mark out of a few more Baht.

The only excitement that comes to a place like that is an unusual custom. For 1000 BHT, you can buy a bucket of ping pong balls. You then throw them into the air (or where you like) and the girls try to grab them. There is a lot of squealing and such from the women that goes on then because each of the ping pong balls they turn in is worth 20 BHT to them. Money is their only fun. For the men there, it is 'sperm for money'.


I've started buying things like 200 ml drinks. That's just weird. I'm the guy who use to suck Diet Mountain Dew out of a two liter bottle. Now, I'm happy with 200ml? WTF?

Although the roads here are a lot more dangerous for motorcycles and scooters than say America (or Western Europe), the riders here take a lot less precautions. First, when they bother to wear a helmet, it is often more of a 'fashion statement' than a piece of protective gear. People enjoy leaving it unbuckled and worn at a jaunty angle. As long as they don't complain 'but I was wearing a helmet' when their head is ripped off, I'm OK with that. Also, bikers in other parts of the world often find things like bluejeans and leathers fashionable. Some even wear special biker clothing. That is great because when you go for a ten meter drag along the street, that's the first shit scraped away from your body. Here, people dress for very hot and humid weather. Shorts. Tank tops. Sleeveless. When you look at many people's knees and such, you can see old scars from falling off of bikes or getting dragged. People often will have three or four people riding on their bike. Along with what appears to be most of the goods they possess. Add to that the fact that drivers of automobiles don't really respect bikers lanes and such the way bikers in the states attempt to get them to. People here drive with all of the same care that they absentmindedly wander around a shopping mall with. Their crashes are spectacular and often fatal.

In a bit of an odd thing, my 500 BHT per night room has silk sheets. I've never slept on silk before. Slippery! I can see why people like them. I think they would be more fun for sex unless one of the people unexpectedly slides out...


There are some very interesting things up with the women of this culture. For example, if you pick up a 'bar girl' (they have plenty) you must pay the bar some amount for taking her out of the bar - I think it's 300-400 BHT. Then, for the sex you pay 1000 BHT. No problem - that is expected. However, if you pick up a girl who works at a shop and have sex with her, she may well expect 1000 BHT (as it is the going rate) or more because 'she is not a bar girl'. The line between 'not a prostitute' and 'prostitute' is very blurry here.

If you are wanting to marry a Thai girl, you may or may not need to pay her family some exorbitant amount of money. It all comes down to whether the family thinks it can get away with it or not. That, and things like feeding all of the woman's family and friends (and possibly town) at a restaurant when you show up to visit it are ways that a woman gains face. It is a way of saying 'look how rich my future husband is'. I heard a story of a guy who spent a few hundred dollars feeding his 'soon to be wife' family, friends and hangers on.


According to a widely traveled paramedic I met, flat Coke is great for upset stomachs.


Soda - ranges between 15-25 BHT

Nose hair trimmer (actually not a bad one) from a roaming vendor, 110 BHT, bargained down from 250 BHT or so.


I'd like to give Tonto credit for the title of this blog. He picked it out of my rambling, disjointed tirade and thought it would make a good title. He said "Hey pale face. That um good blog title." And so it is.


Pattaya, Thailand


  1. So tell me.....Is Tonto who I think Tonto is?

  2. I have no comment on that. If Tonto chooses to make a comment in the comment section then you folks can sort that out. But Tonto is keeping his or her privacy.



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