Wednesday, 15 January 2014

One night in Bangkok... a few months later...

Where to begin? That's always an issue when you ignore something so long. I wrote like mad for months and turned my back on it. Not so much turned my back, but got too caught up in living to write about life. It's probably best to just go back to the beginning, when I first arrived in Bangkok.

After a 24 hour flight, I was pretty tired, but rushing from the adrenaline of finally being in Bangkok. After 2 years of getting divorced, spiraling down to the gutter, detoxing in a Korean jail, I was in the city I originally planned to go to. I got in the cab with no idea of where I would be next other than the apartment of my friend, V (more on him later). I knew V for years. He brought me books in jail. He got me high in Korea, I returned the favour many times. He was/is my best friend in Asia (again, more on this later). I finally got to his apartment and the little bastard wasn't there. I called him-- This customer is not available. I left all my bags in front of his door and went on a hunt for beer. Being Asia, it didn't take long-- I only had to look outside of the gates to his apartment to the nearest store. I started smoking again as soon as I found out cigarettes were less than $1. 2 large bottles (630 ml) of beer were about $4. For $5, I was content for now.

A few hours later, he finally called me. He was  couple blocks away at some teacher get-together. No problem, I had a bit of a buzz going on and some smokes. He came back to get me and smoked me up. Off to  good, if somewhat shaky start.

I stayed with V for about a week. He got me a job less than 2 days later. A new phone (unlocked Rogers for about $20, new sim/number, 3G, etc...) something called an Aircard which was a USB drive with a SIM card that let me use my laptop online on the bus for about $20... it was going good.

However... my new job was actually in a suburb of Bangkok...not really Bangkok, but close enough to be considered a part of Bangkok. The point being, it was far. At least a 1 hour commute by TAXI from where V lived. I had to fix that so I found the cheapest hostel I could on the internet in Bangkok, close to a subway (skytrain) station. My commute was only an hour by the much cheaper BTS skytrain system, but I encountered a whole new set of problems.

The hostel was located in an area of town commonly referred to as "Patpong." My previous posts will give you a taste. There is no need for me to regurgitate it here. I stayed there for 4 months. although it was cheap on paper, it cost me far more in life. Let's face it, I'm a sucker for life. Given the opportunity, I will take advantage of everything thrown in front of me. Ping Pong shows? Just the tip of the iceberg. I partied. I drank hard and fast. I'm lucky I'm not in a Thailand jail. I came pretty fucking close a few times. The entire time I was still waiting to get paid from my "legit" job so, I hustled and borrowed and juggled money like a clown at a circus of freaks, with me in the lead role. I did alright, and looking back now, I didn't do too bad. I didn't burn too many bridges with people I didn't know anyway, and the people did I meet, are solid people. Salt of the Earth and all that. I'm fortunate that I seem to meet to most awesome, solid people that I remain friends with despite my drunken failings. I am truly blessed in that regard.

And then I moved. I had to. Not because some one was out to get me, or I owed money or the cops were on my trail... but for sanity. Patpong is too much of a draw. Girls, booze, drugs, & sex at every turn, and I was living in the middle of it. I was also spending 3 hours a day on a train back and forth. The whole lifestyle was a drain on money I didn't have. Rent was only $100 a month, transport, about $60, food maybe another $10 PER WEEK. Booze and cigarettes and women? Now, we're getting into hundreds and thousands of US dollars. It had to stop, I moved. It didn't stop.

Mind you, it's only been 1 month, and I'm a lecherous, misogynistic, hedonistic asshole to begin with (or so I'm told).

I moved about a block way from work. As a "fucking" teacher. It's too close to comfort. I see these students everyday, and they're not little kids, but kids my age. I remember being a teenager. I never really left. I'm still living it, except I'm arguably much older and wiser, and my shitty teaching gig gives me a little bit more money than the average Thai teenager. The point is, it was hurting me more than it was helping me to be closer to work.

My first week I moved in,I brought a girl home. She took all my money and some computers. The money I can deal without, there will always be more money The computer killed me... I lost 2 months of drawings, For me, that was devastating. I don't give a shit about money, but the art can never be re-created. That same week, V (remember him?) was busted for buggering  boy in Cambodia. My best friend in Asian is a boy diddler. I knew he was bent towards the same sex, but little boys? I don't believe it. Innocent until proven guilty, but coming from the artsy-fartsy drunken fool, that's a little much even for me. Two days later, the sweetest, nicest couple you would ever meet, celebrating 15 years together with the birth of the their first daughter, were instead holding an memorial. Jan 18 of every year to remember 30 days of Angel Blue. I never knew or met you, but you changed my life.

So I moved again. After I beat the shit out of the dog down the street (old habits die hard). After 5 nights of this poor dog,yowling, I jumped the fence, and taught the dog a lesson. No more barking dog. However, in a land of Buddhists (that eat chickens, pork, bugs, and other things), touching a dog is a big no-no. When is rabbit season, again?

It took me 4 hours to leave my former place, drive all over and find a new place. I'm glad I did. Cheaper ($60 per month), air con, and refrigerator. What an amazing invention. Keeps beer cold.

This new place is in the thick of life. No expats. no western influence.

Just people living.