Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Other Side of the World - #3

I write this from a Nakhonchai Air bus while my seat gently kneads my lower back.  For $22 dollars I got the most luxurious bus ride I've ever been on.  I recommend it for twelve hour bus rides.

No place on Earth is exactly like any other, but some places are slightly more unique, and Pattaya Bay beach is definitely one of those places.  When I returned this time I took seven days, and spent them all essentially the same way.  I woke around noon in the king size bed of my penthouse condo.  I'd then take the first shower of the day, and head out to my favorite restaurant in Pattaya, maybe the world.

It's called Sweet Potato, and serves the creamiest Thai curry I've found yet.  Like most traditional
Thai meals, the main dish is small, flavorful, and meant to be part of a meal consisting mostly of rice or noodles.  I'd have two or three main dishes, forget the rice, and wash is down with a fresh fruit smoothie or four.  This is a good way to start a day.

Then it was off to the beach where I tried unsuccessfully to get a tan.  Parts of me got some tan, but the sun's different here.  I can't explain it.  It was relaxing though, and there were plenty of locals to sell me drinks and snacks.

Then about 4 pm, I'd go get my first massage.  This is a touristy area, so you can expect to pay a little more, so about $9 for a massage.  In addition to it being relaxing and enjoyable, it's also a chance to get my second shower of the day.  I leave clean in the change of clothes I brought.  The sun has not set, but it's no longer pounding down on me.  Time to find more food.

There were a lot of good places to eat around the beach, but after a week I can say that I didn't find anything reasonably priced that I liked.  There were some decent places, but they were even more expensive than they would be in the US.  The one exception is Casa Pascal.  You're gonna pay at least $20 a person, which is more than I'd normally spend at home, but it would be two to three times that in the US.  It's the fanciest restaurant I've ever eaten in.

Then with a full belly, it was off to the bars as the sun finished setting.  Many open around noon, but they're just like a bar in America at that point; you can get a $2 drink to have alone.  Around eight at night you start seeing live music, and scantily clad girls beckoning you to come have a drink with them.  Alcoholic drinks start costing between $3 and $4.  A drink for a lady will cost you about $.50 more.

A bar girl's job is to get you to buy them "lady drinks".  They have the drink with you, and flirt while they do it, often times in a revealing outfit.  In some bars they can play pool with you.  Some bars are go-go's, which means the girls will dance on stage.  Some go-go's are nude or topless, which means the drinks will cost about $.50 more.  I believe all bar girls will come home with you for a price, but I never tested this.  If that's what you want, you'll probably have to pay $15 just to the bar before they let you leave with her, as she will no loner be driving up drink sales.

Around midnight or one I'd start stumbling home.  If I still had enough money in my pocket, I'd stop in a restaurant and get another massage.  If I didn't have a lot, I'd buy some street food on the way home.  Then I'd fall into bed, and do it all agin tomorrow.

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