The hustle and MBK and everything else Bangkok! Banged up abroad part 3 final.

Before we headed out to Bangkok our friends had collectively given us lists and lists of places to visit for specific items.  For art, silverware, snakes, etc hit Chatuchak market, for electronics MBK, for purses call “boy”.  We had lists, business cards and phone numbers, we were set.  So, on Friday, our first full day there, we woke up and headed out to MBK.  All agreed that we could use small cameras to carry around and none of us had small point and shoots, rather we all owned big lens fancy cameras that we didn’t bring on this trip.  Off to MBK! It is a beautiful hot and muggy day, we were all in good spirits and looking forward to our camera shopping. While enroute, a very nice lady stopped us to ask if we knew where we were headed.  She told us she was a tourist officer, even pulled a yellow badge very quickly to show us, and asked us where we were headed.  When we told her our destination she informed us that there had been a fire on the first floor the day before at MBK and that it would open later that afternoon  She knew of a wonderful jewelry store where we could shop at in the interim.  What a lovely lady we thought as she hailed a tuk tuk for us and got us a good price for the ride and sent us on our way to the jewelry store.  Ha!  Once we got there we were immediately escorted into a very high end jewelry store.  We are talking $50,000 rings and so on.  It dawned on us that we had been hustled. We stayed for about fifteen minutes then headed back out to MBK and sure enough, there had been no fire there, the Mall was opened and we just had to laugh at us three savy travelers having been hustled. Oh well, it was still early and when we walked into the 4 floor at MBK. Our puny plans for cameras turned into a full day of shopping of everything you can imagine. And I kid you not we had a ball wheeling and dealing and bargaining for the best prices, we were like junkies going from one high of deal making to the next.  We purchased mini ipads, smartphones, Boise noise cancelling headphones, portable chargers, adapters, cameras….you name it we probably purchased it.  Finally after the shopping buzz was exhausted, we headed to the food court there, we had been told the food was good and so it was. It also offered a full on bar with a lovely small band playing while we ate.  All in all it was an amazing day and we were completely satisfied with our purchases and a day well spent.  When we finally headed out, we were amazed to discover that it was now night time outside.   I have never done that before , gone into a mall at lunch time and come back out in the evening. It was awesome! If you ever make your way to Bangkok…head to MBK!

After the most awesome day of shopping ever, we went back to the hotel to get shower and  dressed for an evening at  Skybar!  It’s the location that is featured on Hangover 2, a rooftop bar that is supposed to have the most lovely  view of the city.  The place was as advertised, beautiful view, classy outdoor bar, nice beat band playing, but it was pretty boring.  Not much going on there though we did stay till about 12:30a.m?

It was late, and the Skybar though absolutely beautiful was a little bit of a disappointment as far as party factor went, so while waiting for our taxi we decided to ask the taxi getter guy if he knew of a fun place that was open this late.  He responded with yes, Mixx bar is open till 6 a.m., we asked if it was far away to which he responded it is at the Intercontinental hotel basement.  Well duh….we were only staying at the Intercontinental hotel!  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! You know where we were headed!  None of us could believe that we were going to go dancing at a bar that was not only open till 6 in the morning but was at our hotel!  Score.  We did stay out till very late, or is it very early the next morning? Here are some pics.  It was a very fun time.

A few hours later, literally, it’s Saturday!  E’s birthday.  Next shopping location, Chatachuk market! We heard that it would be crazy hot and muggy at Chatachuk market so with no showers, and no makeup we headed out (okay, I cheated and showered when we came in that morning as my hair STUNK!)!  Anyway, the Chatachuk market was all that we had imagined and more. The best part of it for me was their open area restaurant and bar where they had an older woman and tye dyed man taking turns at the djing.  They were both awesome and it was an amazing way to spend a few hours between shopping.  Amazing people watching and a fantastic way to just shoot the breeze with friends! Loved it.  LOVE LOVED it.

After another amazing day of shopping, E purchased her “precious”, J got a steal on beautiful silverware and both E and I picked some really cool evening purses along with other random items. As we all kind of took off in different directions our meeting place was back at the outdoor restaurant/bar.  It was now a little after 6p.m. and they had a troop of cute guys dancing up there with cut up tanks and short shorts.  I requested a shout out for E’s bday and they all came over to wish her a good one and shared their yummy long iced tea with us.  Hilarious!  What an amazing day.

As I mentioned, it was Saturday night and E’s bday!  We left the market, returned to the hotel for a fun night out.  We hit a really cool place called Bedsupper Club. It reminded me of being in the movie Tron.  Just really cool concept but our very inept waiter got us moving along quicker than perhaps we would have liked.  Just couldn’t take anymore of his screw ups on our time. We then hit a really huge bar called Levels, as the name suggests it had different levels of the bar, with different music.  Very nice place, really enjoyed it and watching E dance to her Techno music.  E decided that J and I probably had enough of techno dancing the last few nights, so she suggested we call it an early evening (it was about 2:00a.m.) and head back to the hotel.   So we hopped into a tuk tuk and made our way back. Once we arrived however, we were all in agreement that we were not ready for the night to end.  Again, asking if there was anything “fun” to do that late at night (morning) the driver asked us if we wanted to see a patpong show. Now remember, we had already seen a show that wasn’t quite what we were expecting but this one he said was open all night, fun and if we didn’t like it he would bring us back to the hotel. So off we went to the Patpong show!  Look, when you go to Bangkok you expect to see weird shit.  You just do.   And we had all heard about the women who could dispense ping pong balls from their hoohaws, etc.  What girl isn’t curious to see what one can shoot out of her privates? A friend asked if I was going to keep this part of the blog rated PG and gloss over it like I did the “Fresh Boys”.  Okay I won’t gloss over.  I will give you the blow by blow, no pun intended.

Sincere warning.  Do not read beyond this line if you want a rated PG version of what we saw.  This is the real, deal sad lives of real sex industry workers in Bangkok.  It’s not pretty, it’s real. Whatever you think on this kind of thing, I can hear it now, “why would you go to such a place? Being there just condones and supports it blah blah blah”….it’s there in abundance, more than abundance……it’s a sad reality.  Seriously, stop reading now, it’s graphic.

We arrived to a show in progress. Pftt, Pft. Woe.  Ping pong balls were flying, and you could hear the “pop”, “pop” and “swoosh” sounds of the paddles as people in the audience swung them trying to hit the ping pong balls to the stage.  If any of you men reading this think that would be incredibly hot, let me assure you this was the most unsexy show you can imagine.  The ladies looked bored (all except Rosey who kept us in stitches all night with her fun wacky behavior and bodyguard antics protecting us all night), and seeing a woman in a lobster crawl dispensing ping pong balls from her privates was just not a sexy thing to view.  Seeing an obnoxious man then trying to catch those ping pong balls with his mouth was just gross.  I was given a paddle by our pal Rosey but gave it E as it was her birthday and thought she might enjoy the “honor”. She told us after the show that the paddle was sticky and gooey but when she made a face Rosey assured her it was just KY jelly.  Yeah, go ahead and picture our faces.

Next up was “dead eyed lady”. A song came on and she danced very unenthusiastically until it was her cue to start her talent. She rolled down her undies, tied them in a knot on her leg and proceeded to pull a string of garland from her privates. The garland had razors “sewed” on it. To prove they were real razors she took a sheet of paper and then proceeded to “cut out” snow flakes or something like it. The razors were real.

Rosey tried to keep the show interactive.  Engaging with the audience and making us laugh.  She was really sweet and funny and again, no matter how we felt about this show in the end, we knew this was her way (and all of the ladies on stage) of making a living and we tried not to show any judgement on our faces and laughed with her and appreciated her humor and the work she was putting into trying to make sure the audience had a good time.

If I remember correctly the next talent up was a woman who could open coke bottles and spray them all over the guys in the front row.  Best we could figure was that she had an ergonomically fit “bottle opener in there” somewhere.

Rosey took the stage again and all of a sudden we saw and heard balloons loudly popping.  Yep. Our friend was squatting on all fours aiming her privates at the balloons on high tied to the poles of the stage and I believe she popped every one. We ducked.

Next up was razor lady once again pulling something else out of her privates, these parts of the show were just boring and by this time I was struggling with waves of guilt and shame that had been on the edge of my conscienceness since we walked in.

Writing someone’s name perfectly and with pretty “handwriting” came next.  Only the name was written by hand.

Smoking with one’s vajayjay was next.  This “talent” was horribly fascinating.  Could just not turn away.

Blowing out candles was next……kegals.  The woman must have been really good at kegals.

I think the rotation of the acts started shortly after and we collectively decided it was time to call it a night. E tipped Rosey generously and we headed for the hotel.

The tuk tuk driver who took us there as agreed, had waited for us and then got us back to the hotel safely.  Yes, lots of conversation on what we saw on the ride to the hotel.

Back at the hotel after each night out, was for me, the best part of each evening.  There we would recap the day/night and had good old fashioned girl talk and engage in pillow fights!  Okay no pillow fights but as the above show was sooooo unsexy thought I would try to perk this post up a bit. We would order tons of breakfast from room service (the food was sooo good) and then would climb into bed exhausted.

It was our last night there and what a full, INTERESTING night it was.  More shopping the next day before we caught our flight the next evening, dadadaduh….our trip was over.

Home. Over this past week I wouldn’t tell John about the “seedier” parts of our visit to Bangkok.  I wanted him to read about it on this blog to see if he could “see what I saw” through my writings.  I found that while writing this post, I was struggling with writers block and I admitted to him that I was a bit worried what friends and family would think of those patpong shows we saw.  “Not going to a patpong show in Bangkok would have been like going to Houston in March and not attending the Rodeo”, is how John put it.  That made me feel better and I was able to complete the tale of our time in Bangkok.

That’s it folks.  That was our long weekend in Bangkok.  It was amazing, it was disturbing, fun and strange, sad and fabulous, a most INTERESTING trip. I can’t wait to return.

Oh dear, the alarm just went off its 5:20 a.m. We are leaving for the airport in 40 minutes…but good lord I think, no I am positive I just heard loud screeching of a monkey outside, no way that could have been a bird. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

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