Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thailand: Deadliest destination for Aussie tourists......

Well the title of this post says it all........according to official figures more Aussies come a cropper in Thailand than any other country!!!

In 2008-09, a total of 1038 Australians died whilst on holiday overseas and Thailand which received 378,000 Australian visitors accounted for 105 of those deaths!!!! It is lucky that England won the Ashes or that death toll would have been a lot higher!!!!

So statistically, your average Aussie has got more chance of winning a test match, by bowling underarm, and wearing a tutu and flip-flops, as they have of staying alive in Thailand!!!

It doesn't bode well for Dame Edna or Skippy, so you'd best lay off the sang som and coke guys and watch ur back!!!

If you would like to read the the full report please click on the link below......

http://www.news.com.au/travel/story/0,28318,26037202-5014090,00.html

Why is it that so many Australians end up croaking in the Kingdom? Are they complete clowns who couldn't find their arse with both hands or are they just plain unlucky?

I'm sure most of us in the Northern Hemisphere will agree that it's the former, so, to give my Aussie friends a helping hand, I have come up with a simple equation that should help reduce the number of deaths:

10 Beers + large spliff = impaired mental faculties (x journey on poorly maintained motorbike (- crash helmet) + pot-holed roads = limited life span.

You may think I'm being unecessarily harsh on my Antipodean friends by labelling them as drunken, bumbling, knuckle-heads. But they're just one step up the evolution ladder from the Kiwis, who themselves are just below the Neanderthal!!! (I hope my soon-to-be, Kiwi brother in law doesn't read this post!!!!)

But it is hard to argue against my theory when Australia's only contribution to the betterment of the English langauge is Alf Stewart's classic ..... "you flaming gallah".

And you have to shake your head in bewilderment when you hear quotes like these from former Australian cabinet minister Keppel Enderbery - "Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas".

Taxi for Enderbery!!!!

Before my British readers rest on their laurels and smugly proclaim any sense of superiority, we are also guilty of recklessness and downright stupdity which resulted in 269 of my fellow countryman being killed in Thailand in 2008.

But when you see some of the numpty's arriving from the UK you wonder how they even made it to the airport, let alone manage to get all the way to Thailand.....

So my advice to any would be Travellers to Thailand, is to keep your wits about you, don't put yourself into any compromising positions and do your reserach before you travel.......and last but not least, make sure you have travel insurance!!! The number of people who travel aborad without any kind of protection astounds me!!!!

Talking of protection....if you are going to avail yourself of the services of a nubile young go-go danceer or two, then make sure you're stocked up with party hats, as you don't want to take a case of "Bangkok todger" home with you.

Until next time...

Penfold

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Celebrity Interview Number 1: Ron Atkinson

From time to time I will be bringing you celebrity interviews, where famous household names and doyens from the worlds of popular entertainment, sport and politics pop in for a chat and to share their thoughts on the "Land of Smiles".

I'm delighted that the first person joining Penfold at the bar, to enjoy an ice cold Beer Chang and bag of peanuts, is football's Goldenest Geezer, "Big" Ron Atkinson , former manager and TV pundit.



As you all know, "Big" Ron is a legend of football co-commentating and before the "Desailly-gate" scandal that led to his removal from our TV screens, was responsible for bringing us inimitable football phrases like "little eyebrows", "early doors" and "lollipops".

It must only be a matter of time before he's awarded an honorary fellowship by the chaps in English faculty at Oxford University, thanks to classic guff like..... "Well Clive, It's all about the two M's - Movement and positioning" and "On another night, they'd have won 2 - 2".

So Ron, What have been up to since your enforced retirement from the punditry profession?

"Tell you what Penfold, that Desailly incident was a blessing in disguise.........it's given me more time to spend on the golf course, I play off scratch now and I've helped the missus install a new sun-bed too, so it's all been at bit easy oasy "Chez Ron". I've also been doing a spot of DIY in my Marbella villa. I decided early doors that I'd save myself a few bob by building my own jacuzzi and swimming pool. You can't trust those lazy Spanish builders, they're not always in the wide awake club".

"You're welcome to join us for the next pool party..... Mrs. Ron serves an excellent G & T and I've just bought new pair of Versace speedos....................."

urm....Thanks Ron, I'll check my schedule and let you know!! Moving on to the next question. When did you first visit Thailand?

Well Penfold, I first went to Thailand in the summer of '79 whilst I was managing West Brom. Mrs. Ron was staying with our Tracy at a caravan in Clacton but I was looking for something more exciting during the closed season. I'd heard from my old mate Frank Bough that Thailand was good fun. So trusting my instincts, I made a gambler's run to Heathrow and hopped on the first flight to Bangers.

Boy was I in for a shock, it was nothing like Marbella, no bacon and eggs, no carling black label lager.....I thought I've done a wrong'un here. But I trusted Frank and thought I'd stay here and give it a go for a few days. I headed for the Sukhumvit road and it was a real crowd scene there.....motorbikes, street vendors and push-bikes everywhere!!! I managed to make my way to the Nana Hotel on Soi 4 and that was the start of my adventure.

I decided to have a look around town so I jumped in a tuktuk and headed for the Grand Palace. I'd heard it was a good place to start your trip in Bangkok. But, unfortunately, when we got there i was told by very kind official that the Palace was closed that day but by chance I was able to go and visit a gem shop and was able to buy some precious stones at rock bottom prices. I thought I'd able to shift a few in the dressing room knowing Laurie Cunningham and Cyril Regis liked a bit of bling. But that was a school boy error....when I got them home they turned out to be cheap imitations and weren't worth the money I paid for them....the missus almost did a Buddy Holly on me!!!

But without a shadow of a doubt.....the best thing in Thailand were the birds......there were tasty dark skinned, almond eyed beauties as far as the eye could see!!!! I could see why Frank Bough loved it so much....dirty old bugger.....I bet the doctor at the clap clinic has given him the curly finger on more than one occassion!!!!

My first meeting with the lovelies was in the Nana Entertainment Plaza, which, as luck would have it, was outside my hotel!!!! I was feeling a bit parched and decided to enjoy a few sherberts so I nipped across to Big Dogs bar. As I walked inside all the ladies smiled at me and said "hello hansum man", I had a quick look behind me just in case John Fashnu had follwed me inside!!!

I sat down and ordered a drink and within minutes I was holding court and chatting to a bevvie of beauties. One particular bird caught my eye, husky voice and long legs, reminded me of Sade; So, being the gentleman I bought her a couple of pinacoladas and we got talking!!! I was three sheets to the wind after half a dozen Changs with whiskey chasers but at the end of the night she fancied coming back with me ....so I gave all the ugly birds the eyes and I popped back to the hotel with the hottie in tow.

I was just about to start going at it to the sound of trumpets, when I notcied in the half light of my room, that she had unusually large hands. It may have been the drink, but I also noticed a distinct 5 o' clock shadow on her chin.....

We were getting rather amorous and as articles of clothing were being removed, I noticed that she was built like a Emile Heskey, but it wasn't until the undies came off and I was confronted by a portion of meat and two veg, that I'd realised my mistake!!! I awarded myself a spotters badge for noticing and I was able to have a good laugh about it after I'd washed my mouth out with 3 bottles of listerine!!!!

Now I know what Boughie was talking about when he used to drunkenly mumble about "sluts with nuts"!!!

It's happened to the best of us Ron!!!! What do you think of the current political situation in Thailand?

Thailand's a complex country and the social demograhic has changed enormously in the last 50 years. There is large rural population, who for the most part, live in poverty, but there are growing numbers of middle class families and a nouveau-riche super elite who have emerged. The rural poor, in supporting the government of Thaksin and the new upwardly-mobile middle classes who are seeking to overturn the status quo, have upset the traditional elites and challenged the established hierarchy.

So society in Thailand has reached an impasse and the recent protests and demonstrations are examples of this tension bubbling to the surface. Everyone involved in Thai politics needs to give it the full gun to create a stable and cohesive government, who have the support of the people and who will endeavour to root out the endemic corruption and mismangement in Thai politics.

Despite the current turmoil....if the beer bars and the Go-Go clubs aren't shut down then I will keep going on holiday to Thailand!!!! The current adminstration must be watching cartoons if they think they can allow protesters to close the airport without it having a knock on effect.

What does your missus think about Thailand?

She loves Thailand and Thai ladies more than me!!! And can often be found propping up the bar at Mistys in Pattaya or roaming walking Street getting an eyeful of the scantily clad tarts!!!! I sometimes find her passed out on the bed surronded by empty gin bottles and half a dozen go-go dancers!!! She been trying to convince me to buy a condo in Thailand. But our Tracy wants us to buy holiday home in Skegness.....you can't please all the poeple all time!!!!

Thanks for sharing your time with us today Ron and if you have Frank Bough's phone number we'd like to get an interview arranged with him!!!!

If any of my readers bump into "Big" Ron at any time in Soi Cowboy or Patpong, be sure to pass on my regards and get him to buy you a drink!!!

"Big" Ron we salute you....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The start of a beautiful relationship

Since my last relationship came to an inglorious end, I haven't been sitting around eating ice-cream and knocking back bottles rosé wine in some kind of "Sex and the city" meets "Friends" orgy of self-pity.

In fact one of the first things I did was to book another trip to the Land of Smiles with the intention of improving my sun-tan and going on a 2 week, beer Leo drinking binge.......and with the hope of meeting the next Mrs. Penfold, of course!!!!

Around the time of booking my trip I had started to be in regular telephone and email contact with Apinya, a very cute looking, sweet and friendly Thai lady. I made the decision that during my trip I would meet up with her and see how things played out.

I arrived in the Big Mango full of the joie de vivre that only a "hansum man" going to Thailand can experience. For those of you that haven't been to Thailand, the feelings that you experience when you disembark at Suvarnabhumi, because of all the fun you know you are going to have, are something like winning the Euro millions roll-over, scoring a goal in the FA cup final and then stepping out of the shower to find Carmen Electra holding your towel and wearing nothing but a smile.

I tried hard to repress the shit-eating grin on my face whilst walking through the airport, for fear of looking like an inexperienced Thai first-timer and being seen as fair-game for the taxi touts and tour operators. Having safely negotiated the arrivals hall, I jumped into a kosher taxi-meter and headed for the bright lights of the city.

I had booked 3 nights at a hotel in Sukhumvit, with the intention of going to visit some friends in Koh Samui after this brief sejourn in Bangkok.

I had planned to meet up with an old friend and long-term Thai resident in Bangkok, but feeling lucky I decided that the first thing I should do was to call, Apinya, the lady with whom I'd been corresponding whilst I was in th UK.

As much as I enjoy the company of my friend and outrageous his white supremacist opinions, he does unfortunately have a boat-race that ressembles a smacked-arse and I would much rather look at a lovely Thai face!!!!

I'm glad to say that I made the right decision, Apinya was an absolute treasure and delightful company. She appeared to enjoy spending time with me even after I had consumed 14 bottles of beer Leo and ended up nearly hospitalising her and my fellow drinkers in the bar, by setting off a can of pepper spray that she carries in her bag!!!! I did ask her if the pepper spray was for use on me if I got a bit too frisky on a first date, but I'm glad to say was not the case!!!

And here is the lovely Apinya




After spending 3 eventful days in BKK, we headed to the beaches of Koh Samui.

This was my 3rd visit to Koh Samui, which is firm favourite of mine among the many Thai islands. We did the usual touristy things such as visiting the mummified monk and the inimitable "Hin Tai Hin Ya" rock formation or the "cock rock" as I like to call it!!!....(for those of you with the mental age of 5, like me, will undoubtly snigger at the the photo below...........)



Our days were spent drinking in the sites of the island and our nights were spent drinking in the local liqour!!!!

I may be getting old but I had never even heard of a "jägerbomb" before my visit to Koh Samui!!! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the jägerbomb, it is a cocktail that is mixed by dropping a shot of Jägermeister into a glass of Red Bull.

This foul concoction was nearly responisble for my untimely demise under the wheels of a "Song Taow" and I was only saved by the intervention of the quick-thinking and slightly more sober Apinya.

Thanks to multiple jägerbombs and copious buckets of Mae Khong, coke and red bull, the following morning actually felt like the end of the world had arrived. But in true Dunkirk spirit, I soldiered on!!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed Apinya's company for the time I was in Thailand and could feel myself falling for her "hook, line and sinker".

This was indeed the start of a new chapter for Mr. Penfold and I have made a subsequent visit to Banglamung which is Apinya's home town. This encompassed her birthday celebrations and also being invited to the initiation ceremony of a couple of local lads who were becoming monks. I don't want to sound too artsy fartsy but this was a fantastic insight into Thai culture and I'm thankful for being able to be part of the celebrations. Here are some pictures of said celebrations!!!









In the short time that we have been together we have experienced a lot and I can report that our relationship is going from strength to strength. You know when you experience that warm, fuzzy feeling in ur stomach and everything is perfect ....that is how I'm currently feeling when I'm with Apinya......and as my old mate Suggs once put it "this must be love, love, love....."

I have another trip scheduled in just under 4 weeks time which is eagerly anticipated and I'm just hoping the numpty's at the Airport Authority can keep any protesters away and ensure the airport is open long enough for me to get there!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this post and as always I'd be happy to hear any comments you have....

Over and out

Penfold

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thailand Travellers..who are they?

People who travel to Thailand come in all sorts of weird and wonderful guises (believe me I’ve seen some “characters” over the years!!!). They arrive in the Kingdom with all manner of hopes, wishes and dreams…..all searching for their own unqiue experience in the exotic East.


But….if Fox news and the loony religious zealots are to be believed then anyone going there, particularly single guys or groups of young men, are all rampant ”kiddie fiddlers” and degenerates, prancing around in Borat-esque “mankinis” while singing Gary Glitter’s classic “do you want to be in my gang” and knobbing 10 year olds.

According to them we are going to burn in the eternal fires of damnation….but in my humble opinion we’ve got a lot more to worry about than the risk of meeting lucifer….if the credit crunch and global warming continue then we’re going to be broke, unemployed, homeless and under 100ft of melting polar ice caps and tidal surges. Gordon and Barrack et al are doing a better job of taking us to Hell than we can ever manage!!!


Apologies for that slight digression….going back to my original point about the different types of people who spend time Thailand. I will give a brief resume of who to look out for, their personality traits, where they can be found etc etc. I also intend to apply a star rating to each group, so you know who to avoid or to mingle with. The star rating is a follows: 5* = fun/enjoyable company to 1* = avoid like the plague/do not approach under any circumstances.


1) Hippies


These creatures are easy to indentify by the skanky unwashed hair, beards (on both the Male and and females specimens), cheap flip-flops and a propensity to talk complete and utter tosh about having an “authentic Thai experience”. They tend to scoff at those who want to spend their holiday partaking in other pursuits instead of staying in a jungle tree house to “find themselves” or “re-balance their ying and yang” .


They have invariably dropped so much acid that they think they are in 1967 and Jimi Hendrix is still top of the “Hit Parade”. I think they must all be descended from Scottish ancestry….as they quibble at having to pay more than 30 baht for a Beer Chang and think that 100 baht for a room with a fan is an extortionate price to pay.


They are normally found congregated around the Khao San Road in Bangkok or staying in Beach huts on Koh Tao….thinking they are an extra in the film “The Beach”. I’d like to suggest that not washing for a month, wearing horrific tie dye pantaloons and surviving on a daily diet of steamed rice and half a bottle of Beer Leo is not my idea of fun….My suggestion for this group is to get a f**king job, have a shower, buy some clean pants and get on the next flight to Tristan Da Cunha.


Star rating – 2*


2) Package holiday tourists


A loose definition of a package tourist is someone who comes to Thailand for 7-14 days or some variation thereof, has their flights, hotels, transfers and an excursion or two organised for them and generally get herded around like sheep….baa-rilliant!!!


I like to call it “Lazy Tourism” and that’s not knocking it in any way as I’ve been on this type of holiday before and it definitely has a market.


The average punter comes in many shapes, sizes and nationalities, although I think the package tour phenomenon is mainly limited to Northern Europeans, Japanese and Koreans and to a lesser extent the Yanks.


The problem with package tours, particularly in recent years, is that as Thailand became cheaper it attracted the sort of ”Wayne & Tracey” crowd. The type of British chav couple or family with 2.4 screaming brown babies from Croydon/Wolverhampton/Liverpool…(insert as approriate) who used to spend their days on the beaches of the Costa del Sol and have now invaded Koh Samui and Phuket by the tuk-tuk load. I would rather poke my eyes out with a bottle of Beer Lao or smear myself in butter and run naked into a nest of fire ants than spend a single second of my time with Wayne & Tracey…listening to them arguing about their benefit payments or demanding sausage, egg and chips from a bewildered Som Tam vendor.


At the other end of the scale you have Cuthbert and Brenda, the retired doctors from Chipping Sodbury, who have booked their £12,000 Saga trip and then smugly tell all their friends at every given opportunity. Personally, I wouldn’t want spend my holiday stuck with a couple like that….discussing whether their hedgefunds are maturing and how their Grandson “Johnny” is volunteering in an African orphanage…yawn, yawn.


The other quirk of package holidays involving Europeans is the fact that many gentlemen (mostly morbidly-obese Germans over the age of 40) insist on wearing the ubiquitous “speedos”. I don’t want to see multiple Josef Fritzl lookalikes waving their tackle at my Missus, thank you very much. “Hey Fritz…I don’t want to see your meat and two veg, put it away you dirty so-and-so”.


All I can say is God help me…my parents have recently been looking a South East Asian package tours through Saga…but fortunately my old man doesn’t wear speedos…….aaaarrrgggghh.


Star rating – 3*


3) Backapckers


Backpackers have two sub-categories which are as follows:


a) The “full-time” backpacker more commonly known as a lay-about or bum
and


b) The “Gap Year” student


To sumise…….


a) The "full-time" backpacker


These wasters are just below the Hippies on the evolutionary scale. Many of them came to Thailand from places like Goa in the 60’s and 70’s and never left, scraping by on 100 baht a day and trying to befriend other foreign tourists in the hope of bludging a few drinks, scoring some weed or better still some hard currency.


Like it’s Hippy cousin it can be smelt the length of the Khao San road and it’s uniform consists of beads, good luck amulets and the longer the dreadlocks, the further away you should stay!!!


The Thai’s have a great word for this sort of individual “Kee Nok” literally meaning “bird sh*t”.


Star rating – 1*


b) The “Gap Year” student


These chaps are normally jolly good eggs….ok, ok I admit it I’m biased…I did fall into this category about 6 years ago….I first discovered Thailand during a “round the world” trip with a chum from my home town. It was this first visit that opened my eyes to what South East Asia had to offer…it is a million miles away both geographically and culturally from what we know back in blighty…..I liken it to Marmite you either love it or hate it…..and I love it.


Some Gap Year travellers do charity work or teach English whereas others are just there for the “craic”. These travellers can be from a broad range of socio-economic backgrounds and some will slum with the “Hippies” in Khao San road but others (me included!!!) like to go slightly more upmarket and stay in hotels with TV and air-con.


You find these guys normally have an appreciation of the country they’re in and it’s culture and make an effort to interact with locals. Unfortunately, you do find the odd numpty among this bunch….. those who are obnoxious either by birth or by upbringing. The pompous twats who are spanking their trust funds or spending Daddy’s millions.


Star rating – 4*


4) Expats


Like backpackers Expats fall into a couple of distinct categories.


a) The business Expat


and


b) The retiree


These are my interpretations of the different types of expats.


a) The business Expat

They are either offered a permanent placement with their employer or go to Thailand on a short-term contract.
In my opinion these are the luckiest buggers on the face of the Earth. Getting paid exorbitant sums of money to live in one of the most exciting and vibrant countries in the world. They are many and varied and work in a range of fields from large multinationals, consulates and government departments, international broadcasting and telecommunications. They can be found dining at the best restaurants, living in plush condo’s with maids and being chaffeured to and from the office.


But just before you go green with envy, they can struggle to understand the office politics that occur in Thailand, often work 12 hours+ a day and I have heard that women, particularly single or unmarried, struggle to fit in even more than their male counterparts.


As with any walk of life you can encounter some incredibly nice and friendly individuals but the over-blown salaries and the fact they have every whim catered for can mean, to quote Del Boy, you do meet some right “plonkers”.


Star rating – 3*


b) The retiree


The vast majority of those who retire to Thailand are either single or divorced Western gentleman who after finshing working in ”Farangland” are looking for a change of scenery. There are also many gents with Thai wives or partners who after having both worked in the West decide to return to Thailand.


These chaps are normally found on the golf courses and frequenting the many bars that cater for Westerners, particularly in towns like Cha-Am, Hua Hin and Pattaya. They may also have a property in Isaan or the north of Thialand which in all likelihood is where the partner originates.


Retirees are often very genial and I often find them good for some intelligent conversation..not all the time though as they are often more iniebriated than me. There are people from all backgrounds and I have struck up conversation withs doctors, pharmacists, pilots and teachers. However, one of the few occassions I’ve ever personally experienced aggression in Thailand was in a bar in Hua Hin. A Scottish Expat took exception to a conversation I was having with a fellow drinker about Margaret Thatcher (she still has the power to provke anger and divide opinions to this day!!!). I left the bar promptly as I didn’t want to have to resort to violence with a chap who was old enough to be my Dad.


Star rating – 4*

I trust you've found this amusing and informative and I will endeavour to continue the theme of this post at a later date. There are a plethora of social groups who travel to Thailand and this post just scratches the surface....

Over and out

Penfold

Relationships with Thai ladies

I am sure this will be a topic familiar to a lot of people who read this blog.....

And there are no doubts that some of you reading this are crying into your Beer Chang because your sexy, treacle-coloured love bunny, who only last week was professing undying love to you, has just run off with a guy who is richer, more handsome and has a bigger house than you!!!

But to all those guys (or gals!) who are considering a relationship with a Thai, I urge you to go ahead and try what the exotic East has to offer (but please ignore the last paragraph, I don't want you to think it will necessarily end in disaster!!!) .

Despite all the challenges, including, the Mariah Carey-esque diva tantrums, the language problems and miscommunications, the financial strains and the bug-eating (if your squeeze happens to be from Isaan!!!), a relationship with a Thai can be extremely rewarding.

As I have alluded in previous posts, Thai people that you meet when going about your day-to-day business will usually be polite, helpful, warm-hearted and generous to a fault. You will also notice that Thai women are the epitome of grace, elegance, charm and good manners. Unlike in the West, where the majority of women you encounter are strident, mcdonalds scoffing misandrists (I am writing from a male perspective here, so before any of you girls get on your high-horse and start berating me, I also think most men in the West are becoming a parody of Jim Royle....that is to say; obnoxious, lazy, work-shy, binge drinking, n'eer do wells!!! For those of you from outside the UK who don't know Jim Royle, please click on this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/theroylefamily/)

Nevertheless, any casual encounter with a Thai lady will no doubt pique your interest and set the tone for you search for Miss Perfect.

You may be wondering who I am and what experience I have had with the "fairer-sex" in Thailand, so I shall give you a bit of background;

I think I'm a fairly typical guy. I'm a 30-something University-educated Englishman, I do a mundane but quite well-paid job for a large business travel company (I won't name names as I have made some derogatory comments about them in previous posts and I don't fancy defending a libel claim!!!). I have have travelled extensively so like to think that I'm understanding and reasonably culturally aware.

You may wonder why I 'm not looking for a relationship in my home country and you might be starting to think that I can't pull because i'm too busy eating out of bins, scrounging for loose change in piss-covered trousers or sniffing lines of Charlie off the bare bottoms of 15 years olds. I would like to state categorically, for the record, that this is not the case!! Other than a penchant for cider and large tubs of pringles, which in recent years has led to a slighlty expanding waist-line, I am a nice-looking, witty and relatively articulate chap.

I first visited Thailand in late-2003, it was one of the first stops on a post graduation "world tour". We started our tour in Singapore which failed to "light my asian fire", mainly because we spent several nights in a flea-ridden squat masquerading as a youth hostel and subsisting on a diet of McDonalds. however, upon arrival in the Big Mango, I was immediately struck not only by the "hustle and bustle" but the fact there were gorgeous ladies as far as the eye could see!!! Although our time in Bangkok was short, having tasted the forbidden fruit on offer in Patpong and Nana Plaza, I vowed to return.....

In all I have returned to the kingdom 12 times since 2003 with the longest stay being a 6 month stint in Hua Hin, in Mid-2006. I'm not what you would call a "Thailand veteran" (but I know lots of mangy, moth eaten specimens who can claim that title!!!) , nevertheless, I certainly know my arse from my elbow when it come to things Thai.

I have been out with my fair share of Thai ladies both of the "Go-Go" and "non-Go-Go" varieities and would like to think I'm well-placed to comment.

When I was living in Hua Hin, like a lot of Western chaps there, I took the easy option of bar-fining girls from beer bars and other entertainment establishments. Whilst the girls were good fun and I had an absolute whale of a time, I knew that if I was going to have a long term relationship ,with a decent chance of success and to prevent myself from turning into a rampant degenerate, then I must get up off my ass and venture slightly further than Soi Bintabaht.
I'm not knocking relationships with former bar girls as I do happen to know several guys who have married ex bar girls and have very good, successful relationships. However, a lot of relationships with former "working girls" are doomed to failure!!!

After my forays into the bar scene, I took to dating, what most Westerners in Thailand would call "good girls". (I don't like this description because after all what is a "good girl"?, I've met both good and bad people from all walks of life and I don't like to be too judgemental). This list of dates included shop workers, office girls and university students.

The biggest problem facing any relationship in Thailand is communication, as the level of English is generally quite low, even with supposedly well-educated university girls!! Some of the girls I dated were who were studying English, had the same command of English of a 10 year old and not suprisingly meaningful conversations were at premium.

Nevertheless, i persevered and managed to find a young lass who ticked all the boxes. She was sweet, good fun and happy-go-lucky. We had a lot in common and her English was good. We were together for about 2 years before it descended into the realms of tragi-comic farce and I ended up knocking the relationship on the head.

I think that dating is like learning to ride a bike, when you're in the saddle you feel like you're the "King of the world" but it is only a matter of time before you come a cropper and you end up face-down on the pavement, looking like spectacular tit!!!


After having picked my self up, dusted myself down and applied a large dose of savlon to the grazed knees of life, I felt it was time to get back in the saddle and try to re-start my love life.

But that is for the next blog.........

Over and out

Penfold