Looking for Mr Openbar: The sight of Interior Minister Purely Puritanical furtively skulking about the environs of Pattaya in the wee small hours hoping to collar a seven-day tourist propped at a beer bar guzzling a bottle of the amber nectar would almost be laughable were it not so serious for those people who have sunk a few baht into the entertainment industry of Fun Town.
I can understand, and even applaud, the Thaksin government going after underage drinkers and attempting to curb the use of illegal drugs, but to include tourist-oriented and frequented watering holes in the crackdown is simply ludicrous in the extreme.
Places like Hollywood Disco and X-Zyte as well as just about every infernal karaoke dugout in Pattaya are designed with the local populace in mind. If the odd foreigner happens to frequent these joints, then that just happens to be a by-product and a bonus. Surely, if the guardians of rectitude are truly serious then these are the places they should be shining their torches into and blowing their whistles at.
However, the ogling dens, beer boozers, dine and dash places as well as Tony’s and the Marine Disco are geared around tourists, and as such, are hardly deserving of being thrown into the same melting pot as Thai-oriented establishments. The vast majority of these funhouses are not hotbeds of uncontrolled drug dealing directed by criminal masterminds fresh off the plane from places like Bilious-On-Sea, Yorkshire.
Scaring off tourists, even those for whom the central government views with a measure of disdain, is hardly going to enhance this Orwellian drive towards social engineering.
Fancy a wee Rogering: Today the Club Nevada and Far East Rock ogling dens (situated on opposite sides of Soi Post Office) are celebrating Roger’s birthday (as well as those of a few of his friends who also happen to have had the good fortune to be September babies). The dens will be serving free food, supplied by the Simple Simon noshery in Jomtien, and will be having extended happy hours.
A chrome pole oasis in a sea of dross: The Tim ogling den and pool hall (Second Road, opposite the Lek sleeping palace) has two Happy Hours, the first from 8 p.m. until 9 p.m. and again from midnight until 1 a.m. All beers are 65 baht as are liver wasters like gin and vodka. What I did find a little strange is that soft drinks are 75 baht, no matter whether it’s happy hour or not. So, if you are contemplating just sipping a tonic water for example, then you may as well add a dash of vodka and pay 10 baht less.
The music, synchronised through the VCD players, is pretty close to being the best of its type of any ogling den in Fun Town. Artists like Phil Collins, Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top, Elvis (before he died), the Rolling Stones (looking like they already had) and Loose Seatsprings (sorry...Bruce Springsteen) keep the foot tapping. It’s also played at a reasonable pitch, not too loud, not too soft.
The playhouse - as I’ve mentioned before - is a bit on the dark side but then again some of the dancing damsels look akin to burly construction workers doing a bit of moonlighting, so perhaps it’s a good thing that Tim is only investing in 20-Watt bulbs.
In need of intensive care: Theme bars are generally popular throughout the world and it is somewhat surprising that Fun Town really has just two ogling dens that could be classified as such.
One of them is the Emergency ogling den in Soi Pattayaland 2, also known as Funland. The dancing maidens are dressed in a style of nurse’s uniform while the serving wenches are clad in the attire of hospital orderlies.
Drinks prices in Emergency are very reasonable with draught amber fluid at 55 baht, soft drinks 50 baht and Lady Drinks just 79 baht. The music is good and the atmosphere friendly.
In the Navy: The rumour mill suggests that yet another large batch of Yankee sailors are due to descend on Fun Town around about September 28 for a few days of rest and recreation. All 7-11 franchises should immediately stock up on water bottles.
You Sexy thing: The Sexy ogling den (Walking Street, opposite Stoney’s beer boozer) has recently undergone ownership and managerial changes and the new helmsman has begun attracting a batch of new dancing damsels to boost the appeal of the playhouse.
The den kicks off at 7 p.m. and between then and 8:30 p.m. draught beer and common liver wasters are at just 30 baht while Heineken, Singha and Carlsberg are 60 baht a bottle. Outside Happy Hour the normal Walking Street prices apply; 90 baht for pretty much anything liquid.
The chrome pole palace also has a voucher system for big spenders. If your bill comes to 1,000 baht or more you are given a 100 baht credit. If you have five bills of 1,000 baht plus over a period of time then the den offers you a free bar fine.
Snacks are available, supplied by the T.W. One noshery and lounge lizard libation room located just a few doors down the street.
From the interesting but ultimately useless Fact File: Did you know that there are more chickens in the world than people? Scientists are currently developing a condom for roosters.
My e-mail address is: email@example.com
Copyright 2001 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.