If You Can’t Stand the Fun, Stay Out of the Go-Go is another title from local publisher Bamboo Sinfonia (ISBN 978-616-7111-24-7, 2011) written by William Peskett, a retired Brit who has obviously spent some time in different cultures. He has already published two books of poetry and two novels, so he is no tyro to the genre.
This particular book is an anthology of columns which were printed in the fortnightly newspaper Pattaya Today, the 92 short chapters representing over three and a half years of newspaper editions, so there is a fair to middling chance that some prospective customers may have read sections already.
However, on the pro side, with 92 columns why not publish them in book form rather than let them become chip wrappers, the fate of all newspapers (even this one). But there is also a downside to this. In a fortnightly column, with many readers who may be first-timers, it becomes necessary to introduce the main players and the environment with each column, but with a book, that introduction needs to be done only one time. His wife for example gets an introduction every chapter “The woman of my dreams and custodian of my loving heart.” Right, I know who that is, it doesn’t need repeating to the book reader chapter by chapter.
While I am in the gripes, let’s get the last one out of the way. In his columns he uses a pen name, in this case K. Pobaan, but when you have your real name plastered all over the front cover, K. Pobaan’s cover is blown. I firmly believe he would have better served his readers of the book, by just being William Peskett.
The book is centered mainly in Pattaya, on Soi Khao Talo, otherwise known as the “dark side”. When author Peskett and the woman of his dreams moves there, it was practically deserted. It is no more, as Pattaya has grown. As it has grown, mind you, it has opened up a writer’s eye to many opportunities, and author Peskett avails himself of those very well.
On motorcycling, “…where people take to motor bikes shortly after they are weaned, wearing a crash helmet is a fashion mis-statement which no self respecting villager would wish to make.”
On Go-Go’s “If you don’t want the go-go treatment, don’t go to a go-go. And if you don’t like the price they charge for a Heineken, go to 7-Eleven, that’s my view krap.”
He discusses the origins of the rubber mud flap art, and decided it was the Bee Gee’s, but I am with his friend who claimed it was Kris Kristofferson.
Despite my negativity in some ways, it is still an amusing book, and anyone married to a Thai lady will recognize all the cultural nuances and traps. Life for a foreigner here can never be dull (unless the foreigner is himself a certified dullard), and Peskett is a good raconteur.
The book should be available in Bookazine/Asia Books with an RRP of B. 395. Pattaya old hands will enjoy it.