I stayed only one night at the brothel in Bangkok.
For a white girl traveling alone the safest place is a brothel. Sure it’s full of ‘Business’ men with paunches and sunburned noses, and desires. But they were hunting for the exotica and thus I remained invisible. This is all a long time ago when I was still searching for the meaning of Life.
It was late when I stopped in at what looked like a hotel. The front room was a restaurant. The concierge lady behind the bar tried to encourage me to scat, but I was having none of it, “Your cheapest room, please!” I stood my ground and she caved.
Things took their time making sense to me. I ‘checked in’ which was, in reality, me forcing myself upon the management. The bemused concierge escorted me to my ‘room’. The route passed through the restaurant and out the back where it was smelly and wet with a noisy steaming half outdoor kitchen, and then a wall of doors, the first of which was mine. My flip-flops stuck to the foul floor with every step. Here she left me, after pointing out my bathroom, a few more doors along. Inside my ‘room’ the walls did not reach the ceiling so bugs and smells swarmed to be evenly distributed by the rickety overhead fan. The bed was a metal frame single bed with a thin mattress with no sheets, no pillow, no nothing. Just a dingy towel laid just so at the center. There was a wooden chair. I sat on the chair and it wobbled and I tried to consider my options. Except I was tired.
Equally, I was hungry. I retraced the sticky steps to the restaurant where I took a table. I had not noticed anyone at all on the way in, but now as I waited on the waiter I took stock of the other tables in the nightclub-dark room. The tables all looked alike with one sweating pink Caucasian male flanked by a flutter of bedazzled Oriental dolls.
By the time the waiter arrived with my plate of rice and fish it occurred to me I was possibly in a bordello and this ‘restaurant’ thing was just a front. No one else was eating. Only drinking, and playacting flirtatious joy. I munched the rice and fish and peeked about with every mouthful as I ingested the inevitable truth. Somewhat stunned, but sated, I went to my ‘room’ and I lay myself on that frightful bed and passed out, with one eye open.
Very early the next morning I was up and out and never to return. And so began my travels in Siam.