Bangkok seems to be famed for its gogo bars and sex shows, but I’ve always struggled to see what all the fuss is about. The only times I’ve ever really been to places like Nana and Patpong have been when friends from the UK have been visiting. I’m not sure why I do this but I always try and show them these places and pass them off as some sort of tourist attraction, when in reality there isn’t much to see and there is little that reflects anything about my life in Thailand.
Some people seem to spend most of their nocturnal lives in gogo bars. There are websites devoted to entirely that. What’s wrong with most of these people? I’m sure age is a factor, because truthfully I get more of a kick checking out the girls at RCA or Ratchada. The girls in the red light areas are not particularly alluring. It’s not that they look awful, but they seem to radiate feelings of mistrust and being slightly uncomfortable. It is less like a strip club and more like a zoo where you get to play with the animals.
Perhaps when I get to an age at which I am deemed socially unacceptable to frequent the likes of Astra and Café De Moc I will have no choice but to head to Nana, but by then I would like to think I would have left Thailand.
Who wants to looks at rows of girls dancing halfheartedly to the bizarre double speed techno music that I have come to loathe? It’s really not much to look at. Don’t get me wrong, I like girls, I like to see pretty females, but a gogo bar is really nothing more than an offbeat oddity at which to waste away an hour or so.
The people in the gogo bars seem to simulate some sort of genuine interest with what is going on, but I find it hard to believe that they could really be enjoying themselves. I am not saying I am better than these people, far from it, but the gogo bar social scene that many foreigners take part in is something that really bemuses me. Bangkok expats choose to hang out and relax in these places.
I find it hard to relax in a place like Nana plaza. Not because it makes me uncomfortable, but because I am often overcome with feelings of boredom. For an hour or so the excitement of the place seems to radiate forth, but this is short lived as it is quickly replaced with a depressing aura that serves to highlight the mood within. Whatever your opinion on prostitution and bar girls, you cannot overcome the fact that despite the forced joviality, there is an unmistakable atmosphere of desperation in places like Nana Plaza. It is only perpetuated by the fools who frequent these places and trick themselves into not seeing this aura and feeling this atmosphere. These are the people that make Nana uncomfortable.
I have never ventured to soi Cowboy. I have no plan to either. A friend of mine was pissed on by an Australian football player not so long ago. I think this sums up my opinion of that place, despite the fact that I have never been.
Next week I have been persuaded to go back to Pattaya for one night before heading to Koh Larn. I have not been to Pattaya for some time. I have friends who swear that Pattaya is the greatest city in the world. It is rather entertaining, I will give it that much, but not for more than a one night stint. Pattaya does not offend me, I have had some fun times with friends in the city, but it also does not present itself to me as an image of Arcadia, in spite of the relentless debauchery that goes on. I have spoken to people who get rather worked up about Pattaya, but I don’t see how a place like that can offend you. The madness of it is, after all, contained.
An unknown girl in Pattaya attempts to confuse me.
Like Pattaya, Bangkok is known for sex shows. If you have ever seen one of these famed sex shows then you will know that there really isn’t much to get excited about. Maybe I have been looking in the wrong places, but seeing a girl pull razor blades out of herself is not remotely entertaining. The vacant appearance in the girls’ expressions is similar to that of the kindergarten students I tried to teach in a private class some time ago.
I’m probably approaching this in the wrong frame of mind, but at this stage in my life I really don’t see what is so great about gogo bars.