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#1 CurtisD

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 04:26 PM

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As I begin this report I wonder if in the end it will be better positioned as part of the “Perfect Day and Night in Bangkok’ thread.

The trip roared away to an excellent start with a personal best time of 1 hour 20 minutes from touch-down to check-in. No taxiing delays, four people ahead of me at immigration, a slight delay for the bags but not bad and then no traffic on the road into town. All of which gave me plenty of time to wash away the dust of travel and decompress before meeting Bangkok Guy.

He and I have kept fitfully in touch since my last trip, with scintillating Line exchanges along the lines of “How are you?”, “I am fine” with a few stickers of rabbits cuddling bears thrown in from his side. Enough to let each other know we were still breathing.

I was looking forward to seeing him but also slightly hesitant. As it has been truly said, last trips favorite may not ring the bell on a subsequent occasion. So it was a moment of happiness when the same World-embracing slightly goofy smile, connected to the same warm eyes, sense of mischief and a hint of bashfulness announced itself in the lobby.

We adjourned to a nearby Thai restaurant to catch up only to find the kitchen had just closed and, as we wondered where to try next, it began to rain with the threat of a downpour to come. So back to the hotel at a sprint and caught up in the lobby over green tea and curry.

As neither my Thai nor his English has improved, catching up involved exchanging iPhones and looking through each other’s photos to discuss the ones that caught our interest. He had been on a couple of holidays in Thailand with the same group of friends one of whom, quite an attractive guy, featured prominently. “Your boyfriend?” His ‘no, friend’ came a little too fast, so while I believe him, he is quite straightforward, I think the wish is there.

His major news is that he is back studying full time, no more dancing, which pleases me as he is moving his life along in a constructive way. I also discovered that he is studying to be a chef, which makes sense of all the careful photos he takes of the food at better restaurants. I have learned not to start eating until the photography session is over. I had marked it down to some millennial social media thing, but it is professional interest.

Michelin recently gave ratings to Bangkok restaurants and this gives me the idea of making reservations for us at a selection of the chosen few. It might give him a few ideas and Bangkok is probably the only place where I might, at a stretch, afford to dine at a restaurant with a Michelin rating. He had no idea of Michelin, but liked the idea of trying out good restaurants. We agree to go to mainly Thai, as that is his area, but to also try French as he is curious and has never tried it as ‘it too expensive’.

With the mission for the morning established – which is why I think this may turn into a guide to things to do in Bangkok – we head to bed and happily reintroduce ourselves.



#2 traveller123

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 04:49 PM

I am sure your friend will enjoy a meal at La Table De Tee restaurant in Bangkok.

The food is artfully arranged on the plate, my Thai partner and I always enjoy it and it is reasonably priced at 1350 baht per person.

It is a fixed menu with choices on some courses.

http://www.latabledetee.com/menu.php



#3 Liam18

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 04:56 PM

I enjoyed your report. Thanks, CurtisD.

#4 zombie

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:17 AM

Yes, thank you CurtisD....waiting the next instalment...!



#5 vinapu

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:48 AM

 

The food is artfully arranged on the plate, my Thai partner and I always enjoy it and it is reasonably priced at 1350 baht per person.

 

Blessed are those who can call 1350 reasonable meal price for their wallets  will be always full .



#6 a447a

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:58 AM

Compared to what we pay in Australia for a "reasonable meal" 1350 baht is an absolute bargain!

#7 traveller123

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 09:03 AM

Blessed are those who can call 1350 reasonable meal price for their wallets  will be always full .

Ah but Vinapu, I live in Isaan with my partner.

When we go to Bangkok or Pattaya it is for a holiday during which we both enjoy eating good western food in a nice restaurant which is something we can't do in our home time.

Although I am often tempted we are monogamous (but I have a holiday massage) so the money we are not spending on offs gets spent in nice restaurants



#8 vinapu

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 10:03 AM

Ah but Vinapu, I live in Isaan with my partner.

When we go to Bangkok or Pattaya it is for a holiday during which we both enjoy eating good western food in a nice restaurant which is something we can't do in our home time.

Although I am often tempted we are monogamous (but I have a holiday massage) so the money we are not spending on offs gets spent in nice restaurants

 no need to be defensive, you can spend money way you like and that's none of  our business ,

 

it's just use of word 'reasonable' which prompted me to comment . Imagine somebody  ( me ?) putting in print " I paid reasonable 4000 for his long time with me" . Crucifixion at the ready for spoiling market for others !   



#9 traveller123

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 10:31 AM

 no need to be defensive, you can spend money way you like and that's none of  our business ,

 

it's just use of word 'reasonable' which prompted me to comment . Imagine somebody  ( me ?) putting in print " I paid reasonable 4000 for his long time with me" . Crucifixion at the ready for spoiling market for others !   

Sorry, I didn't mean my post to sound defensive, just meant to explain how I spend my holiday money.

How I spend my money doesn't stop me enjoying (and dreaming) about how you spend your holiday cash



#10 CurtisD

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 02:32 PM

I am sure your friend will enjoy a meal at La Table De Tee restaurant in Bangkok.

The food is artfully arranged on the plate, my Thai partner and I always enjoy it and it is reasonably priced at 1350 baht per person.

It is a fixed menu with choices on some courses.

http://www.latabledetee.com/menu.php

Thank you, this looks good. We will investigate!



#11 CurtisD

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 02:38 PM

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We agreed to set the alarm for the morning as I had a Spa appointment for a Thai massage and he had class. However, in the event he remained the same sweet immovable lump in the bed that he was last trip. Something was lost in translation. 11am was my deadline, not his, and I left him blissfully curled in the duvet. If sleeping was an Olympic event, he would guarantee gold for Thailand.

The Thai massage did wonders and reinvigorated I bounced back into the room just as he exited the shower, also reinvigorated and looking to play. Bangkok Guy has several little quirks that make me smile quietly, one of which is his behavior when he wants to get me into bed. He makes sure he is almost naked (in this case a hotel robe loosely tied) and becomes bashful and coquettish. It works. After some pleasant tantric exercise he goes to class and I give a list of restaurants to the concierge and then spend the afternoon alternating between the pool and working in the room.

It was too late to get reservations that evening for any of the restaurants on the list and the concierge suggests we try Baan Suriyasai, which we do. It is in an old white-painted colonial house in Silom and it is gorgeous.  There are not many customers and with a choice of tables we select one upstairs in its own little room with a view over the courtyard. I tell Bangkok Guy that he is in charge of selecting the food, which he does in deep conversation with the waitress. Although I have no idea what is being said, he and the waitress are getting along very well, which I have noticed is always the case when he is interacting with fellow Thais. The radius of his charm extends beyond me.

Bangkok Guy carefully photographs each dish and then we eat. The food is excellent and, possibly this was his intention, captures some of the variety in Thai cuisine. Crab in a green curry, pork belly (strips of layered meat and fat) accompanied by two types of soft boiled egg in a vegetable broth and a dish of a crunchy dried fish and fried basil leaf mixture. We vote the pork our favorite and he tells me one day he will cook it for me, he can make it and the crab curry. Comfortably full we take a taxi to The Living Room at the Sheraton Grande to listen to jazz.

There is a really good jazz quartet playing to a half full room and we settle in with drinks, a Malibu and pineapple for him (this is similar to the cocktail the mixologist at Vespers came up with for him last trip, so it looks like he has adopted it) and I start with an aqua vitae to settle my stomach. When he smells it his face is a picture of shock. How can I put something like that anywhere near me let alone inside me? Best not to drink it but if I have to (I explain it settles the stomach) then drink it quickly so he does not have to smell it! He really does not like alcohol. My subsequent martini is less shocking but still well outside the bounds of anything he finds interesting.

After a while floating along with the jazz he seems a little restless. I ask how he is liking it – “no sing song”. Turns out that while we both like jazz he particularly likes jazz vocals, which by coincidence was what we encountered everywhere last time.

In the taxi on the way back to the hotel he surprises me by curling up on the seat and resting his head in my lap. I am touched, but also think I may need to watch and manage his expectations. I do not want to lead him into unrealistic expectations.

The taxi driver meanwhile is completely fine with all this. Taxi drivers are universally completely fine with Bangkok Guy who chats away with them while holding my hand (in taxis my hand belongs in his, in his lap) or leaning on me. Head-on-lap does not cause a ripple in the Bangkok taxi driver universe.



#12 a447a

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 03:46 PM

CurtisD, I love your writing style!

#13 CurtisD

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 02:30 PM

CurtisD, I love your writing style!

 

Thanks, I am glad you are enjoying it.



#14 CurtisD

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 02:35 PM

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In the morning Bangkok Guy and I follow our own schedules. While he practices for Olympic gold in sleeping, I work at the desk in the room, my typing and coffee making not disturbing him in the least.

We have established good relations with our housekeeper who knows that the room will not be available to clean until the afternoon. The first day, seeing that there had been two occupants even though it is booked for one, she left it arranged for two. A bottle of water on each side of the bed, additional towels and soaps. I found her cleaning another room, confirmed that she was assigned to our room and gave her a tip that I explained was for the whole stay. She beamed. A few minutes later she knocked on the door. “This for whole stay?”  “Yes”  “I not clean whole stay, have holiday, my friend clean two days” she said offering me back the money to sort out this piece of accounting. I took out two days of tips and she left very happy (she now waves to me from down the corridor) and I will tip her friend when she takes over.

A little after midday Bangkok Guy ceases his exertions for gold and heads to the bathroom with much theatrical stretching. He has been sleeping in one of my t-shirts which rises revealingly with each stretch, which is the point. Satisfied that I have taken all this in he slips into the bathroom, sticks his head back out to smile at me and disappears into the shower. I think you know the rest of this story. It has a happy ending.

He heads off to class and again I spend the day between the pool and working in the room.

This evening Bangkok Guy is going to a market with his sister and cannot meet for dinner. We agree to meet around 10.30pm and go to a bar with jazz at the Landmark where he has previously heard good “sing song”. The late start gives me an opportunity to explore the bars and see for myself the changes since my last visit. While I know Bangkok Guy would visit the bars with me, I also know that there is a difference between what he will go along with and what he actually wants to do. I’d rather not take advantage of his good nature.

I start my bar Odyssey at 9pm. The set up – short time, many things to see - reminds me of a guide to hitting the high points of the Louvre in 30 minutes written decades ago for Esquire. The early start time will negatively affect what I find at the bars. That said, here goes.

Start at Moonlight, about which I have heard so much. Manager is concerned that I am arriving so early. “Please welcome, show at 10.30, look, maybe like boy now, anyway come back for show no charge again”. About 12 boys, a few on rotation, most sitting talking on the side. About five customers. Viewing from the bleachers I prioritize face, personality (as revealed on the face) and body in that order. All toned bodies but only one face gets my attention and I can’t see his number as he is sitting.

Next is G-Boys whose touts at the soi entrance had tried to get my attention earlier on my way to Moonlight. Now I am back and interested they are happy – their gaydar was right the first time! Around 20 boys of a variety of types and five nationalities according the mamasan, although I am not sure she really knows as the boy she told me was Lao informed me he was Cambodian. Two boys catch my eye, the one with a very handsome face looks a bit distant however. Mamasan tells me he is Vietnamese and top only. The other is the cute Cambodian. I tip mamasan and the Cambodian guy, who gets off the stage to accompany me to the door. 

Outside one of the door guys who is both attractive and well-spoken says they have another bar to which he will take me and he proceeds to lead me to my first ever visit to Screw Boys. Slightly shabby, five guys, three of whom look like they are still waking up. One guy is a standout. Muscular, handsome, a lot of personality as viewed from the bleachers – he cocks an eyebrow at me, a go-go first. I tip him as I leave.

Now to Jupiter where I get a seat a few rows back (closer vacant seats are reserved) and switch to whisky on the rocks as I am beginning to feel waterlogged after three lime juices. Many guys, all stunning bodies, only a couple of faces that appeal, one of whom is a guy I do not recognize from the last trip. Quite tall, #81 I think. He reminds me of an ex. #23 who I found very attractive in January is still attractive but has slipped from chiseled to a fraction gaunt. It has got to be stressful maintaining your looks for nightly appraisal.

Onward! In Twilight I go first to Dream Boys where after a warm welcome the host is deflated to find that I am only looking tonight. No finder’s fee for him. Although the drink was good (a very generously poured double, perhaps in the hope that alcohol would weaken my resolve) none of the dancers caught my eye so back out to the soi faster than expected where, looking around for the next stop on the tour, I see the sign for Classic Boy at the far end of the soi. I have never taken a boy off from Classic Boy, my impression being that the boys there need to eat more. Clients were becoming more numerous in each successive bar and now, a little after 10pm, Classic Boys was about three quarters full. About twenty boys, mostly small and veering toward fem, however to my surprise two guys caught my eye. One was a darker quite masculine little guy with an intelligent face and the other was slightly taller with a perfectly proportioned body softly carved from pale marble and a nice smile. I tip them both.

Back out on the soi, 10.15pm and I was about to enter the bar with the guys in feathers outside when it hit me that I should really freshen up before meeting Bangkok Guy. It was a sticky humid night. So ended the tour, curiosity satisfied and in the shower I reflect that I am very pleased to be with Bangkok Guy. 

When he arrives Bangkok Guy needs to change. It had been sticky and crowded in the market “Soo many people” and thinking ahead he had brought a change of clothes. I tell him about visiting the bars and he says “Oh?” with a smile. I get the feeling that the communication here is that he understands I am a human with faults and foibles and that this particular foible is one which I am permitted but which may be corrected at some point. 

We arrive at the bar at the Landmark to find a deserted grand piano and mic stand. Too late, so a quick change of plan and we are off to 360 at the Millennium, or we would be if we could find a cab. No one wants to drive over the river. We do what would have been the sensible first option, we take the skytrain. It is such a humid evening that between trying to catch a cab and walking to the train I am beginning to drip, to Bangkok Guys amusement. I gratefully dry down in the train aircon and when we disembark spot a cab with some relief. “But hotel not far, we walk” Bangkok Guy deadpans. We take the cab and he claims ownership of my right hand, holding it between both of his.

As usual the band is great, the view wonderful. But no ‘sing song’. This week it seems is instrumental jazz week in Bangkok. The vocalists are on tour. Bangkok Guy tries to take a selfie with the view but can’t get the angle he wants so I take it for him and unintentionally launch myself into a new career as his pictorial social diarist. I took multiple rapid shots as you do in a photoshoot and after he deletes the duds he is very happy with the remaining few, so my new role is sealed. The contract arrives soon.

Heading back to the hotel he gets a call. A friend wants to meet for dinner. He is hungry. Would I like to join them, or would I like to go to the hotel and he will be there later? Dinner with friend will not take long. I say I will join them. Bangkok Guy gives new directions to the cab driver, who drops us just down from soi Twilight. Dinner turns out to be at one of the tables on the footpath near the green bank with cash machines. My guess is that Bangkok Guy’s friend works somewhere nearby in the gay scene although I don’t recognize him from my bar tour. While his language, mannerisms and even facial expressions are Thai he does not look Thai. It turns out he is first generation Thai, his parents having come from India. Full assimilation in one generation, impressive. Over the years I have seen a number of guys at the bars who do not look Thai or who look mixed. I have also found that among the Thais with whom I do business, when you go back 100 or 200 years, there is more often than not some foreign heritage in a branch of the family tree. Thailand may have been successfully assimilating people for a long time. 

The footpath food is very good. A big bowl of tasty brown soup with two chicken legs, rice, noodles, sprouts and vegetables mixed in. 200Bt for three, a little over $2 each. The next day my stomach is totally happy.



#15 DivineMadman

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 05:58 PM

Outstanding report!  A minor suggestion, perhaps "Bangkok Guy" should be called "Lucky Guy."  You seem a very thoughtful considerate person towards him.  (for Thais "สุภาพ" "su-paap")

 

If perhaps you're still in BKK I just read a positive review of a dim sum special at Landmark Hotel Sept-Oct. (might possibly be lunch only, I can't remember)



#16 vinapu

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 06:22 PM

 

Now to Jupiter......switch to whisky on the rocks as I am beginning to feel waterlogged after three lime juices.

I discovered when bar hopping that taking tea of coffee  where on the menu eases up saturation with all that drinks. When completely full I order drink for mamasan instead of me, that way bar has business , mamasasn is happy and I'm less waterlogged as you neatly described.



#17 paborn

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 08:16 PM

I discovered when bar hopping that taking tea of coffee  where on the menu eases up saturation with all that drinks. When completely full I order drink for mamasan instead of me, that way bar has business , mamasasn is happy and I'm less waterlogged as you neatly described.

Vinapu, thanks - it's so obvious. I'm chagrined that I never thought of it. Even drinking nam soda to stay sober causes a huge bloat on an odyssey like this.

 

BY the way, this is an outstanding report. I love the writing style like a polite travelogue written for a sophisticated audience. I'm delighted you find us worthy of your prose.



#18 CurtisD

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 04:33 PM

Vinapu, thanks - it's so obvious. I'm chagrined that I never thought of it. Even drinking nam soda to stay sober causes a huge bloat on an odyssey like this.

 

BY the way, this is an outstanding report. I love the writing style like a polite travelogue written for a sophisticated audience. I'm delighted you find us worthy of your prose.

 

Thanks Paborn, it just seems to write itself this way.



#19 CurtisD

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 04:37 PM

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The next day follows the now established pattern. I work and caffeinate while Bangkok Guy dozes. At midday the magic switch goes off and he rises, bathes, flirts and we end up entwined and happy in bed. He goes to class and I alternate between the pool, working in the room and a little shopping.

In the evening he arrives looking sharp in a dress shirt, pressed khakis and black sneakers, ready for his first experience of French cuisine. I complement him on his appearance – “borrowed, friend’s, borrowed” he says with a grin, pointing at his shirt, trousers and shoes.  And then “Mine”, pointing at his face.

The walk to the Water Library takes us down an alleyway past a local hole in the wall restaurant with plastic chairs. I suggest we should eat there, given how cheap and good the food was on the footpath last night. “We could” he replies, returning the ball to me with a level gaze and slight smile, before continuing with national pride that a politician would love to bottle: “In Thailand we eat good food cheap”.

Water Library’s décor is modern and chic. We order the tasting menu to enable him to try a variety of things and a German Riesling Kabinett which I think may be sweet enough for him to enjoy without making me choke. He really takes to the wine - “No alcohol” – and I warn him that the wine is in fact deceptive, carrying a full load of alcohol under the sweet honey floral flavor that he is enjoying (it is an excellent wine) and swirl the wine in the glass to show him the ‘legs’ that form, revealing the presence of the alcohol. He swirls the wine in his glass, observing the ‘legs’ but unsure how this reveals something that he equates with raw and harsh. He photographs the bottle and I hope I have not opened the door to a bad habit.

Each course is served with a flourish and a breathless description of its construction, which I ask to be repeated in Thai. It is then photographed carefully and eaten slowly and thoughtfully, well, at least by him. I am no gourmand and prefer a couple of solid courses to a long stream of small bites, with the result that while he savors I bolt down each course and then look at the plate in surprise – gone? We discover that he is not a fan of salmon, but discounting those two servings the meal is a hit …. although still not a match for Thai food. We both agree the favorite so far is the porkbelly with eggs from Baan Suriyasai. However, when the dessert arrives it is a modern French triumph. The presentation is superb, serious photography is called for and I am enlisted to photograph it from my side of the table too. We both eat it thoughtfully, working out what the flavors are and what is the mysterious powder in the tall glass compote containing the little mango sorbet sticks – lightly toasted rice powder is his guess.

We continue after dinner to the Bamboo Bar at the Mandarin Oriental where an excellent pianist is playing to a room at about one third capacity. Still no vocalist! Bangkok Guy decides he has had enough alcohol and gets a fruit juice while I get a Sazerac and we settle in to enjoy the music. Later we walk down to the river terrace where my duties as pictorial social diarist are invoked and I ‘photoshoot’ him walking around. He edits the results and is very happy. He looks me in the eyes: “Thank you very much, for everything”. He is sincere, although I suspect a smidgen of ‘In Vino Veritas’ is involved.

Back at the hotel preparing for bed I run through the planned activities for the next few days: dinner at another Thai restaurant, Thai boxing as I have never been (Bangkok Guy’s eyebrows migrate halfway up his forehead when he hears this, so he is onto it) and a Mediterranean meal the following evening. Something about Bangkok Guy’s indulgent hooded smile makes me think of the way I look at him when one of his quirks is amusing me, but of course that is different. “A lot of organize” Bangkok Guy says, smiling.



#20 traveller123

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 04:56 PM

CurtisD, you certainly know how to treat a guy.

Bangkok Guy is lucky to know you, you have great style which I suspect is not limitted to your writting






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