I set out for the bus station at the Bangkok Ekamai skytrain exit at 9am to spend Christmas Day with Bob at his home in Pattaya. The trip should have taken about an hour and a half, however the bus I was put on proceeded down Sukhumvit at about 40mph stopping every hundred yards to pick up passengers. So I bailed and picked up a taxi for the rest of the trip. Oh, sorry, Bob says, I didn’t tell you which window to buy your tickets…!
So anyway, Bob met my taxi at a Tesco Lotus market in Pattaya and drove me to his home for crockpot beef stew and gift exchange…although his gift quite outmeasured mine!
The next evening he “treated” me to a night out on the “walking street” which partly gives Pattaya it’s reputation and which turned out to be quite a zoo with Thai bar girls dressed in short red skirts for Christmas and farangs (foreigners) looking for each other among various and sundry other colorful figures. Two up-country Isaan grandmothers escorted two small children down the street. What in the world are they doing here, I asked Bob. Oh, they are probably just as curious as you, he said. Whoever said I was curious, I thought. It’s a daily scene in Bangkok on Patong. The most interesting thing I saw was crowds of broadly smiling Thais looking up at a second story window…with a young blond woman…probably Russian since there are a lot of them in Pattaya.. gyrating quite sensuously around a pole to thumping music. Much better than any of the Thai girls, I thought, and quite entertaining for the Thais that were watching this unusual scene in Thailand.
It was really hot so the next day I was glad to get on the right air-conditioned bus for the return trip to Bangkok. And that was Christmas 2009.