Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Around the World: Not For Sale

January 18, 1992

I made a small fortune, for Thailand, cutting hair on the beach today.  All it took was one brave (or desperate) person to consent and I spent the afternoon answering repeated demands for my hair cutting services. 

Image by Stardust Astronette

Eager for an alternative to the beach, I was thrilled to discover the hotel has a pool table.  Tracey and I were in the middle of a game when two Thai guys came in and demanded the table, saying it was their time to play.  Their attitude irked me, that we should just end our half finished game because they showed up?  Half joking, I cockily suggested, "Winner gets the table."

They laughed out loud, and one of the guys said, "Okay."

Tracey muttered something unintelligible under her breath and left, leaving me alone with these two guys.  I fully expected to soon be handed my cocky attitude, which may very well have been the case if the guy I was playing wasn't so inebriated.  He could barely line up the cue ball, and it wasn't long into the game that his friend walked out on him.  When I sunk the last ball, I put my cue down and planned to make a polite departure, but my opponent just picked up his drink and walked out of the room without a word.

Later in the evening, I joined Tracey and her parents in the hotel's karaoke bar and discovered it's that and a bit more.  Even though the bar contained tourists and locals, I noticed that only Thai girls go up to sing.  From where I was sitting, I could see some men sitting at a table chatting and exchanging money.  When the song ended, the singer was greeted by one of the men and the "couple" would leave through a door beside the stage.

One of the men passed by our table and Harvey volunteered Tracey and I to sing.  The man gave Harvey a peculiar look and walked away without any more acknowledgement.  Harvey turned to Anna and slurred, "I think the girls should go up and sing.  Maybe they'll make enough to pay for us to stay an extra night or two!"

Anna shot him a disgusted look and excused herself, suggesting that Tracey and I should get a good night's rest before the train trip back to Bangkok tomorrow.

• ¤ •

"Guess that's thirty-one pieces of silver you've got now, huh? Sleep well, Judas."
~Mark Millar