This is a throw-back from 2009 but I was telling this story to a friend today and realized that it is totally blog worthy. So, when in Bangkok, go see a ping-pong show. The red light district (known locally as Patpong) is something that is more like a black hole (I seemed to fall head first) and while hanging out in Patpong it is mandatory that you are some kind of intoxicated—heavily at best (good thing I follow rules). So the plan was to go drink 10’s of beers and then work up the guts to go into a club to see a show. I say work up the guts but what i really mean is get to the point where you have accepted the fact that you will see things that you will never want to speak of again. Thai men and women walk the streets with lists–almost like little brochures–of attractions you will see if you enter their clubs. “free preview, free preview” they say. If the preview scares the hell out of me, what will the feature presentation be like?
So my friend and I follow this guy into a club he’s convinced us to enter. We climb a staircase and walk into a small, dark room with a stage in the middle, a spinning DJ and a small bar. OK seems like a normal strip club, no big deal. A woman approaches and forces us to buy a beer. 1) if you want “free preview” you must buy a beer 2) you are going to want to 30920 beers anyway so it’s cool. We get our beers and turn our attention to the stage. There are two thai women dancing around with no clothes on…again, think normal strip club. Then, one of the women lays down on the stage, puts a cigarette in her vag, lights it and begins to smoke it. The next woman lays down, legs spread eagle puts a ping-pong into her vag and shoots it across the room. So you’ve now figured out why they are called ping-pong shows?!
At this point, I am sucking down my beer and take a moment to scan the crowd to see if their expressions match mine. The audience is made up of other twenty-something white females like my friend and me (their faces are up to par with shock) and middle-aged white men who are attached to young Thai “escorts.” It’s completely bizarre.
So we give it about 15 minutes and decide it’s time to leave. Right around this time, we notice that there are 3 women (who work for the club) who are coming to sit near us and almost enclose us in the little corner we were placed in. They hand over the bill. Mind you, we have already paid for the beers to watch the “free preview.” The bill is for 1350 baht which is the equivalent to almost USD$100. I look at my friend and her face says what I am thinking…shit shit shit…we have been scammed in Thailand. However, because I am witty and drunk at the moment, I decide to be quite ballsy and see where it will get me. “No”, I say to the woman, “we are not paying that.” (pretty plain and simple, I must say). This is when she stands up over me, yells a few things in Thai and says, “This is my club, YOU pay what I charge!” Sounds like a small Thai argument, right? But remember, we are little white girls in the red light district of Bangkok surrounded by Thai women shooting foreign objects out of their vaginas. At the time, we were scared and there was NO way we were paying the money so we did the next best thing…we ran.
Pushing past the women, pushing past the bouncers at the door who had no idea what going on, we ran down the smelly staircase to the smelly street and ran through the street vendors and the men with the ping-pong brochures. Were we being chased? Yes. But its a good things that there are hundreds of people in Patpong at any given night and it was an easy escape.
Now, after taking a few deep breaths and getting our shit together, what did my friend and I choose to do? The smart option would be to go home. The option we chose was to go into another club. This one had just as many twenty-something white girls like us, and just as many middle-aged white men (one whom I caught finger-banging the Thai prostitute who was sitting on his lap). This club, with more women on stage doing tricks that I could never fathom and more beer finding its way into my hand was what ended my night in Patpong and my curiosity of the notorious ping-pong shows in Bangkok. Sadly, I will never look at a ping-pong the same way again.