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I spent 20 years punching a time clock... then decided there had to be another way. Right now I'm sitting in a comfortable chair on a beautiful beach. There's a sweet, soft breeze in the air. In front of me, on the clear blue water, a boat drifts by. Maybe I'll go snorkeling this afternoon, or work on my tan. This is my kind of tropical paradise... cheap and unspoiled!
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By Ken Silver About Asia
2018 Views | 3 Comments | 12/5/2014 3:36:58 PM

Christmas in Pattaya, can it get any more family oriented than that?

“You ask, what keeps me from going mad?”  The Rajah stuck a match across his zipper. In the sudden light I could see he’d soon be prowling the Pattaya streets in search of a date. “You ask, what keeps me from going mad in this endless, ghostly, dark night of a Universe? This unholy lost pirate ship of a Universe…”

“Cornflakes?” I suggested.

He ignored that.

“Cheerleaders, my boy. Cheerleaders. In the endless darkness they are my Light. My very own dancing lighthouses; flashing blonde brunette redhead, blonde brunette redhead, across that same eternal night.”

“That’s nice Rajah”, a voice in the bar said. “Now how about buying a round?”

He ignored that one also.

Well, cheerleaders are O.K., but cornflakes certainly does it for me.  I had a big bowl of them on Nine Eleven, and you know, I would have let the whole “empire strikes back” thing slide. Well, fourteen years and five wars later, look how wrong I was!

I had a scientist friend who said that day “New York City must have a million buildings. Couldn’t they let a couple of them go?”    

Of course, I haven’t gotten rich off the wars, which probably puts me in the minority on both sides.

Oh, actually, are there two sides?

Anyhow, speaking of war and food – just like Hemingway! — it’s getting near Christmas over here in Southeast (no wars, open for business, run by China) Asia. That’s the special time of year when bargirls dress up in Mrs. Claus’s naughty underwear and sing “Silent Night” very sincerely. By the way, there are no women on Earth as genuinely sincere as a Thai Bar Girl. I just don’t know how they manage that sincerity even as they are down there mimicking you know what while using their hands.  Research on the subject would probably lead to advances in quantum paradox theory, time travel, you name it.

 Don’t forget to tip!

Anyhow, Christmas in the tropics is a vast improvement over Christmas anywhere else.  (Jesus was born in a warm climate, after all).  Snowstorms in Southeast Asia occur only in shopping malls, only on schedule, and never ever on the escalators.  Snow, like the American Indian, is eulogized, romanticized, and kept in reservations way up in the Himalayas.  Asians, rejecting President Obamas technique of solving problems by making them worse, make sure the Holidays go smoothly.

Most of all, Christmas is the time when long term travelers and expats flock, stumble, and take pedicabs to the restaurants which specialize in meals “just like home”, including the highly anticipated Christmas Day Feast. 

Here in Pattaya (which rhymes with Sodom and Gomorrah, the two “t’s” are silent and bouncy), we’ve got just blocks and blocks of such places, (restaurants); the name of each restaurant identifying the type of food, and often, the country.  “Johnny English Fish and Chips,” “Olaf’s Meatballs”, “Stars and Stripes French Fries”, “Fighting Irish Booze, Alcohol, and Spirits”.  Of course, they are badly overpriced, and during less festive parts of the year mainly patronized by United Nations aid workers and their even more disreputable ilk.  Also, by tourists on a two week tour, shuttled from their hotel and back again least they crumble to dust at the sight of an actual Thai street.

Ah, but on Thanksgiving and then Christmas us low budget traveling magicians leave the street stalls and sign up for the Feast.

Alcohol is, naturally, the main course.  West of Hawaii no restaurateur dares serve weak drinks, so the mood at the dinner gets festive very quickly.

Last December 25th, I was at the Tequila Reef Restaurant on Soi 7 off of Beach Road.  Sois 7, 8 and 9 off of Beach Road are the unrecognized heart of Bar Girl City; if the Powers That Be ever mount a final assault in their insane scheme to make Pattaya a Theme Park Family Friendly City, Sois 7-8-9 will be like Hitler’s bunker. Those girls will go down dancing. When the battle ends, I expect the only building to remain standing will be a Chinese dating service.

Anyhow, Tequila Reef is a Mexican restaurant, specifically, helping bar patrons to hallucinate they are in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico.  Hence the sombreros and Black Sea Devil fish mounted on the walls.

(Note to readers - Baja California is a beautiful place. Desert meets coastlines, with twelve foot high cactuses standing watch on the vast empty beaches. Mostly an outdoor experience, often called “Mexico’s Alaska”.  Unfortunately, it is another victim of two week tourist excessive spending.)

Anyhow, the Christmas Feast at Tequila Reef is a coming together of extraordinary individuals who can best be described as The Justice League of Losers. There is the Rajah, and his best girl, the Hellcat. There is Chiang Mai Danny Rose, who has prowled all of Thailand for twenty years in vain, searching for an honest Thai woman. Unfortunately, - sound familiar, fellas? - his very sincerity brings out the dark side of all the women he meets. I’ve given up on giving him Asian dating tips. And of course there is Boris the Russian, accompanied by his usual squad of beautiful Asian women. He’s the kind of scuba diving instructor who specializes in taking divers out to sea and leaving them there.  Fortunately, those he leaves behind have already fallen out of favor with their employers. 

Well, yeah, I’m also there at Thanksgiving and Christmas at the Reef, but honestly, it wasn’t my only option. I could have hung myself from the ceiling lamp in my cheap hotel room on Skid Row instead. Or perhaps electrocuted myself on the door bell.  Since nobody has rung it in the last year, it must have plenty of juice.

Last Thanksgiving Dinner at The Reef featured Turkey Tacos, Turkey Enchiladas, Turkey Guacamoles, and Turkey Margaritas, all with rice and beans and salsa and chips.  Good enough, but this year’s Christmas Dinner should beat all expectations.  It’s going to start with Santa crossing the border illegally to bring everyone their gifts.  Driver licenses for everyone!

Perhaps I exaggerate.  Asian love eludes me, and The Holiday Season, when traditionally people go out of their way not to talk to me, always puts me in that kind of mood. 

But I’ll speak up!

Best of all the Holidays to all!


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
(Showing 1 to 3 of 3) 1
#2014-12-05 15:54:29 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

This is a damned funny blog that paints a damned accurate picture of Christmas in Thailand, and especially in Pattaya. Seedy, sexxxy and scintillating! We're not talking about Christmas back home.

There were a number of great one-liners in here, hard to narrow them down to one favourite. But I truly did LOL at "Here in Pattaya (which rhymes with Sodom and Gomorrah, the two “t’s” are silent and bouncy)," which actually contains 2 one liners, each of which had me laughing out loud.

Thanks for the Christmas Cheer, Ken!

#2014-12-06 10:36:08 by Barry1 @Barry1


"Cornflakes?” I suggested.

He ignored that."

Very funny stuff, thanks Ken. I agree with John - your whole article was peppered with plenty of witticisms and good humour.

Well done, mate! (clap)

#2014-12-08 07:39:35 by YinTingYu @YinTingYu

Hello Mr. Silver (Ken).
I enjoy reading your articles and this one strikes an harmonious chord with me.
"Quantum paradox theory, time travel (hopefully include "inter-dimensional" as well) are topics that are just my cup of tea. :)

Baja 30 years ago,....sweet "fishing" as I recall.
Hemingway,...tortured soul but, from my viewpoint, a master none the less.

If you and the Rajah happen to be out on a "carpet ride" viewing the festivities and become bored,...swing on over.
It might be easier to project astrally.
Coordinates can be sent.
I probably don't party as much as you guys but I think I could manifest a bottle of Don Julio "Anejo" for the occasion.

I am interested to hear the Asian dating tips you have tried to share with Mr. Rose.
Do they start (generally) something like:
1. A man must be certifiably (or near) insane to even consider the thought.
2. Do not believe anything she says even after the first 8 months.
3.- ad infinitum............ (rofl)

I know the Holiday's can seem a bit low at times but,...enjoy some solitude if you can.
Hey, can always go to the REEF although, you'll have to endure all the food and drink being "turkified".
It's easy to find some party or gathering of questionable repute,...if one has the coin. ;)

The doorbell thing I know well.
Interesting how the thing just stopped working.
Replaced mine with a brass knocker as safety measure years ago.

Should you decide to step out though, I hope both you and Raj remember to "keep your eyes on the road an' yo hanz uh-pon thuh whee-uh-l".
Cornflakes? Just sit on one and be"waiting for the van to come".

Nice writing.
Happy holidays,
Yin Ting Yu
a.k.a. Gongji

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