Saturday, August 20, 2011

FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS I HAD WHILE DRINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX IN BANGKOK

Though I like to think of myself as a free spirit with an appetite for adventure (if not quite destruction), wanderlust aside, I'm pretty much a creature of habit. My brother once described my life as being "like clockwork," and I hated to admit that he was right. When I was living in New York City and Buenos Aires, my food cravings were so predictable that whenever I called any of the three places from which I regularly ordered delivery food, whoever answered the phone could usually recite my request before I had a chance to. Yes, that's right. I'll have the grilled salmon -- again.

It's not that I'm boring (at least, I hope not); I'm just consistent. Take my nocturnal habits. If my friends were looking for me on a Friday or Saturday night in New York City, they knew they could find me at Starlight or, later, at the Cock (yes, the Cock). To a large degree, my moving to Argentina was a stab at smashing the clock into a thousand little pieces, but even without a regular 9-to-5 commitment in Buenos Aires, it was so easy to fall into a regular routine yet again (up at 6am for a few hours of writing, Pilates at 10, siesta from 1 to 3pm).

When I went out at night, I was a regular at Sitges and Glam before trading Glam for Ambar la Fox toward the end. In Melbourne, I was a fixture at Sircuit and the Peel, and now in Bangkok, if you see me on a weekend night, you're probably at DJ Station or G.O.D. (My preferred nighttime venues always come in twos.)

Last night, my friend Poon finally got me to break out the test tubes. We began the evening at a swanky restaurant/bar called Hyde & Seek, where the cocktail standards were high, and so were the prices (more than $20 for a martini!). Then we went to Castro in RCA, one of Bangkok's main bar-hopping drags. It was nice to be in a place where I wasn't stumbling over tourists (I think I saw only one non-Asian guy in the entire club), but I'm still not sure what to make of the drag queen who seemed to be doing her very best Celine Dion impersonation.

Even before we ended the evening, predictably, at G.O.D., as I watched the action unfold in new settings, the same thoughts I've been having for weeks now kept popping into my head.

1. When did fabulous abs become such a dime a six-pack? After hours -- actually, weeks -- of watching hard, shirtless bodies being flaunted on platforms and dance floors, I'm having trouble telling them apart. Does everyone around here spend hours a day doing crunches? As I watched beautiful torsos flexing all around me, I realized that great abs are to average Joes what make-up is to plain Janes. From a distance, and especially on a body that's swaying to the music about a meter above ground level, they can make the homeliest person look hot, but they're really just window dressing.

2. Does Adele really need a processed beat? I've heard so many bad dance remixes of "Rolling in the Deep" since I first arrived in Bangkok, and they each just make me want to hear the original, which, in my opinion, is more than good enough to dance to. Oh, that reminds me, if you're going to have the balls to spin "By the Way" by Red Hot Chili Peppers in club (a curve ball for which the G.O.D. DJ deserves all the praise), the least you can do is let the music play for more than one verse before segueing into yet another anonymous electronica loop.

3. Guys here can be so touchy-feely. And not in the sensitive-soul way. I know the meat market is packed, and everybody seems to be walking back and forth to nowhere, but is it really necessary to to poke me in the back while walking behind me? Is that going to magically transport you from point A to point B any faster? At least no one grabbed my crotch last night!

4. Taxi drivers here are such divas. I've never been in a major city where cabbies are so quick to exercise the right to refuse a fare. Every time I hail one, it's a toss up whether he'll take me to my requested destination, or if he'll do so without trying to jack up the price. It took Poon at least five tries before he was able to convince a driver to take us from RCA to Soi 2 in Silom, which are all of 10 minutes apart. And the other night, I shared a taxi home with a guy from Sydney, and the driver arbitrarily announced that he would only make one of the requested stops (thankfully, it was mine), though they were less than five minutes apart. I hope the Aussie made it back to his hotel okay.

5. Am I really having this much fun, or is it just the cheap booze? It's probably a lot of both. Despite having to brave poking, cranky drivers and terrible remixes, good times and low-cost cocktails (unless you're chasing a martini buzz at Hyde & Seek) keep motivating me off the couch and out the door. So if you're looking for me later on, you'll know where to find me. I'll once again be admiring the hunky, shirtless scenery in the house of G.O.D. Those great abs may be a dime a six-pack, but they never get old.
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