What does ‘Sabai’ mean?

What does ‘Sabai’ mean?

I look at her one last time before leaving. Her smooth skin, provocative neo-amazonian jaw-line and her bottom, stealing from beneath the covers like my favourite little moon. A glimpse of pubic hair on a round little olive belly as the music begins playing through my earphones and I close the door on the best girl I have ever known.   Pearl Jam suck me back in time and give me cause to compare my first effort at love in Bangkok to today’s ease of heart. Their words hold no pain now, their blowtorch flame burnt out by a brighter but gentler light. Sheets of empty canvas Untouched sheets of clay Lay spread out before me As her body once did In the West, the girl wrapped in my sheets would be referred to as enigmatic because she could not be understood. But she is complicated only as Rubik’s famous cube is complicated. Her complications and contradictions do not come from within and while she may be a puzzle to others she is not to herself. A woman is exercising alone in the entrance to a food court. Her moves are part thai-chi, part step aerobic. She is someone’s grandmother. A monk is begging for alms from a tiger skin clad woman in dark glasses sitting at a bus stop. She is politely refusing his appeals. Thailand is never what it seems. The guide-book Thailand is just a ‘rule of thumb’, a kindergarten sum of its parts. All five horizons Revolved around her soul As the earth to the sun Now the air I taste and I breathe Has...

What happens at a Thai Funeral

Annie, (in black) helps prepare her grandfather’s body for cremation. He raised Annie so it was important for her to help with all the aspects of the ceremony. Notice how tenderly but unsentimentally they take care of the body before carrying him around the temple three times and burning his body in one of the huge outdoor ovens commonly used in...
What’s Pattaya Like?

What’s Pattaya Like?

The lights of Pattaya reflect off the water and add colour to the velvet blackness of the night. It’s 1 am and the rooftop pool is a languid green. It’s a tiny lagoon about 12 metres square trapped between the thrusting towers of the surrounding hotels clawing their way toward the sky. The Pattaya city lights are changing colour and glowing,  flashing in the darkness, sending out sparks. We catch the tiny elevator downstairs still in our swim wear. The door opens and we are caught snogging by a fat, rural Russian and his fatter wife. This gives me great pleasure and amusement and for the first time in Pattaya we make a Russian look away. England 2, Russia 0. Get in there! Back on 2nd road another Russian steps so close to me that I say, ‘ what do you want?’ He lurches and looks surprised. There are so many of them and they are everywhere. This is no longer ‘our’ place. The Western star is waning. The Slavs all stare and stare with no sense of grace or warmth or even sentience. They stare at Annie because they have never seen anything like her and they stare at me because in their own hideous country anyone different is likely to be hunted down and attacked. Physically handicapped people, gays and people of colour stay indoors. Neo-Nazi skinhead groups roam the streets of Moscow looking for someone to vent their anger, frustration and dissolution on. It is however a country of great contradictions. The Russian soul is indeed a beautiful thing, sad and yearning for a lost age...
The Silver Bullet

The Silver Bullet

This is an excerpt from Bangkok Baby, by David Bonnie. It’s available on Amazon, Bangkok Books and Barnes & Noble. I had a reckoning in Bangkok late last night. Travis rode the silver bullet over the Chonburi state line to be where the action was. Across the city Beauty shares a cab with J to the hangout on 22. The made men sit drinking warm beer in the evenings soft heat The New Yorker pulls into town figures it all out from the signs in the book of Leviticus. He carries it for the benefit of the strangers that sojourn in this holy land. Keeping the laws of the jungle at bay is a life’s work. So midnight’s men are met at their rendezvous for the night beneath that giant Emporium sign that brings so much joy if not to us then to the hearts of our Ladyboys. They are ours, after all is said and done. There’s a carnival every night out on Sukhumvit and a dance that is measured in steps between the hungry and the hunted as they face off against each other. Nobody knows which is which. But nocturnal contracts are made and they disappear together only to reappear alone, empty. The streets are alive with secret debts overdue, assignations, partings. Promises made, ‘ never again’ and a police siren rips apart the strange sanctity of the Nana Jungle. It’s Big Buddha Night. Again. In the Nana parking lot the mai tam mesha sport the latest ‘Paris’ fashion. Those fresh from Isaan just sport flesh. Fashion TV plays in the corner bar. The girls down here are like ghosts;...
Bangkok-Day One

Bangkok-Day One

This is an excerpt from Bangkok Baby, by David Bonnie. It’s available on Amazon, Bangkok Books and Barnes & Noble I knew something big was going to happen today. I came up from a deep sleep to alert, gasping for breath. I was dreaming about falling and just before I hit the ground I woke up . . . and started laughing to myself . . . I couldn’t stop laughing. I was lying in the bedroom of the Royal Asia Hotel, Sukhumvit soi 8, Bangkok. Yesterday, was it yesterday? I was in England. How could I be so far away from what I knew in such a short space of time? . . . . .My laughter began to sound like panic . . .even to me. I was completely alone . . . having left everything and everyone I know behind! I suddenly heard my father’s voice . . . ‘You need backbone to live the life you want!’ He was Sergeant Major of the 11th Hussars before he died last year. I miss him. The day passed without a ripple but under the surface I was ticking and tight, waiting for the night to come. I knew I was going to take a giant step, a step that would set me free. I had seen Ladyboys online and these creatures fascinated me. I tried to understand why? I am way past 21 and have never entertained the idea of gay sex. No. not even a little. I remember when I was a soldier hearing a story about some guys from my Company who got tricked by some Ladyboys in the...