Bangkok Tattoo

Bangkok Tattoo

  This is an excerpt from Bangkok Baby, by David Bonnie. It’s available on Amazon, Bangkok Books and Barnes & Noble. You are running in nightimes chirruping heat. Sweat is burning your eyes now and you turn from the dark of soi 6 where you both live onto KrugThonburi alive with pink and yellow taxis, tuk-tuks and the smell of burnt carbon. You thought you could handle her proposition but later a kind of panic gripped your heart and still you cannot breath, but you keep running . . . time is running out. It is 10.40 as you jump into the On Nut train just as the doors close. The cold air hits you and you force yourself to sit down. You try to phone her again but again there is no answer . . .she is doing what she feels she must. Is she doing it for both of you? You have to stop her before it’s too late, before the world unhinges itself and all the pieces fly apart destroying everything you love. A young, pretty girl covered in tattoos sits opposite you: there is only one place she is heading. Just like you. She looks in your eyes and a feeling passes between you, the kind of feeling shared between soldiers moments before a battle. ‘Naanaaaa’says the voice of the train. Somebody laughs, somebody always laughs. In the laughter is a kind of nervousness and an edgy, tense excitement. You wait until the door opens before you leap up and out. Tonight you cannot face the stares of the farang couples on the train. That look that says, ‘we...
Bangkok Love Story

Bangkok Love Story

Prologue The sound of a farang shouting at a bar girl who has poured too much coke in his drink makes you look to your left and the Big Dog bar. The girl speaks no English so perhaps this is among her first weeks in Bangkok. Music is playing very loudly in the bar, ‘I met a gin soaked barroom queen in Memphis, she tried to take me upstairs for a ride’. The girl looks frightened. The smoke of the barbecue’s mixes with the stink of the rotting garbage, stale sweat and piss. Decay, degradation and the faces of the Thai vendors and motorcycle taxi drivers are etched into the grey concrete at the entrance to Soi 4 like an ancient economic truth. Their look is not envious, nor jealous and not full of hate; but the look of those trapped in the waking dream world of constant and chronic poverty. They are the faces of the drowned and drowning. ‘It’s the ho, o, o, nky tonk women, give me, give, give me the honky tonk blues’. This is Bangkok. This is Nana.   But you are looking past the messy third-world order of cracked and dirty tarmac and paving slabs that border the car park. You have lived long enough to know that under the surface of things lays the dream reality that you seek. Bangkok; full of men and women with plans to escape back to Surin, Korat, Leeds or Texas; just as soon as they have enough money or less desire. But what you see is something tender in the way Bangkok holds its residents. In...