Thai Porn and Heroin-Deal Time Warp

Woah dude, why did I forget my glam-rock bell-bottoms, fly-aways and two-tone, sport-frame, amber aviators? This place reeks of 70’s porn. It evokes images of densely smoky, sweaty foreheaded, Thai whisky, hold-all drug deals going wrong and pseudonyms used by former BBC children’s TV presenters for suspect sex tourism in patterned Speedo’s.

It’s a time warp. I sip my Nescafe with Coffee Mate. The only visible signs of change here are a digital clock behind reception and three satellite dishes. God forbid we should miss the top-drawer over-acting in the super low-budget, Thai soaps, ‘Luuuuuuuaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnneeeeeee!’ Besides these minor technical advancements, the hotel and all of its systems are exactly as Greg Evigan left it. Remarkable.

Since it’s heyday, somewhere between ‘Deep Throat’ and the Sinclair pocket calculator, there appears to have been only one new staff recruit. He extols all the virtues of a lady-boy but he’s not yet started cross-dressing. He’s just a bitch waiter who, given by the way he looks into the distance above us as he lays the plates, ignores us, tuts, then turns and struts, seems to believe that our table is the end of the catwalk at the Chiang Mai fashion show. The sooner he puts on a pair of high heels, the better for everyone.

The carved fighting fish and pissing cherub, ornamental nativity pond. The carbon copy receipts and spikes. The aspirational, kinked butter knives served with the appropriate dishes on melamine plates. Grumpy pictures of the dead king. The intricate, hand-carved banisters and cornices. The woven and varnished reed wall paneling. The wind-able, aluminium-framed, slatted glass, smoking windows. The brilliantly unnecessary, wooden carved, elephant and child dining screens. Dramatic, maternal, horse art. The fact that our mini-bar is stocked with a whole bottle of Sing-Som rum. Look at the ‘Central Air’ air conditioning unit for fuck’s sake: Stavro Blofeld’s plastic surgeon had the same unit in Diamonds are Forever. The centre piece of this museum for me, however, is the rotary-dial telephone in our room, on top of the strawberry fridge topper with random tumbler.

There’s been no attempt to modernize this place and nor should there be. Sadly though, it will get to the point where due to the heat, humidity and torrential downpours that this, predominantly wooden, masterpiece will be torn down to build a Mitsubishi showroom or a Krispy Kreme. Such a shame it would be, not to see this place succumb to something more befitting of its artistry. Possibly a Gunther Von Hagen exhibition or a crazed, Chang and ching-fuelled arson attack as Gary Glitter covers his tracks. Maybe we discover that this place is simply a mirage caused by a time loop that opened up when the Allman Brothers tour bus reached 88mph on the main road outside during a freak storm.

Now consider that this place was a new build in the late 90’s and you have a valuable insight into Thai culture. Sift through some of these photos and in the mean-time, I will start thinking of some short stories for this wonderful cultural mega show.


Thanks for reading, Complainers.

Pete

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