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Pattaya Punters

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I am a Pattaya punter. My good friend Rosta is a Pattaya punter. His good friend Roy is a Pattaya punter. Roy’s good friend the Iceman is a Pattaya punter. The Iceman’s good friend Bert the Bipolar is a Pattaya punter (but unable to return because of visa restrictions, doomed to sentenced time on one of the Philippine isles). The Philippine isle where he resides is not a Pattaya punter but could well be so all embracing is Bert the Bipolar. Yes, there is something formidable about Pattaya punters that makes them fitting great tits and more. Is it just Pattaya that attracts the outrageous or is the world full of Pattaya punters in disguise? To be frank I just don’t know…but what I do know is that after ten odd years living a strange life here in Pattaya I am convinced I have yet to meet a normal long-stay expat here. And worse. Even when I leave Fun City and travel out towards Sattahip, I can’t find a normal guy. As for expat girls, there aren’t many around for me to put under my literary microscope but those few who do live here, turn up at a writers’ group I attend and they are mild-formidable I’d say with traumatic backgrounds.

When I reflect on chapter four of “Great Tits I’ve Known (And Other Species)” I can list an astonishing number of punters who strike terror into my heart. There was Lenny the King to begin with, Captain Hook to go on with, Ordinary Water the Italian, John Hyundai, Myles the photographer, Jimmy and Jock the two Celtic boxers, Rob Big Belly Bob, Ripe Offender the Welsh truckie, Penniless President, and others, and they were all cresting the wave of obnoxiousness, folly, mild common sense, and more. As I say, I cannot work out if other towns have similar, but Pattaya can’t be beaten for its colourful punters.

Tomorrow, I will attend one of the two expat meetings here, and I know I will bump into characters. There is Herman the German and Strid the Scandinavian, there is Desmond the African and Bill the Frenchman, there is such a mixed bag I don’t know where to start my next novel from and where to finish it. Why, even today a supposedly harmless trip to my local supermarket shot me in the head. I met up with my two favourite Pattaya punters – Roy the Toyboy and Rosta the Imposter. I’d bought both of them coffees on my previous visit but offer me one back? Why no. I do invest considerable small sums in my mates’ drinks but they seem too hard up to dig deep. And that’s another thing about us punters. We are all financially compromised starting with me. It’s not just the Thais who expect me to buy everything. It’s also a number of my friends. Why, a very gifted artist who has chosen to live in Poverty Alley for the sake of art is never slow to tell me I should dig deep and not be mean. He will reincarnate as a Pattaya bargirl – of that I am sure!

I do know that Rosta, the hero of “Great Tits I’ve Known (And Other Species)”, has started his latest trip here in extraordinary good form and is already giving me sufficient food for thought to last me twenty years and a collected works into the bargain. He has been telling me how bad his back is, how expensive his hospital visits are, how many tablets he is having to take, and how obstreperous the shooting pains are. No alcohol, either…so imagine my surprise when I learn he is out every night and of course not including me in the outings. (“You’re too busy, Jon,” he tells me.)

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I suppose I am too busy blogging and scratching my head in an attempt to get it round Pattaya punters but to be informed would be nice. Roy the Toyboy is not of Rosta’s formidable metal and he just looks at me and smiles. Roy’s smile goes a long way today and may well need to go a long way in my near future as I come to terms with my mate Rosta’s formidable negative capability and master-mindful ambiguity. Mist and cloud come to mind, too, but they are British and Pattaya punters are certainly not exactly that!

Or are they???