To The East

Last week I flew fifteen hours to the Orient to deliver a very expensive handbag to a Hong Kong billionaire.

After checking into my reserved Kowloon hotel room a little before dawn I searched Moby Road for an open restaurant. Everything was closed, except for a 7/11. I bought a big can of beer and two rice cakes. The sun rose in the east. The air was sultry, sweat dripped from my face, and I sat by the waters of the Fragrant Harbor for the first in my life.

Old imperial Hong Kong had been the jewel of the British Empire.

Now THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG was buried under concrete.

To the east lay China.

I cracked open my beer and ate the rice cake in two bites.

It was good to be back in Asia.

Unsexy Asia Cities 2017

Detroit is understandably the world’s least sexy city.

Murder, rust factories, and the Pistons.

Nothing about Motor City says ‘sexy’ other than the MC5, Grand Funk Railroad, and Wendy Whitelaw.

But Detroit has competition from Asia, as indicated by the Global Sexual Wellbeing Survey released at the World Congress on Sexual Health in Sydney.

Three cities in Asia topped the list of places where people are having sex less than the global average of 106 times a year.

Singapore, Tokyo, and Bangkok.

Tokyo citizens are the most infrequent sexual practitioners at 48 couplings per annum. The Japanese are also the least satisfied with their sex lives.

Small penises, no endurance, and too little of it as well. No wonder Japanese women shag brothers in New York city like they were racial engineering a new culture. Yo Nisei.

My ex-, Vee, worked at a Japanese karaoke bar in Pattaya. Sex was 3000 baht/session. The girls loved their job. The son of the Rising Sun shut their eyes and shuttered in less than a minute.

Sayonara teelak.

The most satisfied with the Nigerians at 79% who take 24 minutes to reach a happy ending.

Strangely the Chinese were seventh, which must be from eating friend alligator cock and bulls’ balls.

Hong Kong (32 percent), Australia (40), Singapore (41), Thailand (42) and New Zealand (43) were all bottom feeders in the sea of sexual satisfaction.

“All work and no play.”

Of course women don’t orgasm as much as men, but that’s because they spent so much energy trying to fake it.

But Bangkok as a non-erotic city?

You ride the Skytrain and see thousands of people in a zombie state of mass consumerism. Nana Plaza was a turn-off and Patpong even more of a buzzkill. Sitting at the Oriental Hotel I visual surveyed the guests and figured only 3 in a hundred were having sex having sex and I was one of them.

Most of the female staff were virgins.

Work is all important.

Same as New York.

Last week I attended a dinner party in Soho and asked, “When was the last time you had sex?”

Few wanted to answer.

Mostly because they were embarrassed and even worse they couldn’t remember when.

The women thought my question was a crude come-on.

Then again the consumer class ony takes pleasure rom sopping.

The Myth of Monkey Brains

Siiting in a Hong Kong dim sum cafe, I reflected on the strange ‘delicacies’ eaten on my travels; snails in France, dog in Indonesia, fried rats and insects in Thailand, alligator in Florida, and sausage pies in the UK, but whenever the discussions comes around the table to the most revolting meal in the world the vote unanimously goes to the fabled Monkey brain feast in Hong Kong, where the skull of the live monkeys are sliced open and the diners scoop out the raw shaking simian cerebellum.

While the Chinese will eat almost anything, live monkey brains are not on the menu according to most international cuisine experts. Dead monkey brains are served in several locations throughout Asia. I’ve seen monkeys eaten in Central American and SE Asia, but never brought myself to dine on them, since the roasted bodies look like little babies.

There are accounts of people eating live brains from the 1940s such as this one.

“The monkey’s head was supported by its neck in a bracket, two pieces of wood with a semicircular hole on each side such that when you put them together, they form a complete circle around the animal’s neck, allowing the head to be exposed above the plank. The hair around the head is shone with a shaving razor. A small chisel and a hammer is used to quickly chisel a circle around the crown, and the top part of the skull is removed. A teaspoon is used to scoop up the brain, which is immediately eaten. This has to be done before the monkey dies.”

Of course this could be urban myth, but I’m not making any effort to find out if it’s true or not.

Above is a photo of chilled monkey brains.

Ain’t for me.

Across From Burma

Throughout the 90s I biked up from Chiang Mai to Mai Sai on the Thai-Burma border. A small river separated the two countries. The people on both sides looked the same and the houses were built in a similar fashion. I stayed at the Mai Sai Guest House to the left of the Friendship Bridge. They offered clean A-frame bungalows for 100 baht a night or about $3.

Butterflies flirted with the flowers and a pleasant waitress served breakfast in the morning and beers at night. The guest house never hit full capacity during my visits. I traveled strictly in low season, but the owner said, “High season. Many farang. Smoke opium. Sleep too much.”

Smoking Ma or Horse was a ritual of the Golden Triangle and I liked a pipe once in a while.

Young Burmese boys swam across the river at night.

A ball of O was cheap.

I slept late every day and rode a Triumph through the hills.

It was a good place to be.

1994.

I was 42.

Beyond The Border

My friends’ sons and daughters suspected that my travels are connected to the CIA or some criminal enterprise. My denials only confirmed their opinions mostly because they viewed their parents as strictly 9-5 straights.

Recently one contacted me on Facebook and asked if I was in Thailand to transport drugs. Thai police are very strict on traffickers and I have never entertained any business enterprise involved the shipment of drugs within or outside Thailand, however back in 1994 I was motorcycling north of Chiang Mai with two Italian friends. We reached the northernmost point of Thailand, Mai Sai, and stayed at the idyllic Mai Sai Guesthouse. Butterflies floated over the tropical flowers and young Burmese children swam in the river. I was content to drink a Singha beer, but they wanted more.

“More?”

“Si, opium.” They chorused this mutual desire.

“Don’t say that too loud.” Undercover Thai police specialized in entrapping westerners. I tried to deter their obsession, but they were relentless and I said, “I’ll see what I can do.”

I set out for the mountain crest demarking the frontier on a 250cc ATX.

No police patrolled the road.

No passport control either.

I spotted an old manfrom the Yao tribe. I asked him if he knew where to find ‘fin’ or opium. He nodded with a toothless grin and pointed into Burma. I thumbed behind me and he jumped on the back of the trail bike. We drove several kilometers to a small village of thatched huts and runny-nosed kids. He spoke with several men and came back with five fingers up.

“$50?” I asked and he smiled once more.

The money was the Italians, so I wasn’t losing anything if he disappeared into Burma.

I handed over the cash. He and another man drove off in a pick-up . I sat in the village watched by everyone like I was a TV showing an American sit-com without subtitles. After 20 minutes I started getting nervous. I was in Burma without a visa looking for drugs.

Potentially big trouble.

I heard a truck coming up the hill. I got on the bike and started it in case the truck was the police.

It was the old man.

He got out of the truck with a garbage bag of pot.

Five pounds at least.

I shook my head.

“Not ganga. Fin. Opium. Horse. Ma.”

None of this filtered through our language barrier, but he lifted a finger for me to wait. He went into a hut and returned with a bag of white powder.

It looked familiar. It tasted familiar too. Chinese # 4 Heroin.

This was the deal. Dope for money.

I thanked the old man and stuffed the cellophane bag into my boot. Thais are very wary of people’s feet. They consider them dirty and my boots were caked with dust. I drove back to Mai Sai through several Thai police checkpoints without any incident. In my room I showed the bag to the Italian.

“This is not opium.” They were disappointed until we chased the dragon.

This was the real gear and I explained that opium was tough to find now that the DEA was waging its war on drugs along the border. The growers refined the opium into heroin for easier shipment. The Italians could have cared less. They were in oblivion and by the end of the week they were hooked to the gear. They wanted more, but I wasn’t pushing my luck. I gave them directions and headed back to Chiang Mai.

I never saw them again.

I explained this my friend’s son.

“Right.” He preferred to believe his own story and I was guilty as charged by a teenage mind. Better than the real thing, because I like my freedom and I know better than to do something that stupid now I’m a grown man.