THE SMOKING BAN DEBATE CONTINUES
I have to say that I am a bit surprised at how much of a debate the smoking ban has become. This seems to be a very important issue to some Westerners, while other people feel there are bigger problems to deal with. Down in Soi Cowboy, the smoking ban has been enforced in every bar. Smokers can be seen having a cigarette outside the bars in Soi Cowboy. Some smokers are openly displaying their disdain for the new law. Meanwhile, non-smokers are arguing that it is high time that smoking is banned in all bars right across Thailand. Non-smokers are clearly saying butt out! On the other hand, there are smokers who feel hard done by after all these years.
In Nana Plaza, the authorities have not enforced the smoking ban. Non-smokers should be aware of this fact. However, in Angelwitch Go-Go Bar they have banned the Thai staff from smoking inside the bar. This is something of a compromise to the situation. Customers are allowed to smoke in all of the four Rainbow Bars. Therefore, rival go-go bars do not want to lose customers to them. The smoking ban has to be a rule for all if it is going to work.
Regarding the smoking ban issue, I think that non-smokers have a very good argument here. If there is supposed to be a smoking ban, then it should be enforced nationwide. However, we are talking about “Amazing Thailand” where things are definitely not always black and white. I know a few anti-smoking Westerners who feel VERY strongly about this issue. They are bordering on being anti-smoking activists! Hey guys, this is not Farangland! While I do see their argument, some farangs can be intolerable complainers. You can see some of these intense arguments on the chat forums. Do these people not have anything better to do with their time?
I dare say that smokers can be very ignorant to the fact that they are affecting the health of others. I remember a smoking joke by an English comedian… A man turns to the person next to him and says, “Do you mind if I smoke?” The non-smoker replied, “Do you mind if I fart in your dinner?”
I think we all just need some time for the dust to settle. One thing is for sure, there will need to be an adjustment period. Later on, we will probably wonder what all the fuss was about.
MORE THAI ELECTIONS CAUSES MORE CONFUSION
Once again, we find ourselves mixed up in the confusion that surrounds yet more Thai Government Elections. I would assume that most of you are aware of the Thai authorities (so called) “NO ALCOHOL” policy. Last weekend, quite a few people were left puzzled about when and where they could drink alcohol in Thailand. Down in Patpong it was business as usual – people were openly drinking beers, and spirits. It was obvious that the boys in brown in Silom turned a blind eye, as they usually do.
For some reason Soi Cowboy was ordered to close on Friday night, but then allowed to open on Saturday. Why was that I wonder? It beats me! In Soi Cowboy last Saturday night, there were only about 50% of the bars open. The bargirls were told that the bars in Soi Cowboy would be closed, so naturally some bargirls went home. You cannot suddenly recall all your girls, especially if they have already travelled back to remote provinces. With some of the Soi Cowboy go-go bars receiving the news about opening on Saturday at last minute, it was a matter of too little too late.
Unfortunately, there were not many bars open in Pattaya either. A few go-go bars tried to open, but later on during the evening, they were closed by the police. In some respects, the go-go bars and beer bars in Pattaya are under much stricter control than their counterparts in Bangkok are.
I am often asked about issues like the “NO ALCOHOL” policy. Why does it vary so much from area to area? Well, if a law has a BIG government stamp on it, the police commanders sometimes have no choice but to enforce that law. However, with Thailand being Thailand, the decision often remains with the police commander in charge of that particular district. It also depends on how much power a particular police commander has and how effectively he “works” with the local community in that particular area. Another important factor depends on what personal agenda the police commander has. If the police commander is seeking promotion to a higher position, he will do everything within his power to ensure that he gets that promotion. I remember one former police commander in Lumpini who was seeking such a promotion to a higher rank. We referred to him as Mr Squeaky Clean, because he would not bend one inch!
The best comparison I can make is to compare the different police districts to the different states in America. In America, laws can (and do) vary quite considerably from state to state. Thailand is no different in terms of the different police districts. This is the reason why you will see some things being allowed in Soi Cowboy (Tonglor Police District), but not in Nana Plaza (Lumpini Police District). Sometimes Patpong is seen as a unique entity, because it is under the very liberal control of the Bangrak Police District. Furthermore, some places like Nana Plaza are located in high profile areas. Just stone’s throws away from Nana Plaza are the JW Marriott Hotel and The Landmark Hotel. A whole host of delegates and VIP’s stay at these two top class hotels. In this example, you can see that location is also a factor in determining what happens in the different police districts.
POLICE POLITICS SUMMARY
I hope that might shed some light on the complications of police politics here in Thailand. In addition, when seeking the reasons why certain things happen here, just remember that even the Thais are often left clueless. Thailand will always keep us on our toes, because you never know what will happen next. The unpredictability factor can be frustrating at times, but one thing is for sure, there is never a dull moment.
A sea of suds continues to flow into Thailand. This week Fluid Asia Pacific will introduce a new draught beer. Fluid Asia Pacific proudly presents Kronenbourg Draught Beer to the bars and pubs of Bangkok. In fact, it is on sale now in Bully’s Pub, which is located next to the JW Marriott Hotel. Initially, the launch of Kronenbourg Draught Beer is in Bully’s Pub, but other bars will be selling it very soon. The following bars are in line to sell Kronenbourg – Shadow Sports Bar (Soi Cowboy), Winking Frog (Sukhumvit, Soi 8), Black Swan (Asoke), Jameson’s (Silom) and Duke Of Wellington (Silom). Cheers for the new beers!
ADVANCED WARNING FOR THIS WEEKEND
Unfortunately, the Thai Elections run into this weekend as well, but it will only affect one night. I want to warn you that this Saturday, March 1st will be a “NO ALCOHOL” day due to the last part of the Thai Elections for this period. Therefore, make sure you have a good “booze cruise” this Friday night, because there will be a limited availability of alcohol for one evening on Saturday night. Forewarned is forearmed…
SOI COWBOY – LITTLE LAS VEGAS
This week I have another update regarding some of the Happy Hours on offer in Soi Cowboy. You may recall “Daves Raves” about the super saver Happy Hours to be found in Cowboy Country. Well, I have discovered some more information. I found out that Shadow Sports Bars Happy Hour runs from 12:00 noon until 9:30pm. Shadow Sports Bar house drinks are very cheap in this special super saver at ONLY 60 Baht each. Suzie Wong Go-Go Bar and Sheba’s Go-Go Bar both run a Happy Hour from opening time until 9:00pm. House drinks are just 60 Baht. However, the cheapest Happy Hours are as follows: – Spice Girls – 40 Baht, Our Place – 50 Baht, Midnite – 50 Baht and Déjà Vu – 60 Baht. All four of these sister go-go bars run the Happy Hour from opening time until 8:30pm. Also, all four go-go bars sell draught beer for 90 baht all night every night. Cheers for the cheap beers!
I heard from a bar owner that Black & White Go-Go Bar next door to Tilac Go-Go Bar has been sold. I wonder what the new owners intend to do with it?
The only draught beer available out of all the go-go bars in Bangkok can be ordered in Suzie Wong and Sheba’s Go-Go Bars. Currently, John Smith’s Extra Smooth Bitter and Strongbow Cider are available. Possibly Kronenbourg will also be added to the drinks menu.
XXX FILES – LIFE’S A FUNNY OLD GAME
On the chest of a barmaid in Sale,
Were tattooed the prices of ale,
And on her behind,
For the sake of the blind,
Was the same information in Braille!
How do Kiwis practise safe sex? They spray-paint an “X” on the sheep that kick!
Crystal Images kindly supplied the photos of Soi Cowboy. Thanks Sean!
EMAIL DAVE THE RAVE – firstname.lastname@example.org
DON’T BE A FOOL PROTECT YOUR TOOL
In the meantime, if you cannot be good be careful… Safe sex saves lives!
The Prisoner In Paradise wishes to thank you for visiting…
Tags: Amazing Thailand, America, Angelwitch Go-Go Bar, Angelwitch Go-Go Bars, Bargirls, beer bars, Black & White Go-Go Bar, Black Swan, Bullys Pub, Dave The Rave, Dean Barrett, Deja Vu, Duke Of Wellington, Fluid Asia Pacific, Go-Go Guru, Jamesons, JW Marriott Hotel, Kronenbourg, Kronenbourg Draught Beer, Midnite, Nana Plaza, Our Place, Patpong, Pattaya, Rainbow bars, Shadow Sports Bar, Shebas Go-Go Bar, Silom, smoking ban, Soi Cowboy, Soi Cowboy go-go bars, Spice Girls, Stickman, Suzie Wong Go-go bar, Thai, Thai Elections, Thai government, Thailand, Thailand Night Fever, Tilac Go-Go Bar, Winking Frog