I'm Just Here For The Food

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Sketchiest Night of my Life

I'm 33, I've had plenty of sketchy nights. I've seen friends get chased with Tire Irons, been threatened with a knife, and surrounded by a bus load of pissed off Huskies fans after the Vanier Cup. And those are just the night I care to mention, I mean my Mom's reading this. The other night in Saigon though...Sketchiest night of my life.

It started in the Pham Ngo Lao region of Saigon which is the main backpackers area. The German guy I was hanging out with, Greg, who is hearing impaired, and has a bit of a speach impediment, along with a German accent, has this weird obsession with finding a Vietnamese girl. We see all these Western people with Vietnamese women, and he's like "How do they get them? Are they all being paid?" It's like he thinks that every single one of them just landed here like he did, and were handed a Vietnamese girl on arrival. So needless to say, he feels his missing out. He doesn't want to pay a prostitute, but he wants to hang out with one it seems. Great people I find while traveling. So we're sitting in the GO2 bar, and Gregs getting more and more pissed off. "There must be somewhere else everyone is going, we need to find that place". Whatever, I'm just along for the ride, and I feel like beer, so I could care less. Of course the idiot hasn't looked in the Lonely Planet or anything for good night clubs, so I'm not about to tell him about Apocalypse Now, which is supposedly a happening place. So we finish our drinks and start walking the streets. Greg goes off to look for something and a moto driver asks if I want women or something, and I say no, just as Greg walks up the driver mentions Apocalypse. FUCK! Greg wants to go, and since I'm in the mood for beer I reluctantly agree. So we hop on and head there. The place is pretty packed, and looking good, so we settle down for a drink, but After 20 minutes Greg wants to leave. WHAT??? Turns out there were too many gays there (who the fuck am I hanging out with) At this point I just want to go home, but Greg on a mission, and I feel I'm along for the ride. So we walk out side and find our moto drivers and he says he'll take us to another place. DAMN IT! Well the next place is empty, and I'm getting a bad feeling about this. WE ask where everyone is. "Upstairs." is the answer. OK time to leave the place is a brothel. Next place, same thing. I just want to get back to Pham Ngo Lao, and go home. Luckily Greg agrees and we go back. On the way to the hostel we pass the Guns and Roses bar, and Greg wants a drink. At this point, I need a drink, so we go in. The place is full of drunk Westerners,and prostitutes. Great!

Now I have no problem with prostitution as a career choice. Not conceptually anyway. I even think it should be legalized, so that more control will be handed over to the girls. That being said I want nothing to do with sleeping with a hooker. It might be the best sex I've ever had, but that would be the end of sleeping with girls back in North America. It's not so much that I think the girls are dirty, but I can guarantee that the guys are. They've probably slept with hookers all over the world, and I ain't touching that shit. I can understand why the girls do it though. All of the ones that I've talked to are doing it to support their family, and you can see why. Vietnam pays like crap. A tour guide, just to pick a job that also deals with tourists, probably pays only a few dollars a day, maybe a little more. A hooker charge $70 a night, and since they don't appear to have pimps, they get to keep all that. That's a ton for these families, so I can see why they make the choice. It's sad that they do have to choose that, but I can see why they do, especially if they don't have an education, which most don't. Plus, most of the one's I've talked to say that the Westeren men treat them better than the Asian men, so I guess that's a plus. Now that that's out of the way, back to the sketchiness.

So we go into the bar, and start talking with these fat Americans Business men who are out for a night on the town. They're looking for a friend who seems to have disappeared, and they have no idea where. Off in the alley, off with a girl? They have no idea. Greg is enjoying the show, and I have to admit so am I. It's just such a weird scene that I can't help but enjoy it. I mean I know how I'm getting home, so there is no worry for me. Greg on the other hand is starting to look interested. Some girls come over to us, and one of them wants to trade Earrings and nose rings with me. I try to tell her that hers wouldn't quite match the look I'm going for, but she just finds that funny. These girls know how to work the charm. I mean there is now of that "Me so Horny, me love you long Time" stereotypical crap going on. These girls are nice, and superfreindly. Again, these girls know what they're going, and they do it well. It's working on Greg.

Greg and I extricate ourselves from the girls, and head over to the bar where this young Vietnamese guys invites us over to chat, and to help him finish the bottle of Tequilla he has. Now if you know me (and if you don't, Hi, I'm Peter, nice to meet you), you know my feeling on Tequilla, so I passed. The guy is nice, and we're just shooting the shit, watching the girls and guys do their thing when the girl beside us goes off to buy this guy a pack of smokes. While she's gone, we ask him how its going, and he's like "She keeps buying me drinks, but I'm not going home with her, so I don't know why she's doing it" RIGHT! Whatever dude. He might actually believe what he's saying butthe way he acts with the girl, tells the room something else. The girls name is Lan, and she starts talking with us about stuff, and she starts to make catty remarks about the other girls. "That girls boobs are fake, that one's really a guy..." It's getting weird, but funnier than hell, and I'm at a loss for what I've gotten myself into. Lan then starts showing us pictures of her family and friends, and she had two damn cute kids.

So the evening is weird, but I'm having a good relaxed time, when I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn and their is this English guy inches from my face. "You good?" He asks. Yeah I'm good. "So you're OK?" Yeah I'm fine, thanks for asking. "Are you good I ask" Yeah I'm good he replys. The whole time he's just staring at me, and I'm not sure if he's just trying to focus, or if he's trying to get into a fight. Great I think, I'm going to get into a bar fight in a hooker joint in Saigon. My Mother is going to be so proud." He asks me again if I'm OK and this goes on for minutes. He then asks if Greg and I want a drink which I decline, and Greg accepts. The guy makes no move to get the drinks, and we just keep staring at each other. I'm not goign to turn my back on this guy, and I just keep getting a bad feeling about the whole situation. Finally I offer him a drink, which he accepts. Now if there is one thing I've leaned over the years it's that if there is one thing a drunk likes more than fights, it's another drink. This bit of info has served me well over the years, and if the guy still wants to fight, well then he's that much drunker, so it's really a win-win situation.

Fianlly the guy goes away, and I turn to Greg, that we need to get the fuck out of there now. He's just ordered a drink though, so it looks like we're stuck, since there is no way I'm leaving by myself. Some more girls come over and chat with us, but leave when I say I don't pay. We start chatting with Lan again, and I can tell Greg is into her. He's also pretty drunk at this point, and in true German fashion, it also means he's getting more agressive and confrontational. He keeps pulling Lan over to ask her the stupidest questions, and now he's just pissing me off. Lan makes it clear that she's with that other guy, and buys us a round of drinks, which we politely accept, I mean it was a no strings attached drink from a hooker, how can you say no. To make matters worse the drunk English guy comess back to say that no one likes my kind. MY KIND???? It's like the scene in Star Wars where Luke enters the Mos Eisley Cantina, and that guy goes "My friend doesn't like you....I don't like you either" Yeah it's just like that, but with a smelly English guy as opposewd to Aliens. Americans he means. "American? I'm Canadian, everyone likes us" I say. Now that wasn't really a lie, but it wasn't totally the truth though, but I'm not about to give this guy the satisfaction of telling him I'm American. "Canadians are the same as Americans," he says. Now those are fighting words. Fuck this guy, he just really pissed me off. Then I make some commnet about how Canada at least has a mind of its own, and how GWB's hand is so far up Tony Blairs ass, it's not even funny. This makes matters worse. At this point though I could really care less, this guy is bugging the crap out of me and I've had enough. A few minuites go by, and then he asks "So are you OK" Fuck what is with this guy and that damn stupid questions. Finally the guys leaves oddly enough with the missing guy from earlier. Lan leaves with the Aussie guy (told ya!), and at 4am, we finally leave. I have never been so happy to get to a hostel in my life. Honestly though it was a pretty fun night, and I talked with a lot of interesting people.

P.S. Two night later, the night before I'm leaving Greg and I go out for a few more drinks and ran into Lan at the Go2 Bar. He greets us warmly, and tells us she's heading to Apocalyse Now. Greg wants to go later, but I have to get up early for a Mekong Tour. While we were walking to another place I run into the Two Isreali girls from the Nha Trang post. They want a drink, Greg wants a drink, I want to go home, but two Israeli women and a German are pretty strange bedfellows so I go for a drink. I left with Greg trying to get the girls go to Apocalyse. He never made it home that night. I hope it was a good night rather than bad and that everything turned out OK.

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1 Comments:

  • I must say i quite enjoyed reading your blog to learn others experience in Vietnam.

    Am i right in saying that Saigon and Vietnam in general is a good place for sex tourism?

    By Blogger apache, at 11:26 AM  

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