Pattaya is a beach community not far from Bangkok with a reputation for seediness that it's trying hard to live down. I'm not sure it's really succeeding. The economy seems to be based around white guys looking for cut-rate Thai girlfriends (and/or boyfriends; at least it's equal opportunity). The most visible aspect of this is that pretty much every restaurant or bar we passed had a cluster of attractive Thai women outside who would attempt to entice us inside. Their greetings didn't vary much: "Helloooo, where you froooom? What's your naaaaame?" From this they were quickly and unimaginatively christened Hello Girls.
This, of course, explains why we ended up at a shooting range, where I shot a gun (a 45mm semi-automatic, if you must know) for the first time. Poorly. Thai shooting ranges don't go in for silly Canadian ideas like safety orientations, so we were shooting about three minutes after we walked in the door. I'm happy to report I felt no great surge of testosterone or sense of manliness as a result of doing it, I don't think I'll need to do it again.
Judging from my notes from the days in Pattaya, the only other thing of note from our two days there (aside from some very tasty meals at non-Hello Girl restaurants) was reading McCormack's harrowing The Road; it's about the worst beach reading material imaginable, I suppose, but it's an amazing piece of art.Posted by Bill Stilwell at November 16, 2006 09:07 PM