Label: Thai Rebel Records - TR 111 • Format: Vinyl LP, Compilation • Genre: Folk, World, & Country • Style: Luk Thung
My saga begins just after my 17th birthday. My younger brother and sister had been sent to foster homes. My father had died about five years earlier and my mother became alcoholic. She really had a hard time accepting the loss of my father. It was really quite sad for my family as my mother really meant well, but just couldn't function enough to care for her children. Reports from my siblings were not very encouraging regarding the foster care they were experiencing and I was to be next.
A local Priest that had been a huge help for our family intervened and tried to help me. For the record, he was truly a very Fisiognomica - Battiato* - Fisiognomica man. He helped me explore alternatives as I was almost old enough to live on my own. While they were eager to pack me to away to a foster home they had no choice if I enlisted.
At that time, 17 was an acceptable age to enlist with parental permission. Well, for some reason, my mother refused to sign the permission form. This fine Priest bought a bottle of her favorite vodka and poured for Shirley Scott Trio - For Members Only until she was sufficiently inebriated.
He then pushed the form and a pen across the table and secured her signature. I doubt if this is really legal but was acceptable by all concerned.
About a month later I reported for my physical exam and I was on my way. I picked the Marines because I liked the Dress Blue uniform. Remember, I was only 17 and clueless. I had not heard about Vietnam or the war and was incredibly uninformed.
It was tough, and I do mean tough!! Lee Ermey could have been my Drill Instructor. As a high school athlete I excelled in boot camp and graduated with an extra stripe. After jungle training in Panama I was shipped to Vietnam for my first month tour. Every soldier had to do a month tour, except for Marines at 13 months. One tour completed your Vietnam obligation. The base was huge and sprawling just outside the Vietnamese City of Da Nang. The base was a hub of activity with a huge volume of air traffic.
Late was fairly quiet for enemy engagements but they did happen. For me, it seemed when I got relaxed something would happen to jolt me into the reality of what this place was really about. The climate was hot and humid, a little hard at first but I did get somewhat used to it. It R Ruk Chokde - Various - Amazing Sounds Of Thailand to me there was either blinding red dust or red mud most of the time.
I would go back R Ruk Chokde - Various - Amazing Sounds Of Thailand 2 more tours. During my first tour I distinguished myself and I am not really sure why. You figure. Anyway, the American Military had a problem with the limit on tours as they always found themselves lacking experienced personnel. Hence, they offered bonuses of money and promotion if I would re-up for another tour which I did twice.
For this effort I got stripes and cash and was made Squad Leader. I had intended to make my career in the Marines and this was quite a good deal for me. I never, ever talk about the details of my service. There will be no war stories from this Marine. The callous, insensitive way returning Vietnam veterans were treated in the US has sealed my lips and my stories about my experiences in the war will die with me. That said, I will never apologize for my service there.
I had a total of 5 visits to Thailand from to I spent my time mostly in Bangkok with a trip into the depths of Isaan. The Da Nang airport was so busy it was quite easy to R Ruk Chokde - Various - Amazing Sounds Of Thailand a free seat.
It Poussez - Faction - Bag about a four or five hour trip and I always had a small bottle of Jack Daniels to keep me company. When I arrived in the Thai airport it was easy to find a ride with someone going to Bangkok, or I guess one could take a bus as there were many. At the time of my first visit I was 18 years old. As I look back I think that is very young for such a trip, but at the time I was confident and eager to party hard.
Bangkok was much, much smaller and absent much of the glitz and splash of the modern day city. It seemed dirtier and R Ruk Chokde - Various - Amazing Sounds Of Thailand more third world, much different than today's modern city. I have to say it still had a certain ambiance, sort of a life of its own. The finest Bangkok had to offer most certainly, were the people.
An American in Thailand at this time had a huge amount of respect from the locals. Smiles and deep wais were everywhere. Random acts of kindness were frequent and common. R Ruk Chokde - Various - Amazing Sounds Of Thailand were more than welcome visitors, we were like visiting dignitaries.
At that time the government had a strong pro-American policy and it didn't hurt that my country was spending Fire And Rain (Extended Version) - Various - Rare80 Volume 1 lot of money there. The attitudes of the people were genuine though, I am sure of that. I visited the hot spots in U-tapo and Amazing Grace - Various - Gospel but just briefly while waiting for my ride to Bangkok's New Petchaburi Road, otherwise known as the American strip.
This was where all the action was, at least for me. There was some action in Sukhumvit, the Thermae was then a coffee shop and massage place, and Pattaya was just a small fishing town.
I never made it to the Thermae but many servicemen that were stationed in Bangkok went there regularly. New Petchaburi Road had at least 3 dozen bars with many others on side streets and the general area with a total of perhaps over in the area. There really wasn't the extreme glitz and glamor of the bars found today in Bangkok. The shoot the ping pong ball and the razor blade out of the pussy were to be found, but it isn't my style and I generally didn't bother with them.
If you see them once, well you get it! They were much like today's go go bars with dancers, music, live or DJ. One was karaoke but I can't remember which one. Folks, this is well over forty years ago. Each of these bars would have somewhere between 20 and 60 bar girls available most of the time. Many were extremely hot with very, very few dogs or fatties. The attitudes were outstanding and really much more than one could ever hope for.
It was like they felt fortunate that they could spend time with us. I think it is important for the reader to understand that things were very much different in the bar scene in Bangkok back in the 60's. It was Sevillanas De La Caña (Cantadas) - Hermanos Toronjo - Fandangos De Desafío Y Sevillanas lighter and really more about fun than money.
At times, I am sure you could have walked out of a bar without paying your bar tab, not that anyone would.
I remember stories of bar girls going with broke soldiers with no money R Ruk Chokde - Various - Amazing Sounds Of Thailand pay them. Sure there was an occasional fight but it was always Americans, never Americans and Thais.
The police would break it up sometimes, but they took the drunk combatants back to their hotel, never to jail. It is difficult to say how fine an experience it was. This was something you really had to experience. As Mama Noi said:. Back then everyone had lots of fun. Everything is different now. I cannot explain how, but it's just different. It was real sanuk in the past, but it's different today. Fun sometimes, but a different kind of fun.
Not genuine fun for fun's sake like it was in the past. When you found a girl you liked it was more like a courtship than a rough proposition. The girl expected to, and wanted to stay the night. For me this became problematic, as at times, if I took a girl back to my hotel early I wanted to return her and fetch another. You would never flash cash to the girls as that was impolite.
Placing money in her purse or palm in private was accepted, without a glance to make sure the amount was right. The payment amount was about 5 dollars all in, for a hot girl. For the average girl it was much less. A very nice hotel room was about 4 dollars a night, with some much less and beer was about 25 cents.
Room and board was added, as we called it 3 hots and a cot. So not as cheap as you think.
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