Friday, 13 December 2013

Thai straight nightlife: sangjan

Thai straight nightlife: sangjan

Tuesday, 03.12.2013

I had talked with Burmese Woman on Monday night (her cute friend C was sleeping in her room) and we agreed to meet again on Tuesday at 7 pm. I call her around 6:30, she wants to meet at 9. Ok, that gives me time to do some housework and to check the demonstrations at Government Complex Chaeng Wattana.

We meet about 9:30 pm in my room. Burmese Woman wants to go to Sangjan (แสงจันทร์, săeng jan), a place I have never heard of. She or C doesn’t know how to write it in English or in Thai, so she has to consult a friend on Line. The place is โรงเหล้าแสงจันทร์เอกมัย-รามอินทรา (Rong lao saeng jan, Ekkamai Ramintra branch, literally “place alcohol moonlight/moonshine”).

There are various ways to Romanize แสงจันทร์, and เหล้า is Romanized incorrectly as hela instead of lao. It can be read as hela, but the correct pronunciation is lao. We arrive 23:20, it is more than half full and the party is going (contrary to some gay discos, which are basically empty before midnight).

This place is a mix of restaurant, bar and disco. People are sitting on tables and have dinner, drink or get up and dance. (C says on the weekend the tables are removed and there is standing room only.) We sit down and order beer and dinner.

We had 12 bottles of Singha (500 ml, 5 % alcohol), 160 Baht each. I think I drank 2 bottles, which leaves 5 bottles for Burmese Woman and C. Each of us had to go to toilet several times.

I made the following observation: When I drink water (colorless), my urine is yellow; when I drink beer (yellow), my urine is colorless.

When I pee (yellow) into a toilet bowl with blue disinfectant/deodorant/descalant, it turns green, which is no surprise.

The toilets are clean, well maintained and lit, spacious and odorless. You can get back massage and get a hot wet towel to dry your hands (it works, the hot water from the towel evaporates quickly).

Saengjan is a no-smoking venue (there was a sign to a smoking room), music level is bearable, but the flashing lights and lasers are the worst I have ever experienced. Just when your eyes have accommodated to the darkness so you can see your food, there is a flash that blinds you.

Girls who sell stuff (plastic flowers with LED lighting, snacks, chewing gum) roam the audience.

Around 1 am, some girls are so drunk that they need assistance to walk and leave the venue.

During our eating (little) and drinking (a lot) and dancing (Burmese Woman and C), I surreptitiously check C’s skin temperature by gently touching his arm or body (can feel through T-Shirt) with my elbow. Warm and dry.

C walks around and comes back with a teddy bear. I hope this isn’t for me.

Beer bottles were ordered in multiples of 3 (first order 6 bottles, then two more orders with 3 bottles). There are still one (closed) and a half bottle left, I don’t want to drink any more, my friends are drunk. I wonder if I salvage the closed bottle and take it with me (or return it and get it taken off the bill; to shorten the evening, I am tired), but it is opened by staff before I can intervene. So let’s finish this one as well and leave!

At 2:10, lights go on and music goes off and the place empties quickly.

We take taxi back, C falls asleep and rests his head on my lap. Burmese Woman talks with the taxi driver and gets out near her place, C and I continue to my place. He wakes up 50 meter before I tell the taxi to stop, how is this possible? We go to my room. I am tired and he is drunk, nonetheless our activity is promising.

C leaves at 3:20 am (no overnight, he has to go to Minburi in the morning) I and go to bed and will have to get up at 8 am.

I give him the teddy bear which we took with us on the taxi. It’s a gift for me. Oh no! What am I going to do with it? It’s in a plastic bag, so it’s protected from dust. I will have to keep it in case C comes back to my room, and finally give it to a friend when I move out.
Total cost (rounded up) 3000 Baht: 2000 for drinks, 300 for food, 300 for taxi return together, 100 for C (to tip staff), 300 for C for taxi.

An interesting experience, I was the only Farang there. My friends had a good time, for me it was so-so. I won’t go again: I don’t have control over my spending, drinking (alcohol intake), it’s too late, too loud, to many flashing lights and overall too expensive.

But it shows that it’s possible to have nightlife without the inconveniences I know from several gay discos: smoking allowed inside, toilets you can find by following your nose (in sangjan, even in the toilet you can’t smell you are in a toilet!), paying after every order (I find it very annoying).

Closing time, flashing and colored lights off, white light on:

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