Hot weather, Pattaya, and a malcontent.
You obviously have to take the bitter with the sweet if you’re living in Thailand. The bitter, for the most part, is the weather, which is generally miserable, especially this time of year. Temperatures run into the mid-90’s with serious humidity. As a matter of fact, the current Thai heat wave has killed thirty-four people in the past two months. Fortunately here in Pattaya, there’s a steady sea breeze that alleviates if you’re not stuck between two buildings. Even with the breeze, I find myself sequestered in my room from about noon to five in the evening. It takes some getting used to, this crushing tropical heat. I’ve never been able to use the word cool when discussing the weather anywhere in Thailand at any point during the year. Some wouldn’t have it any other way.
Then there’s the exotic array of new social diseases to contract if you’re foolish enough to go commando in this international sex hub. The latest rendition of the drip is what can only be described by the local clinics as NSP. Non Specific Urethritis. Pretty much sums it up. Non-specific basically translates into “god only knows” which is scary enough in its own right.
Some of the symptoms for men, I’m told, are the usual burning while peeing, occasional discharge of a spot of blood, and itching in the urethra. The best part that the NSP, can’t be detected with the usual STD tests you find in the clinics around Pattaya. The usual explanation from the clinicians reviewing your examination is “ you have a high white blood cell count so your body is fighting some kind of infection”.
Women seem to hardly have any symptoms other than the warning stench at the gates of hell. NSU is mostly found in men, they say, as the female urethra is not usually infected during sex. Whatever. It’s one more thing to go with the hot weather.
Pattaya is exciting, to say the least, but it seems to be a place to live only part-time for most people. They have the right idea. It’s a welcome relief arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok after time away. Then, after a few months, it’s necessary to get back to the orderliness of the Western World. Full time living in Pattaya can drive you nuts. Examples abound.
The sweet things about Pattaya are legion. Everything is open to all comers. Asian women are great. Much has been written. There must be a thousand restaurants in this area and 99% of them are good to great. Affordable housing is easy to find everywhere in this area and they’re building more condos as we speak. A glut on the horizon, surely, but good for the renter. Finding a place to live on or very close to the beach for $300-$600 is the norm. Double that if you’re staying a short time, of course. Regardless, it’s way less expensive than the western counterpart.
With regard to personal safety, Thailand can get a little rough on those not paying attention. There have been several serious beat downs on foreigners lately which understandably has caused concern. It’s made the international news, even. Thais love the all on one strategy and can take offense at minor infractions in order to save face. Add booze and it gets worse, of course. But, Pattaya and Thailand, in general, is very safe compared to big American or western cities.
The unregulated life. Enjoy yourself. You have to get used to it or implode. The undisciplined tend to crash quickly and are cast adrift.
Cover thine own ass.