Miss Understood's Hi from Thailand

It's great to read about your adventures in Thailand. Man - it sounds great. I personally would love to be in the middle of a marketplace wearing nothing else but a half finished costume (or even a wedding dress) ...i bet the looks from people are great! Take Care! smile

Nicky
Wow. I went to Pattaya to see the drag shows. We went to two, "Alcazar" and "Tiffany". While they were both dazzling, Tiffany, which started in the 70's, blew Alcazar out of the water!

While the photos on their website look great, they don't begin to translate all the glitter and texture of the costumes, nor the kinetic grandeur of the sets... but go take a look around anyway:
Tiffany Website
On the "show preview" page, give it time to load and it becomes a little roll-over-the-photo slideshow.

As you can see, it's in this giant gaudy theater surrounded by fountains. Then there's a big neon sign along the road. It's like a Miami version of Vegas, only it doesn't exist in Miami.

Inside 1000 seats are filled with tourists who had arrived by the busload. I would say they were 80% Asian and 20% European/Australian. I figured out what makes these shows tick. They are the Asian equivilent to a La Cage show.

La Cage is drag for the American masses, they can relate to familiar celebrities. In the Thai show, they present glamorous renditions of traditional Asian songs. During the Korean number, a row of, I assume Korean, old ladies behind us clapped along from beginning to end.

What makes it so fabulous is that Asian imagery is so just so bright and gorgeous. And, their Vegasizations are overblown dayglo sexy extravagazas! Most of the girls have titties and there's lots of cleavage. The boy dancers also wear Asian/Vegas sequined costumes with provacative cutouts. There was this one number where the boys were dressed in "Native American" inspired looks, all shirtless with little loincloths, feather headpieces, and gorgeous mini muscled bodies!

NY girls who are all into their dancing might read for the lack of dance skills. I think that, surrounded by all that opulence, the clunkiness of the dancing makes it all that much more fabulous. If you put this show on in NY, the production costs would be so high that it would be a Broadway budget. Therefor it would not be all real trannies and it would not have this authentic Asian flavor. Globalization has not won, there are some things you can only see here.

There would be these numbers that didn't even have songs, just music and parades of costume. Just when I'd be screaming over the twelve outlandish creations before me, they'd step back and ten more would enter from stage left!

I'm not a person who's easily impressed by most things called "fashion." Labels bore me. I need stimulation, I need my buttons pressed. Well, after this show, my buttons need a week to recouperate!
All is well with the costumes. Kathy Lee is here supervising the workers.

I am really going a little nuts with the buying. It's like when I used to go thrift shopping at Dompseys in Brooklyn. I would get so excited at how cheap all this great stuff was that in the end I would buy too much and really overspend.

Well, every time I spend too much on clothes I go eat a cheap dinner at a street vendor to repent for my sins.

You wanna know something cute? It's standard here to sit in the front when you get in a taxi. It felt weird the 1st time, but now it seems kind of sweet. Sometimes, even if their English stinks, they'll make friendly chit chat. It's certainly more personable than a wall with a money slot.

So this evening I went for dinner at one of those streetcorner places. I had a BBQ whole fish, stir fried veggies, rice, and bottled water ($5, fancy!). Two of the people serving were "ladyboys." You know, they were sort of hard, but not hard in a manly way, just hard. They were very casual, T shirts, a little lipstick. They were so plain it would be easy to walk by and not notice. If you really keep your eyes open you will spook them in the most mundane places.

In NY it is very rare that I see trannies in everyday jobs (KFC, Home Depot, bodegas). We really do have a serious job discrimination problem at home. Thai trannies just blend in with the working class. Don't get me wrong, they hook here too, but they seem to have more choices.

I procrastinated and scewed up my travel plans. Now I can't go to Viet Nam. I'll probably go to Chiang Mai for a few days. It's a beautiful city in the north of Thailand. They sell a lot of amazing hilltribe fabrics up there. Those hilltribes, they live in beige thatch houses surrounded by beige dry dusty soil and beige dry grass, yet they make and wear the most elaborate colorful clothing! It's like they need to compensate for everything else!



[This message was edited by Miss Understood on 02-23-02 at 01:58 PM.]


[This message was edited by Miss Understood on 02-23-02 at 02:04 PM.]
your travelogues are incredible, missy.
they remind me of my trip to thailand and point out to me all the great things i missed.
keep on rockin' in the "kinda" free world.

when you head up into chang mai, you'll be wooed into hill treks to see these tribal people in their native environs. they're really just human zoos. i was grossly (and i do mean GROSS) disappointed... the akha women were hostile to us when we didn't wanna spend money on their crappy trinkets. they would yank their kids away from playing with us (and our sunglasses and water guns) gnashing their betelnut stained teeth. come to find out the government provides them with these souveneirs so they can keep up the show.

our group was kept to one side of the village. when we went walking around we found another group on the same tour. not the deep trip into the hills we had expected. we spent the night in a thatched hut with a group of gassy canuck frat boys. it was cold and the village rooster(s) crowed all night long.

apparently the thai government also compensates the northern tribe that does the neck stretching with gold rings so that they will continue to do that. (personally, i don't see why they'd want to quit. i've always LOVED that look.)

don't mean to put a pin in your balloon or piss on your parade, but these are some of the other realities of travel. it's good to see it all.

however... our second night we did get to spend time in an opium den....
Yeah, I've heard mixed reviews of those Hill trecks. Supposedly the system has been reformed to space those groups from eachother, but there are so many of them I don't know if that's possible.

I've been to Chiang Mai twice but I've never done the treck. I did, by car, visit 2 of those human zoo/villages. One was that pushy trinket situation. Then, at the longneck lady place, they just ask a fee before you go in. I think it's a bit more honest and less stressful. Look, they know you want to see them, it's somewhat invasive, so you may as well pay for the privilage. Then, once you're in, there's no tension or pressure. It was very relaxed.

I don't think it's totally wrong. It's natural that people would want to see how other people live. For them to set up a little part of the village for that purpose, and then charge us to see it, I think affords them a little control and protection. Then again, I don't really know all the real details of what's going on, but it does seem more respectful that having foreigners just show up, take photos, and leave without giving something back. It just acknowledges the reality of the situation.

It's a lot like Lucky Chengs.
Well, I finally caught some dirt on Monks.

I'm in Chiang Mai, the second largest city, much cleaner than Bangkok, in the North of Thailand. Fifteen minutes one way you're in farm country. Fifteen minutes the other way your in the mountains.

I hooked up with this really sweet guy who's been driving me all around on his motorcycle. So he was a temporary monk for much longer than normal because he was orphaned at 9. His uncle was a monk so he went to live with them. I asked if they got nasty in the monk barracks. He said when he was about fourteen he and the other monkettes would have these circle jerks. Like, who was bigger (he won) and who could come first. There's a little more.

He said that since all the walls were made of simple wood, you could often see through the slats into the next room. He's often catch this older monk banging this younger one.

Furthermore, the monks DO NOT wear underwear under their robes. He said in the morning, when they would walk through town with a big bowl for donations, if they had a boner they would have to hold the bowl low enough to cover it. That's why they usually look down while collecting. If they see a pretty girl they might get hard and embarass themselves.

I gotta go soon, he's patiently waiting for me while I email. It's so amazing when you meet locals. They take you to places you might not find as a tourist. Tonight we ate for hours at this Sukiyaki Korean Grill place. It's like a raw buffet, then you cook at your table. Get this, it was less than $3...for both of us!

Tune in next time and I'll tell you about the lizard oil that they use to make their dicks bigger.
...so they slice open this lizard, squeeze out the oil, and rub it on "make dick grow big". You can also buy the stuff from an herbal medicine guy. I wonder if they have that in Chinatown? Well, I guess if any of the girls go off the 'mones and they want to restore their trade, they can try lizard oil.

Chiang Mai is full of Euro-hippie types. Lot's of health food, yoga classes, etc. It's like the Thai San Francisco. There are these stoes full of beads, beautiful fabrics, silver, pottery, etc. The stores will look soooo lovely. Coming fron NY you see a pretty store and assume it's expensive. Some of the prices are so low that it's shocking. I'm not really buying much, because it's not stuff that I need (or can carry) but it's wild. I saw these amazing dishes. They were glazed in green, and toward the center, they were a deeper green and the glaze had a shattered glass look. They would be so expensive in a boutique in NY. The large plates were about $1 and the small cups and saucers were maybe 50 cents! They were really heavy though. I'm sure it would cost a lot to ship them.

When you buy things in NY you're not necessarily paying for the items, no matter how nice they look, you're paying for the importing, and, mostly, the crazy NY rent for the shop!
I took a one day Thai cooking course. They actually cover a hell of a lot in one day! I'll soon be the green curry queen of NYC!

So this guy I'm dating here in Chiang Mai, Wat, the one who had the circle jerks with the monks, he's really great to hang out with. I feel like a biker chick on the back of his motorcycle! He's entering graduate school to become a teacher.

He's a bartender in a very odd location. At this three level flea market type place there is a weird long hallway on the side between the basement and first floor. It's like a barely noticable mezzanine. It houses five small gay bars in a row, like a long railroad apartment of bars. The crowd is made up of a lot of young (18-25) locals, many of whom are part time prostitutes. They are not really hard core hustlers or anything. They just make so little in their day jobs that they will go with a Euro guy for some fun and money. Most nights it seems like they just hang out at the bar with their friends and have a good time. Then sometimes, if a date comes along, they'll go with someone for some cash.

Bangkok is significantly more affluent than Chiang Mai. They have much more of a non-commercial gay scene. Here I think if it comes along, you take it. It's just a neccesary way of life.

Oh, here's a tidbit. There's a night bazaar that's very popular with tourists. Along the block there's a walkway that leads to a big food court that advertises free shows: Thai Boxing and "Cabaret," which in Thailand always means a drag show. There's a cute little stage right next to the boxing ring!

While the show is a little shlocky compared to the big famous ones in the beach towns, they still always do choreographed group numbers with matching costumes, feather headdresses, etc. The girls are mostly flawless trannies. This show had one freaky one. She was definitely NOT a trannie and she was pulling a freak look: blue hair, Jackie Beat lips, severe makeup. Her wardrobe needed help but I loved her. I tipped her and took her photo.

I happened to go on a slow night, when the show started there were only about eight people watching this lovely revue. The applause sounded sad. It was like the scene in Hedwig when she was playing at a salad bar. Toward the end a better crowd rolled in. razz razz razz razz razz
Thank you for the link Shema. I found the site to be informative as well as insightful.

My dresses look GORGEOUS! Dany Johnson (legendary DJ) and Andy Whyland (Legendary nightlife photographer/"that dyke at the door") are arriving in Bangkok tonight. They're spending a few days here on their way to Japan.

Perfidia is ever the trend setter. She brought me, then Jojo came, then Dany and Ande...

Next year the Bridge and Tunnel crowd will all be here!
They got here okay. We went to the Bangkok Weekend Market. It's probably the best shopping place in the world! So many interesting and colorful things. I got some green silk to have pants made. Between the silk and the tailor it'll cost about $24. How could I ever go back to buying off the rack???

I'm still a little heartbroken over the end of my 5 day relationship in Chiang Mai. At home I go very long periods of time without getting that close to anyone.
I'm glad they arrived safely, please tell them hello from me.
Darling, don't be sad, enjoy the experience and the memory.As you know, our choices in Ny are limited, why with everyone being on the make, and obsessed with gender identity, and more or less full of shit.
No peck's=No sex...
awww...im sorry that your relationship with your lovely boy had to end.

i wish i could get cool pants made for 24 dollars. im really picky about my pants and the way they fit and how my jeans hang - so i usually just opt for making them myself - or buying a pair and butchering them into how i want them to be.

when are you coming back to nyc?

nick(y) lazaro
www.disenchanted.icyempire.com
I'm supposed to be back already but I extended my trip until the 11th. I'm up for any March/April bookings! I need to recoup my investments!

I will try to scan some pictures of Wat, my 5 day boyfriend! I have a photo of him in a draggy boy outfit from a party at his bar. It's very cute.
aww. I want to see Wat...he sounds lovely. Man, it was so funny, cause tonight - I was sitting here in New York and watching tv and saw that "Drag Time" was on. I started freaking out, just as I did when I was wayy back in Michigan having big dreams about being "up there" with the "girls". All in all - it was different watching it this time. I have met alot of the guys in the film - like you...but I still got just excited. Being here and being in the nightlife and seeing everything hasn't dampered my vision of New York as being a magical place, even if it can be a "big, fat, greasy ho" at the same time.

It's funny to me - because just a little less than two months ago I was just this kid from Michigan with a dream of coming here - and with a little wish - I was catipulted up here and landed myself dead in the middle of everything. I remember when you introduced Sweetie to me on the mother boards. You did an amazing thing because me and Sweetie have become really close and are really good buddies...although we haven't become lesbians together yet. I have hung out with Perfidia in the dj booth recently at Marrion's and let me tell you, your friend is a trip - I Love her!!

But you, the divine Miss U, remain on my list as one of my "biggest influences". You BRING it! smile

p.s. - can i have some silk pants too??

Love,

Nick(y) Lazaro
www.disenchanted.icyempire.com
I made the mistake of promising too many friends too many favors. I just had to spend a fortune mailing home a big box of other peoples stuff. My enormous luggage is jam packed! Diandra gave me the HUGEST Miss-Ross gown to have sequined, and girls, it weighs a ton!

Ra, that gorgeous stuff that I know you would want is in the Indian district and I don't know if I'll make it there before leave. I will try to pick you up some little something.
You KNOW that I am being obnoxious! just one small 30-40 ct. emerald or saphire will be fine.
I can imagine the merch you have already gathered. I just shipped 2 boxes myself, in 5 month's I managed to gather lot's of junk too, including tacky, painted 10 commandments plates,10 of them!And I am shipping the Theremin, so they don't think it's an explosive device.I don't want anything messing with my pill high...
Missy,
Just so you know. The "Rich Hippie Look" is back. Bergdorf's is featuring sequin & rhinestone Tailand Tourist Tee shirts for Spring / Summer. (I mean the real street tourist tee shirts). You may want to bring some back to sell to girls going to Studio 54 on Saturday.
You know, I had all sorts of ideas like that. All I think about here is how much fun I would have doing some creative buying/designing/importing. It just comes down to the lack of a system. To really make it work I'd need to deal in some amount of quantity. That involves having a shop or showroom or doing trade shows.

I could not only scout really direct sources here, but I could custom things to give them a unique look. Anyone out there want to back a project? Send me an email. For a big buying trip it would be totally worth the expense of traveling!

I have considered opening a store. My problem is that I would enjoy the buying, I would absolutely love the designing of the shop, but who wants to sit and run it day after day? I need a partner who wants to run a store! Oh yeah, and some cash. Any takers???
hey miss u...

i import piercing jewelry from indonesia with my friend phoebe. we've thought about how great it would be to have a shop, but it does seem like a royal pain in the ass, too.

if you're serious about wanting to do more of this stuff, i've thought it thru and done some of it. (i was in thailand and india for about 5 months a coupla years ago.) let's talk.

LOVING your travel-logue, totally taking me back there. have you found the shanti lodge in bangkok? that's my lil' thai oasis.

stay safe and HAVE FUN!!!!

- goblin
You're lucky. Jewelry is sooo much easier to ship!

So we went to this straight club called "Hollywood." It's set up like a NY dance club, a big room w/a stage, lots of lighting, and very loud techno. The difference: the room, even the would-be dance floor, is filled with cocktail tables. You either sit or stand at your table. Maybe 15% of the crowd will dance next to their table. Most people tend to get a bottle and mixers. We do that every night we go out drinking here. It's dirt cheap, even if you drink imported liquor. I would absolutely never do that at home. In NY it can cost $300 ($250+$50 tip).

There is always a long show. It's usually a pop music thing with costumes and dancers. Even non drag entertainment here is usually like that, I've seen it on TV. That night they happened to be featuring a famous Thai boy band. They were very cute but not as theatrical as we would have hoped. In the middle of the show a crazy drag queen came out and talked for a while. She flirted with the boys, patted their sweat, sniffed the napkin, and stashed it in her bag.

I'm coming home in a few days. All good things must end.
I saw yet another glizy drag revue. This one was in Bangkok. While it was the sorry little sister of the Pattaya shows, it still took place in a huge glitzy theater and had very big cast.

This was the only one that got a little raunchy, in sort of a stripper sort of way. During one number the trannies all were dancing seductively in whorey outfits with their nipples popping out. The predominantly Indian tourbus crowd was living! If ya' can't get it driving a cab in NYC, go to Bangkok!

[This message was edited by Miss Understood on 03-10-02 at 04:31 AM.]
This trip ran way longer than I had planned. I need to return and pick up the pieces of my life.

I'm trying to enjoy all the cheap little "spa" treatments before I leave. I got a haircut; they chopped too much off. I had a 2 hour Thai massage. It was AMAZING! You know that feel of relief after taking a big dump or having a good orgasm? Well after a really good Thai massage you feel that all over your whole body. I must add that a 2 hour massage in NY would generally run you $120. Here, in a very nice, clean, salon, it was less than $9. Yes, I tipped.
The sucky part is that the time I REALLY need a massage is when I'm home and stressed out from work. If Star Trek's "transporter beam" is ever truly invented, it's going to have a crazy ecconomic effect on the world!

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