How many times have I climbed these stairs? I think this was my fifth time going up.
Although it lasted all of about 10 seconds, I’ll never forget one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen in my life, coming down these stairs as I was coming up on my first trip here. For all the good it did me, I still found myself “Looking Back.”
They spell their bar “Borr Pen Yang” (alternatively, “Bor Pen Yang”), but I use this expression a lot, back in The Isaan, and pronounce it: bor pen yong. The differences in spelling could be due to local accent or transliteration. It means: no problem.
I had been turned on to the Borr Pen Yang by a Falang forum poster. I had written a simple question, like where do the freelancers (girls/women for hire; not associated with a particular place of business) hang out in
Oh, man, did I get a bunch of attack replies insinuating I was a sex tourist or
and why would I want to ruin Lao like Thailand? Hey, I’m just asking a
Gettin' some rest at 9 Rai/Bann Nah before going out and rustling me up some babes.
I’ve come to discover – upon personal inspection before the night life gets under way, here – that this bar has draft Beer Lao and great views of the Mekong and west end of the Riverside Vendors.
The previous times I’ve visited the Borr Pen Yang were all during the afternoon, well before the bar’s prime time. In part, that was on purpose because – at age 66 soon to be 67 – I’m no longer a night person. With some notable exceptions for rather short periods of time, I haven’t been much of a bar goer, either.
So, here I was operating somewhat out of my comfort zone: I was moving around at night in a foreign country – in a city, no less; going to a bar and; looking to check out the freelancers.
The Borr Pen Yang is totally different in the night time than in the day. What a Meat Market! I quickly realized that just about everyone (approximately 100 Lao and Falang) in the packed bar was looking to get hooked up.
It did not take long for a woman in her late 20s to come join me at my small table at the top of the stairs. I bought her a beer and although I admired her thinness, command of English and friendliness, I had to let her know that my guesthouse does not permit non-registered guests inside. Actually, I found this a good excuse (and true), because the longer I was in Borr Pen Yang, the more stunning girls kept walking past us. I mean, really, really beautiful girls and women all made and dressed up for the occasion.
I found myself wishing I could just be in a darkened corner by myself, to admire the beauties. Instead, I was being politely hustled and it took some time to extract myself. Next time I’m here, at night, I think I’ll find that corner over by the pool table…