Q. When is a Karaoke bar NOT a Karaoke bar?

Scene 1: tiny Thai fishing village at night (ext.)

Yanks: Hay y’all! Y’all wawna dooo surme Karrieohkaaaay?

Me: I cannot believe there is a karaoke bar here.

Yanks: Naah gurralfreeynd! Its just down thayt streeyt theyre!

Me: Hey ho! Let’s go!

Scene 2: Very shady back alley at night (ext.)

Thai waitress: karaoke? You come here!

Yanks and me: Sawadee [trans: ‘hello’]! Great! Thanks!

Cue ‘uh-oh something’s weird here’ music…something ingongrous. It should be menacing-sounding, with a bass that like you feel in your stomach and it sort of makes you want to chuck up. I’m going to go with this: http://soundcloud.com/liar_avicenna/06-radiohead-pulk-pull Let me know what you think of my choice.

Int. A concrete cell. Three plastic picnic tables. At one of the tables are more Thai waitresses and the creepiest guy you’ve ever seen in your life.

OK, this is a digression from the scene, obviously, but you have to know how creepy the creepy guy was. WHOA he was gross. I already recognised him because he had been on my plane here from Copenhagen. He had in fact been a major point of interest for me when I arrived off the plane and made my way through immigration. Which is a joke in this country, by the way. They basically pack about a thousand people into a huge hall with no signs or instructions on what to do or where to go. The concept of queuing has absolutely zero cultural currency here so everyone just tussles their way through the throng. Welcome to the Land of Smiles, everyone! It takes about two hours….Snoozefest. So I had to invent a nice little game to keep me el occupado: Spot the Sex Tourist. You play by looking out for the following characteristics: A man. Old. Socks with sandals. Sweating profusely. Thick glasses. Chest rug poking out of his shirt. Frequent flyer card. Skin like a reptile. Comb-over. Five or more of these and you are defo in Thailand for sex tourism. Bleuurch. And the creep in the karaoke bar? BINGO! But back to our scene…

In the corner of the room there is a huge karaoke machine that looks like it hasn’t worked for at least 15 years. The dust on it is encrusted. No-one is singing. There isn’t even any music. Upon closer inspection, the Thai waitresses are in fact ladyboys. One of whom shows me her boob. So when is a karaoke bar not a karaoke bar? When it’s a brothel.

Brilliant. David Lynch would have loved it.