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The young hostesses on the thai airways plane were as bewitching as I had always known them to be. But the first person to greet me at the bangkok airport turned out to be a pimp. He gave me the card of one of bangkok massage parlour and offered that he could come and pick me up from the hayat rama hotel, where I was to stay, any day, any time, convenient to me.

How did he come to know that I was to stay at HAYAT RAMA? Did he have any links with the world health organisation in bangkok? I won’t know that. But I was on a WHO workshop on sex education for adolescents.  He pestered me quite a bit but then decided that I was not his cup of tea and moved over to some other passenger.

In my room in the hotel after I had washed mt face, I saw a small but prominent placard standing aloft on the writing disk. Welcome to hayat rama, it announced,  walk into blue heaven on the third floor for a free treat. Having nothing else to do,  I decided that I should avail myself of that free treat. The thais are known for their generosity and hospitality.

A devastatingly beautiful young girl greeted me at the blue heaven. She conducted me to an unoccupied table and there another angle from heaven descending and handed me  a menu card listing the names of drinks. Choose any you like said she, it is on the house. At first I thought thatbi should take black label with wich u was familiar but then under the influence of some sudden impulse I opted for vodka.

Slowly leisurely looking all round for any acquaintance I sipped rhe drink. Hardly had I finished the peg when the angle came again with her familiar tray and vodka bottle and another sparkingly clean cutglass tumbler. On the house sir,” she said, almost teasingly as she poured vodka for me in that tumbler. I sipped that, too a bit more slowly, a bit more leisurely, than the first one. But just as I finished that, the girl came again with her tray, vodka bottle and another glass tumbler.

Vodka is a strong drink. At best I can take two pegs of it in one sitting. I decline the girls third offer. In that case, sir,” said she, ”you will have to pay for the first two pages. Free treat means a minimum of four pegs. Less than that you have to pay.

I don’t remember haw many dollars I had to shell out for my free treat. But every time I see some appealing advertising in sime paper offering something free, like an electric oven, if we buy something more expensive luke a car, I start rolling my tongue on my lips.



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