Malaysia, Penang, 17-02-2009.
In its heydays the Hong Kong Bar situated in the heart of Penang, was a busy place visited by countless sailors from visiting American fleet ships, aircraft carriers and the like. Sailors from the International commerce whose ships would be moored in the narrow strait between Georgetown and Buttersworth, backpackers on big overland trips with thirsty throats would add to the international rowdy mood.
Fight were as regular as the vermin outside in the narrow streets, Somehow the Hong Kong Bar survived it all, the place even got burned down to its foundations severral years ago - arson was suspected and the main loss according to the two Chinese owners, brother and sister, was the blackened pages of the visitor book.
Nowadays all the backpackers have moved to the tourist bars where big TV screens show the latest bootlegged movie releashes, Western food can be ordered from a varied menu and the staff speaking near perfect English.
The Hong Kong Bar is still in business but it is a meagre business with the American navy hardly ever coming over to Penang, just a few regulars sitting sitting at the bar looking into their beer
glasses with boredom written all over their faces.
The scêne reminds me of some bars in Pattaya in Thailand facing the same economic downfall. Before the American navy would visit Pattaya regularly, big navy fleets, an aircraft carrier with accompanying destroyers offloading up to 5000 s*x starved young males with a serious interest in cold beer and Thai Hot Mommas after 3 months out at sea.
Weeks before the arrival of an American fleet Hot Mommas from all over the Thai northern provinces would arrive dragging suitcas on small wheels full with s*xy clothes and make-up, behind them on a desperate search for a free room.
Pattaya would turn into a madhouse with raucous male laughter and high pitched female giggles ruling the nighttime hot air, streams of beer and Thai whiskey, drugs and s*x were the main business of the day, cops from all over the Kingdom shipped in to keep some sort of order in the mêlee and rooms bringing in more money by the hours as they normally do for a whole week.
Nine months later a long queue of Hot Mommas could be seen outside the American embassy in Bangkok, small Leuk
Kreung babies on their arms applying for American child support that could feed the whole family up north in their dusty home villages!!!
Nowadays the American navy has gone elsewhere, too busy fighting Muslim extremism in Irak and Afganistan and the Hong Kong Bar here in Penang has gone just as quiet as some of the bars in Soi 6 in South Pattaya.
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