Bangkok Vice: Buddhas, Boxers, and Bar Girls

Matthew Polly in Slate:

Screenhunter_01_apr_06_1708_2The only thing more varied than the expressions of male vice is the ways in which men justify them.

It was 1 a.m., and, after searching for an hour, the fisherman and I had failed to find the Marine, who had rushed out of the pingpong show earlier in the evening and could now be just about anywhere in Pat Pong. Instead, we had bumped into the young woman from Cambridge and her Scottish boyfriend at one of the lean-to bars. I decided to join them because the night had the feeling of one that I would never forget but hopefully never repeat, and I didn’t want it to end. The fisherman decided to join the table, because he wanted to rationalize all the sins he had committed when he had disappeared into the pingpong show’s backroom brothel.

“The first girl was from the north—”

“The first?” I interrupted. “Dude, how many were there?”

More (including slide show) here.