Soi Shanties: Second Helpings by Les Abbey

Soi Shanties: Second Helpings

byLes Abbey

Kobo ebook | May 1, 2013

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Les Abbey has been a regular contributor of short stories to the Pattaya Trader magazine for last few years. These 29 stories in the second volume of Sea Shanties date from late 2010 through to the beginning of 2013. All the stories are set on, or at least start from, a road full of bars which looks very similar to the Soi Cowboy nightlife district in Bangkok. It must be said that the likeness to Soi Cowboy isn't to the road as we see it today, but to how it once was more than thirty years ago.

The makeup of the expatriate population of Thailand has changed much since those days. Today we have the strange mix of financial experts, bankers, supermarket managers, industrialists and tourists, both in families and otherwise. Back then with the end of the Vietnam War the nightlife, and daytime tourist industry needed new clientele to replace the departing GIs. It was made up of GIs who didn't go home, the flotsam and jetsam who had relied on GI business, drifters and people on the run, and oil field workers who were beginning to have more time off when working on contract. This latter group would work for six or eight weeks and maybe have a month of paid leave. Initially oil workers in SE Asia, but followed by those from outside the region, they become the golden geese of Bangkok's tourist industry and created the Pattaya we see today.

Les Abbey's stories describe the effect these blue collar wanderers had on Thailand as well as the effect Thailand and the Thais had on them. Many never did go home, and sometimes when you walk into a bar in Pattaya the old man drinking his beer in the corner may not be just another pensioner fleeing and ex-wife in Manchester, Dallas or Berlin, but someone who has spent more of their life in Thailand than in any other place. It's just that they could never think up a good enough reason to go home.

"Les Abbey's collection of short stories encapsulates a period of time in the expatriate bar scene in Bangkok in the period after the end of the Vietnam War when it was the offshore workers who kept the place alive. Anyone who has worked in the offshore industry or can recall those heady days will relate to these vignettes." Duncan Stearn, author and editor of the Pattaya Trader

Title:Soi Shanties: Second HelpingsFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:May 1, 2013Publisher:ProglenLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:6169082550

ISBN - 13:9786169082552

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