I ran out of shaving cream: not a disaster, but an inconvenience. The hotel shop does not stock toiletries, only expensive souvenirs, so I was forced to "go native". Of course, that means mixing with all the other tourists crowding streets near the beach.
On a last foray into town, I had noticed a 7Eleven near the Hilton, sandwiched between tailor shops, massage parlors, bars, and souvenir shops. The tiny, crammed shop offered a lot, but no shaving cream, which forced me to try my luck at Tescos (a British food retailer, for the uninitiated). I had spotted a sign, when we checked out the night market.
To reach that prospective solution to my problem, I was forced to walk down a street lined with bars. Although still early (around 6), all appeared eagerly awaiting the crush of fun-seekers, alcoholics, and losers. I discerned anticipation on the faces of girls perched on stools or lurking at entrances, all awaiting easy prey. Here and there, lone men had staked a claim to a seat and started early or had nothing else to do. A number of older men--the type that flocks to such Thai towns--wandered the street and peered into bars, desperation, guilt, or forlornness evident in each expression...
After a moment's thought, I realized that I must look like "an old man wandering the street", so I quickened my pace, attempted a cheerful expression, and stared straight ahead. No one knew me, but I did not anyone to mistake me for someone so desperate to need the company of a bargirl. The only diversion I permitted myself was polite refusal of numerous offers to pay for a massage.
I could find no reason to act like a jerk with poor girls trying to make an honest living.
Returning from shopping with a bag in my hand, a satisfied expression on my face, and a spring in my step, I had no fear of anyone mistaking me for someone trolling for the wares on offer on that street...
Strolling through a street market in Hua Hin, I spotted a sign for a backpacker’s hostel. The cost of one night for one person (shared bathroom, free wifi) is 320 Baht (about 8 euros). This seemed rather cheap, but Thailand has always been know for cheap accommodation.
Just down the street lined with tailor shops, massage parlors, restaurants offering a variety of cuisines I spotted the sign shown below. This guest houses offers rooms for as low as 100 Baht (about 2.50 euro). Of course, free wifi is included, but no mention of a bathroom provides some clue of the comfort level. I passed this sign later in the evening and noticed that the guest house was located down an unlit alley. I doubt one finds a mint on the pillow...
As I wrote, Thailand has always been known for cheap digs.
NB. For all you pedants, the title does not contain a typo. I do not imagine that either accommodation mentioned above prove a fan, much less A/C.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.