On Sunday night I was surfing the internet and saw an article about Bangkok..
Specifically a hotel in Bangkok that was undergoing a renovation.
I remembered staying in that hotel like it happened yesterday, but is getting on towards a decade.
I have always wanted to write about what happened that trip but I don’t think I am a good enough writer to convey all that was going on around me during that trip. It is one thing to describe the action, which I will do, but the heat and humidity soaking through clothes after just a few minutes or the massive case of food poisoning that made one 24 hour window a foggy haze of trips between an unforgiving to small couch and the cold tile floors of the bathroom.
I had never been to Thailand before and have never been back since.
This all happened shortly after the whole traipsing through Europe thing looking for the director.
My job this time was a little different.
I didn’t have to find anyone, because I knew where they were, but I had to see if the actor needed to be replaced before things got too far along.
The actor was a mess of drugs and booze and Thailand was not helping things.
I was sitting at home getting ready to go to work.
I got a call and was told to pack a suitcase and bring my passport to the office.
Originally I was told I was going to be gone for a week which is pretty fast when you are traveling halfway across the world.
In reality it ended up being about half that amount of time.
I get to the office and am introduced to an actor.
You all know him.
Has a lot of sex with actresses (now Instagram models) and makes generally bad movies.
His last name is almost a slur.
Probably will be someday.
He was supposed to go on this trip with me.
Let us call him JM.
The last time I saw JM on that trip was in an airport bar getting hammered with a group of flight attendants who had their trip canceled because the airplane that was going to take them back to Poland had been grounded back in Poland.
Yeah, I asked him about that a few years later and he barely remembered it.
I think parties like that happen to him frequently.
Presumably JM was going with me in case the actor in question was just too far gone to even work any longer.
Two totally different looking actors.
You can tell this was a really high quality project.
This ended up being straight to DVD. Somehow, over time they have sold over 250,000 DVD’s of this movie.
I know. Crazy.
I never saw any of it.
The gist of what I am doing is told to me in the office and by 11 in the morning I’m at LAX and by 11:30 I am abandoned by JM.
Because this was last minute and the producers were cheap, I was thrown on a flight that connected through Taiwan.
Lovely airport Taiwan.
Never saw anything else.
That was a 13 hour flight and then the layover and then another 3 or 4 hour flight.
I get picked up at the airport around midnight local time.
Did I tell you about the middle seat I had on the 13 hour flight?
I think I may have mentioned I am a large person.
The people on either side of me may have been larger.
They also enjoyed their meals loudly while talking around me both front and back.
I was picked up at the airport and was dropped off at the hotel which I spoke about before.
From the outside it looked the same as any other of their hotels.
Even though it was past midnight, the inside was packed.
The entire lobby was filled with an AARP convention’s worth of men and their 18 year old girlfriends.
The lobby bar and restaurant were filled with these couples.
I have never seen so much grab ass in my life.
When we were driving in the car the final few blocks to the hotel I saw the occasional couple, but this was full on in your face.
The noise was deafening.
The guys were all talking to each other while the women were talking to each other and the only interruptions occurred when one of the old guys would shove his grizzled tongue down the throat of one of the teens while fondling her beneath her barely there clothes.
You know, I don’t judge and am open to just about anything, but it was just so in your face.
It is like someone dry humping in an elevator or a Starbucks line.
I don’t care if you are dry humping in public, but when you have 12 inches of space between you and a person you don’t know, maybe you should wait a minute or two or go someplace where you don’t have to worry about hitting someone else with the follow through on your thrusting.
Part Two is more lobby fun and we meet the actor I am there to see and another actor who is not as prim and proper as he likes to pretend to the world.
Was every guy in the world over the age of 60 in this hotel lobby at this particular second?
That was what I was wondering as I made my way to a bank of elevators in the middle of the night headed to my room.
The financial part of my brain kicked in and I thought if this was one random hotel on a random night and if this was being repeated all over the country, the amount of dollars brought in by this to the country must be staggering.
In the elevator I was joined by two couples who obviously were about to head up to their rooms to finish what they had started in the lobby.
One of the guys, who, judging by his accent was Australian, started speaking to me.
While holding on to the breast of his female companion, he looked me up and down in my wrinkled suit and bloodshot eyes and said what I needed was a drink and a lady and the world would be all good again.
The fact that he said this while missing several teeth and booze breath that would challenge the capability of a breathalyzer I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to see that world of which he spoke.
Before I could reply he then boasted this was the third woman he was taking to his room that day.
He then did that whole Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi thing with the other guy in the elevator, who up to that point had been making out with the woman who was with him.
Not making out in a Ryan Gosling/Rachel McAdams Notebook way or even porn making out.
This was like some guy who had practiced on a pillow for forty years and was making his first foray into the real thing.
Did I tell you before how slow the elevator moved and how tall the hotel was?
I finally got to my floor.
The door opened and when I stepped out in the hallway I gasped for air.
I realized that I had been holding my breath after getting a whiff of the vapors those guys had been emanating.
Nothing unlike any other of the hotel’s worldwide properties.
You know, balcony, blackout curtains, mini-bar with boxes of condoms and sex toys individually wrapped.
Oh, did I mention the lubes, oils or natural Viagra also for sale?
I was so exhausted but couldn’t sleep.
I took a shower and climbed into bed.
I wish I had been like Gordon Ramsay in Hotel Hell and brought a sleeping bag with me.
I flipped through the million cable channels and watched rugby until I fell asleep.
I know all of you like to get straight to the celebrity blind parts of these things, but all of this was part of it and the experience.
I guess I preferred Hollywood where vices are hidden and you have to pry out the secrets.
My meeting was at 11 in the morning.
That is my recollection.
It has been awhile now.
I do remember I had time to go slow in the morning.
There was no rushing around.
My original plan was to eat in the hotel restaurant for breakfast.
Have you ever seen a bar in the daylight?
That harsh light they try so hard to block out of nightclubs?
The restaurant was nice enough in the daylight, but the aftermath of a night of drinking and partying was evident everywhere.
Not in the room itself, but the people.
I’m sure by later that night, most of these guys would be ready to go again, but that hotel restaurant was a really depressing sight I won’t soon forget.
I wandered outside and saw a place to eat.
Everything was open.
I remember exactly what I ate.
It was pork Pad Thai.
It was to be the only meal I ate the entire visit.
I took a cab over to the set and it was not like any set I had been on before.
There was no main area where everyone parked and then shuttled over to the set.
This was one big conglomeration of trailers and equipment and food stalls and tables and makeshift bars.
There were literally women everywhere.
Apparently to film there, the production had to hire not only crew, but also their families and second cousins and friends down the street.
It was an army of workers.
In Hollywood, with that number of people on set, the entire budget of this movie would be gone in a couple of days.
Here, they would be able to film for six weeks.
I asked around and found the actor I was looking for.
I tried to find the producer contact I was supposed to meet, but apparently he was getting a massage. Uh huh.
You all know him.
Honestly you do.
Even if I tell you that as it stands right now he is a B- list actor, all of you know him.
In a change of pace, lets call him SD.
Some people might dispute the whole SD thing, but I’m going with it.
He was a mess when I saw him, but not in a I’m taking drugs and going to die kind of way.
This was an I partied all night like a rock star because everyone in this country knows my franchise so I partied until an hour before coming to set kind of way.
The movie was not tough.
There are no sonnets or soliloquies.
It was an action movie and plenty of low cost stunt people to do all the action.
He just needed to be able to read some lines.
He wasn’t going to be able to read them until mid-afternoon most days, but since most of the movie took place in late afternoon or night, that was not going to be an issue.
He probably would not be able to film with the three topless women in his trailer either, but they would be there when he got back from filming.
Apparently our actor had kicked drugs for the trip.
Not because he was giving them up but because he was scared of ending up in jail there.
He was going to drink the town dry and have sex as much as possible, but I could tell he was going to be able to film.
This whole process took about an hour.
Maybe a little less.
I remember one of the women was talking about lunch and who was going to bring it to them and our actor seemed like it was go time for him with them which meant it was go time for me.
As I am walking out of his trailer, I saw two other women go inside a trailer opposite his.
No big deal.
This was one big sex fest.
Then, I saw who was in the other trailer.
An actor who looked shocked that I saw him.
It was one of those moments a director tries to capture where eyes lock on and you instantly know everything.
This actor is well known.
B lister through and through.
He can get a headlining movie but it would have to be a straight to on Demand kind of thing.
All of you know him too.
Mr. Married. Mr. Family.
Always going on and on about family and family values.
It is always the big talkers who are the big cheaters.
These women were not going in his trailer to cut his hair or pray with him.
He knew that I knew.
Right with that look.
We are going to call him BC.
I had heard a rumor a couple of years earlier that he hooked up with the actress/klepto turned escort.
Well, that she orally serviced him while he freaked out about being caught.
No one ever believed it.
Now I did though.
He has done a bunch of movies and television.
I’m guessing his credits must total 100.
I wasn’t going to rat him out but he didn’t know that.
He could have kicked out the women after he saw me.
Tomorrow in the final part, I met an actor for the first time who was a part of my life for that moment forward.
When you are going to be sick, the last thing you want in this world is to have to face being sick in some port-a-potty in the middle of a film set in the heart of Bangkok.
Even in LA, a film set port-a-potty is something you dread.
Put that sucker in the middle of a set when it is 90 degrees outside with 90% humidity and see how you feel.
Why don’t you throw in some jet lag and drenching sweat to go with it.
That is what I faced.
Almost immediately after spying the cheater head back into his trailer, I could feel it coming.
That inevitable feeling you hope will pass that you are going to be violently sick.
It felt awful.
I frantically looked around and spotted a port-a-potty.
I dreaded it but I didn’t have much choice.
I was going to have to get on my knees in that vile contraption and hope for the best.
I so wished I had been drunk right then just to make the whole thing a little more palatable.
I opened the door.
Yeah, it was even worse than I imagined.
The smell pushed me over the edge and I didn’t even bother closing the door as I heaved.
It was one of the worst experiences of my life.
Honestly, the only saving grace was that I left the door open.
Confined inside would have been the end of me.
They probably would have found me there at some point.
As it was, an actor who we will identify as JC saw me.
Legs half out the door, bent over and came over to help.
I heard his voice asking if I was OK.
Judging from the guy in the suit bent over, he probably assumed I was another victim of the never ending nightlife in the city.
A hangover would have been preferable at that point.
I knew it was food poisoning.
It is an easy self-diagnosis.
There is no other explanation for the violent explosion or feeling you get from food poisoning.
When I was in the sixth grade I had my first episode.
An all you can eat seafood buffet.
What could be wrong with warming lights and seafood in an open environment?
I tell you that I didn’t touch any seafood for a decade after that night.
When JC asked for the second time if I was OK, I wanted to make some kind of smart ass remark, because, I mean who is OK if they are puking in this situation?
I whispered food poisoning.
I got a knowing nod in return.
I still don’t think he was convinced at that point that it was not a hangover.
It turns out though a week earlier he had dealt with the same issue.
The guy actually reached out his hand and helped me up off the ground and took me over to his trailer.
Can I tell you a feeling I remember to this day?
When he opened the door there was this rush of cold air that came from that space like none I had felt before.
It almost knocked me over, but in a very good way.
The best way I can describe it to you is to go to somewhere where it is really hot and that first step you take into an air conditioned public space where someone else is paying the air conditioning bill.
That cold air saved me.
I am convinced of it.
He pointed to a couch in the trailer.
This is a guy I had never met but I did a face plant on to that sofa like I had known him for years.
That sofa felt like heaven.
For the next two hours I would alternate between that sofa and his tiny bathroom.
In between, we talked a little bit.
I knew who he was of course, but we talked about this and that.
Some common people we knew.
At some point he had to go film and I told him I could make it the length of a cab ride to make it back to my hotel.
He insisted on getting a car for me.
Have I told you how great this guy was?
I remember just being a shell while in the back of that car on the way to the hotel.
When I got there, it must have been late afternoon.
The noise was not at the same level it had been the night before.
Had it really not even been 24 hours since I got to town?
I made my way through the throngs of men, some of whom had their afternoon dates with them.
When I closed the door to my hotel room, I dropped down to a section of cold tile that was in between the door and the carpet to the rest of the room.
I think I passed out there for a couple of hours.
It was definitely dark when my stomach erupted again.
The sofa in the hotel was not nearly as comfortable as the one in the trailer.
Back and forth I went for most of the night.
Time was not something I was paying attention to.
Just a dark room and the path between sofa and bathroom.
At some point during all of this I got a call.
I remember it was JC and the guy was checking up on me.
I don’t remember it and I never thought to ask him later, but I must have given him my room number during that call because shortly before sunrise there was a knock at the door and there he was.
The guy filmed all night.
Instead of going to sleep, the guy came across town to check up on a guy he didn’t know.
He told me I should get some rest in the bed and not the sofa.
I will tell you the hotel bed felt amazing.
When I woke up, there was sun coming through the windows and I could hear people either in the room above or next to me having sex.
I also realized it had been hours since I had been sick.
I staggered out to the living areas of the room to raid the mini bar for some bottled water.
Sitting in a chair in the living room watching television was JC. Yep.
I could go on about this guy, but I made it a point from that point on to say positive things about him whenever I had a chance.
Bought him dinner and lunches for years every chance I could.
Just an angel.
No other words to describe it.
After making sure I was going to live, he took off to go get a little rest before he had to start shooting again.
I had some water, called the airline and moved my flight up to later that night.
I wanted out of there.
I left almost 48 hours after I arrived.
I actually had the same flight crew for the second flight from Taiwan back to LA as I did on the way to Taiwan.
I also had a row all to myself.
I didn’t eat though.
I think that stretch of time might be the longest I have gone without eating.
Craziest 48 hour trip.
Movie: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
JM: Stephen Dorff (Dwarf being the slur)
SD: Chris Klein (Suri’s Dad)
BC: Neal McDonough
Actress/klepto turned escort: Lindsay Lohan
JC: Michael Clarke Duncan (died on September 3, 2012)