The Alternative Nativity: A Sukhumvit Reimagining

Merry Christmas from all of us here at What’s On Sukhumvit!

Hopefully you’ll be stuffing yourself silly with a Christmas feast of epic proportions right now, but just in case you’re browsing our site instead, we’ve reimagined the nativity story for you.

The traditional story of Jesus’ birth of course takes place in year zero in Babylonia, but our edition sees us in present day Bangkok.

Let’s recreate those heady days…

March 25, 2015

Soi Cowboy

Mary is a sweet 18-year old working behind the bar in one of Cowboy’s most illustrious establishments.

She’s very shy and coquettish; refusing to flirt with customers and widely touted as “The Only Virgin On Cowboy”. She actually has to wear that slogan on a t-shirt while she’s working.

This fine March evening, Mary is working her usual shift but she doesn’t feel so good. That khao mun kai has been giving her gip since lunch. One of the dancers gives her a couple of tablets to help perk her up.

Unfortunately, the tabs send Mary into a bit of a tailspin and she starts hallucinating: the mama-san appears dressed in white with a halo during one particularly gnarly visit to the toilet. He tells her his name is the Angel Gabriel and that the Holy Spirit has come upon her and she will bear a child called Jesus.

Despite her confusion, Mary is a little annoyed at this as she had her heart set upon a son named Benz.

Gabriel advises Mary to find a suitable husband to raise the baby Jesus and to trust in God. Acting accordingly, Mary struts out the loo in her ‘Virgin’ t-shirt and shimmies up to an older farang slumped at the bar.

After a little cajoling, the farang reveals his name is Joe and that he’s a carpenter from Australia. A few cajoles later, Mary and Joe agree to marry the following week in a ceremony before all her family and friends in Isaan.

She decides to tell him about sin sod at a later date.

Early June 2015

A Phrom Phong condo

Mary and Joe have been living in marital bliss for a few months now, newly settled into his brand new, ‎฿80,000 a month condo in the heart of Phrom Phong. Joe buys Mary a Siberian Husky puppy called Yoghurt from Chatachak Market to celebrate their new union.

Relations between the two take a turn when Mary’s baby bump suddenly pops. After trying to pass it off simply as trapped wind from a pad krapow, Mary breaks down and confesses to Joe that she is pregnant with the son of God.

Joe is understandably a tad skeptical and more than a little miffed when he ends up relegated to the maid’s quarters that evening. He takes one of Mary’s tablets before he goes to bed and has a fantastic dream in which Angel Gabriel appears to him and tells him not to worry; simply to support Mary and believe her story.

This is good enough for him and he wakes up with the small comfort that at least he’ll never have to pay child support.

24 December 2015

Roaming Sukhumvit

At 9 months pregnant, Mary has lost some of the shy sparkle and playfulness that she’d had at the start of the relationship and is now a large, hormonal harpie who finds constant fault with Joe, nitpicking at every opportunity.

Things come to a head when she spitefully reveals to the landlord’s wife that Joe is keeping a Siberian Husky in the condo despite it not being pet-friendly. Unfortunately, this backfires and Mary, Joe and Yoghurt find themselves kicked out and on the streets of Bangkok.

Joe is especially pissed as he lost his ‎฿160,000 deposit.

A more pressing issue is that Mary is due to give birth any day now and they totally forgot to book a room at a now fully-booked Bumrungrad. They resign themselves to a homebirth in a hotel room.

Alas! They totally forgot to factor in the fact that it’s prime tourist season and all of the affordable hotel rooms are booked up. They decide to go door to door to look for a suitable inn in which to give birth.

Mary is so fat and uncomfortable at this stage that she can barely walk. Joe hoiks her up onto Yoghurt after they’re rejected by 7 giggling taxi drivers.

The journey is slow – mainly because poor Yoghurt is now having to hump along 65 kilos of Mary and Jesus on his back – and it’s nightfall before they reach The Nana Hotel on Soi 4.

“Saaawrheee!” exclaims the receptionist, upon learning of Mary’s condition. “All booked up!”

She also points out that they now have free WiFi for guests.

This is repeated in hotels all over Nana – the only one with any rooms left is the Landmark, but Joe decides he wants a more authentic Bangkok experience.

25 December 2015

Still Roaming Sukhumvit

After wandering all night, they decide to head back towards Phrom Phong and try their luck in the hotels there. Poor Yoghurt is really struggling at this point so Joe promises him the placenta if he keeps up the good work.

Finally, they arrive at The Dubliner on Soi 33/1 and beg for a room. The owner takes pity on them, despite being fully booked, offering them the space out back if they don’t mind the smell from the kitchen.

Grateful, they set up a makeshift bed for Mary amid the kegs of Kilkenny and prepare for the birth of Jesus.

After a few hours of labour, out pops the little tot, complete with a halo. The proprietor sets off some fireworks from the rooftop in celebration, bringing in a host of new customers who spot the festivities from the BTS station. Joe raises his 7th pint of Guinness to celebrate the birth and rounds off a rough couple of days. He still doesn’t want to talk about his lost deposit and is contemplating a flight by night back to Aus.

Among those coming to pay their respects include three motorcy drivers who crossed the river from Nonthaburi on their bikes, bearing gifts of red Fanta, incense and a Star Wars figurine. They had spotted the firework display from afar and thought they may be able to score some good fares out of it. They’re not disappointed – there’s a group of blokes with tea towels on their heads looking for a ride back to Soi 3.

The Aftermath

There’s quite a lot of scholarship already written on Jesus’ life so we won’t go into much more detail but suffice to say the young lad made quite a name for himself after such a fateful birth. Sadly, he hasn’t been seen since his 33rd birthday when he locked himself into a beervault after taking an unholy amount of Yabba.

Mary and Joe divorced a few years after his disappearance, with Joe fleeing to Manila with another girl he met on Cowboy. Mary now works at 7 Eleven.

Yoghurt – a true hero – now runs The Barkyard on Soi 26.

 

Featured image is originally by kPluto, with modifications by What’s On Sukhumvit

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