Stickman's guide to Bangkok
Katoeys And Overtipping
I admit, “women” with penises terrify me. For the most part, I believe that they have more than a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock. The nature of their MO tends to bear this out. Why someone who is obviously male would think it a good idea to attempt to pass themselves off as a woman and try to come home with a 199cm, 115kg, drunk Australian is far beyond me. I am not one to judge them. They have a right to be what they are. Just as I have a right to be freaked out by them.
I have 3 stories on this subject. First story, I am out with my friend who has barfined a girl in Soi Cowboy – we are both rolling drunk. A very obvious katoey walks up to us and says in perfect English “2 men one girl no good, better I come with you”. I said “2 men 1 girl no good, 3 men one girl even worse”. I guess I was lucky to walk away from that without being scratched.
2nd story. Walking along Sukhumvit just after closing time, stone cold sober. I spot a hideous katoey, unfortunately making brief eye contact. The Katoey calls out and rushes over to me “I come home with you short time”. I say no, no, no, no. Loudly. The katoey literally pats me down, checks all my pockets. Once it realizes that the only thing I am carrying is my wallet – which thanks to warnings on Stickman’s site now has my large hand placed firmly on top of it – it goes for the distraction technique and grabs for the wedding tackle. Seriously pissed off now, I spin around and stick my index finger in its face, saying “GO…..AWAY…..NOW”. Finally the katoey takes the hint and totters away rather quickly in its high heels.
Final story. I went for a massage in the Nana area late one morning recently. None of the girls out front looked questionable gender-wise. I was taken upstairs to the standard curtained off massage area. I lay face down, as you do. Soon enough the “masseuse” came in and the massage began. I caught a brief glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye, obviously too brief a glimpse. When the “masseuse” began to work on my arms the alarm bells started to go off. Big hands, thick muscular forearms with rather prominent ropy veins across them. Okay, okay, calm down, maybe all this massaging has just made her very strong. Once I turned over and got a better look my worst fears were confirmed. It was a very heavily made up, very masculine katoey. Built like a rugby forward, wearing a demure little sleeveless dress. I started planning my exit strategies but nothing sprang to mind. Like I said earlier, katoeys terrify me and this was definitely one katoey I didn’t want to be on the wrong side of. I figured that maybe if I just closed my eyes and thought about something else it would all be over soon and I would be on my way. I tried to pretend the first “accidental” brush of the tackle was an accident. The second time was a little more difficult to ignore. I knew where this was heading, and this was one “happy ending” that was not going to happen. I reached over, grabbed my watch and said “Oh my God, is that the time? I have to go”. I was showered and out of there in no time. I even tipped the poor bloke to avoid any unpleasantness. And on my way out, when the supervisor appeared surprised and looked at her watch quizzically (the massage still had 30 minutes to go), I mumbled something about forgetting a meeting. I just wanted out of there.
After that I took a bit more notice whenever I walked past those little barber/reflexology/oil massage shops, and sure enough, in many of there is the odd katoey mixed in with the regular line-up of girls not attractive enough or not wanting to work in the bars. No more rub and tugs for me, thank you very much.
I never paid much attention to stories about the pitfalls of overtipping. Hey, I work hard, I make a reasonable salary. If a girl makes me happy and I want to give her a little more than usual, so that we both walk away with smiles on our faces, I always figured that was entirely up to me. My latest trip to Bangkok made me realize that that wasn’t always such a good plan.
I caught the skytrain to Patpong one evening. I stopped in a couple of bars. Had a few drinks. Nothing too interesting happening, so as usual I gravitated towards my favourite upstairs bar. I was in the mood for dodging ping pong balls and having a couple of naked girls wiggle on my lap and give me plenty of attention.
So there I was. One of my 2 favourite girls was there. The other was not – barfined early as the cute ones often are, and it was after all a fairly busy night with plenty of punters in. Sitting down to enjoy the show I started getting plenty of attention. Could it be that my 2 little friends have mentioned my generosity? (I should have realized that I was being too generous the first time I barfined them – after handing one some cash she asked “is that for both of us or just for me?”.) I ordered a G&T and a couple of lady drinks for my naked friends on my lap. Some other girls told me they were thirsty too so I said “no problems”. First couple of rounds were 5 or 6 lady drinks. Next few were 7 or 8. Before I knew it I was buying 11 lady drinks at a time and the G&Ts were free (hurrah!). Of course, drinking so much coke had the obvious effect on the girls and the ones on my lap often had to excuse themselves to powder their noses and/or when it was their turn to dance. Never mind, they were quickly replaced, assembly line style. All had a go at whispering in my ear that they wanted to come home with me. But my favourite girl was already gone so I was mostly interested in relaxing and watching the show, despite the fierce squabbles (in Thai, which I don’t speak) between some of the girls – probably some territorial dispute. And besides, I was enjoying the attention to some extent at this stage. As the night wore on I got more and more drunk and it became more and more obvious that I would offend plenty if I picked 1 or 2 girls, so I ended up staying until closing and going home alone despite being chased down the stairs and down the street by a couple of rather insistent girls who managed to throw their clothes on faster than the others. The bill came to 13,000 baht. In fact, I had expected it to be even more. I'd had at least 16 drinks (and therefore paid for 16 rounds of lady drinks) in addition to what I already had under my belt when I walked in.
Now my favourite bar is off limits to me unless I want to spark another feeding frenzy. Live and learn. Call me Cheap Charlie from now on.
The author of this article cannot be contacted due to fear of being stalked by katoeys!
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