The Good Hearted Girls Who Came To Bangkok And Stayed That Way
Man, we've all heard about the relationship horror stories with Thai girls, the scams, the family pressures, the butterflies, the con artists around every corner. Just a few words about the few and far between girls that have passed the test of time and crisis and never lost their sense of decency and fair play. This may sound like lunacy to a lot of farangs of varying experiences in the LOS. But it was either Confucius or Margaret Thatcher who once said, "if you want to sing the blues, you've got to pay the dues, and you will learn it don't come easy.
At some point we all think we know it all about Thailand ,but no farang ever will. We may learn to get by to varying degrees, some of us relatively successfully, at least monetarily, some of us will actually learn what makes the thai mind tick. I'm not always sure where I fall on either scale. I know that after 15 years of being married to a Thai who just received her notice of obtaining U.S. citizenship yesterday, I've paid my admission price. But she is not the main character of these ramblings. It's a few of the girls I met in the 8 years before I put my money down and placed my bet.
To The Guys who've made similar commitments in time or money, I probably can't tell you much you don't already know. It's for the guys who aren't really sure where they fit in. What's feasible? What's logical? What's suicidal. In many ways I've just lucked out. I wouldn't have lucked out if I didn't take some sometimes dumb, sometimes calculated risks. I was so fortunate to run into some of the, cancel that, the best friends I've ever had in my life. After 15 months on the Border with UN refugee medical teams, I broke up with an actual rich Chinese girlfriend of 1 1/2 years because she decided she couldn't marry someone who wasn't a businessman! She even lived in Burbank for 1/1/2 years. Said piss on it. Put my beloved Suzuki 250 dirt bike [which she had bought for me] in the Bangkok post. A Portuguese / white Russian who had been living in Vamgkok since he was 3 years old and was the manager of the Marineers club in Klongtoey wanted the bike. I live as I still do when in Thailand on Sukumvit soi 22. [Hence my call sign]
Have any of you guys met people that you just instantly clicked with to the point that you knew at that moment you would be tight for life with? Him and his assistant Phisal; Closer than both my brothers, truly all for one and one for all. 5 min. and we all knew it. But for the moment back to the point o good hearted girls. I will mention 2 for now. One was named Tick, an average at best looking girl who was a cashier at the old Cock and Bull on Sukhumvit. I lived 2 doors down from a former American pilot who never went home and had gotten into the tailspin of snorting heroin. He had a friend who was visiting from California and eager to get into the same rut. He brought over this girl named Tick who was a decent girl. I mean she played fair and was loyal beyond the norm. Tick did not do drugs and took care of this guy through thick and thin. He crashed and had to return to California.
I was doing good for some time, but as some of you may know, when you stay in Thailand a year after tour work stops, money gets a bit slim. [Mr. Stick] You're probably aware that on Soi 22 where the Queen's Park hotel and for several hundred yards down, was perhaps the largest bar girl ghetto in Bangkok. This is where all the girls from Soi Cowboy who didn't live on Cowboy stayed in B800 – 1000 baht a month rooms with their families. This was destroyed in 1987 after 3 attempts to burn out the squatters. I've always thought that there should be a memorial plaque commemorating this site. Their were klongs, there were swamps not on the maps, stores, everything! Interpol would not find you there if you kept a low profile. Those 500 year old farangs from Washington Square could tell you a tale or 2. Anyway back to the 2 of my fond memories of 2 very different girls who came to the bright lights and the Big Mango.
Tick as I've said was plain. Jeim Was the April centrefold for the Superstars calendar 1984. I start from back then because I think about all this all started and how it is lasting into 2002. And these are some of the people who have shaped my being over the last 23 years. I met Jiem back in the pre 1987 days when there wasn't that obnoxious night bazaar at Patpong and I lived at King's Castle for six months. Back then you could get a happy hour beer for 25B and the girls would let me buy 4 for 100 baht and role them out to me. And one night there was a girl named Jiem. We just talked and she was all right. An April 1984 miss Superstar fold out [This can no doubt be checked]. I told her of my time in Thailand, and yes I ended up on Patpong, but she sensed that I had tried to do something from the heart of value, a claim I couldn't keep many years longer. Jiem would ask me to stop by King's Castle and have a drink about 10:00 PM.
i know she tried to fend off the more repulsive customers but this was not always successful as no Miss April can afford to do that. Until you've lived way past your budget and don't want to go back to your profession in Farangland will you understand or will you even realize how rhythm can go against reason. When Jiem didn't have customers we'd go on the ever faithful cb-750 out to the klong on soi 9, get some food and just talk for hours about how each of us got into this spot. We'd go back to her place, and I can't tell you like many others, it was the best sex of my life. I can only say it was some of the most honest. A sharing of love, a sharing of pain and, and a few laughs about how we were together. A beautiful hooker and a rich and poor farang who in the end had his beautiful cb750 but sometimes didn't have the gas to get home!
It was just life back then. It wasn't an industry. The last time I saw Jiem, it was kind of funny. I had this heat rash from sitting in traffic on my bike. Jiem said she had to go for a week with a farang to Chiang Mai, the money was just too good. I said I know babe, God bless you. You stayed with me for no money when you could have made a lot. Fuck the sex man. We were just too hurtin' souls who got together for a few months and made life more bearable. She had a high income and I was between posperity. Sometimes when I had very little money and she had to do her job it was tough to wait till the customer left. But she would take me home for the night. Neither of us happy, but glad to be together. The last thing I remember was sitting om the bike and saying I couldn't do this to her anymore. Her income was way down because od me. I was hurting in another way = her. I couldn't afford to take care of her and I couldn't afford to take advantage of her. The last time I saw Jiem, she was walking down Patpong and stopped with an old farang. she said do you want me to come. Yes ,but I'm not able to help you for weeks. Thanks. Jiem.
I love you Tick. Well Tick knew I didn't love her but she knew I respected her. Tick offered me her very modest flat to crash. We never had sex. I had this beautiful cb0750 which after Patpong I frequently couldn't remember where the girl I took home lived. I OFTEN PRAYED MY BIKE WAS DOWNSTAIRS, WHICH THANK GOD IT ALWAYS WAS. I honest to God don't know how I survived; several of my friends didn't. I hear so much talk about the bottom level for survival is air-con. Yeah, I love air con. How bad do you want to commit to Thailand? Tick an average girl let me and Jiem stay on her floor for a week and cooked us breakfast without a word. WE were fiends. I HAD TO GO AGAINST 1B WAY TRAFFIC BECAUSE i DIDN'T NOW ANY OTHER WAY TO GO HOME. Tick gave me money when I had a beautiful 750 but not the gas to put in it. She took care of me till I was on my feet. She gave up her bed to let me and Jiem sleep in it and then made breakfast to order. I never forgot her and her and her Swiss husband have visited several times.
I don't know what happened to the end of this about Ms. Tick. She was a true sweetheart, slept on the floor and let me and Jiem have her bed, made us breakfast too. Gave me the last baht for Mekong and 20 baht for gas to gay my beautiful cb750 back to soi 22. It was when the streets turned wet overnight and I couldn't find my way home. Out ran the cops for 4 kilometres till they caught me in a triangle. Took Jeim 29 minutes to convince them I was stone cold broke [which I was] sad but true] not exactly the good old days but it was what it was. No Internet, no shit.
The good old days, eh? I just love the following quote from your piece, comparing days gone by with now…. "It was just life back then. It wasn't an industry."