Readers' Submissions

A TWAT Replies

  • Written by Anonymous
  • October 5th, 2002
  • 6 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

By DS

I'm a long-time reader of the Stickman column, but have never been tempted to post before, I always think it's more fun to learn from your mistakes, so why should I spread my hard-earned knowledge around?

But the readers submission by A Disgruntled Beer Garden Regular needs a rebuttal. Nay, it demands one! In his posting TWAT – Top Whack Annoying Tourists – he calls for farangs to keep prices down, to never pay a bargirl more than a thousand baht. It's a familiar refrain, on the Stickman site and elsewhere, so I think it's time to put forward the opposing view.

I always pay above the going rate. Way above, sometimes. Not because I have to, but because I want to. And if that makes life a little tougher for the Cheap Charlies of the world, well that's just tough. I'm here to have a good time, and I'm happy to pay for
it.

So what do I pay? If it's a server or a go-go girl from Patpong or Nana, never less than 2,000 baht.

If it's a girl I've known over a period of time, three thousand. That's for a short time, if they want to stay longer, that's up to them.

In a massage parlour, I tip 1,000 baht. Minimum. On top of the 1,500 to 2,000 I pay the parlour.

I have one girl who I see from time to time who visits me when I'm in Pattaya or Hua Hin. She doesn't work the bars any more, doesn't need to because she has plenty of overseas sponsors. I call her from whatever hotel I'm staying at, she turns up under her own steam from Bangkok, and the following afternoon I give her six thousand. She's never asked for that much, it's just what I figure she's worth. Hell, she's worth more. In the States she'd get $2,000 for a night, minimum.

Am I overpaying? In my mind, no. I'm getting real value for money. In the States, an average hooker charges $200 an hour. Often $300. And they're not a patch on the girls here.

What does overpaying get you? Well, whereas A Disgruntled Beer Garden Regular finds himself persona non grata when there are high-spending farangs around, I'm always the customer of first resort. When I walk into a bar, any girl I've ever been with will drop whatever, or whoever, she's doing and come over to me. I was in Safari in Patpong three weeks ago and a dancer paid back her bar fine to a customer so that she could sit with me. Not because I'm good-looking or a great conversationalist or because I'm great in bed, but because she's knows I'm going to pay her well.

The girls know I'm a regular, and it's been years since a bargirl bothered to try to tell me a sob story. They know I don't care if they've got a Thai boyfriend or an overseas sponsor, all they care about is that I'm paying for their time, and I'm paying well.

And just because the girls live in a relatively poor country, that's no reason to try to rip them off. I've seen where the girls live, in Bangkok and up country, and believe me, it's nowhere near the lifestyle of even a poorly-paid farang.

Like Stick, I've been here long enough to appreciate that trying to get cut-price sex at every opportunity is no way to live. It's demeaning to you, and to the girls. Far better to build relationships, to help and support where you can, to spread some of your money around. And to enjoy yourself. The bars are places where you go for sanuk, for fun, not to cut a deal. It's like those sad farang holidaymakers you see on Sukhumvit Road, haggling like crazy to save a few cents on a t-shirt that's already a fifth of the price they'd pay back in the States.

There are two sorts of farangs I really dislike – the alcohol-fueled tourists who try to cram in as much cheap sex as they can in a ten-day vacation before heading back home with their collection of Polaroids to save up for their next binge. And farangs who have lived here for a while and who try to do everything on the cheap. You see them carrying their bottle of Singha from bar to bar, haggling with girls to save a few dollars, and ending at the Thermae or on the street, which is pretty much where they belong.

Nope, I'm going to carry on buying drinks for all the girls, ringing the bell from time to time and overpaying whenever I can. I'm damn sure I'll be having a lot more fun than A Disgruntled Beer Garden Regular! And I'm sure the girls will be, too.

And my advice to tourists – enjoy yourself, treat the people with respect, and spread your money around. Tip the guy who carries your suitcases fifty baht instead of twenty, let the taxi driver keep a few baht change, slip a waitress a hundred baht on the way out of the restaurant. And show them that not every farang is as cheap as A Disgruntled Beer Garden Regular. The girls call him Cheap Charlie and Farang Kee Neow to his face but a hell of a lot worse behind his back! Isn't it better to be thought of as the generous guy who's fun to be around? And who's going to get the better treatment, in bed or out of it? When was the last time a group of go-go dancers got together to buy A Disgruntled Beer Garden Regular a birthday cake? Or a mamasan presented him with a bottle of whisky and mixers as a birthday present? It's happened to me several times over the years.

Oh yeah, and don't believe what A Disgruntled Beer Garden Regular says about old, bald and fat farangs having to pay more. That's a mistake a lot of newbies make, thinking that because they are relatively younger and better-looking, that the girls like them more. They don't. It's their job and it's about money, nothing else. As A Disgruntled Beer Garden Regular has already found out, just being relatively young doesn't mean that the girls will do it any cheaper. A cheap bastard is still a cheap bastard, even a Brad Pitt look-alike. Given a choice between a young, handsome cheap bastard and a generous old, bald etc guy, the girls will take the money every time. And quite rightly!

Stickman says:

Whoa, the cat is really out of the bag now! In the bar industry, it is discussion over what to pay the girls that gets things heated faster than anything else. There are valid arguments on both sides. While I agree with a lot of what you say, one should perhaps think about the nice guy who genuinely doesn't have a lot of money, and who would like to indulge, but finds prices getting pushed beyond his reach. Still, when that happens, perhaps it is time to find a way to generate more income?