Easy In, Not So Easy Out
Greetings from South Africa. Because some of your readers made comment concerning idiotic and arrogant behavior of the U.S.A. embassy staff, which is by the way not specific to Thailand but practiced all over the globe, let me give you some idea, how it works at Johannesburg International Airport.
I am going to start with some overview to keep you in the picture. South Africa is about the only country I still consider with Western standards (but for how long yet, it remains to be seen) where the Thai nationals are granted their entry visas at the airport. (Correct me, if I am wrong and there is somebody else with the same policy)
This is of course heaven sent for some ‘’entrepreneurs‘’, who married Thai girls. Pointless to say, that these girls have employment history related to Thai sex industry, one way, or the other. It is usually a question of a trip to Thailand, where these ex whores recruit some (usually) Isaan girls and take them to South Africa. I do not know exactly, how the system works, but I believe there is some sort of contract between ‘’the employer’’ and mostly naïve girls. For some reason, the Thais are under the impression that the grass is always greener on the other side and if a country has some stronger currency than Thai baht is, they will make the money big time over there. This is not true, of course. While the girls I talked to in Thailand are by no means sex slaves, this is quite a different story here. Their passports and return tickets are usually confiscated and with their very limited English, they are at the mercy of their ‘’employers’’ who abuse them, as much, as they can. How much money the girls make is a real mystery to me. What really drives me mad is that they are exploited by their own people, who place them in casinos, night and private clubs and supervise in person that the girl does not keep any money earned for herself. I witnessed it many times and was chased by night club bouncers when I told the bloody mamasan to F.O.
This is certainly not unique to South Africa. Thai girls are trying to go for a ‘’working holiday’’ just about anywhere. Believe it or not, even to Zimbabwe!
Because their presence in the local sex industry is a well known fact which gets publicity as soon as somebody does not pay his tea money to the police or makes somebody influential very upset and his night club is raided, another party steps in. These buggers are S.A. Immigration officers, all of them blacks, or to be more politically correct ’ formerly unprivileged“. Their strategy is very simple. Thai girl goes back to Thailand, he tells her, that there is some problem with her passport, keeps her waiting as long as he can, takes her to the office, threatens her with deportation and ‘’persona non grata’’ stamp etc. He knows very well, that the girl wants to catch her plane and her English is limited and does not want to have anything to do with the authorities, so she always opens her purse and the guy gets some very nice bonus.
A Thai girl I know told me that an officer told her quite cheekily ’’Give me your money!’’ A friend of mine married a Thai girl. She was visited by her sister, a 20 year old girl. When she went back she certainly expected some trouble and he was right. She was told by the immigration officer, that there was some problems with her passport, although it was nonsense, of course. She was taken to the office and held there. Friends of mine were watching the scene, but could not enter the restricted area, however they managed to call the police. S.A. police were very helpful, but the immigration officer quickly disappeared and his supervisor refused to give his name and there would be no proof anyway. Because my friend’s wife went to Thailand last week, friend of mine did not take any chance and alerted the police. Certainly for very good reason. His wife was treated the same way as her sister two weeks ago. Fortunately, S.A. police stepped in, as they were watching together with friend of mine. That particular immigration officer had a very stupid excuse – that certain people travel with false passports and visas (issued for one year once some foreign national married a S.A. citizen or permanent resident). The police told him that it is lot of rubbish of course and promised him that they will get him one day as they got apparently about 20 of his former colleagues.
So, as you can see, it is difficult to get to America, if you are a Thai girl. Here, in South Africa, the Thai girls have a big problem to get out for a change. Somebody told me, how his friend secured a 6 month visa for his Thai girl for about $US 160. I am just worried how much it will cost, once she goes back. Only the way, how to breeze through, once you have really bad luck and were born as a Thai girl, is to select the counter, which is manned by black girl-immigration officer. They certainly do not have the guts, as their male counterparts.
I could also call it plain racism, why do they target Asian girls with Thai passport? We are planning to take some action, more and more local people are visiting Thailand every year and everyone I know goes back as much as he can. We would be pleased to receive the same treatment in Thailand, although it is also bloody corrupted country. I could experience it within 20 days only.
And you think South Africa has Western standards??? I thought this sort of thing only happened in developing countries…