I visited Thailand many times, regularly visiting the bar scene and while I have decided its probably not the best way to live I know it will be a while before I stop indulging. I make no excuses for myself but have developed a bit of a conscience about why the girls work, and taking advantage, etc..
I’ve been reading Stickman’s site for a long time and haven’t been bothered to make a submission despite some strong opinions about some reader’s submissions. After reading more hard luck stories, of which there seem to be many, I thought I would share my thoughts re: face and bargirl relationships, here goes..
I was in the Woodstock bar in late February and was playing pool with one of the girls. Having had a few beers I was enjoying myself, but I certainly wasn’t drunk. In between my shots I began to chat to an American guy who was sat down with his girlfriend. We began to have a good conversation about where he was working and what he had been up to in Thailand. While we were talking I could see his girlfriend was becoming agitated.
Suddenly, she ‘spat her dummy out’ and started to shout at me saying that too many people talked to her boyfriend and she was sick of it. As you can imagine I was very surprised at her behaviour but kept my cool, this only seemed to enrage her even more. She then started shouting at me and called me a bastard and continued to hurl abuse at me…
By this time most of the bar had stopped what they were doing to see what all the commotion was about. I began to see the funny side to all this and just started laughing at her, as far as I was concerned this was highly amusing and added to my night out. By this time her boyfriend was trying to calm her down and after some heated discussion he made her apologise to me. Wanting to spice things up myself I told her sarcastically that I accepted her apology and she should not be so silly in the future. A further argument followed and she stormed out, followed by her boyfriend.
Unperturbed, I continued to laugh it off, and if I am honest, the whole situation was amusing from my point of view. What I found disturbing was how the staff’s attitude changed towards me afterwards. No more warm hearty smiles and banter but coldness and disdain. If only looks could kill. I go to this bar quite regularly and would have expected a little more support.
So the Stickman in my head would probably tell me that this was probably because the bar and staff lost face because of the incident. The fact that it was completely unreasonable behaviour on part of the girl was irrelevant. This made me remember reading a story about a guy who was caught in a car accident whilst taking a taxi ride in Vietnam, which he was arrested for. While the accident wasn’t his fault the reasoning was that if he wasn’t in the taxi it would have never happened. One can’t argue with flawless reasoning like that.
We are all embarrassed from time to time, often our own fault, but the idea of face is completely retarded when put in the hands of Thais. I doubt I will ever understand their idiosyncratic ways.
What I do find alarming is the way people who have spent some time here start to adopt these ‘ways’. Maybe the madness is contagious. Like the famous story of a King who’s subjects are slowly going mad from drinking from the cities fountain. After a while all his subjects are completely insane and he is left alone. Not being able to deal with it all he decides to go drink from the fountain himself. And rather than becoming insane he finds that both him and his people are perfectly normal once again.
I just read a story of one guy who married a ‘former’ bargirl and found myself thinking,’ Are you f**king mad?’. It was a very sad story (view it here) but who would marry a prostitute? Mother of God!
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people who get emotionally involved with these girls, never mind marrying one of them. Having said that I do understand how charming the girls can be and how good they can make one feel. Indeed last year I did find myself becoming attached to a girl myself but saw all the tell tale signs and finished the relationship.
I have recently read a book called ‘The road less travelled’. Its about personal growth and development and is written by one of the world's leading psychologists. Before I read the book I was a little afraid of doing so, my friend had told me that it would change my outlook on life. I put it off for a while because I am a bright guy but like to bury my head in the sand a little bit.
I would recommend anyone to read the book but in the first few chapters the book talks about a key concept ‘delaying gratification in life’. And I think this is key to people who have married or engage in relationships with bargirls.
’Confronting and solving problems is a painful process which most of us attempt to avoid. Avoiding resolution results in greater pain and an inability to grow both mentally and spiritually. Drawing heavily on his own professional experience, Dr M. Scott Peck, a psychiatrist, suggests ways in which facing our difficulties – and suffering through the changes – can enable us to reach a higher level of self-understanding He discusses the nature of loving relationships: how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become one's own person and how to be a more sensitive parent. This is a book that can show you how to embrace reality and yet achieve serenity and a richer existence. Hugely influential, it has now sold over six million copies – and has changed many people's lives round the globe. It may change yours.’
The idea generally runs through many parts of our lives but I think its particularly relevant to seeking a relationship with a bargirl. In short, it means that often we take the easy route in life, while it's better for the long run and our emotional well-being to delay instant gratification and look at what we want and work through the best way of achieving it throughout our lives.
Example, man comes to Thailand and has read all the horror stories yet meets a bar girl, falls in love and the goes through all the shit that many have been through. All the time he says the magic saying, ‘but she is different’. Days, months or years later the whole thing has fallen apart with people saying I told you so. The point is not that the man had a relationship with a bar girl but that he sought the easy route. I have been there myself, met a cute girl who was like the best girlfriend I ever had overnight. However, it all happens too quickly and although I have not had experience with middle or upper class Thais, when bargirl relationships end, they end ugly. I know guys who have had death threats, who have been set up by the police, who have been beaten round the head by their bargirl with a pool que because they eventually came to their senses, ended the relationship and the girl couldn’t handle it.. There goes that loss of face thing again. What madness! And some in the expat community are starting to drink from the fountain. I think there is a certain irony in the whole situation, especially given my continued love affair with LOS. Maybe one day I will be drinking from the fountain. I hope not.
Face sure is a big deal here.