What’s In A Rose?
The story starts on my second visit to Thailand between January to February 2003. My original trip was all about sightseeing and activities (of the sports / trekking type). On the original trip, I hardly indulged in any illicit activities and after returning I've decided I would like to know more about Thailand (as I practically went there with no foreknowledge on trip #1). For me, any type of research usually starts with Google, and this was no different. It didn't take me long to find Sticks' site and several other forums. These were an education. I've literally stumped my hand against my forehead and went "doh" at realizing some of the BS I took from the Thai salespeople and racketeers. It wasn't really that bad, but I don't like those silly manipulations such as being dragged to tailor's and gem shops (I didn't buy anything, thank God).
So, for the next 5 days, I read and read and read, all the scams, the horror stories and the broken hearted… The people that said "But she was different" only to find out that in the long run, she wasn't really.
With this fortitude, I booked a trip back to Thailand, a mere 8 months after my initial trip. Reading these forums and Sticks' site pulls you ever so slightly toward the ticket agency on a daily basis, there should be a "readers be warned" sign somewhere…
I had the flight from hell, 24h through Kiev, which was -17 Degree Celsius (note to self, next time get an 11h direct flight instead of suffering through a flight from hell for a $150 discount). Cutting a long story short, I got the airport Limo service and headed directly to Pattaya.
After 3 days I located myself in the Ice Inn (next to Apex). It was the high season and Pattaya was teeming with punters and bar girls. One of the biggest problems for me in Thailand was intellectual stimulation. For the life of me, finding a girl that was both good looking and spoke basic English was next to impossible.
Zipping ahead. After about three weeks of zoning in front of the TV, doing some shopping for the folks back home, playing pool against the girls, actually thrashing them at Connect-4 (one of my guilty pleasures as these girls hate to lose and it was funny as hell seeing them sulk at you), one of my things was to walk at night through a lot of the bars, just looking for Ms. Right. During these walks, I would notice EVERYTHING that was described in the forums and on Sticks' site. It was so comical it was practically sad.
Here are some of the things I saw and felt:
1. Large sections of the Pattaya streets smell like sewage, it palls me that no one cares.
2. In my hotel room, I found papers of printed emails, these were love letters from some bar girls to and from an English guy. I felt sorry for the guy as these emails depicted exactly what you'd expect from a bar girl stringing a guy along.
3. I've seen some European looking guy pulled by his teeruk into a gold shop.
4. Bar girls asking me for my email/Contact info (never given).
5. Bar girls smelling of fish, even after shower (with lots of soap) and mouth wash… Some of the things they eat are toxic.
6. People driving like crazy, against traffic (don't rent a motorcycle if you value your life).
I could go on forever, there are so many Thailand "Classics" and they all appear to be true in one form or another.
At this time, you may be wondering about the title of this submission. As I was saying, after 3 weeks, I was walking the Pattaya circle, criss-crossing the two main roads, walking past 100's of bars and 1000's of girls, all to the calls of "Wheh yu goin" and the ever so classic "Handsom Maaan". Some of the girls will literally latch onto you, grabbing your hand and try to drag you into their bar. Ros (pronounced Rose) was just such a girl. It was already late and I'd been walking the streets for next to two hours when Ros tagged along. I took a good look at her and she was indeed very cute, she was 20 years old, about 165 cm high and had a lithe body and her features looked more Chinese than Thai (I asked, she said both parents were Thai). Paid the bar fine and straight to my hotel. I was staying on the 3rd floor of the Ice Inn at the time (no elevator) and you just know how these Bar Girls are about walking. Every girl that went up to the room was making faces and breathing hard on the second floor, and to poke a bit of fun at them, I'd always make as if I'm going to the forth floor and give them an evil smile then turn around and go to the room on the third floor. The look on their faces is priceless. In any case, off to the room, do the shower thing. Cutting through the bed gymnastics, we talk a bit. She says she's only in the bar 2nd day (I don't believe it of course as no way a 2nd day girl would latch onto you in the street). I'm all smiles and easy talking (this was one of the few girls that could speak English pretty well). I find out that she has a sponsor, some poor schmuck from Finland that's been sending her money. She's wearing this heavy gold necklace with the picture of the previous king, after some prodding she tells me that the guy also bought that for her. She then proceeds to tell me how much she loves him, all the while I'm thinking "you love him and yet you grab guys off the street". I actually proceed to ask her about that and she says "yeah, I was so bored and you're the only one I've gone with cause you're special" (while I'm good looking and under 30, I put some serious doubt into that). She then tells me that she has to go back to her village this very night and wants to scamper off soon. We keep talking about this and that and then I decide (probably a bit foolishly) to try getting her to understand the western mentality of saving money for bigger things in life instead of spending all what you have living the moment. Boy was that a mistake! She ends up in tears after realizing that if she saved her earning for just one year she'd be able to buy her own house but knowing that she'll never do it (Just 5 minutes earlier she was planning to buy a new Nokia phone for 12000 baht).
I console her and after some more talking, we proceed to round #2. She asks me if I want her to spend the night (after insisting earlier that she had to return home). She did something I would never expect a Thai person to do, let a lone a BG, she admitted she lied and didn't really have to go back, but I told her that I prefer to sleep alone and sent her off with a kiss and a smile.
What's the moral of this story? It's hard to reform a bar girl, you'd think that paying her to leave the business would work. But a lot of times, they go back because their home life is now really boring in comparison, regardless to how much you've paid them. Don't try making the girl understand your point of view on the world. It won't work and will only end up in tears. Most of the things you'll read about on Stick's site and on the forums are true, which can be sad.
For 3 months after my return from LOS, I completely cleaned my mind of the whole thing, Had to get my mind back on work and living in my native country. But lately I've been drawn again to Stick's site. It's like this little tug pulling on you ever so slightly. I can't afford to go back for another year, Hopefully I'll be able to hold myself till then.
And when I go back… This time it will be different! "yeah, right…"
Side-Note, Thailand is about drinking, seeing the sights, relaxing and of course, the girls. But if you need some intellectual stimulation, and you don't know anyone there, you'd be bored out of your mind pretty quickly. Next time I may bring a lap-top with lots of movies on it to pass away those slow afternoons (I'm not a big drinker…)
You're so right when you say that life is so boring form them in the village that they return to the bright lights of Pattaya.