Sometimes They Really Try
By Eye Nit Noy
I want to write about two bar girls that I know. 'On' and 'O' both work at a little beer bar that I frequent in Pattaya. They are friends and co-workers of the bar girl that I have been seeing regularly for the past year. I wanted to write about them because, having gotten to know them over the past year, I see a side of the farang-bargirl relationship that I do not hear much about. The bar-girl side. Both of these girls have farang boyfriends and both of their stories I think readers may find interesting.
'On', as with many bar girls, came from Isaan. She has been working at the bar for about two years. 'On' is a rather quiet girl, and a bit shy for a bar girl. She is the type of girl who, when a new customer comes to the bar, is a bit slow to the draw. Rarely will she be the first girl to strike up a conversation; rarely will she be barfined. A hard worker, she is always the first at the bar in the morning to open, and she always stays to the bitter end. She lives outside of Pattaya with several other girls in a very small apartment.
About a year ago, On met a man from Switzerland. He was a nice guy, and barfined her. After the first night, he barfined her for the a week. This was, for On, the longest period of time that any man had taken her. She had a wonderful time, and so did the gentleman from Switzerland. At the end of the week, back at the beer bar, he asked On a question. Will you come with me to Switzerland? I must leave, but I will come back for you. I will marry you, get you a visa, and you can come to live with me. On thought she had met her white knight. She was happy, very happy. She agreed immediately.
Of course, as he was going to be taking her as his wife, he did not want her to work bar any longer. He asked that she leave Pattaya. He would send her 10,000 baht per month in support, to tide her over until his return. On thought this was just fine. After he left, she was on the next bus out of town, back to her home in Isaan. Although I have read many stories about bar girls who will take a man's money not to work bar but will go right on working (and I am sure it is true), On did not even think about doing that. She was more than happy to leave that life behind.
At first, things went fine. For the first few months, the money came like clockwork. There were letters sent and there were, on occasion, phone calls. On was very happy. But then the money stopped. At first, On thought that perhaps there was some minor problem that delayed the money. But days turned into weeks. On tried to call-but she either got no answer at all or an answering machine. She did not know what to do. Finally, after several attempts, she did get through. She found out that he had had a change of heart. He was not coming back, was not going to marry her, he was not going to take her to Switzerland. There would be no more money.
On was crushed. She figured that he did not want her because she was "a no good lady". Losing much face at home, she boarded a bus back to Pattaya. A few months after leaving the bar with high hopes for the future she returned, right back where she started from. The girls at her beer bar, of course, gave her what emotional support they could. But On has never really been the same. Now, when a customer arrives, she is a little bit quicker to the draw. She meets more farangs, and gets barfined more often. But never again, she says, will she go back to Isaan for any man.
'O' works in the same beer bar. 'O' is also from Isaan, but 'O' has a very different personality than On. 'O' is a real party girl. Perhaps the most bar-fined girl in the establishment, she is sexy, fluent in English, quick witted and a rather heavy drinker. She is just not the type of girl you would expect to quit working bar. But, she too met a man. A gentleman from England, after spending two weeks in her company, wanted her to stop working bar. He, too, was going to come back for her. He too was going to send her money-25,000 baht per month to be exact. When I arrived on my last trip with a good friend-who was one of her regular customers-we were shocked when she did not meet us at the airport. (Another girl went in her place.) When we heard the story as to why, well we just laughed.
I was sure that 'O', one of Pattaya's top party girls, was not serious about this not working bar nonsense. She was still living in Pattaya-just off of Walking Street. Yet, as the days passed it became more clear. She was not working bar. Mostly, she sat bored out of her mind in her apartment. With great effort, we were able to coax her out of her apartment for a bit to eat one night. My friend, enjoying the challenge of her not wanting to sleep with him, tried to no avail to get her to hop in the sack with him. No. Neither of us could believe it. She had really quit working. She was serious about this.
As I write this, I do not know if it will work out with 'O' and her boyfriend from England. Perhaps he will turn out to be a white night. Perhaps 'O' will end up just like On. But, I found these two stories to be interesting. I do not intend to put forth that all bar girls are loyal, that they will not take a man for every penny that they can get, that they all have hearts of gold. Yet, I know for a fact that this is the case for two bar girls in Pattaya. What is my point in writing all of this? Well it is just to say this about bargirls. Sometimes, they really try.
Yes, so much of what is said about bargirls is generalisations and doesn't apply to all of them, but so much of what is said does apply to the majority.