Stickman Readers' Submissions July 25th, 2003

The Cost Of Rescuing A Bargirl

The Cost Of Rescuing Your BG Girlfriend

By Ross UK

OK let me first say that being a butterfly is cheaper. If you go to LOS for two weeks and shag every night it will cost you about 28,000 Baht including the barfine. However, I have done that and I felt like shit afterwards. So this time I decided to stay with the same girl. I was in LOS for seven weeks and my BG girlfriend stayed with me most of the time in my hotel outside of Bangkok and we also went to Ko Samui for five nights on holiday. I was also back there for three months earlier this year.

mens clinic bangkok

Now I have no plans to marry my girlfriend but I would like to see her out of the bar scene. I travel overseas for 7 months a year, so bringing her to Farangland would not work. I am not ready to settle in Thailand just yet, although retiring there when I am 50 has some appeal. I could even teach English or Physics (Yikes).

Her dream is to have a house, which would cost about 300,000 Baht ($7,000) to build in her province of Buriram. However, I do not have that capital sloshing around and anyway, she would still need an income to run the house.

Working in a shop, hotel or factory job, which might bring in 5,000 – 6,000 Baht, is not really viable since she has family to support. Although her parents are not around she has a mentally ill sister to support. Well that’s a better story than a kidney transplant for the family buffalo. She has already worked ten years in a sweatshop from age 14.

OK so what is the plan and how much will it cost? Just sending her money every month is not on, it is just a black hole, unless you plan to get married or live together. She needs training for some vocation so she can earn a decent living. Somehow hair dressing came up. One of her friends was going to hair school at the time. The potential for earning more money is greater.

So here is my monthly budget for my girlfriend (call her Max). Yes, she lives in Sukhumvit, so her room is expensive. Cheaper accommodation might only be 2,000 Baht (Min). Yes she loves her mobile phone too. The food allowance is quite generous, as Som Tam is about 20 Baht, but she loves her food and likes fruit juice and milk. Hair dressing school is only about 2,000 Baht a month, but she has to buy her own materials so I have this as 3,000 Baht. Miscellaneous is for odds and ends.

Year 1 Maximum Minimum
Room (no air-con) 4000 2000
Money for family 4000 3000
Food (100 baht per day) 3100 2000
Hairdressing school including materials 3000 3000
mobile phone 12000 0
Bus to school 440 440
Miscellaneous 1000 5000
Total Baht 16740 10940
Total $US 389 254

You have to allow for the cost of sending the money to her, which is expensive. She will need to attend hair school for about 12 months. So the cost in the first year will be about $5,200. She could continue on and study beauty treatment or men's haircutting.

After that she will have to work in a hair dressing shop for at least a year to get experience. She will make 40% on what the customers pay, so if she generate income of 17,500 for the shop she gets 7,000. Remember she will probably start out washing hair and will be in competition with other girls. She needs to earn for her employer about 600 Baht per day working 30 days a month. That is about 3 or 4 customers per day.

wonderland clinic
Year 2 Maximum Minimum
Room (no air-con) 4000 2000
Money for family 4000 3000
Food (100 baht per day) 3000 2100
mobile phone 1200 0
Bus to school 440 440
Miscellaneous 1000 500
Less income from work 7000 7000
Total Baht 6740 940
Total $US 156 22

The cost in year 2, including bank charges will be about $2,150 making the total cost so far of $7,350.

Now she has one year's experience it is time for her to get a business. If she is in a good area she should be able to earn ~30,000 Baht a month, because she will not be competing with other girls in a salon. But this is where it gets tricky, to buy a business might cost 300,000 Baht ($7,000 cough cough splutter splutter). She might be able to get a loan. If she can rent a shop (5-10,000 Baht/month) the equipment is not that expensive to buy. A hairdresser's chair is only 2,500 Baht if made in Thailand. But then there is plumbing to do for the sink. If successful she might be able to take on more staff.

Then she can take out a loan and buy the house, they do have 25 year loans in Thailand. And by the way, rather than buying a house for your girl friend why not take out a loan instead, as suggested by someone who emailed Stick, then if she ditches you she will have to take on the loan (great idea that).

If you decide to rescue your girl it is a long term thing, you have to be in it for the long haul. Her previous farang boyfriend sent her to English school and computer school, from which I benefited, but he did not continue his support. But that did not get her out of the bar, but if it wasn't for her English I probably would not have continued our relationship.

How is she doing? She is six months into the course and likes it. She brings her practise head to my room every night to prepare it for school the next day. She has also been on a field trip to do old ladies hair, which made her feel good. She claims she is not top of the class, maybe number 3. She took me to a hairdressing shop to buy "stuff" for class, and came out with a bag of goodies including scissors, which only cost me 600 Baht. Will she make it on her own? Only if I stick it out for the long haul. The rest is up to her, it is her life, but I will encourage her and support her.

Why should I help a peasant girl from Thailand? She has led a difficult and to some extent a tragic life and I have the means to help her get a better one.

She has had a hard and difficult life. Her mother died young; her father found another woman and deserted the family. My girlfriend has to look after the family. At age 14 she came to Bangkok to spent ten years in a sweatshop. A Thai boyfriend who came home drunk, and then killed himself in a drunken motorbike accident, thus ending any hope of a Thai marriage, because Thai girls are supposed to marry the man they lose there virginity to. Her hopes of marriage and a secure life were ended. She has nothing to lose; she tries a few ways to make money, but fails. A friend suggests the bar scene, and then I meet my girl friend.

I will take great delight to walk into her shop in two years time for a haircut and a beard trim. And to see her happy with a beautiful smile.

[Actually I would quite like to see her work for the Imperial Queens Park hotel. The hairdressing girl there did not speak English, could not trim my beard and I was charged a whopping 700++ Baht, but I do not know how much the IQP hotel pays their girls. My GF can at least speak good English and I hope she will be able to trim my beard.]

Stickman says:

You've got the right idea and that is admirable, but believe me when I say she will be living a REALLY frugal lifestyle… There is absolutely no fat on your figures and the miscellaneous figure mentioned just isn't enough. Clothes, medical expenses, catching a taxi occasionally, variety of food, robbery victim, offerings for the temple, fixing the TV that breaks, the padded phone bill, checking her email, the unexpectedly high mobil phone bill….need I go on? Push the miscellaneous figure up to 5,000 baht month and you are in the ball park – and pray that no other farang comes along with a better offer….

nana plaza