A Bit Of A Twist
This will be a familiar story up to a point but it is slightly different and I'd appreciate old BKK hands' comments and even advice.
I met the girl (let's call her Pornchita) working as a waitress in a CowNanaPong gogo last summer. I was just passing thru BKK on my way back to England from Hong Kong, where I live and work. I was pissed, barfined her and after a bit of a dance at a non-working girl club, went back to my hotel. The deed itself was good, she was very enthusiastic and very, very funny. But I'd had similar and even better experiences on my two previous visits and when I paid her and she disappeared out the door I thought that was that.
Afternoon the same day she calls my room. She and her friends were going bowling; did I want to go along? I initially said no but then called back and we arranged to meet. We all had a great laugh, I picked up the, to me minimal, 1500 baht. Pornchita stayed at my hotel again and refused and was apparently offended by my offer of payment; "You paid for me and my friends last night"
Anyway, we spent the next (hilarious) day together until she saw me off at the airport and during that time I found out more about her. She's 23, BKK born and bred, worked as a karaoke hostess and all that involves after high school and then paid for herself for the first two years of a degree at a well-known BKK Uni, getting a diploma before the money ran out and she returned in June last year to the sex industry. I've subsequently seen her Uni. certificates, reports and photos so no invention there.
Her family history is really sad, (again verified later by me). Her mum died when Pornchita was a baby and her dad remarried, only for him to die when she was 10 or so. The stepmom herself remarried to a sergeant (?) in the Thai military and brought her up alongside her half and step siblings. Her (not by blood) cousin sexually assaulted her when she was 16. Her half-sister died 3 years ago in a car crash, just to complete the sorry story. I've met the family (more later) and it's all true as far as it's possible to ascertain.
Anyway, this girl had got under my skin and I phoned her lots during my 2 weeks back home in London. Sometimes she was working and I couldn't believe how much that upset me. We arranged that the return 4-day stopover would be spent together on Koh Samet; barfine but no payment, she said.
So, I'm near the end of my UK hols and get an SMS (I'd given her the number) saying "Call me now" She's on Samui with a rich American executive who's bought her out for the week and is paying her over the odds. She says she really wants to see me and will get away if she can. "Yeah, yeah" I think, down to earth with a bump. I spend my return in BKK getting drunk and barfining a fair few girls. On my last night, I get back to the hotel with my latest girl and there are 4 messages for me. She'd come back early and had waited 3 hours in the lobby for me to turn up till past 3 AM; I'd been at the Grace till nearly 4.
I phone her in the morning as my flight leaves noon-ish and we meet for 30 minutes at the airport. She says she's pissed off the rich American by coming back early. Says she doesn't really know why but I'm "special". Again, I'm thinking this is a typical BG set-up but I say goodbye, giving her the perfume I'd bought for her in London.
Back in HK, the emails and "one ring" phone calls begin. I reply in a friendly but non-committal manner and after a few days, they stop. A week later she gets in touch again and tells me the rich American bar-fined her again. He's paid her a fortune (60,000 baht in total). She quits the gogo (due to the crackdown?) and doesn't work for weeks on end apart from accompanying her friend and a couple of guys to Pattaya "as a favour". But she's open about even this and she definitely wasn't otherwise working during this period as we speak daily on the phone for hours at a time including very late at night. She NEVER asks for cash, saying she's living on the American's payment but I do send her girlfriend-type presents of flowers, Hello Kitty crap and Junior G watch; all very affordable for me. During this time and way against my better judgment my feelings for her grow and grow. In October, I fly to BKK for a long weekend and we stay at her basic but comfortable 4,500 baht a month apartment. I meet her young step-brother and of course foot the not overly-large bills. Fuji Sushi is about the most upmarket place we eat, otherwise it's her cooking or 79 baht buffets. We go to Q Bar and Bed but stay well clear of the Nana-type scene. The only biggish gift is a bigger memory stick for the Sony Cyber Shot Digicam the American guy bought her as a goodbye present(!).
So, after a great 4 nights with this funny, clever, adventurous girl 15 years my junior, it's back to HK, full of love and thoughts of a move to BKK. The calls continue and I don't even pay for these as I massage them through the company accounts. Then suddenly she announces she's out of cash and has to go back to work. Classic set-up you think? Wrong. She refuses any offer of cash from me, saying she loves me and doesn't want me to think she's like a typical bargirl. Now, I know many readers of this will know the feeling, imagining your girl blowing and getting shagged by a succession of blokes (ones just like us, to be honest).
Way against all reason, I don't break it off. She doesn't work immediately but borrows from her friends and pawns her jewellry. At end the end of Nov, beginning of Dec, however, her calls become hurried and snatched and she makes no secret of the fact she's working in a Pattaya gogo and staying (when she has to) at a friend's. Eventually, I tell her it's over and our planned 3 weeks in Phuket and BKK at Christmas sadly won't happen.
After a few days of iron will, not returning her calls, I give in after 25 or so "one rings" at 8 PM to 4 AM. When I call, to say she's delighted would be an understatement. She tells me she's made 45,000 baht in 2 weeks and doesn't need to work again for a while. I now really love this girl, despite full knowledge of what she does (45,000 baht in 2 weeks; think about exactly how she earned it…). She tells me she loves me because I treat her as a real person, don't care about her past etc. and her dream is to get married to me. I have mixed emotions about this, though if she was a non-working girl I'd have few qualms. Anyway, the Xmas hol is back on.
From beginning to end, our holiday is a delight. The sex is constant and phenomenal although I have to put to the back of my mind how she became so adept. We have amazing fun in the sun and then back in BKK, meeting her non bar scene friends, most ex-Uni, some of whom have dabbled in the life, virtually all of them apparently knowing and accepting what she does. They're all typical Thai girl sanuk maniacs. It's great. But, more than the above, there's the sense of connection I, and I believe both us, feel.
Again I offer her cash; 20,000 plus rent to get out of the life and get some kind of "normal" job. Again she refuses. I've told her that I can get a transfer to BKK from summer this year at a reduced salary (80,000 baht a month to start). She's ecstatic at this and says we can live together from then and plan to get married if I want, she will get an office job and go to "Weekend University(?) to get her Bachelor's. She says she's spoken to her step dad and her bride price will be 399,999 baht. I laugh incredulously, she cries and says that he doesn't know she's working, would kill her if he did, and that for a good college-educated girl it's a fair price. I say I don't think so. She says her step-dad's keeneeow. I still refuse to even consider it, she leaves her own apartment without a word and comes back a couple of hours later having visited him and saying it's open to negotiation but she reckons he'd accept 100,000 or so. I just say I can't think about it unless she stops working. Guess what? She refuses. We've hit an impasse but I go to visit her family. A rented apartment, fairly scruffy by UK standards but quite big and with a PC, DVD; all the comforts. Lots of photos of her siblings but only one of her. I take the extended family out for a meal which comes to 1,800 baht. Marriage is not discussed and I don't like the step-father: a fat, complacent sod.
Both before and after my HK return, I make further attempts to get her to take my cash but she refuses. She says she knows I can only really afford the 25,000 baht or so I'm offering and never asks me to up the ante. Her reasoning for working is now that she can earn a lot and buy a car, pay for a deposit on a house for her step-dad and siblings for when he retires, despite everything, and even save for the next stage of her education. She says she loves me and in fact has never been in love before. Her customers mean nothing to her, they're just a way to get cash, although she admits she enjoys the attention and occasionally the sex. I tell her I love her, also in a way I've never felt before (although I reckon I've felt similarly a couple of times in my 39 years), and want to marry her and live in Thailand but I can't do it if she continues to work. We just go round and round in circles.
So here we are: January 24 2004. So far she hasn't worked (random calls both ways at all hours to prove it) but will soon. What am I going to do? I don't believe there's a sponsor on the scene as her life has been quiet since I left, just hanging out with friends and I know she loves to party and shop when she has the cash. Strange, strange, strange. Is she playing the longest game in bargirl history? Is she honest but odd? What IS her agenda? I honestly, truly believe that she loves me. Is it possible that her values are so different to my own (which are admittedly hypocritical; how did we meet?). Has her sad life before the bar world damaged her beyond repair? Can I remain in love with a woman who is likely to get fucked by 180 men or so for cash in the next six months? All and any advice gratefully accepted, especially from those who know Thai women better than I.
I'm almost 40 but good-looking, fit and have a comfortable salary. By the way, I have a gorgeous, clever, funny, professional 32 year old hi-so Chinese girl here in HK madly in love with me but with whom I keep things casual; I know it's brutal and hypocritical but I'd drop her like a stone if Pornchita came round to my way of thinking. In more calculating, sober moments I realise May's the best option and I do like her a lot. Maybe love would come. But passion is passion…
I hope reading this has made some people think again about bargirl stereotypes but, more than that, I'd love to know what the fuck to do…
You say you are in love with her, but are you? I guess my definition of love includes being able to overlook one’s faults, glaring or otherwise. I don’t see this in your case, at least as you have described it. My guess, and it is only that, is that you are in love with the idea of her and the fun that she represents. Nothing wrong with that, but is it ultimately what you want?
Getting serious with bargirls carries more risks than getting involved with women who were never a bargirl. Of course it could work, but then again, it might not. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of good advice from this piece. Drop us an update in a month or two I’m sure we’d all love to know how it pans out.