Stickman Readers' Submissions March 8th, 2004

Dear Sir

May I firstly apologize for the misspellings and general content of this letter, I am a little drunk. I would be very drunk, but the bar I’m in is charging me 140 baht for my beer, which is too expensive to drink too much. The owner tells me he has to charge more because the local police are charging him extra because he wants his girls to go topless, or naked, which is illegal I’m told– well, expensive, so I can only afford a few beers.

Later we will go to our hotel, and on the way I will buy some Scottish Whisky for us called 100 Pipers, which appears to be 200 baht here, 6000 miles from where its produced and 7000 baht in my local store in England– 300 miles from where it is produced. I will be writing to my prime minister when I get back, but now I’m here, so I must write to you.

He Clinic Bangkok

My friends and I buy food from Thailand and bring it back to our own country. Our country loves your food, so we spend a great deal of our British pounds in your country buying your food. We put our heads together and between us we spend about 120,000,000 baht <how the hell did you come up with this figure?Stick> on your country’s food products every year. We, meaning all 6 of us, enjoy the nightlife too, so we come out here as often as we can, which means we also spend a lot of our pounds on entertainment – we have just put our heads together, and can tell you our average budget is £130 per day each @73 baht to the pound that’s 9490 baht per day each. None of us are likely to take any change home, as we always end up emptying our wallets before we leave. We are here for 11 days – that is about 630,000 baht in 11 days – probably more.

Between us we have averaged 5 and a half weeks each in Thailand per year – that is 2.1 million baht between us spent on entertainment in your country.

None of us are what you would call sex tourists. None of us have been to the Khao San Road and looked for a budget hotel either. We have been to Patpong, but we all agreed we don’t like it. It’s noisy, smelly and crowded.

CBD bangkok

We come to Thailand to work, we play a little golf, and at night time we go out and have some fun. Two of us have regular girlfriends here.

So, why am I writing to you?

We have been discussing the naughty nightlife, and Thailand in general.

We understand you have chosen to close the bars at 12 PM. We believe you are hopeful this will discourage the naughty nightlife. We understand you want to stop drugs in Thailand, we understand you want your youngsters to grow up educated and morally sound. You want them to not only understand Buddhism, but to practice it. You want farang families to come and holiday in your beautiful country and spend lots of money.

wonderland clinic

We understand you are a religious man, and from what we have read, your principles and ideals are most honourable. We also would like some things to change.

1. We do not like our wives assuming we come to Thailand to have sex (even though that is a part of the reason we come) nor do we want you to encourage us to bring them here on holiday – we don’t want to bring our wives here – ever. Do not encourage us to bring them – we won’t. Cleaning up Thailand’s image is a very good idea.

2. We would like Thailand’s beaches to improve please. We all agree Pattaya is filthy, and a disgrace. When we want a break we go to Hua Hin now, we like it there. When we have work to do in Bangkok its quick to get back to. Our lady friends like to go too Hua Hin too. I mean of course, the paid for girlfriends we take there when we want a break from the city. (We would not bring our wives or families to any of these places, we would sooner go too another country)

We discussed this again, and can assure you our wives will never come here, the only people we will bring will be 30+ males, and when the naughty night life finishes, we still won't bring our families here – not until we are certain all your pretty girls have gone back up to Isaan – all of them, then we would still probably take our families to another country just in case.

3. Nearly every time we come, one of us gets ripped off. We would like that to stop please.

4. We want to buy fake Rolexes please – 2 of us have the real thing, but we buy fake ones to give as gifts to our staff – we would like them to continue to work after we get back. We now buy them from China, because they actually work for a while.

5. We would like to buy cheap clothes – we like clothes – we can shop in designer stores and pay the full price, of course we can, we all have money, but we like a bargain – can you please ask the tailors in Thailand to actually put things together properly, and sell them reasonably cheaply – we would buy them if this were to happen. Currently, where ever we buy clothes, they fall apart virtually instantly, and we know the vendor is having a laugh the moment we leave – but if he made something that didn’t fall apart, and he took a little trouble to get it right, we would actually all come back to him again – now most of us get our clothes elsewhere – I mean – other countries.

6. We all have many horror stories to tell you about – bad experiences with food, with your people, with the way people do business with us, but we do not worry about this, because us westerners have a flaw – or perhaps a cultural difference – we find your country girls beautiful – please keep your country girls employed in the cities, we would miss them if they were to leave – please try to keep them in the bars too – it is nice too meet them there – we like to say hello to them, greet them all, and buy them all drinks – we would miss them if they went – it is part of our male western culture – perhaps a bit of a flaw, but so much so, that if they went away, we would probably have little reason to come back to your country as we would use email, like we do with other countries we do business with.

We westerners have to put up with aggressive, demanding, unattractive woman that once married to, are entitled to everything we ever had, and most of what we will have in the future. Your country folk permit us relief from these demands. We love your females.

It is our flaw, and western decadence at its foulest. We know we are falling into an abyss, but whilst we fall, and your culture strengthens, please allow us this moment, these few decades, before us westerners are wiped from the face of the earth, allow us to spend a little time with your female country folk.

For your information, this year, 4 of the 6 of us have decided NOT to pursue business
in Thailand further – they are going to go back to the old haunts they frequented for their entertainment and business. 1 worked in the Philippines, and is going back there, 1 is going to Vietnam again, and 1 is going back to Mexico, another 1 is going to Brazil. The other 2 are going to persevere, as they have girlfriends here. Importantly, all agree the 12 midnight closing of the bars goes rigidly against our western culture, a culture we have imposed upon people all over the world. We apologise for this imposition, but if your bars don’t stay open, you will not see us again. And surely we would be missed – well I know George would be missed because your female country folk love his comb over, and they don’t get to see this in Thailand – he will be missed, I’m certain.

You see, your country has disillusioned us. 1 of us bought chicken from your country – I need not say too much more, other than he is going to Brazil now. He says your countrymen do not understand his production methods, and this epidemic will happen again – I’m sure he is wrong. 1 buys lemongrass & lime Leaf– he warned your people that your production methods were dated compared to his western methods – of course our methods are probably wrong, but never the less, they are the way we wanted it, – this year he lost the business to Vietnam and doesn’t expect to get it back until he goes there, 1 buys Aloe Vera – but your people insist on harvesting the plant every year when it is too young, instead of every 2 years, again, you are probably right, but we westerners think it should be harvested when it is more than three times the size, and the juice yield is much better, and would make the farmer more money, but your farmers want money NOW and not tomorrow – he is going to Mexico, 1 buys fruit and says the factories are ditching fruit production, and making desserts, I guess desserts are the way forward. Lastly, your fake Rolex’s don’t work. Oh, sorry, I think I covered that one.

All 6 of us will spend much less time in Thailand this year (2 won’t even come back, and they have been coming here for YEARS). Maybe that is a good thing?

We have tried your country for a while, but it isn’t working out. We will make green curry in Malaysia. We will buy our coconuts from Sri Lanka, our lemongrass from Vietnam, our Pineapples from the Philippines.

We are 6 educated men; we do not have religion guiding us in any way. (That makes us heathens, right?) We are all successful businessmen; (We think so!), we are all well travelled.

We have all agreed we tried to teach your countrymen our ways – we know the fundamentals are right for you to be successful – You could be successful, but your
country has issues we are struggling with, your people have issues we are struggling with, and you have chosen too dismantle the one thing that kept us coming. That makes us really sad people I guess.

So, I’m not sure why, but just in case you decided having us westerners pop over to visit from time to time wouldn’t be such a bad thing. (We refuse to holiday with our families here – nothing you do will change this – we will take home pictures of your palaces, Temples, beaches, and Jungle – but we will not bring our families – they can look on the internet).

Support the working girl – keep the bars open until 3am, don’t try to hide, don’t legalise prostitution, just support these girls, support the bars– they spend a fortune in your capital, and are ignored – help them help you.

Like it or not they bring business – the gold trade is supported by them, the thousands of bars are supported by them, the thousands of restaurants are supported by them, the thousands of 7/11’s are supported by them 24/7 – a great deal of the tour trade is reliant on them – I cannot remember how many times I have taken a bar girl away for the weekend somewhere, just to get away for a few days – and I wouldn’t do that if I were on my own. The flower industry – how many thousands of roses are bought every evening? This web site, and hundreds of other web sites. Pfizer PLC (Make Viagra) loves Thailand, so does Durex. Think then of the hotels, the boat trips, the email / computer centres, the travel agents, the tour guides, the whole of Pattaya. Think about the visiting farang, people working in your own city, what did they come here for, what happened when they landed – I imagine a week after landing they are sat their saying “I cannot leave, what can I do to scratch a living, and stay here – I have to stay, I know, I’ll be a teacher, I’ll buy a department store, I’ll help build that sky scraper”

I am not sure how many of the farang locals would agree, but I’m certain many of them started life here that way.

And ask yourself what about your own people – Is this rule only to hurt the farang – I understand you are fighting a moral issue – your own people use the services of these bars / massage parlours / karaoke bars – the private clubs the underground clubs – will these go too? What will happen to the economy they prop up. My girlfriend and suppliers have taken the 6 of us to hundreds of bars & blubs that are off the tourist lists of “Places to visit”, nor are their farang there – virtually all Thai.

Prostitution is not a good thing – it never has been, and never will be – it is morally wrong, it breads problems beyond our comprehension, problems you sadly have to deal with, problems the 6 of us together could not put right, but it is part of your economy. If you wish to rid yourself of it, set a plan for 10 – 20 years time, nurture the farmers, nurture the industrialists, and look after the youth. There are Mums, Dads and young children surviving because little Flossy is sending home farang money, money earnt in immoral ways, but money nevertheless, without this they have nothing to fall back on.

Last summer we were taken to one of the Kings projects in the North – the farmers there had been told they had to stop growing opium, and were given seeds of Herbal plants. That’s all they grow now. Not a Poppy to be seen for hundreds of miles.

Meanwhile, perhaps you should pop into Long Gun or Dollhouse one day and have a chat with one or two of the girls?

It’s just the opinion of 6 chaps sat in a bar in Bangkok, having a drink, but we think your economy will fail without prostitution – you have to find a replacement, and a few extra tourists aren’t enough.

Lastly, please excuse us. We mean no harm what so ever. You know what it’s like when a few blokes get together for a night out and have a few beers………

Stickman says:

Admittedly you were drunk when you wrote this, so perhaps I should go easy on you…? There are some very good points, but also some which don't really add up.

The midnight closing time issue has not been implemented and even if it had, it was not mooted solely to crackdown on the farang sector of the commercial sex industry. If they wanted to crack down on this, they would simply close down a few bar areas. (Yes, there economic ramifications would be bleak for a lot of people, but if they wanted to cut things out, this is probably how they would go about it.) It is amazing the number of farangs who think that the midnight closing thing was a "get rid of the farang thing". It wasn't!

I could go on, but I'll leave it at that.

nana plaza