Stickman Readers' Submissions April 5th, 2004

In Response To “My Experience” By Mark


That was a very interesting story, and I'm sorry it had to end that way. I never experienced anything like this because I never went as far as marrying a bar girl. I have given them money though. My first bar girl gf, named Poo, I sent money to, I knew she was screwing around on me, but in the end I felt she really did love me. The things she did for me, on Valentine's day one time she had made a sort of a card, and sent it to me. We had a good relationship, I always jokingly accused her of going with customers and she would deny, deny, it got to the point where it was our little joke that we made all of the time. Although I could never prove it, I'm sure she was still on the game. But I understood the situation. I knew at this point I was not going to marry this woman and I don't think she was expecting or even hoping for something like that from me. We just rolled with it, and it was a fantastic relationship. After two years we grew apart, one day she told me she had met another man and that she thought she might be in love with him. Of course initially we had our differences about this but eventually I let her go with no animosity towards her. I never saw her again, well I did later, but that comes in to the story later and sheds further light on the point I am trying to make, which I will get to eventually, sorry.

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After that I dated a cute Pattaya girl that worked in a clothing shop at the Royal Garden at the Marriot. That lasted about a year, I wasn't sending her money, but I later learned she was on the game, she had other boyfriends, although I'm not sure if they were sending her money. My guess was she didn't have the balls, or wasn't desperate enough to work in a bar or freelance. So my guess is she took the more dignified route, a form of prostitution women the world over engage, good old fashioned gold digging.

The third Thai girl I dated was a gogo girl, six years younger than I. I was 31 at the time and I got a lucky break. I work for an agricultural research and development firm and I'd always been asking for assignments in Asia. But I am fluent in Spanish so I was always being sent off to South America. Finally I got an opportunity to go to Asia, but not just anywhere in Asia, Bangkok. I was there for six months, the job was very cushy, all I did was consulting work and mostly administrative stuff for the small team we were sent out with. Anyhow, my third Thai girl asked me to support her. She didn't want barrels of money or anything. She was living with two other girls, hardcore bar girls in their late twenties. The way they played the game it looked like they'd been doing it as under age teenagers (probably). These girls were habitual gamblers, drinkers, loud mouthed, party whores. One of them had just kicked a yaba addiction and was now smoking pot like there was no tomorrow. This girl was a piece of work, her name was Fung. I have never met a better actress in my entire life. She had no heart, no conscience, and she could become any personality type at the drop of a hat. But I saw so many different acts from this girl that I never knew her true personality, in fact I bet even she had forgotten who she was. I knew Fung as this hardcore party type. When one of her boyfriends came to town we all went out. This girl put on a the biggest front for this guy. She barely spoke (she usually talks too damn much) kept close to her man at all times, didn't drink any alcohol (many nights I've gotten trashed off tequila with this girl) she played the good girl role like a champ. She even had me convinced sometimes, sometimes I wondered maybe she is torn between who she is and has to be? Anyhow, my Thai girl her name was Mae, was a bit younger than these girls. Mae had gotten in to partying with these girls, and though she enjoyed it she could not keep up with these girls. She would confide in me that this life style was taking its toll on her two friends. Between the drugs and partying they would have depressing moments of clarity where they understood that their life was in a downward spiral. The other girl her name was either Pom or Tom, I could never really understand which consonant she was pronouncing. I always just called her, Hey, or ay you. Well Tom or Pom had a son in Nongkhai, who she loved very much. Mae would tell me that her separation from her son and her inability to be there for her son really drove her nuts, and from my perspective this was one of the bigger demons she had in her life. Mae feared she would share what ever fate these girls would come to know. So I let her shack up with me. We were already sort of an item, but after this step I laid down some ground rules, no more prostitution. She could work the bars, I didn't care about, but if she wanted me to be serious with her, if she wanted to live with me she had to stop going with men. I told her I would supplement her 7,000 baht salary with 8,000 baht a month. That gave her a cool 15,000 baht, plenty of money! Especially when she is living virtually expense free. How much of the money went home to mama and papa escapes me, but I do know this, it was enough money where she ended up saving some money but not because she was trying to save the money!

So for some of you sending back 20,000 -30,000 baht a month, you might want to re-evaluate your girlfriend's intentions and financial situation. To avoid having her salary cut in any way I made sure I barfined her to meet her quota, I didn't mind, I like hanging out in gogo bars any ways. But a lot of times she wouldn't even go to work, I'd come home form work and she'd be ready to go to the discos. To cut it short, she was going with customers, not habitually, but she was extremely discreet. I later discovered she wasn't really picking up on new guys, probably the occasional odd trick here and there, but mostly she was keeping in touch with old boyfriends. Well I confronted her about this, she of course denied everything. I finally rifled though her stuff and found only one email address with the password written underneath. It's amazing how so many of these cases get blown wide open because the boyfriend finds the email address with the password written on the same piece of paper. Seriously, you guys should try it. Go though her stuff, I guarantee you will find an email address with her password on it. I ended up throwing her out of my apartment. Which was a big deal to her because I had cable, computer with internet, fully furnished billeting with full service, I had a nice bed etc. She was living pretty nice for a few months.

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I saw her weeks later, we spoke and tried to smooth things out. She had gone back to living with her friends from before, except her friend Pom or Tom finally went back to see her son in Nongkhai, although she was eventually coming back. She had gone right back in to the life style like it was nothing. When she was living with me we would go to discos together, movies, dinner, and all sorts of romantic crap. She was a decent girl who deep down wanted a decent life for herself and her family. Only 4 or 5 weeks after our break up she was already sporting a new tatoo with the name 'Jamie' on it. I met Jamie. And I can tell you this, he could give two shits about these bar girls. That was the last I saw of Mae. I wonder if she's covered the tatoo or altered it in some way. Do they even have tatoo removal clinics in Thailand?

Remember girlfriend number one? Poo. Well 6 months ago I received a very interesting email from an expat in Thailand. It was in regards to Poo. In fact it was a message this guy was relaying for her. Poo was in America. In Chula Vista, CA to be exact. I Live 6 hours north in Fresno. The email was from some guy she knew or her friend knew, but Poo was trying to get in touch with me as she knew I lived in California. She was shy to email me directly, so she had somebody else do it. Why a stranger in Thailand, I don't know. But it did raise some flags. We finally exchanged numbers and I received her new email address. Well it turns out the man she left me for eventually married her and brought her to Arizona. She went on to fill me in on the last few years of her life. I have never met anybody that could hate the state of Arizona, or any state for that matter, as much as she did. Her life had gone to shit in America. Sort of. She was miserable in Arizona, she had problems finding work so she spent her days idle at home, it was too hot to go outside so she was subjected to the tortures of American day time television. She started to drink a bit but managed to find a job at a Chinese owned Japanese / Chinese restaurant. She eventually started to screw around on her husband, which generated problems. And it got so bad where they had to take breaks from each other, usually she would end up going back to Thailand. But you guessed it, while she was in Thailand she would screw around for money, but the reality was she didn't need the money. Eventually they divorced, she knew of one bar girl friend who had been living in California, so she moved there in hopes of something better. She now works in a nail salon in southern California. She makes frequent trips to Thailand where she will occasionally turn tricks, but that's not behaviour she exhibits at all here in the U.S. She's clearly going by which ever social norm she is being subjected to at that particular time. Her friends consist mostly of Vietnamese and Laos, her current boyfriend is a career navy man who has visited Thailand on numerous port calls. Despite her new love she expressed the desire to sleep around with me, I turned her down. Her BF was down right scary for starters, and she had lost much of her physical appeal. The American food and lifestyle took its toll on her. In fact I think the American lifestyle wore her down quicker than the bar life style would have. She was clearly unhappy and lonely even with this new man. I have since lost touch with her, well I just don't really call her anymore, nor does she call me.

My point to all of this is that for many of these girls they can't change. Mark wrote in his "My Experience" submission that he was told that this lifestyle can almost be a drug for these girls. Once they get over the initial hang ups of sleeping with random men for money, it becomes very easy for them to master and get caught up in such a shitty life. But it becomes normal to them and eventually it becomes the life style which is most comfortable to them.

There are two analogies I'd like to use, bear with me sorry if I'm boring you.

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1. When I was in college I had a buddy drop out of school. After six months of floating from job to job he found a great job bartending at one of the hottest clubs (or bars, can't remember) in LA. He was making incredible money from tips alone and only worked 3 days a week. The money was more than great, and the job was fantastic according to him. But he started to get caught up in the wrong crowd, started trying cocaine, snorted heroin a few times, and was starting to pop prescription pills. My friend recognized the self destructive nature of his lifestyle so he quit and moved back to Boston. Discussing this with my mother, she mentioned that he would probably never be able to have a normal job again. She was right. I called him months later, he'd been in and out of work between construction work and waiting tables. His conclusion was he needed to be back in the nightlife and the entertainment industry. So he went to bartending school and worked in a few bars. He and a friend of his are now the owners of a bar somewhere in Florida.

2. Several years ago I was in Washington, D.C. for a gardening convention. I don't garden, but I do agricultural consulting. At a little deli on the street I saw a homeless man panhandling. Rather than give him change I bought the guy a sandwhich and gave him a cigarette. We smoked together and I learned this guy was a Vietnam Vet. He was a sapper (combat engineer) in Vietnam. According to him he'd seen some shit, lost some friends, came home, got spat on by hippies and turned to alcohol and eventually crack cocaine inevitably ending his marriage and putting him on the street. But what was interesting was two things this man told me. The first, the U.S. was using military woking dogs in Vietnam. I guess it is standard operating procedures to retrain the dogs after they'd seen combat or if they were changing handlers. Apparently these Vietnam war dogs were becoming untrainable, and most of them were being shipped off to Okinawa to be put to sleep. I don't know how true this, is there anybody that can back this up? The second thing he told me was his personal experience. He told me in order for one to survive in a place like Vietnam something inside of you had to die. I'm guessing one's compassion and understanding of humanity. He told me once that 'thing' dies, it becomes easy, the killing, the explosions, the fear, watching friends die. That was how he survived Vietnam. The way he put it was that in order for him to survive he had ceased being a human being and thinking like one too. He has never been the same since.

The point of my second analogy is that sometimes there is no turning back for certain people. Once they've crossed a certain psychological threshold, that's it for them. It will take a lot to 'bring them back'. My last story I will leave you with is something that happened to a friend of mine. He'd met a bar girl. A good girl, initially. But then again aren't they all good girls initially, some of them will tell you they still are. Anyhow, she was a good girl who eventually turned as evil as Beazzlebub himself. And after a night of drinking we pin pointed the turning points in her life that made her the person she is. She was under the influence of one bad friend and piece of shit bar owner that had a crush on her. She attempted to leave the bar scene but the bar owner begged her stay. She would quit and go back to work for him, and it would go on like this for 6 months. It turns out the girl she was friends with was already heavily in to drinking, drugs, and gambling. The bar owner had been giving free drugs and alcohol to my friend's girlfriend and her friend. He would entice her to come back to work for him by giving her raises. Her attitude took a drastic change for the worst, she was taking up the typical bar girl life style, and to be honest this chick became a Pattaya superstar. She was hot, had several sponsors, and everybody loved her. Eventually my pal had to cut his losses and let this one go. She was just another victim of the Thailand flesh trade. Oh well.

My point to all of this? It's a social dilemma we're looking at. A society with no money, no jobs, virtually no hope, and a loose system of values, values which are continuously compromised by an 'any means necessary' philosophy that has to be taken up in poverty stricken societies. The life becomes almost a norm, coupled by family pressure and obligations, peer pressure, it's easy for a girl to get in to the business, but once in the business they find that that it's too difficult to get out of or let go. It's just another vicious cycle of a ghetto. Every country has its own version, this happiness to be Thailand's. Can we blame the girls? I think as a whole we can't blame them since it is a social issue that effects the enitre society. But individually I think the girls should be held accountable, because there is no excuse for human indecency no matter what your situation. Morals are morals where ever you go.

In the end life will catch up to these women. For most of them their fate is nothing to smile about. I remember as a young man going to Bangkok I remember seeing this one woman at the bars only in the afternoons. She was old, painfully old or just looked real old. She obviously was either sick or addicted to drugs. The whites of her eyes were yellow and blood shot all of the time. Her lower protruded out from an under bite exposing her teeth, the condition of her teeth definitely looked as if it were the result of habitual drug use, looke d like crack to me but I don't think that exists in Thailand. She would just sit there with a blank stare, would not talk to anybody and certainly nobody would talk to her. In fact her appearance gave the impression that she probably didn't have the ability to even speak at the time. So anybody who has been screwed over by their Tilak, look at it this way, she's in for a rude awakening. The sad thing is it probably won't occur until it's too late. Your situation no matter what, will be better for having ditched that wretched liar. Bar girls will be bar girls, they can't help it. Very few will escape that life, and hopefully less will have to be exposed to that life. One more experience of mine, real quick. It has nothing to do with any of this but it's a lighter side to bar girls. I once spent a week with a Phuket bar girl. Her name was Pat. A very nice woman. She didn't charge me by the day or anything, in fact she told me that at the end of my trip I can pay what ever I want. I learned that she was from Bangkok and was interested in finding a foreign boyfriend / husband and to her working in a bar was the most logical idea, not a bad one in respect to her intent. She wasn't in it for the money, she was just trying find a man. So far she hadn't really been successful. She decided she would probably go back to bangkok and maybe eventually try her luck there or maybe in Pattaya. I think the purpose of her coming to Phuket was to conceal her actions from family. At the end of my trip I asked her how much money she wanted, she told me 4,000 baht. I gave her 6.

Remember the saying, those who do not acknowledge history will be doomed to repeat it.

Stickman says:

Nice analogies.

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