May As Well Shoot Myself
What follows is a true story. The tale you are about to read is at times so unbelievable and bizarre that if I had not witnessed these things myself I would certainly be skeptical of the authenticity. I have actually received emails asking whether the story is true or not.
The events described occurred between June 2002 and July 2003.
At that time I was doing research in a systematic Anthropological study of cross cultural marriages for a paper I was writing on the subject. I had done a BBC interview in 2001 on the subject. It was at this time that I met all of the characters described in the story except for the main character. I had known him for over 20 years and he was actually the one that brought me to Bangkok in 1999.
While I am actually the author of this story, I am not in fact the main character. I have written the article in the first person, as the main character had wished to remain anonymous and I had such intimate knowledge of his character that I effectively became him in the telling of the story. It was the only way I could get him to bring his story to light. I have written very successfully in this style before so it was a rather easy task. Even my close associates of mine could not recognize the style of writing as mine.
I had effectively become the main character as I wrote the story. My only failing was that while I could accurately depict the events, the characters, the words spoken and even the main character’s mindset as well as his predictable reactions- I could not completely feel the dichotomy of two people so lost in deep love and emotion and the subsequent fear associated with actually dying or killing oneself because of that love. It was these destructive forces that I could witness but not completely feel. They were forces that eventually were to permanently ruin the lives of the two main characters.
Since I was with the main character during 95% of the scenes described in the story I can vouch for the accuracy.
I thought the story would be a valuable addition to the stickman site as it clearly seeks to inform, educate and hopefully reduce problems between cross cultural relationships. It is also written in a style that is supposed to amuse and entertain as well.
The only facts in the story that I could not verify were that the Thai Police actually phoned the main character to warn him of being hunted by a “gunman” and the fact that the main character fled to Saigon at the end of the story.
All other situations, characters and even the exact word for word depiction of what people say in the story is factual, as I was the traveling companion of the main character and witnessed the events.
I suppose my story starts like most. I had been coming to Thailand for about 3 years and it was my 5th trip into the Big Mango. As any man who has been to Bangkok will agree, 5 times to Bangkok in 3 years is not particularly excessive. After all, when faced with the sad desperation of trying to find love with the barnacle encrusted scallywags that dare to call themselves women, within our home countries, Bangkok can easily become a fast addiction.
Invariably (of course) I find myself within a certain infamous disco along Sukhumvit. Actually it will probably become a new colloquialism that when in the area of Sukumvit, “all roads will lead to Nana”. Well, there I am in acquisition mode, trying my best not to waste 1000 baht on a turkey, and I can tell you there have been many a morning when I wake up after some appallingly bad sex and say, “Fuck, is there no training program for girls in this line of work, hell, they just let anyone do this job, don’t they”. So not wanting to make a bad decision, I cautiously sit with a group of ladies. Well of course being the nitwit that I am, I have to choose the one who is dancing and strutting her stuff seductively. Tight clingy dress, thin and hot, she licks her lips and smiles while she dances. Hell this is about all I can take.
It was at about this time that I happen to notice the women sitting next to me. She is not even 6 inches from me, yet I hadn’t noticed her because of her friend’s obvious advertising. Now I don’t know why I chose this particular time to look at my life in retrospect, but the conclusion rang like a bell, “yes, I am an idiot”. What’s worse is that the voice in my head now tells me that; yes I have always been an idiot. I have always picked the girls that looked hot and they invariably always lead to my demise. Or as my best friend so succinctly put it, “listen man, if life was a game-show in which you were a contestant, and they had 3 doors from which you could choose, and behind one door was a million dollars, behind another door was 1000 pounds of gold and behind the last door was a starving lion…well, I don’t know how to tell you this but you always seem to chose the door with the starving lion”.
Well that’s it, right there in Nana I decide, I am going to change all this. My life doesn’t have to be a cavalcade of buffoonery. So that’s when I make the fate-full decision. Instead of going with the girl that looks like the hooker of the century, I choose instead the seemingly nice girl sitting next to me. She seems shy, quiet, and unobtrusive. Well, I think we all know what happens after that. After the little trinket and I do our gymnastics, she looks rather sad.
Her story begins: Well, its pretty similar to most, “hi I’m a poor Isaan girl please rescue me, I hate this life, I’m so sincere, etc. etc.” She tells her tale and says that all she wants is a man to take care of her and her sister, and thus we go from a fast night of sex to a full time girlfriend. We begin two months of staying together. We travel around Thailand, visit her hometown, and in the days that follow I begin to realize that, “holy hell, I have actually found a good one”. In the two months we stayed together she never asked for money, and we talked all the nonsensical talk that one is invariably cursed with when in such a situation, “we will stay together 100 years, etc. etc.” and in retrospect I have to admit that it was the closest thing I have ever had to a deep emotional love. Mind you all, that I am in no way a novice when it comes to affairs of the heart and actually have been quite lucky to never have been taken advantage of by any women, so I really have no excuse for acting like the imbecile I was so soon to become.
It was within a very short time that I realized that this girl was quite unlike the run of the mill BKK girl. After several weeks I indoctrinated a little plan. I said to her, “listen, I’m not giving you any money because…well you know, you are my girlfriend and if you really love me, I don’t feel that I should have to “feed the meter” every day, (that, and well I am a cheap bastard). So I say, “look, you should go out on Friday and Saturday nights and make some coin at the disco in the age old tradition. It was early on in our relationship and at that point I really didn’t know how wonderful and loving this girl really was. Besides, at that point I was also dating girls from the University, as well as other, “regular girls” that had real jobs. Actually it is quite refreshing to date girls in Thailand that are actually not now (nor have ever been) whores. If you do this, you will realize just how far most bargirls have slipped down the evolutionary ladder to become the animals that they are. After a date with one such good girl, I decide to stop at the beer garden. That is where I witness the spectacle. My BG is sitting there, tears rolling down her face, when she sees me she clutches me like a lost child. The look on the faces of all the hardened whores says it all. They cannot believe the spectacle themselves; after all, they agree that men are there to be used for their money and that’s that. It is at this point that my girl cannot even breathe. She is a mess. It’s the same mess I would soon become, but I didn’t know it then. That night I was happy as a lark, I was clowning with some girls at the bar, after (of course) against all odds my BG seemed to be able to gain control of her legs so she could make some attempt at letting her friends take her from her obviously embarrassing scene. This scenario was to re-occur frequently and there were several times were I actually thought she was going into a coma or some type of strange seizure. Trust me my friends, I have had girls in America try the, “I’m going to kill myself tirade” and usually I merely give them a knife and say…go ahead.
This poor Isaan girl was different; she was devastated if I merely asked her to leave me alone for the evening. Therein lies the problem my friends. I think that the fatal flaw of all men is that when a women so desperately needs us, (and hell there’s nothing more desperate than an Isaan girl who is starving) it engenders all of the evolutionary male responses that men have, of wanting to protect the women, and take care of her. Well fuck me till Tuesday, a woman who actually needs me? This is some change. In our home countries we are so fast becoming obsolete, that I fell headfirst into this Thai fiasco.
It is at this point that most of us (and all the fools who will soon venture into a similar hell) will completely ignore all the warning signs. Every hope of common sense goes straight out the window. Dick pointed down, straight track to Hell.
So we are standing there on Sukumvit one night and out of the corner of my eye I notice a farang tap his buddy on the shoulder and point to “my” BG. The friend responds to him with a disdainful look on his face and says, “I can’t look at that, that’s a disaster waiting to happen. Now mind you, I heard all this plain as day, and would you think that it would get something rattling around in my brain that even remotely looks like an intelligent thought? Not only no, but fuck no.
Well let’s fast forward about a year later, after I eventually married this girl in a village ceremony. I use my mobile to call my good friend who has lived in BKK for about a decade. I say to him, “guess where I am at”, he says, “I don’t know, the shopping mall?” NO! I am in jail, I am covered in my own blood, I have just been punched in the head numerous times…by my Thai wife. I remember clearly the fight. I merely tell my wife that I must go to Bangkok and leave her in her hometown for ten days so I can take care of some business. I painfully explain to her that the Thai businessmen I am working with would not take kindly to my consorting around with a poor Isaan girl. After taking quite a beating, and then an even bigger one in the commission of removing her from my hotel room, I await the arrival of the police.
Now hear me friends, I probably wouldn’t have thrown her out, but being beaten by a women is not the so much a problem (I had spent 3 years in the United States Marine Corps in my twenties, so being beaten up was really nothing new to me) it was her threatening to cut off my dick when I slept that sort of gave me the mind to remove her from my room and lock the door.
Well of course she knocks on the door a few minutes latter and informs me that the police were on their way. I laugh and say, “that’s cool, I will give them a few hundred baht and they will leave me be”. It is at this time that I start to think. It took a couple of years but my brain was actually coming back to life. The rudimentary decision to save my penis from being flushed down the toilet must have finally awoken that unused gray matter between my ears. Well let me see, the police are on there way, I have a psycho Thai girl after me, I am in her hometown in the middle of Isaan, my command of the Thai language pretty much sucks, I am a farang…I am totally screwed here man…oh wait, I have money…fuck, nothing matters now, I have money. Well the changing times rendered that theory obsolete. I tried to bribe every one of the Thai Police, beginning with the two cops that first came to see me to the 20 or so other cops involved in my capture. No Luck!! It seems my seemingly uneducated Thai whore told the police that if I paid them off, that she would go report them to the police In BKK and have them investigated. My bribes increased as the rank of the police increased. Ultimately nothing worked. We were however, close enough to the Cambodian boarder that I was able to make the police understand what happened due to the fact that I can speak Cambodian fairly well, and I must say that the police acted rather nice towards me considering the lies that my BG was telling them. My friend’s advice on the phone was simple. “Stay cool and don’t lose your temper”, he said, “be respectful” he said, “I hope you have learned your lesson” he said, “good luck” he said.
The Police kept asking me why I hit the girl. I Say, “Hit the girl? There is not a mark on her, this is my blood, from the numerous gashes on my body” The Police smile the polite smile that Thais always use when they know, that despite what logic dictates, they will win. It is….after all, their country, their system, their way of making sense of reality.
Well the gray matter starts to work and I realize I am not getting out of this situation until I give in to the BG (now my wife) who has brought me here. I tell the girl, “Listen lets just go home and forget the whole thing”. She now changes her tune to the Police and asks that we are allowed to leave, but not before I sign some papers agreeing to pay for the gold bracelet that she broke while punching me in the head. Thirty thousand baht. Well I start to think like a Thai and figure, hell if it gets me out of here, that’s cool. As I said the Police were rather cordial and at one point they asked the girl, “You have married this man, why do want him thrown in prison?”. The next morning the BG and I ate breakfast at a Lao style restaurant and while I was in the kitchen talking to the cook, one of the Police officers from the night before came in. He had a big smile on his face and after a few beers we were having some fun. These types of relationships do come in handy, so please, if you want to save your own ass, make some friends in Thailand. Bar girls are good at getting a farang into trouble but they rarely have the resources to get you out. This relationship was to prove rather valuable: about 6 months latter. Somehow, someone cared enough about me to call me and tell me that my BG had gone to see a professional hit man to have me killed. $230. US dollars. That’s what my life was worth my friends. Well actually this is something that I already knew about, because my BG had told everyone from our hotel staff, all our friends, and even the Police in her hometown, that she was going to have me killed. It all seemed rational to her, she couldn’t have me and so I had might as well be dead. It even made sense to me when I looked at it from her perspective.
Let's rewind the story here to a point in time before she spoke to the hitman.
We return from her hometown in Isaan. My fun evening of having my scull bashed by my Thai wife and then brought before the Thai police merely 24 hours behind us, my gray matter again began to wither. I decide that we try to make a go of it and live in Pattaya. It started out well enough, the beach, some relaxation…endless pleasure with only one drawback. The girl would simply not let me out of her sight. An hour at Soi 8 to renew my visa got me into trouble. “You fuck lady, I know you”, is what she would say.
The truth is, I never fucked anyone besides her in the many months we stayed in Pattaya.
Some nights I spent a few hours drinking and smoking cigarettes with some of my Thai Police friends. As I said before, these types of friendships can prove handy. Invariably the phone would ring and it was my Thai wife. “You fuck lady, I know you”, she said. At this point the Thai Police would take my phone and tell her (in Thai) “listen we are not doing anything, come down and see for yourself.” I would get home and invariably receive the standard beating from my Thai wife. I suppose its my fault for having large beer bottles in the house. Believe me, they hurt me a lot more than the small ones when they were bashed against my scull.
Thankfully the gray matter starts churning again. I have got to get out of this mess. If any of you have ever seen the movie, “Rock Star” with Mark Whalberg and Jennifer Anisten, there is a part in the movie where the manager of this heavy metal rock group is telling the young rock star, “Listen man, you have one girlfriend, you may start out with the best intentions, but its destined to fail. Every day you are surrounded by so much fucking pussy that sooner or latter it wears you down and you fuckin crack”. Well between the beatings and all the tail down in Pattaya, I fuckin cracked. I was drunk one night and put my wife’s hand on another girl’s ass. The mother of all beatings was soon to follow. Smashed, bashed and bruised I climb on the bus back to BKK with my wife. I explain that I am really not enjoying life with her and we have to split up. She calls her friend on the phone and the friend tells her, “take off all your Gold jewelry, put it in your pocket, and when you arrive in BKK have your husband arrested and tell the police he stole your jewelry.
Well she wears about $3000 US worth of gold, and I’m thinking with one Police report in Isaan already in my resume, in which I had to replace the gold she broke over my scull, the BKK police would be suspicious of me to say the least. She then punches me in the face about 6 or 8 times and everyone in the bus is in sheer disbelief. One British guy in the back of the bus simply whispers in his friend’s ear, “bargirls”. At this point I finally realize, I have become to have no balls. We go from BKK Ekamai into a taxi, and I had understood enough of her conversation with the cab driver to know that she asked him how many years in jail she could expect for killing a farang. I looked her in the eye and said, “Well, I would rather be dead than spend my life with you”. I really must learn to keep my mouth shut in the future. Well she gets her stuff from my hotel room and in front of the hotel staff (that has known me for about 4 years now) she punches me in the mouth. Ah, finally I have her. I tell the hotel staff to call the Police. They look terrified and merely said, “oh don’t worry she will cool down in a couple of days”. Latter that night I call my friend in Bangkok and after his decade of living in the Big Mango, he brings me to my greatest understanding of Thai culture yet. He says, “Listen, if you would have called the Police they would simply analyze things from the perspective that you are a Farang. The line of reasoning that goes with that is, “Look, the girl threw a punch and it just happened to be coincidence that your head was in the immediate proximity of her fist, and if you never would have come to Thailand in the first place, your head would never have been in the proximity of the punch she threw, thus we (the Thai Police) can see no wrong doing here on her part, however we may need to take you away. Have you looked in the mirror lately? You are after all, a farang”
Well these events were the beginning of 3 months of running from town to town, sometimes changing hotel rooms 3 times a night in order to avoid being killed. I rigged my hotel room with booby traps. I was armed at all times. What a great vacation that was, a vacation from sanity that is. Finally the stress got to me and I fled to my house in Saigon. At least there I would be safe there, (or so I thought).
Well the upside is this. You can possibly learn from the stupid blunders that I have made.
When In Thailand remember:
1) Be careful, you’re not in Kansas any more.
2) Understand, that if for any reason you decide that you do not want to be with your Thai bar girl anymore, that there will be consequences.
3) Even if a girl tries to kill you, (from her point of view) she is having a rational response to her difficult living conditions.
4) The bargirls have been through a lot of terrible situations and they are oftentimes not mentally stable.
5) If you get involved with a mentally unstable girl, your life will become fucked up. Unless of course you consider being jailed and or hunted by professional gunmen a quality of life that a person can be proud of.
6) It is often difficult to understand what is real and what is fantasy, who is lying to you, etc. etc.
And probably the most important feature: If you are to survive in Thailand, you must act Thai. This might mean, getting a regular girl, with a regular job for a girlfriend (or wife). Because in the end, the bargirls represent a fun diversion if you are interested in sex. That is their job. That is what they do well. Part of that job description is to lie, cheat, steal and (In some cases) even kill if necessary.
But be forewarned. If you should take one of these seemingly innocent, helpless girls, home and promise them something more than 1000 baht and a shove out the door (after services are rendered), then you are indeed playing a dangerous game.
One note: While my story clearly displays that perhaps I am not the most generous guy in the world. I did in the course of the years I spent with this girl, spend a small fortune on her and her family. Between the medical bills, living expenses, gifts…the list goes on. It would have been cheaper to go to the best disco every night and pay for services rendered.
Conclusion: Most (but not all) bargirls are control freaks…and isn’t that why we all came to Thailand in the first place, to find something better?
Great story, but man, why did you let this shit go on for so long? It is funny how some guys attempt to salvage a relationship even after a huge number of things have happened any one of which would have been perfectly reasonable grounds for the couple to part company.
Oh, and $US 230 for a hitman? On that bit I believe you have been misled. Chuck another zero on the end and it is believable.