Stickman Readers' Submissions August 16th, 2004

Tale Of Two Bargirls

I met Lek the first time I was in Bangkok. It was a bad time for me – I was here on business for one company I desperately wanted out of and was simultaneously interviewing in Bangkok for another company that I ultimately joined.

Lek worked in a bar off Soi Cowboy – not a go-go, but one of those open air bars with lots of girls hanging out. I wasn't even sure I wanted to be there – I convinced myself that I should see the naughty areas of Bangkok for the experience. I would
just go without a specific "mission" in mind. I made a pass by the bars, one, two times. Wasn't seeing anything that caught my fancy and I was saying to myself – 'ok, this is the last time, if I don't see anyone that knocks
me flat, it's back to the hotel room and I'm a good boy tonight.' Each time I walked past "Hello, Welcome!" Finally on the third go around, Lek physically pulled me in. Normally, I really hate this tactic and resist it
pretty vigorously, but for some reason that night I submitted.

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From the street, Lek didn't seem like anything special, but up close I realized how stunning she really was – at 34 (I found out later) she still had a body that could stop a clock. And that smile! The broadest, whitest, loveliest smile I've
ever seen. We talked for probably three hours. It was a great conversation. She told me all about her life (a bad first marriage to a Thai man, 10-year-old daughter, etc.). I didn't really know how things worked, so completely forgot to buy
her drinks. She never asked. Finally, I did inquire about her price. I think she quoted me 3,500 baht long time. I knew it was over the top, but mainly I just wasn't sure I wanted to go with her – or anyone – that night. So, I politely declined.

Back the next night. More talking, me buying drinks now. This time price was "up to you." "Ok I said, let's go." By this time, I'd told her all about my family back in Singapore – my wife and my own 10-year-old daughter.
She knew that they were coming to visit at some point and assumed they'd stay in my hotel room. She said explicitly that for that reason she did not want to go to the hotel. We ended up at her dumpy little room at the end of the Sky Train
line. The sex was fantastic.

This routine went on for the few days I was in Bangkok. Her phone rang often, and she got lots of late late SMS messages. She always said "that's my boyfriend in Australia," or "that's the guy in U.K." She'd even read
the messages out loud sometimes: "best sex I ever had" one said. She laughed, I laughed. Yeah, I'd come to really like her and hearing all this caused a pang of jealousy, but I had to respect her for being honest.

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I went back to Singapore, but kept in touch with Lek, especially as I knew now that I had secured the Bangkok job and would be back in a few weeks. When I returned, I looked her up and we started our little fling again. I didn't take any other girls
– she was just a special person that I enjoyed being with. But after a few weeks, I sort of got the sense that she was tiring of me. I had given her some money and leant her some as well – not a huge sum, but I made it clear what was a loan. Although
she wasn't able (and I honestly think that's true) to repay on the promised schedule, she had repaid about half when she had to go away for several days to visit her daughter back in the village.

It was during this time that I met Faun. She is a dancer in one of those Patpong bars – 24. I instantly became mesmerized by Faun. Not like those other girls who sort of tepidly jiggle at the pole – Faun knew how to dance, and dance she did, erotically!

Faun and I went short-time that night. She seemed to like me, as much as you could expect a bar girl to like a short-time guy. The sex again was excellent. Something about this girl really got under my skin. I didn't go back to the bar the next night,
but the following evening I found myself drawn again to Faun's domain. I wanted more than short-time, and asked her if she'd stop by my hotel after the bar closed. She did. We made sweet love …

In the next several days, I would spend a few hours at Faun's bar every night, and each night I would ultimately barfine her. We did the usual – shopping, going out to eat, back at the hotel. I gave her the expected sum the first few nights, but
stopped after awhile, as we became "boyfriend / girlfriend." The only thing she ever asked for while shopping _ early on _ was a new mobile phone. I gladly bought it for her. After that, she always seemed happy for whatever I got for
her (nothing extravagant). On several occasions, I had to insist on buying things for her. Not infrequently, she would pay for food or transport for both of us before I got a chance to intervene.

In the bar, she was careful not to go with any customers while I was there. Many men tried to bar-fine her, but she would always politely wave them to one of her friends. I know she went once (at least) with a customer when I wasn't there (she told
me) and she pointed out the other men she had "been with" before she met me. Still, she insisted she'd only worked there a few months, and only gone with half a dozen men short time (I know, I know, but it's a story I was able
to confirm later – at least how long she'd worked there). As for me, believe it or not, I couldn't even look at the other girls in the bar. All I could do is sit entranced by Faun. It wasn't long before the other girls picked up
on it. Despite Faun's incredibly erotic dancing, she had a genuine shy side and would often get red faced and giggly at my attentions and the other girls' teasing.

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Then Lek came back. Each time she called, I was evasive about when we could meet. After a couple of days, she asked "You have another girl, right?" I denied, not wanting to hurt her feelings. Finally I came clean. At first, she seemed ok with
it, but that night she called crying and said she wanted to see me. I ended up telling Faun about Lek and said I had to visit her just to talk things out. Faun was ok with that.

When I arrived at Lek's bar, I could tell she was upset with me, but she put the best face on it, even flirting heavily with me the way she used to. After an hour or so, I told her I had to go. "To be with your new girl!" she said harshly.
I said yes. Then the line that still haunts me: "It's ok," she said. "I know what I am." There was a look of resignation in her eyes. Indeed, she had been through it all before.

In the next few days, Lek would text message me frequently – alternately sweet and apologetic, then bitter and even nasty. She asked twice how much she owed me (balance on the loan). I finally called her and said she didn't owe me anything. I thought
it was the least I could do.

I wrote her a long email and told her how wrong it was for me to assume, because of her profession, that she had no feelings. I still believe that. Lek and I have decided to remain "friends." I see her occassionally – we meet for an afternoon
in the park or something. I really like her. She tells me about the four guys who want to marry her. Sometimes I wonder if I made the wrong choice …

But back to Faun. After several months now, we have remained intense lovers. She is trying (sincerely, I believe) to get out of the bar. I hope she makes it – and I will do anything I can to help her. But I am also preparing myself for the possibility
that won't happen. She has a family to take care of, and for an Isaan girl, the bar is the best money she can make. Yes, I do give her a few thousand baht a month – not a huge amount by any stretch. Again, she's been very careful not
to ask. In fact, she's famous for trying to dissuade me by saying "You need to watch your money." Very smart girl – I like that about her. I now know her family – I help them a bit carrying fruits for their stand on delivery day,
installing a light switch or some such thing. They seem to like me; none of them has ever asked for money.

What will become of Faun and me? I don't know. She's hoping to leave Bangkok to work, maybe at a hotel. I really love this girl, and would miss her terribly if she moved away – but I also know it's her best prospect for escaping the bar.
I'm not trying to play the martyr, I just want what's best for her. Hope it works out.

Stickman is right. Lots of bar girls fit the stereotype – I've met them, though luckily haven't been taken in by any of them. But for the record, I think these two girls are different – and I fancy myself a keen observer.

Another thing – I have learned so much from both of them in the past few months. About the bar scene – the girls, how the bars work – about life in the rural areas – about Thai culture – about the language – about life. These girls are street smart, and
if one chooses to think of them as more than just sex toys, one can learn a lot, I think. We should acknowledge that.

Stickman's thoughts:

I wonder how many guys your wife has on the go back in Singapore? On of my mates has been boning some woman down there with a kid around 10 years old…I wonder if it is your Mrs?

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