Good People On The Pong
Most of the submissions on Stickman involve rip-offs, scams and bad luck stories. The following is a true story illustrating that there are some people with big hearts working at "Patpong".
While my wife and I were discussing our first trip to the USA for my wife (See First trip to the USA) with "Goong" from "Pussy Connection bar", we happened to mention our habit of saving all our one baht coins and old clothes to take back to her village in Ubon and giving them to the local "Poor Kids" and how happy they were to see us.
Goong out of the blue offered to "Help". We said sure not really expecting too much. A little history of Goong is in order here. I first met Goong on my very first trip to Bangkok way back in 1989 when she was working as the "Door person" at the old Rififi. She was one of those people that had good people skills and she grew on you as you talked to her. She worked at Rififi for all those years and recently has been working as the manager at "Pussy Connection" since Rififi closed its doors. Goong has been around "The Pong" for many years and has many "Contacts", little did we know how far her influence extended.
We left Goong that Friday night and kinda forgot about her offer because you hear a lot of people spouting off how they would help you out then never hear from them again.
The next Friday we dropped in to see Goong and she said "I've got something for you" and proceeded to point out a LARGE cardboard box on the floor in the rear of the bar. Upon opening this large box we were stunned to se it was full of brand new kids clothing still in the plastic wrappers.
We asked Goong where all this clothing came from and she told us she had just talked to some of her friends that were vendors on "The Pong" and these vendors donated this clothing to "The cause". No questions asked about could we trust this farang to give this to the poor kids and not sell it, just handed it over to Goong to donate. As it was a LARGE box we left it in the bar to collect at closing time. As we were leaving Goldfinger bar Goong sent the box over in the hands of some of the larger staff that worked for her. Some of the staff at Goldfinger asked what was going on with the box and when we told them the story they also volunteered to collect some "Stuff" for the cause. Thanks to the staff from "Pussy Connection" we got that big box into the bed of my small Suzuki pick-up and got it home.
The next morning I awoke to find my wife sorting these new clothes into sizes and ages and for the next week I would be looking at an ever growing pile of "Stuff" stored in our spare room.
The next week Goong had another LARGE box of new clothes waiting for us on our arrival at "Pussy Connection". These were for grown-ups and again new stuff still wrapped up. Goong asked if we needed any more and I had to tell her that my pick-up was not a big one and we were reaching the limit of space available. Again Goong sent staff to carry this large box along with the small bags that had been brought in by some staff at Goldfinger.
Now we had a problem, everyone wanted to get in on the act and we had to start turning down more stuff for this trip and had to ask people to save the "Stuff' for next trip or I would have to rent a sip loor (10 wheel truck) to carry all the things donated.
Not to be out done the next week Goong had a box of new pocket books and ladies wallets waiting for us and asked if we were full yet as she could keep getting more. We had to tell her to stop as we had reached the breaking point for my pick-up things would be hanging out the windows as it was.
My wife spent the next week breaking the large boxes and bags down into smaller packages so I could stuff them into available space in the pick-up.
The "Big Day" finally arrived and we were packing for the trip and I had to remove the back seat from my truck to finally get all the stuff that over-flowed the pickup bed inside the cab.
After a long trip to Ubon with my springs groaning and me worried about being stopped by the cops and trying to explain all that "merchandise" we made it to her village.
My wife's father had spread the word that we were coming and we had a reception committee of all the kids in this whole area waiting for our arrival.
Well it took the next hour or so to try and get some semblance of order in the front yard of our house and get the kids lined up so we could pass out "the goodies". We just told them we would not pass out anything until they we lined up and it was like magic they lined themselves up and you could hear a pin drop.
The giving out of the goodies began and the look on the faces of those kids made the whole effort worth it. I started trying to keep count of what was being given out but stopped around 500 as I was getting tired of counting. Some of the kids were shy of being given anything I had the job of herding any strays into the line and making sure they got some "Stuff". I had one little boy tell me he was real happy that he finally got some new clothes that were his alone not passed down from his brothers. When the kids and teenagers "Stuff" ran out it was time to pass out "stuff" to the mothers and grandmothers that had brought the kids over.
The ladies loved the skirts and dresses, that some had never worn in their lives, and it became an impromptu fashion show with the ladies showing off their new dresses put on over the worn-out clothes they had worn coming over.
The passing out of the pocketbooks almost caused a riot as the "Ladies" realized there we not enough goodies to go around and it would be first come first served. A new wallet or pocketbook may come to these ladies once in their lives and the new ones made their dreary existence a little more tolerable for one afternoon.
Then came my favorite part, giving out the baht coins that we had saved. I remember the joy in my childhood coming into some unexpected money that didn't have to be "saved" and could be "blown" on candy, ice cream, or anything my little heart desired. It wasn't long after the last baht was passed out that we saw the whole herd of little kids running to the local house that had a "Store", such as it is, in the front room and the kids spent all their new found riches on good old junk food and candy and they were having a blast trying to eat candy without loosing their grip on the new clothes clutched in their little hands.
When it was time to head back to Bangkok the villagers did their best to pay us back for helping them out and they did it the only way available to them. They tied the "Isaan Strings" Fi Pook Kaan, to our wrists by the dozens as they have virtually no money for anything else and this was the only thing they could do for us. So the next time you see a farang wearing those "stupid looking" strings remember they sometimes are given out with the best intensions.
This week made it back to see Goong and thank her and told her I was going to write "On the internet" about her good deed and she said never mind just let me see the photos of the happy kids and that will be enough. The lady that had donated the box of pocketbooks just happened to be in "Pussy Connection" when we were there and when I told her that I would like to include her name she also declined and just wanted to see the photos. I won't mention her name but if you need to buy your Tilac a new pocketbook look out the open door of "Pussy Connection" and you may just spot something your Tilac could use.
So the next time you get ripped-off or scammed and are at the point of thinking everyone in Thailand is a bad person remember that there really are some GOOD PEOPLE on "The Pong"
This is magic, it really is. I got goose bumps reading this. I remember once friend telling me that he once bought a pair of shoes for a poor kid who had never owned a new pair before and the boy was truly overjoyed.