Searching For Miss Goodbar Part 1
This article is probably best described as an average man's survival course in finding "Miss right" in Thailand, (!!) – a 'mythical' pursuit at best, but in spite of that, the ideas and tips based on experience herein might just help you to avoid the more obvious pitfalls on your first encounters. I've learned the hard way sometimes, it really is a 'science' in fact and you can never be forewarned enough. Thailand never fails to surprise me, in spite of the number of times I've been there, every time is always different with different experiences. Just when I think I've got the place sussed, it 'slaps me in the face' with a cold fish of reality. That's probably why I love it so much, a temporary suspension of the cold harsh reality of being in Farangland, and never, never boring. In spite of the nuances, the dirt, the crowds, it's fun, sheer fun.
You might be an average male in his 30's 40;s or 50's going to Thailand for one of the first times, the lure of Bangkok's sultry reputation and pleasures is as enticing as it seems, and with plane ticket in hand you leave for the airport and the land of smiles (LOS)…. You've heard all the gossip and rumours, you've read the Web site's, you've bought the T-shirt – you're a man of the world, old enough and ugly enough to look after yourself, right??
Arriving in Bangkok, you're possibly jet lagged and tired, you wait anxiously for night to fall to 'hit the bars', and if you're with a buddy, this can be fun comparing notes as it were, safety in numbers an'all too, you might be in Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket, even the more sleepy Chiang Mai. Either way, it's great to be with a pal in this exotic eastern labyrinth.
Walking into a Go-Go bar for the first time is a real blast, mind boggling and even a little intimidating. Did I say "intimidating"? Yes I did, and meant it, – as this is how you might feel the first time you walk in. Far from seeing mousy quiet oriental girls being at their inscrutable best, they'll be shouting laughing, and letching like you! – at YOU the 'rookie' customers…. You may not even get to a seat before being surrounded by a small welcoming committee asking you questions before you even settle down, waitress standing and waiting for your drinks order. You'll find the attention a little overwhelming at first, but this can become annoying to old-timers, as it really is full-on. Meanwhile the welcoming committee's weighing you up and a barrage of questions begin, "Where you from?" What your naame?" etc, etc, etc. They'll ask for Cola's too, – it's up to you to buy as a measure of politeness but it should stop there. Girls recognise 'new faces' and newbies when they see'em, and will swoop down off the dance platform as soon as they can to get beside the new farang…. Try to choose a girl, before someone chooses you, as sometimes it's hard to refuse such advances, and they're all pretty. Hang back, observe and you'll see a girl you really like, try not to go with a girl who's first question is "Pay Bar fine for me?"
Note, buying a drink for a girl can be interpreted as 'foreplay' of sorts, (!) or prerequisite to paying her Bar-Fine, i.e. 'Bar-Fining her' and taking her out for sex. Totally unlike Western establishments, you get to touch the merchandise here, unfettered by laws and bylaws found in overly legislated expensive Farangland clubs and bars.
"Bar Fines" usually are about between 300-600 Thai baht, [$15.00] and you have to pay this when or if you intend to take the girl out from the bar, it's the equivalent amount in 'compensating the bar' for her "absence", – after all, she's there for a reason right? Before Bar-Fining a girl, you'd better make sure your intentions are known, because she at least, is expecting sex…. Don't use the word 'sex' it makes them 'wince' say things like 'short time' or 'long time' they'll assume the details!
Politely rebuff other hangers-on or Mama San's pestering you for drinks, it can get pretty damn tiresome and expensive quickly if you keep buying, and keep a close eye on your Chit placed in a plastic beaker in front of you on your table. Make sure the only Chits being placed in it are from your purchases, – it's easy to lose track in the confusion when the beer starts flowing….
It happened to me once in a King's Group bar with a couple of 'friends of mine' – but after a Bottle of Whiskey and a gazillion Coke's and Singhas, – I was gob smacked by the Bill when it came. It was so high [5 figures] it should have been delivered by a succession of Buddhist Monks swinging incense jars and a lead-Priest holding it on a silken cushion…I almost fainted as my friend's giggled girlishly looking on. I think my face went paler than the white Bikini's around me, as I fumbled for my American Express Card to get me outta of the S-H 1 Tango…. Ahhh? said the Mama San, gold teeth glinting, "no can dooo kaaaa!"
Apart from broken Thai and English, "American Express" was definitely NOT spoken in here thank you very much, and "didn't do nicely". So I had the added hassle of being 'accompanied' to my Hotel to 'pay' with the Mama San, and the two 'offending' females, still giggling and enjoying things in spite of being lambasted by the Mama San all the way there…. I had to laugh, really, – there was nothing else to do, it was my own stupid fault, and it wasn't even worth getting mad at my BG friends, they only did what comes naturally to them….drink and have fun!
PS: An American Express Card/Charge Card is nearly 'useless' in Bangkok's bars and shopping areas, VISA and MasterCard are infinitely more widely accepted. Only top-end expensive outlets accept AMEX generally, as their fees generally defeat the object for most low-priced retailers and outlets….
NB: Some Bars DO accept VISA/MasterCard in more recent years, but may charge 3% commission on any C/C purchase, – and yes, you CAN include barfines and the cost for the girl too!
So for chrissake, keep an eye on your bar drinks Tab, I've known some Farang to react a lot more 'negatively' to being surprised by big bar Bill's, even violently sometimes, or storming out in a rage of indignance. It spoils your evening very quickly too, getting duped and getting mad…. Sometimes as a Farang gets more drunk, the girls and their mates just keep ordering and dunking Chits in your mug if they think they can get away with it.
I'd never never just 'go out' with a girl to my Hotel, not without 'sussing' her out, talking to her for a while, observing her, her 'body language' and overall appearance. You can tell a lot in the first few minutes or hour or so. Just taking a girl without making some 'checks' is like taking some girl straight off the street, with the resultant hazards. [I would never do that] You've gotta be sure when you get the girl back to your room there aren't gonna be problems, so its essential to 'agree' on some things before you take her out or Bar-Fine her.
1/ Check her body for marks or 'scars', [Tattoo's tell you a lot too] old wounds just might have been 'self inflicted' and not 'motorcycle accident' as she claims, look for signs too of drug abuse, needle tracks etc. Watch her eyes for focusing and lucidity, try to assess if she's drunk or 'high' on something. Most girls do have leg-scars from motorcycle accidents, very common on their knees and calves, as they use motorbike Taxis a lot….
As a benchmark, you should firstly:
2/ Agree on the time she'll spend with you.
3/ Agree on how much you'll give her and for what 'service'
4/ Make sure she has an ID Card or some form of Identity on her.
The reasons for # 4 are pretty obvious for the more discerning traveler, it means she's 'legitimate' [legit] in terms of legally abiding with a valid Thai ID Card, – which Hotel Security without exception [normally] require before 'checking her in' and allowing her to accompany you to your room. If she doesn't have ID, she may well and quite rightly be 'refused entry' to your Hotel. (!) A Security Guard can lose his job if he allows a BG / TGF without ID up to a room, the consequences for him alone can be quite serious if the management find out.
If she doesn't have an ID, there could be reasons behind this, it may have been confiscated for some infraction on her part or misdemeanor, but as a rule, no ID, no deal…. It's up to you of course….
Once in your room….
1/ Secure your money and / or wallet. [Roomsafe?]
2/ Don't leave her unattended in the room for too long [first time especially]
3/ Don't leave large or even small money amounts lying around. Pilfering small amounts is common as it's not readily noticed so much until much later, if at all.
4/ Check your belongings and room after/when she leaves, period. Hers too, for dropped mobile phones, hair clips, handbag etc, they forget sometimes!
5/ Don't let her smoke, it might be "Yar Bar"* [Yah-Bah] or some other narcotic, and YOU do NOT wanna be visited by the Thai Police if she's doing something funky, believe me. You could be implicated in the event of a 'bust'. Your holiday would or could come to a very very abrupt end…. Of course, this is a matter of personal judgement and choice!
6/ Pay her the agreed amount of money, tip her if your think she's made a good effort, tipping is part of being in Thailand, and yes, even in the bedroom…. Most BG's will not actually 'ask' for the money, it's expected and agreed upon before, so pay her!
*Warning: (# 5) This could be your first and last mistake in Thailand, penalties for taking Drugs are or being 'implicated' are 'ridiculously' and disproportionately severe. Yes, against foreigners too. The Thai's seem to have little trouble banging up foreigners in their jails for drug offences, and if innocent, it could still lead to an horrific encounter until released or proven innocent. Although unlikely, you don't wanna be put into any unnecessarily compromising situations by the ignorance or uncaring attitudes of any BG's….
Have you seen the Aussie made 1989 made for TV mini series [3 parter] "Bangkok Hilton" starring Nicole Kidman as "Kat Stanton"?? As the unsuspecting curly haired Australian backpacker tourist caught in [unknowing] possession? Her harrowing ordeal began when her so-called Photographer boyfriend "Arkie Ragan" [Jerome Ehlers] secretes Heroine in a new Camera case bottom he buys her as a 'present', – little does she know the Camera case contains heroine, and that she's unwittingly to become a 'courier' for drugs…. The Heroine laden case is subsequently discovered by drug sniffer dogs in baggage claim at Bangkok on her arrival from London. She's immediately
arrested, treated roughly and inhumanely, and spends the following months protesting her innocence while her boyfriend [Ragan] has gone missing. Veteran British Actor Denholm Elliot plays the warm, yet burnt out alcoholic ex-pat "Hal Stanton" the British Embassy's lawyer fighting for her release from an impending death sentence of life behind bars. "The Matrix" / "Lord of the Rings" star Hugo Weaving appears in one of his earlier roles too. Gripping drama and well recommended by me! "Bangkok Hilton" [Dir. Ken Cameron] DVD US $49.99?
A BG might later 'ask to stay all night'. – Beware, she might 'charge' extra if she's 'professional' or cunning about it, or expect 'extra' [long time] money. It's unwise to let her stay 1st night, don't weaken and show her politely the door….with thanks and [agreed amount] money handed over. Give her Taxi money if you like but it's only gash-cash to her, she'll probably go back to the bar anyway, and not go home in spite of what she tells you.
Some wise and 'caring' Hotels with systems in place for accepting BG's to guest's rooms, may well phone you before 'releasing' the girl to leave the lobby area, handing over her ID Card only when YOU give the 'all clear' from your room by phone.
Another note, make sure your Hotel will even 'allow' girl's to your room, some well heeled and up-market Hotels will not allow this, or may charge extra room rate if you've paid only a single room rate. You may suddenly be confronted by the Hotel's Security as you attempt to 'sneak up to your room with her' and be asked to pay additional money at reception, and having to 'check her in' too.
Some lower priced or unscrupulous Hotels might invoke their own 'fee' for guest's even, sharing the money out amongst themselves later. (A common scam)
Make sure with the Hotel first what the score is and your 'entitlements' before getting into this embarrassing situation. It's less 'embarrassing' remember for the girl too, and she might think you're stupid for not checking, – whilst not saying anything to you and just smiling…. The girl your with might actually know more about the Hotel's 'antics' than you in fact, and be able to tell you what the procedure is for any particular Hotel, even the one you're staying in !! She will know whether "Securiteee good or no good" [Mai dee] 'Bribes' to less scrupulous Security Guards aren't' uncommon, and this practice is common in Indonesia [Bali] for example. If she doesn't know, she might confer with her bar mates before she leaves with you, and they'll tell her.
Failing this, or if there's foreseen problems at your Hotel, [or you're just shy?] just go to a short-time Hotel for an hour near the bar/s, just keeping a careful watch on your effects, and short-time 'flop-hotels' might cost you about 800 Thai baht for the hour, Condom & thread bare towels included… 'Romantic' they are NOT.
This is a problem in Thailand, and some perfectly legitimate business women have been frequently humiliated by overly zealous Hotel Security guards' mistaking them for hookers or BG's when meeting male colleagues in, or just visiting the Hotel. A constant source of confusion and embarrassment for Thai women generally, brought about by the explosion in the sex industry. (!)
After a few days, you might start to get the hang of visiting the Go-Go and Bar beers and get to know the advantages and disadvantages of either, as it may occur. To avoid getting inadvertently attached to any particular BG, you might bar-hop nightly taking out different girls from different bars. There's merit to this method as 'secrecy' from other girls can be assured, – unless the Bars are next-door to each other and girls nip in from time to time in neighboring bars, and gossip abounds, and customers get recognised by names alone.
In not so serious encounters, all you'll get is a gentle ribbing about your 'infidelity' from the 1st BG, but beware, as reactions can vary from this to more extreme reactions from disaffected or indignant girls 'losing face' in their respective bars…. Some Farang have ended up 'wearing' their Singha, I nearly did once. Girls can be temperamental in their attempts to 'snare' you, it could be all an act to make you think she's jealous or enraged you'd go with another girl… It's your call on whether it's genuine or not….
'Mistaken identity' does occur, with amusing and embarrassing results. It can be an honest mistake on the part of the girl, or you might have been before and forgotten the girl, don't laugh, – it happens! A girl might possibly use this 'ploy' to snare herself a Farang, but they seldom even need to go to this trouble, but all Farang are 'fair game' as are the tactics used….
It happened to me once in King group's Camelot Bar in PP 1. A girl, "Pia" let's say, fixed me with a gaze when I walked in and sat down, apparently unbeknown to me, 'convinced' I was her ex-boyfriend, and came over again and again to 'interview' me as to when I'd arrived in BKK, and why didn't I call her….(???) I politely explained I didn't recognise her, and racked my brains to remember if we'd dome something naughty together, but drew a complete blank. Equally convinced she knew me, I was just as convinced she didn't!!
Well, this case of mistaken identity went along pretty amusingly, – until I decided I liked someone [else] and decided to bar-fine them. Well, Pia went ape shit on me, 'demanding' I bar-fine HER, and was clearly enraged, standing with legs apart, nostrils flared in full Bikini and thigh length boots…. By now, my BG was beginning to think I was two-timing her, and I was thinking I'd inadvertently entered into an episode of the "Twilight Zone" as Pia glared at me, flicking her [dyed] dark auburn hair wildly at me as she spun round to walk away in abject disgust…. Well the Mama San gave me a dirty look too, [what have yuooo been up to naughty Farang? type-look] other BG's looked on in bemusement, and I was well, flabbergasted…. 'Towing me' by the hand, my chosen BG took me outside having changed and off we went into the night, I was kinda relieved to get outta there…. I asked my BG if she knew this so-called "Pia" and she said she didn't…. A common situation with girls changing bars from time to time.
All's fair in love and war in Thailand, ill feelings or mistakes are better dealt with head-on in a friendly fashion than allowed to fester, whatever this girl "Pia" thought, I considered I'd eventually have to go back to Camelot and face her, whoever she was! I liked Camelot anyway, and why stay away because of some girl right? Camelot's girls were taller and curvier than in other bars, and weren't 'babies' or too young, their cossie's were nicer too!
Well I did go back, and her reaction to my surprise was no less hostile, there she was on stage dancing, [beautiful in fact] giving me filthy looks that could kill a man at 10 paces, talking to her friends about how 'disloyal' her Farang "boyfriend" was. Her friends looked at me but looked slightly puzzled, but agreed or listened to what she was saying anyway.
I tried to smile at her but just got a jabbed 'finger' in the air instead [when the Mama San wasn't looking] and a royal flick of the long waste length hair. I couldn't believe it, how could this happen!? Am I perhaps going 'senile' I thought?? Rudeness like that from a BG isn't common, she's absolutely 'livid' with me, and I don't understand why???? Well, I DO understand, but cannot comprehend it, and hope it's not the onset of Alzheimer's disease on my part….!!!! (Okay I wuz in my late 30's!)
Well I tell you, this girl Pia was certainly by now getting my undivided attention, I suddenly and oddly began feeling myself becoming attracted to her…. Not only was their seemingly genuine hostility, there was a sexual tension manifesting here. Shaking my head I tried to dismiss her and did a 'self emergency briefing and reality check' on myself. "C'mon I told myself, what the hell are you doing entertaining this girl's behavior"
Well, by default, I returned again for a 3rd or 4th time I can't remember, and there she was incandescent with temper as before, she was looking even more beautiful with her wide eyes and angry posture and main of brownish hair hanging to her waste. I suddenly became aware of her deep skin tone and firmness, and because she was so angry, I found it hard to keep my eyes off her, – for her next 'insult' to me, bazaar as it sounds!!
I was intrigued as to why a girl whom I didn't know could be so rude yet 'noble' in a way, it was amusing and yet fascinating in the LOS to me. Thai's were I thought, known for their politeness even under duress, but this girl….was something else…. Rude yes, but she seemingly had her reasons.
Staring momentarily into my Singha looking for the meaning of life, I suddenly caught sight of her in my peripheral 'glowering' at me, temporarily stopping from dancing, 'assessing' me, or 'sizing up the kill' who knows? Suddenly our eyes locked into each other's, a bit like a Cobra might stare down a Mongoose before the "coup de gr as" (!) As she stood still up there contemplating the situation, I wasn't quite sure if she was gripping her dance pole or 'strangling it' as she looked at me….
This is truly bazaar I thought, I'm going to get whacked by a bar girl I didn't even know, who's convinced I'm her errant boyfriend. [I could see it now, "Farang gets murdered by beautiful bar girl in Thailand] I thought she might even be mistaking my smiles as 'gloating' in some way, maybe that's what she was thinking as she stared me down. Maybe I was provoking her more without realising… God help me!
Suddenly she stepped down onto the Bar, not taking her eyes off me, stepped down off the bar counter and plonked herself down beside me, half-smiling, half not…. I nearly choked on my Singha as she crossed her long legs beside me, [accidentally kicking me] crossed her arms and looked at me, eye brows cocked in questioning readiness for my reaction…. I wondered if she was going to thump me or something? After all, she's seemingly convinced herself and her Buddy's I've done something wrong and humiliated her in front of all her BG comrades.
I consider that whilst I am now in striking range, I'd better not smile or do anything that might be misinterpreted or provoke her any more than she plainly is/was, and elect not to smile, but be cool and calm…. She kept looking at me, unflinching, calm as a cucumber yet quietly angry still, like a woman scorned, and here I am. struggling to find the right words. This is insane I thought, I could just tell her to "get lost", [Dow Bai] whoever she thinks she is? No, I couldn't do that, not now.
I did the only thing a guy could do in this delicate situation, was offer her a Coke, she got up abruptly, approached the bar and sat down again with an Orange Bacardi Breezer a moment later waiting for my next move. [Thanks luv, 140 baht!] I began apologising and said that I was really sorry but a 'mistake' had been made, I really didn't recognise her or who she was, – it wasn't like me to 'forget' some girl I had been with or taken out/bar-fined. I asked her what my name was, [if she remembered] she stuns me and says it, (!) but may have got this from the other girl I took out, but I was now having nagging doubts, about myself. Either this girl was cleverer than me, or she genuinely thought I was her ex-BF or something, and was now maybe 'backing down' from her stance with me, but anyway, we started talking, looking warily at each other to see who was lying seemingly!!
A BG's memory is incredible though, in spite of the men she might meet, [sleep with?] she'll remember stunning minute detail at times. She tends to 'blot out' those she doesn't like completely and has 'selective' memory. 'Memory' for detail and faces to a BG is as about as important as her mobile phone or winning on the Lotto!
As we sat and chatted on and off, Pia began laughing more at herself realising slowly I wasn't perhaps who she thought I was, or at least agreeing with me half-way that perhaps it was a case of mistaken identity after all. Confused, fascinated or angry I wasn't sure, but this girl really was grabbing my attention and I fancied her something rotten now, what was I going to do? Whether she complimented her costume or it complemented her I wasn't sure, but she was beautiful, and even 2 other customers said so in passing and I know it wasn't 'beer talk'. Beautiful when angry too, I can tell you….
She sat close, and she smelled good, she had a lovely fresh aroma and subtle perfume, and I found myself studying her, her ears, eyes, mouth, – her thighs were long and shapely, and her skin looked perfect and supple. I found I was reverting to animal instincts here, relying and falling back on my instincts, sense of smell, I was attracted to her and it was getting stronger now…. I put my arm around her to see what it would feel like, and received a warm smile of acceptance as she squirmed in closer, and could feel her body 'let go' as it were and suddenly become relaxed. The war-like Amazonian was giving way now to a softer and more needy feminine side.
Well I looked at her, then my Singha, then at the stage then back at Pia, "Bar fine me" she said unflinching, not so much a question, more a 'demand' albeit with a smile, Put it this way, I didn't DARE do anything else! So I did, which brought on a broad smile from her, not at me, but aimed at her friends up on stage, who smiled back with 'thumbs up' gestures… I felt like a small girlie 'conspiracy' was going on here but smiled to myself, "what harm could come of this" I thought to myself…. As she jumped up to get changed, I paid my bar bill and her bar fine together as is usual, but felt rather like the Lamb going into that little cage, as the Farmer says, "now now, let me place these electrodes ere and ere, and you won't feel a thing!"
Moments later, Pia looking solemn but strangely triumphant, bounds out of the back changing room and stops in front of me brushing her main of hair, wearing tight fitting jeans and T-Shirt but looked really nice, and it was with more than the usual casual feeling that I took her out, her walking ahead of me like she couldn't wait to get going.
"Here goes?" I thought, as we walked to my Hotel, just 10 minutes stroll from PP, she didn't smile but looked at me often as we walked and 'picked our way' along through the human chaos that is PP night market. I couldn't help but think she looked at me rather like a prospective customer might view a new car, one they're about to test drive…?
It was near closing time now about 01:30am and the cacophony of noise from banging metal poles being disassembled filled the air, Tuk-Tuk drivers trying to snag a fare beaconed, but we waived them off.
Entering my room, Pia walked jauntily in ahead of me, smiling and swinging her handbag almost victoriously I thought, she throws it onto the bed and walks to the curtains, throwing them open to look at the courtyard below. Then she begins to make herself more comfortable, and goes in for a shower. She looks around the room smiling almost as if to say 'at last, I'm here'…. confidence supreme? or just cocky?
The physical tension between us hasn't dissipated though, and I'm still unsure as to what might happen or what to expect, and don't even know what she's still thinking. A 'truce' has seemingly been drawn up at least for the time being. I still wonder though what would happen if she's feeling 'vengeful' or something later, (??) if she [still] really, actually believes I'm her ex or someone else?? While Pia's in the shower, I sneak a peek into her half open handbag to reassure myself there are no knives or sharp objects in there!! Not that I expected to see anything, but just in case!? [ A woman scorned and all that?] Anyway, nothing inside, [phew!] maybe I'm safe at least? – but she's pretty strong and athletically fit? I never imagined there would be and form of weapon in her bag, but couldn't get it out of my mind she might be thinking something else about me. But why exactly did she get so angry, and then why seemingly make soooo much effort to get my attention, and 'wrestle' me into bar-fining her?? Many questions, after all, there were plenty of other customers weren't there??? Why make such a song and dance about the temper and mistaken ID thing?
So here we finally are, and she's in the shower….
With the lights dimmed and the TV on, we soon find ourselves together in bed, when "BAM" she grabs me…. We sort of grapple a while then she starts kissing me frantically and the tension suddenly unleashes with both of us, I'm not sure if we're making love or 'fighting' somehow!? After about an hour and a half, we're lying their exhausted, panting and she's still holding me pretty tight. We're mildly 'bruised', – both have slight marks and slight scratches on us from the sheer unleashed 'tension'… She smiles a satisfied smile, and hell, so do I…!
What had just happened was more a 'contained explosion' than anything else, yeah 'busted' I know I am, – lying here, but what the hell? I'm practically 'dead' this girl's killed me nearly, then she cooes, "I want stay tonight ?"
What the hell's happened? – have I somehow found my Miss goodbar??
I make no apologies here for departing from my Bangkok bar 'survival guide' theme, as there are always lessons to be learned, herein included….
To be continued…same time, same channel….
My nonsense comments to follow.