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Woman In Chains



It would probably take the sustained combined scientific minds of Dr. Stephen Hawkins and Einstein to work out what the hell it 'is' with women, especially women in Thailand whereby the normal rules of engagement don't apply.

Their efforts would best be used explaining the origins of the Universe or Black Holes, because so often anything to do with women over here certainly falls into a black hole in terms of sense or logic…. Rather like a Black Hole, Thailand has the unerring ability to defy logic and reason, bending the norms out of recognition while hypnotising it's audience, the farang….

Any Westerner with the wrong attitude who comes over to Thailand thinking he's going to find true love is in for one big disappointment. He may just as well hope to find God or rocking horse droppings….it's so important to keep one foot firmly placed in reality when over there, and a huge dose of common sense to go with that. Whilst their are sporadic successes in relationships between Thais and foreigners, it's not based on the normally accepted values of a Westernised relationship, and this is so often where the hapless foreigner makes his mistakes.

Some professors and writers have tried to put some sense of logic into the Thai-Farang thing of which has almost become mythical, but it falls down to the human factor I think, which is so fickle and equally unpredictable. Nothing's more complex and fragile than the human mind, let alone human emotions, and that goes for both sides….

"Love" here has a different connotation, which literally translates to 'support' in financial terms. It's not that women are totally mercenary, although most naive foreigners think so, [indeed some are] it's that money is so hard to come by in Thailand, people are generally so poor….often desperate.

With few jobs, no state pension or welfare funds, an average Thai has no 'safety net' if things go wrong, as they so often do. It's one reason why women like to decorate themselves with gold from their boyfriends… Having a gold item of jewellery means she's 'one step further away' from abject poverty. – They can always pawn it when times get rough, or customers dry up, or a family member needs hospital treatment etc, etc. Gold isn't just a sign that her boyfriend has got money, it's a lifeline…. This goes for the average girl in the street too, whether she works in a department store, a bank or a gogo bar…. Gold chains and jewellery are like currency here, and speak as readily as cash in hard times.

Men's naivety never fails to astonish me, and I've met so many guys who've gone over to Bangkok and almost expect, even 'demand', love and fidelity, thinking their money and status automatically commands love and respect. How wrong they are, and stupid. God knows how miserably they failed in their own respective countries before coming here. They were probably shown the door by every female they've ever attempted to subdue in their respective countries, so they've come over here to 'assert' their authority or massage their egos in a seemingly male paradise.

Let's face it, many men who come over to Thailand are emotionally crippled in some way shape or form, probably from years of hen-pecking, bad marriages or relationships, and a feeling of some inadequacy. Heck, some of 'em end up in a worse state when they go home, depending on how they play and hold themselves in Thailand. There's an old adage that "a good woman comes along once every 10 years" – in Europe this is almost certainly true in normal terms of relationship life-spans, as it's certainly and significantly harder to 'replace' a relationship in Europe when one goes wrong. In Thailand this adage could be translated to every 10 days, (!!) – whereby good relationships last days or weeks, and bad ones last a matter of minutes and seconds….

It must be this type of guy above the bargirls all talk and laugh about, the 'easy to play' type, and there's nothing a bargirl likes more than playing the 'love' game, and she has little or no real respect for guys like this. Some girls lie habitually, they lie as though they need to do so to breathe, and do as equally as well without effort or thinking as she assesses and measures up the foreigner. She'll attempt to get away with whatever she can, with tongue firmly in cheek of course, all the way….

She'll more readily respect the guy who 'pulls back' a bit and takes things slowly, like any woman for that matter, and treats her with manners and some 'cautious respect'. Money often means power, farang have so much compared to the meager means of the average bargirl, who until she came to Bangkok, had nothing, – nothing at all and quite probably bathed in her Village's nearby rancid river amid snakes and mosquitoes. Sometimes farang wield money more as a 'weapon' than reward to these girls, denying payment after sex, or denying money as some form of punishment because of a bruised ego on their part.

Any man who claims he doesn't or won't pay for sex is in cloud Cuckooland, even IN his own damn country where I wish he'd go right now and leave us all alone. What kind of an arrogant naive tosser thinks he doesn't pay in some way shape or form for sex?? A wise man once said: "Marriage is the most expensive form of prostitution known to man"…

Take any 2 relationships, say one between a bargirl and her farang, and one between a wife and husband say, living in America. Tell each man to stop paying or supporting his respective woman, a complete financial 'cut-off', – separate bank accounts, the works, and yes, even stop doing the housework for her. Let's just see whose relationship runs into trouble first then shall we?? I'll wager it will be about the same time, but the poor hapless American guy stands to lose everything including the shirt on his back in a court of law and be sentenced to years of alimony and debt….It's never pretty, divorce western style….

Western women are natural housekeepers, they divorce you and keep the house….

In Thailand though, some Thai guy rocks up to your country love nest claiming to be the husband or spouse, and you're out! No legal grounds to stand on. Farangs can't win really, here or at home! The only consolation here is when things go wrong, she has no legal jurisdiction over you. If there's children involved and you can pay child support out of a sense of moral judgment. Otherwise you can walk away, free of financial ramifications and move on, depending how badly you've been duped, or how much you were in 'love'.

Thai Private Detective agencies must be laughing all the way to the bank with the endless stream of hapless farang that want investigations done on their new found spouses, I mean, what do they really expect? Normally, any doubt or suspicion is 90% founded, as so many bargirls have real life boyfriends working nearby, often as touts that stand outside doorways or DJs or similar. Westerners are often astounded that their boyfriends allow them to work in bars going with farang while they sometimes look on, disguising their 'presence' as either a co-worker in the bar or a 'brother'. Huh, 'brother' has so many different connotations in any Asian culture. Often, girls claiming to be 'sisters' aren't, – it's a girly thing more often than not and shouldn't be taken seriously. It's similar to the often inexplicable feminine 'bond' that suddenly forms between 2 females in western society, whereby they suddenly become 'joined at the hip' and go everywhere together forsaking their hubbies or boyfriends. They start acting up and often become more promiscuous like those vampish women on "Absolutely Fabulous", one being influenced by the other. It can be quite nauseating at times, and they sometimes claim they're biological "sisters" to people they don't know…. It has been known to ruin heterosexual relationships and border on surrogate lesbianism sometimes. To delve into this though would take another whole story on the female psyche.. Let's not go there!

Similarly, in a hostile and highly competitive bar environment, a girl sometimes finds a friend and they become close, and will even lie vociferously to protect each others interests, i.e. 'where they are' 'who they're with' etc, etc to known customers asking after them etc, etc. Remember they'll 'juggle' their customers if they can. Every bargirl has a 'buddy' who'll lie for them, and even a bar-communal protective barrier will form if the girl is popular, impenetrable to the inquisitive westerner trying to 'locate' his errant girl friend or "No: 169" or whatever number she is. The remaining girls will NEVER tell you she's with someone, nooo, bad for business that. They'll always tell you she's out eating with friends or 'sick', gone to 7-11, abducted by aliens, – anything but with someone… You do the math…

Because of their 'network' of friends and lifestyle, they can fabricate almost any story to 'disguise' the presence of another Thai boyfriend or husband, similarly as "Joy" did in Stephen Leather's book, "Private Dancer". Perhaps the biggest advantage a bargirl has working for her is 'distance' – i.e. when her farang boyfriend goes home which they normally do.

When a farang gets on the plane to go home, he might have no idea his 'love' goes back dancing in the bar. Sure, she might take 2 days off on the money he gave her, but no force on this earth's gonna keep her from going back dancing. She's often so eager to return to work and her buddies and other customers, she'll leave visible skid marks at the airport as soon as you've passed through immigration!

Dancing and the lifestyle that goes with it is addictive in ways we can't understand. There's untold hardships, 'evil' witch-like mamasans, handsome hero like and grotesque troll-like customers, drugs, and adrenalin pumping excitement, great music. Above all, – female 'comradery', that most powerful of forces. It's like Lord of the Rings meets Patpong….(!!)

There's no way in hell a girl's going give all that excitement up after 2 week stay with a farang. Even though she tells him she will. Even farangs' 'girlfriends' and spouses are always dragging their farang back to these bars to reunite with their friends, or 'surrogate' sisters, and show off their boyfriends wealth and status, in turn improving their own esteem.

Even upon my very first visit to Thailand, I firmly believed that love was not for sale, not at any price, and all means of support stopped when I left for the airport. (!) There was no way I was going to be duped into sending money against hollow promises about being faithful and 'stopping' their dancing or whatever. I simply didn't believe it, although I never said I didn't, – I was diplomatic about it, but they knew I knew…. That was enough. I knew all too well the Asian culture, they're not to blame as such, it's just the way things are in this part of the world. "Thai families are generally large and full of willing people, those who are willing to work, and those who are willing to let them" as I always say.

The number of times I see or hear of girls passing money to their goddamn lazy good-for-nothing playboy brothers is beyond me. They're all the same, "Thai Poochai", 'lazy' as anything, – much lazier than any bargirl . At least she works and is so often the breadwinner of any family. You so often find the elder sister or sisters taking on the lead role in a family, usually behind parents who cannot work due to ill health. Believe me, Thais working in the fields or factories get old quickly, years of punishing work and they're frazzled or burned out by their 40th birthday, old and decrepit, useless to society, and utterly dependent on the earnings of their spawn. Parents seem to simply 'dote' on their sons, even though they never lift a finger to work. It's always, ALWAYS the daughters bringing in the money and "putting food on the table", while the brothers merely only claim some misguided credit and are revered as 'lovable rogues'. [pass me a bucket please, I'm gonna puke]

Young women so often are forced into taking on the matriarchal role of the 'pride' and she yearns to be free from that, but never, never will unless some farang comes along to the 'rescue' riding a horse in [white] shining armor…. She often yearns to hand over the mantle of family matriarch to a 2nd younger sister while cruising off into the sunset with a Farang. The fact she may already HAVE a Thai husband or boyfriend doesn't seem to deter her, but this is a mere detail to some!! Money is the overruling and powerful factor, and overrules common sense, logic and even the law sometimes in her upside down topsy-turvey world. Their brothers in the meantime [usually three of them] sit idly by on their Yamaha motorbikes [paid or financed for by sister] drinking Suntory whiskey like it's goin' out of fashion and acting like Playboys on acid. [Which they sometimes are on by the way, on 'Acid'] The brothers ALWAYS have a seemingly endless string of girlfriends, and God knows where they get the money, – most probably from the working sisters. Some of their girlfriends are even from the same bar beer or gogo bar their sisters work in, gogo bars are magnets for sleezeballs like this and lazy brothers…. It's just we don't notice them lurking in the shadows, or arriving on motorbikes to collect their girlfriends in the early hours…. Of course, some farang leave much to be desired too in these places!

With all the family pressures, it's hardly surprising girls in bars have such low esteem of themselves, while earning money and yet treated like second class citizens by their culture, and yes, even their own families. They can never be good enough as they're simply female. It's equally unsurprising when they crack and go nuts sometimes too. Self mutilation and suicide are common, and although she might claim "motorbike accident" it could be from an episode of self-mutilation brought on by inner rage at being dumped or lied to. It could be too, that she actually fell in love with some Farang only to find he'd left already, without telling her. Her only indication was a condescending and terse remark from a hotel receptionist that "he'd gone….check-out already" [Slam!]

Bouts of depression brought on by drug use can be 'crushing', again leading to low self esteem and resultant self-mutilation. Whilst making a girl 'high' and feeling good for a while, the end results are fits of irresistible depression even if every thing's going well for them, so imagine when you couple this with a failed relationship or deceit?? Or a beating from some drunken husband or boyfriend. Spousal abuse in Thailand is as common as cockroaches in a Bangkok drain, and endemic throughout Thailand and Asia.

Pressures of over bearing parental needs, errant brothers, lying cheating boyfriends or Husbands, and then being treated like dirt by some Farang, can prove too much eventually. Suicide is so often the only way out of their self made and family purgatory, – truly a woman in chains….

I often think a Thai woman's worst enemy is her family, they say they love her but usually screw her life up completely. Thais are renowned for their strong moral and family obligations and sense of duty to that, which is one reason why European men seek them so much. The pressures this sense of duty bring to bear on her though, often ends up destroying the very relationship she needs to survive. She seldom saves any money, the insatiable appetite of the family for her earnings never ceases and only increases with her earnings. A foreigner often finds to truly win the heart of a Thai girl, he must automatically support her family, as well as her. For a Thai woman, this is often the true meaning of 'love' in her book, which translates to 'support' financially. Although she uses the word 'love' it transposes to many other material things, and is used because the foreigner likes to hear it.

A 'normal' average Thai couple will seldom use the word to each other in a normal relationship. A bargirl would never normally tell her Thai boyfriend that either, she reserves this 'act' for her farang boyfriends and contacts…

Love means support = money, it's much the same.

A moot point, which translates to many western relationships too, although women in our country prefer to call it something different… Hmmm, Tomato, Tom-ayto… (?)

When a Thai family member wins the lottery for example, it's quite likely they'll squabble over the winnings, it bemuses and makes me feel sick to see that. Money means everything, positively everything. I witnessed this happen with my ex-wife's family once in Northern Thailand, it made me feel sick inside that family members could bicker so bitterly over some member's winnings. It brought home to me the false importance of money, even highlighting my own presence being something other than a source of income…

When quizzed for the first time about 'previous boyfriends' Thai bargirls will nearly always claim to have HAD one, but it's always 'finis' by the time you inquire. [yeah, right] Or they claim they had a boy friend from Germany (Yermanee) or somewhere, which is also 'finis' now. I'd be totally gob smacked or flabbergasted if a girl told me she was married, such honesty would be unheard of, and you could assume she doesn't like you to say that, – to deliberately put you off. It happened to me once in Pattaya, a beautiful girl completely blanked me out, I was astonished, even a little angry until she told me why, then I understood perfectly and thought "good for her" – she really did have an American boyfriend. I only hoped his promises weren't hollow though, and that she'd truly found something, whoever he was….

Sadly, for a young girl attracted by the bright city lights and excitement of a bargirl's existence, the reality is far more dangerous than she assumes as she slowly gets sucked in deeper and deeper. As the money roles in, so do the demands of her family and she quickly finds herself in a money trap, unable to escape. Drugs and alcohol give brief respite but the cost is so high, and drains her resources yet further, drastically if habit takes over. Farang even only offer her brief relief from the pressures, and she's often caught between meeting the demands of her family or her boyfriend. It's no contest really, her family comes first, even if she actually hates them. She'll never break those 'invisible chains'…

Stickman's thoughts:

Seems like Thai women are not top on your list of favourite people.