Another Night To Remember
A Response To A Night To Remember
Reading "A night to remember", especially Stickman's comment on Thais not taking kindly to farangs not having the cash rather tickled me.
Having said that, I am somewhat of a creature of habit, which makes the following story even more disturbing…
I am a pisshead. Self-confessed. I go out with Bt10,000 in my pocket to cover all eventualities, and it normally does to be honest. But there have been occasions (Football team winning cups, England winning Rugby, me winning big bets) where my dick does rather get the better of me and I ring bells galore and buy drinks all round.
Hey, it's my money and I earn it. What the Thais think of me for doing it (what a top bloke, or what a prize wanker) doesn't bother me one iota. What I do like is they always *pretend* that you're a top bloke and tend to look after you.
I always tend to frequent the same bars for several reasons:
(1) The staff know I'm a good payer, and want me in every night if they can get me.
(2) If I'm too rat-arsed to see straight (in some cases even walk), they'd rather get me home, with cash and keys intact, than try and stiff me for a few thousand baht – yes, you can get Thais who look further than the end of their noses!)
(3) If I'm pulling a madamoiselle for a night, the deal is stuck and paid for before I leave the bar, and the women only have to provide the service intended for the period agreed – and are told better than to irritate me by either hanging around
or asking for more for the ubiquitous sick mother / buffalo / baby.
Now I've known one bar owner for many years now, not in the capital, but let's just say out of town in a place I visit 2-3 times a year for several weeks. When I first got to know her I was introduced by friends to her and her husband. I would see her and hubby in her bar when many friends were in town, and also at quieter periods when I'd just be flying solo for a bit of a getaway.
A few years back, her husband let his dick and the menopause get him into trouble, and promptly pissed off to Bangkok with an 18-yr old Thai mistress and all of the cash he could lay his hands on. Not a bad deal for a farang, especially as he disappeared and got away with it. She was forced to close the bar for 6 months and lay off her staff until high season kicked in. Naturally, when I visited I sympathised with her and took her out for dinner and so on, nothing too intimate, just with other bar owning friends of mine who I go out with once or twice a year.
Odd thing number one: One of my friends bailed out of our bi-annual dinner because of prior work commitments – something she'd never done before.
Odd thing number two: She refused point blank to talk to my other friend, who being Thai made no beef about it, so neither did I. At the end of the night, when said despondent bar owner had gone home, I asked my other friend if there was a problem between them. "No", she said, "she just looks down on women who have bars with women in". I found this somewhat odd, considering that said despondent had never been afraid to fill the bar with girls when she knew there would be lots of rampant single men in. But I left it at that, it didn't bother anyone, and I never invited her again.
A year or so later, a weird looking farang bloke started propping up the bar, and was introduced to me as "new partner", which I took to mean "boyfriend / bar manager" as many a leeching farang will do in an attempt to have an easy life (tell me you haven't seen fools like that before?).
Well that was about 18 months ago, and I happened to be lurking around said vicinity for several weeks this year. As was my wont, I stumbled into the bar at about 4am, rang the bell, stumbled off home, came in the next day and paid the bill.
Went out again, stumbled in at 4am again, rang the bell, stumbled off home. And so on for about a week. Then something very mysterious happened. Well, I'm sure you can imagine where I think it came from. But I wandered into the bar having fully paid
up earlier that night, and lo and behold, just as I was leaving, Despondent bar owner came haring across telling me I had an unpaid bill of about Bt300! Being a genial kind of chappie as a rule, I just smiled and said no problem, it's not
like I'm going to be in tomorrow, whereupon a rather huge mound of abuse came my way (in Thai AND English). Now I'm not one to upset the Thai applecart at all. The best advice anyone ever gave me was "Never upset someone who can
beat you, jail you or kill you, and who has a very good chance of getting away with it".
But this rather irked me, as the whole bar was now looking at me as if I was trying to do a runner on a Bt 300 bill. So naturally I took about Bt1500 out of my pocket and saying "Enjoy this, it's the last money you ever get from me", I threw it across the bar and turned and walked out. At about the third step, an empty Heineken bottle missed my ear my such a short distance, I thought at first it was a really large green mosquito. After it had shattered all over the road, I turned very serenely, and said "And that's the last time you ever do that to me as well". And I continued off home.
Now there was only one problem with this. In doing this to me, she did it in front of a whole bunch of free-spending farangs, companions of mine, who do exactly the same thing, and always paid their bills no matter what. If it had been someone else, and they'd left the province, we probably would have a whip round and pay it. So what happened? You guessed it, a mass walkout. As I lay by the pool enjoying a nightcap, half the bloody bar (about 90% in terms of revenue) pitched up expressing sympathy. Now I didn't need it, I can look after myself, but boy, I couldn't wait to see the look on her face.
Now, as I said earlier I found it mysterious, but not that mysterious, because I suspect Mr. useless leeching boyfriend was probably trying to make himself look good my showing her how to collect all bills on time and increase her cash flow – an admirable concept, except in the process he managed to reduce her cashflow (and profit) by about 90%, at a time when it's the highest of the year.
So what happens the next morning, when I'm meandering across the car park, but said leech walks past me and says "So is everything cool from last night?". Twat. Needless to say, I just said "No-one does that to me twice" and ignored him.
Oh lord, this went on for days. She did her best to wheedle into conversations to say "everything is OK between us", etc…. But no no no I was going to milk this. I just ignored her. Without rambling on too long, as you can imagine, eventually she was forced to do something no Thai ever likes to do to a farang as a personal gesture. Say sorry and get lectured. But she eventually did it and took a tongue-lashing from me for letting a newbie farang boyfriend influence her business relationship with people she'd known for years.
As it so happens, apologising to me makes no difference. No-one DOES do shit like that to me twice, because I don't go back. The customer is always right, and I run my business on that basis, unless he's adversely affecting other customers.
But in her case, so many of the guys looked at her and said "that could have been me", that no-one (in their case her) will ever do it to them once. The goose, as they say, has killed the golden egg.
Regardless of motive, I have many Thai "friends" who are quite happy sharing lots of drinks and jokes with me, massaging my huge male ego, and looking after me when I'm smashed to make sure I feel safe and welcome enough to come back and do it again. And only two – both Thai ladies, acting on the instructions of their "clever" farang boyfriends" – who have made a Bt1000 tip out of me for the last time, whilst pissing away tens of thousands in potential future revenue. And they've both done it so publicly and stupidly, that many farangs in similar positions have decided that using their bars for hedonistic delights is potentially more trouble than it's worth. So their loss of my business is compounded several times over.
I'm sure there's a message in there somewhere, which is, if you're a farang, don't be bloody stupid. Thais know a lot more about screwing money out of other farang than you do, so leave them to do it, clean the bar for them and fuck them once in a while. And the second one is, for touring farangs, be nice, be generous, and be honest – and stick to the places you know best – because if you do run out of money, they know you'll come back and pay…..
I'd say you're an exception in that I personally know of few places which allow a farang to pay up later. You really must have spent a lot in there.
And yeah, they REALLY hate to say sorry!