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The School Of Lies

  • Written by Mr Tim
  • August 10th, 2005
  • 26 min read

I started to become suspicious shortly after going to work on a medical team in one of the U.N.B.R.O. [United Nations Border Relief Operation] refugee camps in late 1979. What at first was merely a bemusing curiosity, became a gut feeling that something akin to a secretive, well-organized conspiracy was universally indoctrinating the minds of Thai females. For my first night in Bangkok alone, I had chosen the cheapest hotel from a T.A.T brochure I had picked up at the airport. Waving off the repeated warnings that this hotel was of low class, and the taxi drivers personal recommendation of a more prestigious residence, my budget dictated I remain steadfast in my choice. The brochure said 420 baht, and while I was positive there were numerous cheaper places to stay, I had learned a seriously valuable lesson in Calcutta about staying in at least a semi-respectable hotel till one got their bearings and their feet more or less on the ground. After all, it was on the T.A.T brochure. [How bad could it be?] A final warning of the place being "no good" 'women no good" [could you define that "women no good" part please].

As I look back over the Thailand experiences of the last 26 years, I think this is when I first started to believe in fate. The hotel was the Nana, and the women, [thank you jesus] were indeed no good. This was 5 years before the NEP was even a gleam in some whoremeister's eye. There was the original Love Club Disco, and the coffee shop, that by 0300 was packed. Oil companies used to reserve blocks of rooms for their high-paid employees' holidays. The girls then were were more often than not dressed in their finest, hoping to reel in one these free spending sugar daddies.

A chance afternoon conversation with with a farang of considerable experience, led to an invitation to join him and his Chinese girlfriend Pring for a Love club disco experience. 4 hours later and 2 sips into a large Singha, Pring asks if I see any girl I like. What a question! Yes perhaps, with some effort and maybe a flashlight I could find something to my liking. After a couple days of watching the players come and go I knew who I was looking for. I informed Pring of this decision and she just got up from the table, said "wait a minute", and it was just about a minute when she came back with Wan, who indeed was the sweetest of the sweet. [she still makes my top 5 list] <I think Dana had her a few years later, he often talks about herStick>

The next week was to say the least, most pleasant. Granted I was paying the top price of 500 baht a day [what did I know?] but she helped out by informing me that there were several rooms that were yet to be re-decorated, and were only 290 baht. A 130 baht savings that over a week was almost 2 days of her affection. After a nanosecond of deliberation I decided that I indeed could live for the next week in this room with Wan and the faded wallpaper.

There was no short time / long time bullshit. She went home for an hour every afternoon to change clothes, see her family and get back before her perceived competition had a chance to steal her meal ticket. [unlike the last 5 years] The few fights I remember seeing were between girls fighting over the theft of a customer. Now you need eyes in the back of your head when out on the town for a night. I have seen more punk, piss drunk farangs, start swinging out of nowhere, and for reasons only known to them, in the last 5 years than I remember in my first 20 years around Thailand. Usually rank rookies, clueless, and frustrated, frequently low on funds, and pissed to the gills.

For my first decade, I drove anywhere at any hour on my 750cc m/c and never had a problem. Besides not wanting to part with cab fare, I felt it kind of a gentlemanly thing to see the girls got home safe. With the bonus that I learned a great deal about navigating Bangkok and Thonburi, Samut Prakan and a couple of places that are now high rise infected. There was no sky train, subway or the greatest of all God's creations, the metered taxi. Only once out in Thonburi, after dropping off a girl at home, did I get lost to the point of getting a cheap hotel room and a few hours sleep. After all, Bangkok is a big city and had to be around there somewhere.

God balanced his gifts of metered taxis and "long time by the day" prices, by casting a curse on seemingly every male farang who ever visited Thailand. Bitten by the larger species of Thai mosquito [only female mosquitoes bite], vast numbers increasingly fell victim to an illness with a varying incubation period. The symptoms usually presented with large amounts of common sense absent from their minds. They had met a girl, perhaps 2 or 3 girls, perhaps 2 or 300 girls as some individuals have more resistance to this infection than others, and I have seen many a better man than me wake up one morning, somewhere off Sukhumvit, or Pattaya, or Phuket or Koh Samui and raise his arms to the sky, and proclaim to his honey and all within earshot that he [after obtaining the necessary funds from Farangland] will return to start a bar, or a guesthouse, or best, will pull up stakes in Farangland and return to this Paradise of easy living and fine woman, and living off his nest egg, get a job. The illness has now entered its secondary stage, and reality is becoming increasingly blurred. It is showing signs of becoming a medical emergency [similar to Falsipruim Malaria] only the female often stays for longer than a snack. She only leaves after all the blood is drained. It used to be sometimes less severe, as when I was in my 20's few of us my age had credit cards with 5 digit spending limits, or friends willing to ship over 5 digit "loans" or better yet, become investment partners in paradise. A sure way to keep a lasting friendship.

I for one still think Thailand is decent place [although definite negative changes are escalating] It is still more fun than any place in the west. But look at the place for Christ's sake! I figure Thailand has gone thru several different phases. From what I can gather from the media and from talking to people who were around in the 60's and 70's, Thailand didn't change a whole hell of a lot from 1945 to 1987. Yes in the early 70's Bangkok was 2 million people, but change and technology crept in slowly. 1987 was the first year of the "Visit Thailand' campaign which started the dramatic increase in tourism. Sure there were backpackers, world travelers and people hooked up with international companies, a few exchange students and English teachers. Some Vietnam era dudes that never went home. And you can give no small credit to the GIs and backpackers for putting most of the well known resort areas on the map.

The economy went into a decade long run of double digit GNP growth. The vast amount of the tall buildings on Sukhumvit are post 1987. There was an astounding change in the skyline in just 2 short years. In 1987 God again balanced the scales by allowing the Patpong night bazaar to come into existence. Then for all it's wonderful positive things, there entered the internet, the computer age made dissemination of information the most valuable commodity on earth outside of oxygen. The growth of data storage and speed of transfer of information has opened up the doors of the kingdom, and what was once a very word of mouth kind of thing became a door through which the whole world is viewing, what was once a very loosely guarded secret.

The number of Asian sex websites on the net leaves me, for a couple of reasons, speechless. You are now liable to find yourself sitting on the beach or a gogo barstool next to the next door neighbor you had when you were a kid in Cuntlick, Kansas, on his first venture outside of said city limits. And some of you will cry when he tells you he booked the same accommodations as you online, and got a package deal that made his price cheaper than yours.

Let us move forward to the impact of the cell or as it is known in most of the world, mobile phone. Since my earliest days, Sukhumvit Soi 22 has pretty much been HQ for me. They had maybe 3 telephones they would roll or set out in front of their shops, and put away after they closed, and they closed early in those days. If your residence had its own telephone you had made the grade. A massive army of farang telecommunications guys descended on Bangkok in the late 80's and early 90's and some are no doubt still working on "the system". It was that bad. For years I heard rumors that operators and joy of joys, information numbers when dialed actually produced a responding human voice. You could not easily get a phone to make international calls from your abode. If you had the good fortune to live in an area that this service was actually available in. You first had to get an existing number and those could cost you a nice pile of baht. Some numbers, "lucky ones" of course, sold and still do for some really impressive amounts of money. I have a mobile if you insist, primarily to make calls and not receive them. Most of the time I just pick up messages. Most of the time I don't want to be found.

But this while being in many ways a marvelous invention, has had some very negative downsides on the lives of many of us who venture out into the night in Thailand, in search of those infection carrying 2 legged vectors A.K.A. the Thai female. [refer to aforementioned signs and symptoms of the illness, lose of common sense etc.] How many moments, hours, days of good times have you had ruined by girls and their mobile phones? The first time for me was in Pattaya. I had been seeing a girl in Bangkok who was choice, but a little high maintenance. When possible I would grab her, and drag her off to Jomtien or Hua Hin for 4-5 days where, once she was away from her comfort zone, and numerous friends and other distractions, she mellowed right out and was quite pleasant to be with. Preferably keep them away from anywhere they can spend too much money. These places are getting harder and harder to find. Rent a motorcycle and take her sight seeing as there is always the obligatory amount of entertainment you must provide to minimize those unnerving pouting episodes many are prone to when not shown enough attention. We had many memorable trips till the last one. That is when she got her first mobile phone. We were easing away the afternoon on the far end of Jomtien beach, when it started. She just had to call everyone she had ever spoken to, and then call them back 15 minutes later to update them on the events of the previous 15 minutes. Some incoming information made her decide that we had to cut the vacation short so she could return to Bangkok a couple days early for some unspecified reason. I was already getting frequent flyer rates with her and if nothing else it would take dogged determination, many hours and bars to find a suitable replacement. There were times when I would go to where she worked at 7 PM and there would be 3-4 customers who she would take sips from the lady drinks she already had waiting at 7 PM. But offers of out of town trips is always a sure winner. I have yet to disable anyone's phone. At least not permanently. Shutting one off on the sly, I may cop a plea to that. I believe this is the downside of mobiles and God's price for giving us the metered taxi.

This also has greatly contributed to the advent of the despicable currency of the night,"the short time". This most vile and greedy practice, urged on by money lusting whoremeisters following some Harvard business school modal turned what used to be an almost unheard of practice into the norm. The mention of "a short time" used to get quizzical looks, as the girls tried to figure out from what angle you may be coming from, as in "what are you trying to do? Get a cheaper price?] The short time was only in desperation, when a short time was all you had, as in my plane leaves in 2 hours. The standard reply being short time/long time, same/same. A girl didn't want to get rid of anyone who treated her halfway decent. Simple laws of supply and demand.

I know time marches on and change is inevitable, but if you're starting to think maybe the really pretty girls aren't as numerous as your first trip or 2 to Thailand, or that they now seem in increasing numbers to have an attitude, well, there are some very shitty memories I have of a few things in the "good old days" but the ratios of pretty girls per farang or the vast majorities of their attitudes aren't among them. Not that they weren't frequently sly, cunning, half-truth deceitful on a number of occasions, but market economics made the envelope they were willing to push in testing your generosity or stupidity generally more modest. And risking losing a good customer was something to think twice about. Consider yourself blessed if you process the ability to really learn from others' mistakes. So many people understand in principle, and go on to fall for the same con again and again. For these sorry souls there is no hope. A bullet to the base of the skull would be more merciful. The number of hopeful transplants to Thailand that go home alone, broke, disillusioned or in a box is no small number. Rare, but nonetheless there, if you put in the time, and have a little luck, is the tried and true Thai friend. Most are fair weather friends, who hedge their bets and are nice to everyone. It is only during significant crisis will you find out if there's anyone left after the storm has passed. In 26 years I have 3 who have made the grade, who really came thru completely in the practice what you preach exam.

The big Asian economic crisis of the late nineties made travel to Thailand quite affordable to a new generation. I remember standing on the second floor balcony of the NEP on one of my now yearly visits there on New Years Eve 2000 <Yikes, I might have a photo of you….was there shooting snaps that very nightStick>. I had been to Cowboy earlier and Patpong and I was standing there and reviewing the evening in my mind as midnight approached. I figured that was the high point. How much more would be tolerated. Jesus Christ! Humanitarian bar owners all but had the girls dancing naked in traffic. But I must admit the sight of a hundred or more stark naked Thai girls gyrating on stage still brings a smile to my face. It had to stop somewhere, sometime. Like a girl testing the limits of your generosity and/or stupidity, the limit was reached. And it wasn't just New Years, it was just maybe a tad more [if that's possible] obvious. The middle and upper class Thais had no direction in which to turn their face, in order to save any, on the world stage. I don't regret being around for any of it. But as the New Year rang in, and the Russian guy next to me bought me 5 drinks and himself 5, I knew it was the end of an era. If things would have continued unabated the oneupmanship only boggles the mind. After frog eating pussys, what's left? Barnyard animals? It had to end somewhere. On the sois between Nana and Cowboy, you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting some farang whoremeister. I can live with the way things are.

I may not like the changes, but some memorable times are still to be had and if you're in a loop, you hear, and can see a glimpse of a bygone era in Bangkok. Pattaya is another subject. If you're not a patient person, then you had better make the effort to learn. Besides being the best defensive driving school in the universe, there is a lot to learn from Thailand. As mentioned, it is still more fun than any place in the west. The days of being unique for farangs is long over, and the era where you felt like you could have any girl you could talk to is a distant memory. The learning curve is now very steep indeed. Most don't have the time or the money or the endurance to get up to speed in time to make a go of it in Thailand. Things as we know, are just changing so fast everywhere. I switched gears that night on the balcony of the NEP. I have only been involved with 3 women in the last 6 years, well 3 women emotionally to varying degrees. The last 4 have been with my now wife. Do I miss the late nights or early mornings? The proverbial "thrill of the hunt"? Nobody has ever treated me near as well as my wife, and has required so relatively little in return. Little things can make her happy as a pig in shit. And to see that makes me happy. she appreciates things few girls I have met in Thailand do. But there are times like now when my friend Stig and his traveling Norwegian circus will be arriving for a few weeks and with a crew of mostly never been here friends, will be doing a tour of the nightlife of Thailand and Cambodia. I have brought my wife on a couple previous trips, and as Stig always leaves his Thai wife in Norway, we end up going our own way around 11PM, and let the boys go play. But Stig's wife and mine are in constant touch on the mobiles, so I have to choreograph things so none of the "night moves" gossip should filter through the grapevine. I mentioned joining this circus solo this trip, and after talking her down off the roof, and keeping her away from sharp objects, she slowly defused and has begrudgingly agreed to talk about it. Words not pronounced perfectly can very easily have catastrophic repercussions in interpretation when going from English to Thai or visa versa. So much for that trail balloon. I tried the "it's a guy thing" approach, but she already knew what that was. I have always been faithful to her. I find this no hardship. But a night of window shopping with the guys would be a hoot in Phnom Phen. While I proudly cling to the lower rungs of the middle class ladder, that is what she is happy with. The whole accompanying package. A man married to an Asian does not pose a good picture to her family and friends by joining the circus. Maybe she's right, that it is just too much of a temptation, and as everyone will be half drunk to boot, I see her point. But I have never given her reason not to trust me. There have been a couple of times when old girlfriends of mine have crossed our path and not knowing I am married were a little too exuberant in their greetings. Now the first words out of my mouth are meet my wife. My wife who doesn't smoke or drink and hails from Bangkok and doesn't like bars.

Along around that new year's I felt the distinct change of attitude towards farangs in general. The Thais have always had the attitude of live and let live. They will generally let you survive in peace, but not generally prosper. Things are slowly tightening up and using the Darwinian philosophy will turn the screws just enough to get ride of the more undesirables amongst the farang resident population. I know farangs who have been making monthly border runs for going on 10 years. And these days you might as well take a picnic basket if you're going to Poi Pet for your visa run as you will be in line long enough to need some nourishment. One friend has been doing this for that long, as if the nature of how he can afford his lifestyle in Thailand ever comes to light, he will claim it is impossible for me to be running this kind of a business, I am a tourist.

I laughed in the mid 80's when I heard of Thailand's desire to make Pattaya and Phuket a retirement haven for the well-financed aging farang. I took a good ride around there in April and I'm not laughing anymore. Now there is a farang volunteer group assisting the police. I have some very mixed feelings about this. I suspect a number had married bargirls at one time and now have decided they want to live in Suburbia, family style Farangland.

There used to be a cluster of inside beer bars right at the mouth of Walking Street, right next door to what was a little police substation. One of the bars in the back was a pedophile bar. I was with a girl whose brother was a bartender at a straight bar 10 feet away. Once I was hustled a couple times for Cokes by pre-pubescent boys, I looked around to see a half dozen farang guys sitting with kids, buying them Cokes. WTF! I take some pride in that even when drinking I had never been known to pick a fight. This was the exception to every rule. So if these guys can help end this kind of detestable abuse of underage kids, perhaps there is some merit to be achieved. Perhaps if they can jail and deport some of the assholes who when sporting a rival sports team's shirt, turn rabid and a brawl ensues. I could give a fuck if they kill each other over some half ass sports team but it doesn't always stay mano a mano. I didn't come 10,000 miles to be amongst these fools.

In my time 96% percent of the people that have given me grief have been farangs, and usually drunk ones. Outside of Miss Soi Cowboy 1983 chasing me thru the only real Thermae and throwing a steak knife at me along the way, after we had "broken up" and I was with another girl, and a chicken vendor in Udon. Upon seeing that the taxi I had come in from Bangkok in had 2 bargirls in it [we had missed the plane by 3 minutes.] [It was an emergency trip for real] decided that I should give him the 40 baht change from my purchase as a tip. He kept smiling that idiot smile as did his 2 buddies, and no amount of humor or politeness would get my money back. He just looked at the girls and kept saying tip, tip. Pretty much of a "what are you going to do about it thing". If there wasn't another Thai around for 10 miles, I was not going to get into a fight over 40 baht. Of course if one had asked me the day before this emergency trip, if I'd pay 4,000 baht to take a taxi from Don Muang to the wilds of the Udon hinterlands, arriving at the house at 0300, I would have said most likely not. But shit happens to those we care about. And shit seems to be more and more happening with farangs, out of the blue I have been pushed to my limits by drunken farangs at least once a year the last 6 years. The last being some fool who was, of course drunk and started [out of the blue] ranting and raving and spitting at me every time he managed to get close enough to me. Turns out he had mistaken me for a guy who had stolen his bargirl friend. I am getting too old for this shit!

Don't lose your temper and go out of bounds. You really never know who is going to be on whose side in a bar full of drunken farangs. At least with the Thais you have the peace of mind, knowing that you will be dead if you start to mix it up. So if the farang vigilantes or whatever they purport themselves to be can help put a lid on this shit, well perhaps, but I'm always leery of people with real or perceived new found powers. I often wonder about the drunken, crazed farangs, how did they let these fools into the country. Some are just perpetually drunk and dangerous.

Are the Thai females so irresistible that they draw these fools from all over the planet. For the ones that are interested in females instead of fighting and are sober enough to screw, I suppose the answer is yes. God have mercy. The only thing I will claim to know about Thai females, is that the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know and how perplexing they can be. I would put money on the bet that on autopsy a forensic pathologist would gasp at the way the neural pathways and nerve synapses are wired. Surly they are unique amongst any other human life form. What else can explain their inability to envision tomorrow, but have the ability charm and/or lie their way out of the most "caught you red handed type situations. The ability to make otherwise intelligent men freeze with a perplexed look on their faces, while they contemplate if the line of bullshit they have just been spoon fed is even remotely possible. Should one give them the one in a million benefit of the doubt. An amazing amount of guys do, and do so repeatedly. Once, you can maybe write off to a learning experience, but after that the amount of sympathy you will get from me will drop like a stone. Where do these skills come from, what makes them the best liars to ever take a breath? Well, eliminating truth as an unneeded part of any story is a good as any place to start. Never a necessity when more important things like face are at stake. Is this the result of some extra twisted DNA/RNA helix? Is there an extra gene thrown in the mix or one left out? Conventional thinking would explain it in terms of a mixture of genetics and environmental factors. For our research we will need a newborn farang baby with an authenticated untainted [so to speak] bloodline. Say one of northern European or Scandinavian decent. No descendants of Attila the Hun's grandfather are acceptable In truth because the genetic imprint that has been traced back to and thru Attila the Hun's grandson who totally sacked Baghdad in 1158 when it was the crown jewel of the Moslem world, which is a subject we will not touch on in anymore detail. Anyway at this point in history a very specific genetic code started coming into play and as of 2 years ago, if one is to believe the History channels series on barbarians, was present in 32 million people in the regions his clan roamed. It's no secret that Attila and his family really liked pretty women. Lots and lots of them from the conquered lands were filtered up thru the ranks, with the hottest honeys of course being reserved for Attila and the clan. Seems only fair [in the context of the 12th century] as it takes a large amount of energy to manage the conquest of a large part of the known world. We are talking thousands of honeys here. One family responsible for thousands of kids. Maybe we should go with an albino? Anyway we place the child in a reasonably respectable Isaan farm family and come back in 18 years to see if this now young adult female thru environment alone has developed this amazing ability to bend, omit, and display a complete lack of respect for the truth in any given situation. Bowing instead to the ultimate driving force and spin a set of facts and highly incriminating evidence into a great face enhancing happy ending.

For over 2 decades I have pondered this, I have walked and driven the streets of Bangkok late at night, knowing that the answer could lie around the next corner, at the end of the next little side soi. I have braved the Songkran sun in search of it. I know it exists, it has to. I can feel it in my fingertips, I can almost feel the folding money in my wallet vibrate. On further inspection of a U.S. $100 bill, George Washington's face has the same look of fear and anticipation as a guy I once saw as a child, he suddenly realized he had inadvertently walked into the path of a speeding train. Similar incidents have happened to me on a random basis over the years. I know it exists, the marrow in my bones knows it's out there. It is the Ultimate Thai girl finishing school for predominantly, but far from exclusively, Isaan girls. I know the original is located in Krungthep, but like AUA, it surely by now has branches everywhere from Bang Saen to Nongkhai. I've heard rumors that an online degree program is in the works. Heaven help the next generation of farangs who will be scurrying off their 12 hour flights to the new airport an hours drive from Pattaya. They will hardly have time to learn much more than the exchange rate. They will have no chance, the slaughter will be of epic proportions. They will be filled with the white man's confidence that western logic, mathematics and perhaps a couple shots of Jack Daniels can make sense out of any situation. They will be like lambs to the slaughter, mere cannon fodder for a far better trained force than they have ever dared to imagine. They will be cut down in their prime, like fields of wheat at harvest time. By who you ask? By the graduates, true believers will reply. Graduates of where they will enquire. Why graduates of the most culturally significant institution of learning in Thailand you sorry souls. What the hell is that they will suspiciously ask. Only the most essential institution of learning/survival in the whole blessed country.

Stickman's thoughts:

Shades of Dana there. Stories of Thailand in the past always grab my attention.