Middle Class Girl
I should begin by saying I don’t know much about Thailand. I first visited 10 years ago and have been back maybe 5 or 6 times. Early on, utterly infatuated with the place, I tried to live there. I lasted about two months. I actually got a job, but came down with food poisoning, lost 25 pounds, and beat a retreat home.
I can barely put five words together in Thai. Like most people, I have to live in a country to learn the language properly. But I’ve furiously studied Thai on and off for years, usually for an inspired month or so before I go off on holiday there. I can read the script, and know the tone rules, but don’t know what most of the words I’m reading mean.
So, if you’re still with me, the above gives you some idea of my limited bona fides.
What I want to talk about today touches on the fairly common belief that farang can only get off with hookers.
It was my second trip. I’d raked around Pattaya and then BKK a few months before on holiday (see my submission “Massage Parlour” for a pure newbie’s take on Pattaya) and was struck dumb by it all. I tidied up affairs at home, quit my job, and went East.
The last leg from Tokyo was with Thai Airways and I got to chatting with one of the lovely stewardesses. I wasn’t ugly or short or out of shape, but I wasn’t young either. I tell her my plans and she gives me her phone number. Wow, I’m thinking, this is all right. Must be dem ol’ blue eyes…
On to Don Muang. I’d heard somewhere of a small, friendly hotel in Siam Square, a nice out of the way place for someone on a budget. I assumed Siam Square must be, you know, a square. A cosy wee spot with railings and trees around it and stuff. So I tell the airport cabbie to take me there. He knows where Siam Square is, but he’s never heard of the hotel or the soi in which it’s located. He dumps me in front of the Lido cinema on Rama 1 with my two heavy suitcases. I take a look around. Hmm… I flag down another cab. He doesn’t know the soi. And another.
So I’m standing there in the blazing sun with tens of thousands of cars and motorbikes and buses belching their filth and noise all over me. I’m jet-lagged, sweating and befuddled. I’m not even sure that this is Siam Square. Then, a little voice pipes up behind me and says shyly in excellent English, “Can I help you?”
I turn, and standing before me is a girl in the white blouse and long black skirt of a university student (although I didn’t even know that then). She looks 16 (she was in fact 19). She’s cute as hell, has her hair cut short, and generally exudes health, goodwill and precocity. With absolutely no carnal thoughts (she’s a kid!) I explain my predicament. She very kindly offers to help me out. She flags down a few more cabs and finally one guy knows where the damn soi is. Turns out to be close by (next to the Jim Thompson House soi, btw) but takes a bit of time in the car, of course.
So, we get there. She tries to pay the fare! Holy shit. My only experience with Thai women up to that point (Nana, Pattaya) was that I pay for every last thing. I practically have to wrestle with her before she lets me pay the cabbie. I check in. She wants to see my room. Still no untoward thoughts. We chat for a bit. She studies at Assumption University in Hua Mak, wherever that was. I insist on buying her dinner. We walk out somewhere, eat, and agree to meet next day. Where? I ask. She says she’ll come to the hotel.
So, next day at the appointed hour I’m waiting in front of the hotel. (I should perhaps mention here, lest anyone be attracted to the soi, that I stayed there very briefly early last December after a five or six-year absence from the area. Times change. What was once a quiet, friendly street with lots of civilized farang of all ages, men and women, and where you could enjoy a coffee or a drink with decent people (and the odd J-girl) is now, or was last December, teeming with young British pukes stalking about with their habitual air of “bovine vacancy combined with lupine malignity,” as the man put it, as well as a solid contingent of joyless backpacker broads. It seemed to have turned into a miniature Khao San Road, a place I’ve never visited, mind you…)
Here she comes, smiling shyly, again in her student outfit and schoolbag. A doll. She says she’d like to come up to the room and shower before we go out. Somewhat surprised, but assuming this must be normal in such a hot country as Thailand, I agree. So up to the room. She showers and comes out, clothed, drying her hair. She sits on the bed and we talk about this and that. Her mom is Chinese, her pop a Thai. They own a school of some sort in a small city a few hours from BKK. She lives in town with her auntie.
This is all a long time ago, and I’m kinda blue remembering it now. I remember we, she mostly, got on to talking about relationships between men and women and the different mores between West and East and such. Still no alarms. Finally, after about an hour of this pleasant conversation, Einstein here suggests we go out for eats. She hesitates, looks down, and very timidly says, “What about sex?”
I remember the scene so well. The pleasant, dim room. The sense of quietude in the middle of the Bangkok cauldron. Her lovely face…
“Eh?” says I. I can’t remember anything else of what we said, but it was impossible to not get her drift now, not even for me. So somehow we began kissing and one thing led to another. She was slim and light-skinned, hardly darker than me, really. A splendid young body. What can I say?
I remember that, while she went at it with a will, she was somehow awkward. I figured she didn’t have much experience. But my heart went into my mouth when immediately after we were through she touched her vagina several times, each time studying her hand with intent surprise. Blood? Is she looking for blood? A broken hymen, for God’s sake? I marshall my thoughts and carefully ask, “You’re a virgin, darling?” Well, she was. You may doubt it, but you weren’t there. But there was no question: I’d popped a cherry.
Unfortunately – or fortunately, I’m still not sure – the school year or term was ending just a few days later and she had to go back to her hometown for a month or two. So we hung out together for that very brief time. Surprisingly, I later realized, she wasn’t unwilling to be seen with me in public. I don’t think we held hands or anything, but we went to the movies, shopped etc. She was besotted with me, I guess, as only a young girl can be with her “first love”. But I was flattered. What a compliment! I’ll never forget.
I hadn’t forgotten the Thai Airways stewardess either, but she’d told me to phone her a week or so after our first meeting as she’d be working and mostly out of town. That never led to anything, incredibly, because in the meantime I got caught up in the strange new world of the soi and, like a fool, with a waitress there. She was one of the several Thai women on the soi who weren’t actually hookers, but who latched on to likely farang for succor and support. And then one fine day my sweet student showed up out of the blue at my hotel room door while I was otherwise engaged…
Maybe I’ll call my next submission (if this and that are accepted by Stick), “The Student, The Waitress, and the Stewardess” or perhaps better, “Bif Fumbles the Ball”.
While some might not believe this story, I have no doubt that it is 100% true. Thailand can be most surprising at times.