The Folly Of Love And How To Avoid It
Blessed as I am with the travelling bug, I have made merry across most continents and many countries, and have acquired a very significant collection of "national flags", if you know what I mean.
I had a good few replies to my last submission, generally in agreement, and it seems there almost ought to be a special section on the Stickman Web Site labelled TGB for Dummies;
TGB standing for "Thai Girl Bullshit".
Now I know there are some nice, hard-working non-bargirl Thai ladies on here, so please, this is in no way aimed at you or intended to cause offence. If it does, it means you've used some of the lines yourself or have suggested them to a friend, in which case I could care less 😉
Let's say you are a 21-year old Caucasian farang on your first package holiday to Thailand. You're on a budget, but then you find out that it actually isn't that expensive to get yourself a LBFM for a few weeks (and you need to find out what that is if you don't know!), so you carefully plan to drink a smuggled half bottle of Mekhong everywhere you go and just pay for cokes, to have sufficient money to reward your escort for her services.
Your LBFM is beautiful, far more experienced (and in many cases, far more attractive) than any girls her age you have met in your home country, and doesn't need to be begged or shown how to go down on you, for example. You are in heaven. AH HA! The trap is set.
Your LBFM treats you like a king; your every need is met, in bed and out of it. When you go shopping, she haggles for you and gets you good discounts. In restaurants, your drink is poured, your food is ordered, and you don't have to lift a finger.
Her friend has a laundry that gives you "good price".
She's a mistress, a tour guide, a friend, a personal assistant, a housekeeper, and you think this is pretty cool.
Naturally, you start to develop feelings for her. She gives you that lovely smile, wafts her hair around, lauds your stud-like efforts in bed, and generally gives you a feel good factor the likes of which you've never experienced.
21? You could be a 50-year old divorcee, but if you haven't experienced Thailand before, you'll still have the same feelings.
As the time of your departure approaches, she starts to sigh meaningfully, and hint how much she will miss you. You find yourself agreeing with her. You exchange phone numbers, email addresses, maybe she knows how to use messenger as well. Before you leave, you give her a sum of money which you know is huge to her, but affordable to you, and she is wonderfully appreciative and tells you how it's going to put her sister through school, or buy her mother a new toaster oven, or, and this is the key, one of the many pre-prepared lines that suit the moment. There are many, and perhaps Stickman could consider setting up a forum of "money-extracting bullshit lines that I've heard", so that, much like email hoaxes can be checked on the net ("Do not open an email labelled Pakistan Earthquake: It will set fire to your computer, castrate you and eat your children. Send this to everyone you know"), you have somewhere to take the story your girl is giving you and see if it's original or not.
On your return to your home country, you soon become tired and listless. You find chatting up women of your own nationality a bloody chore, because frankly you know even if they do want to sleep with you (and it will be bloody hard work and expensive to make them do it), they probably won't take it up the gary glitter, or willingly swallow your gentlemen's relish, and within two days they'll probably start demanding to be taken here there and everywhere as if you are in fact their concubine.
So you start planning your next trip to the LOS, perhaps you even book a flight a few months hence, to give yourself both the time to save up for it and to give you something to look forward to you (*author's note: The advance flight booking I always do. Nothing nicer when you're up to your elbows in a tough work situation than to be able to think of the date the back of the plane seat gently pushes back to a land of beer and honeys).
Of course, this is the time when you let slip you might be coming back, and she starts to intimate that she might not be able to see you. If you read my last submission, I did give you another possible reason for this, but there are several. Another one is that she sees this as a good way to cadge a bit of cash out of you before you come.
"I not want work bar any more, if you send me money I no have to work and I can wait for you".
Egads, and people do fall for this shit.
"I have to stay home look after my sister for my mother sick. If you give me money, she have operation and I can come stay with you" Yep, I've heard that one touted myself.
I won't even go for the sick water buffalo, that's so cliché only novices would use it now.
Now for those of you that think I frown upon their behaviour, far from it. It is their way, it has been for forty years or more, and they will continue to do it as long as there are people willing to listen to the inventive rhetoric and stick their hands in their pocket.
I used to stay in a friendly little hotel in Phuket, where a sweet little married lady used to work nightshift (those of you familiar with the area will know which one – it has a 24-hour "kitchen").
One day her husband actually set fire to the house they lived in, destroying all of their possessions.
As she'd looked after me in various inebriated states, I was more than happy, as were all of the regulars in there at the time, to chip in with a few thousand baht to help her replace everything.
She at first point bank refused to take our money, and when we explained that it was not a gift but money earned by hard graft and excellent service, she burst into tears of joy.
I was waiting for the younger girls to cotton on what was happening and invent their own personal incendiary tragedies to see if they could elicit a similar response, but none did (mind you, we were all careful to escort the lady in question into the kitchen and give her donations in sealed envelopes so that it didn't start a whole new wave of TGB!).
This is the other thing. There are genuine cases where your bar girl may indeed be in a bad situation and few quid helps out. If you know enough of her and her friends to know what is and isn't true, you may feel willing to help out, and that is your choice.
But you can bet your bottom dollar that if she's seen to profit from it, word gets round very quickly, and they'll all try it.
Another regular piece of TGB is the bar girl birthday party. I've been to enough bar girl birthday parties to know the best form of defence is attack. None of this money bollocks, it's a bottle of tequila or a bottle of 100 pipers or some such other crap. In Chiang Mai, this works exceptionally well, and sooner or later you may find yourself getting a freebie even if you weren't looking for one.
However, down in Phuket, a long time ago, someone obviously was rewarded for their birthday – by some silly sod – with a few purples or browns, and thus was born a perennial Phuket scrounge, the bar girl birthday. They don't even have to have a birthday anywhere around that time. It's just a nice way to get a few quid together when they have a nice batch of obviously fresh-off-the-dripper-clippers hanging around the bar.
Needless to say, the birthday party held last December 29th in Phuket I not only did not attend, but felt was in very poor taste given the circumstances, but no TG is going to turn down the chance of a free night on the piss and a few thousand baht, just because a few thousand bodies are rotting in the hospital underground car park up the road.
The biggest sucker I ever saw – and it was on my first trip to Thailand and therefore hugely educational – was some mutant quantity surveyor that joined six of us on our first Bangkok visit, actually a 4-night, 5-day trip over the Muslim holiday of Eid (which falls next week for those interested, so watch the Grace hotel do a roaring trade and look out for strange men with rucksacks – only kidding!).
This 5' seven stone weakling had decided he would look much harder and more worldly wise by pretending to be a biker, so he had the obligatory leather jacket with the denim cover and some crap band like Motorhead painted (badly) on the back.
It actually only made him serve to look even more of a wanker, because despite being the wrong side of 30, his facial hair resembled that you would see on a 16 year old student desperately trying for his first moustache (or to define that sort of wanker even more accurately, like Gary Neville).
Now it being Bangkok, we did a couple of nights in the Pong, and it wasn't at all like it was now. Many of the shows were incredibly dull, and sitting on car seats really doesn't add to the allure either. So we meandered down the arse end of Sukhumvit when it was still in its infancy, but with enough girls trawling around to have a good time.
The prepubescent one duly found on his first night one of the most diseased looking old hags you could every wish not to meet in your entire life, and she trotted out the old lines "You hansom man", etc., and gave him the night of pure lust the likes of which he'd never experienced. Such was his lack of practise in this area, he even overlooked that she had a face like a bulldog licking piss off a stinging nettle and probably had tracks marks enough to make her look like a badly over-used teabag. On his departure from BKK there were many tears flowing, and she joined in as well.
He'd given her virtually every penny he had on him (plus some that he borrowed) to help her get out of the sex trade. He swore undying love (while we all looked away trying to find a balance between complete disbelief, utter pity and howls of derision). To my knowledge, he saw her once more having paid off his dues and saved up some more to happily hand over; there were no mobiles in those days, and frankly she looked so drugged up most of the time, I'm not even sure if she would last six months anyway, so he lost touch and eventually lost his job, probably because he was sat every night pissing it up in depression at not being able to be with her.
Oh, and she gave him the clap as well. Twice.
I myself was fortunate enough to meet a couple of great girls who wanted a fair nights pay for a fair nights work, a spot of breakfast and some taxi money, and that was them off to the house for a bit of a kip and another night out. No sad stories, no needless lies, just good time working girls out to make a buck and have a nice time, and doing very nicely at it thank you.
So that's why I've spent my time in Thailand living the live of hedonism, rolling my eyes at the first sign of TGB and being prepared to simply walk away.
Or, as a good mutual friend of mine and another occasional Stickman author would say:
"WHY HAVE A COW WHEN YOU CAN BUY A PINT OF MILK"
If only I had time…