Stickman Readers' Submissions February 13th, 2006

Isaan Migration Part 1

Woman; that fair and fond deceiver

How prompt are striplings to believe her.

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Lord Byron 1788-1824


It's always dangerous to generalize, but without doubt among the tens of thousands of I-sanian girls that come to Pattaya and the thousands of bars that employ them, there are very clearly defined groupings of bar type and bar girl. I offer my apologies
for any of you that may be offended by my observations.

But words are thing, and a small drop of ink,

Falling like dew, upon a thought produces

That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think,

'Tis strange, the shortest letter which man uses

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Instead of speech, may form a lasting link

Of ages; to what straits old Time reduces

Frail man, when paper – even rag like this –,

Survives himself, his tomb, and all that's his.

From Don Juan

It's that time of the year again, February; this year the reverse migration started earlier than usual. In fact we were barely two weeks into the New Year, when hoards of beautiful I-sanian women discarded their skimpy sexy frippery, binned their
micro mini skirts and headed back to the countless humble moobaans of the I-san.

The buses all full of these little dark beauties. They are comparing notes. 'My farang this'; 'My farang that'; 'My farang richer than your farang……?' 'Noi buts in; 'I know but my farang give me more money,
your farang rich but kinnee-owe (stingy)'. Porn say's; 'I think I get baby farang'. Giggles and Ows' ripple through the bus, all examine their kapot-aharn (stomach) trying to detect the tiniest of bulges. The girls without
a 'Tong' (Gold Chain & Buddha Pendant) remain silent, hoping their fellow passengers have not noticed. Too late Og in her Og like way screams; 'My farang buy me a one Baht Tong. I only stay with him four days. He give me Tong,
I run away, I afraid he take it back, he no good in bed; always drunk!' Og swings her Tong for all to see, gasps of envy hiss through the bus. Porn huffs and retorts; 'I send home two Honda and I got baby farang kang-Nai (inside) he
send me twenty-thousand every month, then he come back and marry me!' A snigger runs through the bus, someone overheard him talking to his farang Mia (Western Wife) on his mobile last week. Within five minutes of the Mukdahan bus pulling
out of Pattaya North Bus station the farang's wife was common knowledge.

It's the girls from the open bars that go first. They tend to be the blackest and poorest. They have abandoned the frippery that has made them so much money and donned shapeless tops and baggy jeans. They have sent their obligatory two thousand baht
a month home to mum to feed the children every month for three months. Some of them will also have been sending another two thousand each month to the holder of the 'Teeding' book that they fought so hard to get on to. This was in order
that they might have a 'Bart Pra Cha Chon' (Thai Identity Card), which is so useful to present to a farang's hotel reception desk, at the fussier hotels.

These girls do not buy much for themselves, out of their horizontally earned stash. After they have paid their dues, Mum, the big boss of the 'Teeding', their husband and for many, their boyfriend too, they put what is left of the Grad that
they've earned into their bankbook. The average girl of the Blacker, slimmer and sexier of this group will have, on average eighty-thousand baht in their bank book when they leave. Others will have half that because they have spent the rest
on an obligation placed upon them by a husband, boy friend or family member. Indeed, some of the married girls in particular, have very specific instructions on what they must bring home, at the end of their three month holiday in Pattaya, the
World's most exciting city.

The most common of these specific demands are; a specified sum of money, a brand new motor-sai (Step through motor bike) or a combination of both. This creates some amusing scenes at the beginning of the reverse migration back to the I-san. It's
certainly no secret to EMS , the Post Office Courier Service. Yep that's correct some of the girls literally post their hard won motor bike home. Others rent a baht bus taxi and sent it home that way, whilst the lucky few have a boy friend
with a pick-up truck and he takes it home for them.

The demands for end of season cash, by hubby or mummy are almost always between fifty and eighty thousand baht. Such sums will make an important improvement to life on the I-san this year. In this grouping of I-san women it is understood by them that
save for buying their initial sexy togs, most of which they will buy second hand in the market (see 'Scavengers' on this site) eating off the street and paying one thousand baht a month to share a room with up to six other girls, they
must not buy anything with their hard earned grad. Yes they all want at least a gold 'Tong' (Gold Buddha necklace) but that is supposed to be bought for her by a farang.

Among this group are those of similar blackness of skin and a certain frailty of frame that come from the southern most part of the I-san, along the Cambodian border. They tend to be the smallest of the ladies of the I-san. More often than not they are
single mothers with one to three children, in their own mother's care. They tend to work in the cafes, the hotels and for the marginal bars at the lower end of the bar market. Typically, they are the sincerest of the Dark skinned I-San girls.
Most of this group lives with their families in grinding poverty for most of the year. They are up front about why they were here in Pattaya and that they have a preference for kind old men. These girls do not have high expectations. They love
to live-in with their farang, though are not quick to give up their link with their job. Seldom will they have a boy friend, in addition to their farang, and although they are the least flush, with money that is, they will often go to the expense
to be alone in a room. Yes they send money to Mum every month, and they do get in a hell of a flap is they have not got enough in hand, for that purpose, when it gets to the last two of three days of the month. They are unlike their I-san sisters,
described above, in several different ways. They don't send motor bikes home. They don't support an additional boy friend in Pattaya or at home. They usually visit home regularly throughout the season. If they or their parents do not
have an arable teeding they usually work in Pattaya year round. And most important of all they don't tend to require an obligatory sum 'in hand' by the 'hunting' seasons' end. If you the farang have one the ladies
from this group of the South of the I-san, cherish her, because she is likely a good mother, good wife and caring person.


I am away from Bangkok so no comments….sorry!

nana plaza