Readers' Submissions

Bangkok Nightlife – Caveat Emptor


The local nightlife has thousands and thousands of diehard fans that believe that the lower sois of Sukhumvit is about the best thing that has ever happened to this planet. Sure, one can have a wonderful City of Angels and I have very fond memories of my trips to this enigmatic city of wats and tuktuks. Nevertheless, I feel that most of the submissions undermine the potential dangers and pitfalls of indulging in the wild side of the city. I hope that this submission puts some things into better perspective for newbies.

I am not talking about some unwanted souvenirs (like AIDS, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, nonspecific urethritis, etc.) – although these are not to be discounted. Neither am I talking about falling in love with the Isaan creatures; anyone who actually falls in love with a hooker needs to see a therapist.

I am talking about altercations and disagreements with local prostitutes. I am sure these things happen frequently; they seem to be under-reported on this site; maybe they just drown out amid the missives that put Nana Plaza on some kind of a pedestal and the plethora of sob stories from the poor chumps who decided to get hitched to their “teeraks”.

A bit about me, if it’s of any relevance: I am a fairly young Westerner without any issues or baggage from the past. The following took place during my most recent trip to Bangkok.

It was my first day (of four) in Bangkok. After having a few drinks at the Club Lounge at Landmark, I ventured to the infamous Nana Entertainment Plaza and strolled into Rainbow 1 (a gogo bar). I sat down, ordered my beer and carefully scanned the chicks gyrating on the stage before settling for the most wild-looking girl. Her name was Pi and she had sultry East Asian features rather than the typical SE Asian look found in the gogos. She said she had Malay blood. I didn't really care. All I cared about was that she was a looker and had amazing breasts – quite large for a Thai girl. Typical punter thinking with his privates.

Anyway, I proposed to return to my hotel. Here cometh the negotiations. She asked for B3,500 "long-time"; we eventually settled on B2,500 for the whole night. I told her I'd pay her another B500 if I like her. She readily agreed and 15 minutes later, we were out on the way to my hotel, holding hands like a bunch of high school love doves. She was cute and kept on calling me "sir". Told me she knew "I was a good man" as soon as she saw me at the bar. You know, the usual. She wore a nice white-black dress, which looked slightly classier in the hotel lobby than the usual drab ensemble worn by Nana creatures. I thought I was in heaven and had a stupid smile on my face. Little did I know what was in store for me.

We got to business as soon as we arrived and finished the shower routine. At first, she proceeded to turn off the lights (I bloody hate that – I like the light on for God's sake – I might as well buy a rubber doll to shag in the darkness and pretend it's a girl!), but I said I wanted to see her. She replied, "there is nothing for you to see". Hmmm, okay. I was a bit nonplussed, but insisted on keeping the lights on.

During our session, my condom tore – we found out only once the deed was done. She headed to the bathroom to wash herself, while I waited. She returned in 5 minutes, asked me if I was OK and – much to my astonishment – started to get dressed. I was puzzled. Hey, I wanted an all-nighter. It was midnight. I was all set for a good night's sleep with a warm young body beside me. We had a deal, for God’s sake! I've asked her where she was going. She said she had to leave, as this was an emergency and she had to take a birth control pill (huh?). That wasn't exactly what I had in mind and I politely reminded her that we agreed on a "long-time" session. She was adamant, so I politely informed her that I would only pay her B2000.

This is where hell broke loose. She turned from an angel into a monster in a split second, and started shouting at me. All kind of profanities, etc. Showed an excellent command of English foul language. I tried to reason with her and explain that she did not deserve the full B2,500 payment because she violated our agreement, but she was impervious to any logic.

Don't get me wrong; B500 is only US$10, but it was a matter of principle for me, as I felt that she has reneged on a deal and did not deserve to be compensated fully.

Things were really getting out of hand at this point. She was threatening me with all the bigwigs she happened to know; the gangsters, the owners of the hotel, the owners of Rainbow 1. Bullshit for sure, but I was getting increasingly nervous. She shouted that she didn't really need the money (uh huh), and that this was "Thailand, not Farangland", etc. At one point, she threw my B2,000 on the floor (which I previously thought was a taboo). She then tried to push me several times and I found myself pushing her hand away from me. I was flabbergasted and stunned. My heart was beating like a drum. This completely contradicted what I’ve heard of the Thais; face-saving, non-confrontational. And what’s worse, this was completely uncalled for. I was actually being nice to her, by offering 2000 Baht. Logically, the payment should have been more like B1,750 – half of the originally agreed-upon payment. She barely spent an hour in my room!

Things were getting worse by the second. I phoned for security; she grabbed the phone from me and also yelled for the operator to get security. She then phoned someone on her cell and started yapping in Thai. Said she is phoning the police. I pinched myself, hoping this is a bad dream. That it was not.

Several moments later, the security fellow was there, along with the manager on duty. The manager on duty asked her not to phone the police. They listened to both sides. More yelling from the whore. I later wondered if she was high on drugs. I gave them my story. Then they turned to her again. I couldn’t understand a word of what she was saying, so was kind of difficult to refute her or defend myself.

Then I gave myself a good reality check. In retrospect, this must have been quite a scene for an outside observer. Here I was a 4-star hotel in my bathrobe (!) facing off a psychotic hooker, trying to keep 500 Baht in my wallet and explaining why I had the right to do it to the hotel security. This has gotten too far. I thought, "forget it" and told them I'd pay the extra B500 so they can get her out of my room. She kept on yapping angrily in "Thinglish” (Thai at them, English at me). They finally escorted her outside and I went back to bed.

I was totally shattered. How could this happen? I am a nice young guy, non-confrontational, paying her money that she wouldn't earn in a week working in a regular office in Bangkok! More importantly, she screwed me over! I never tried to cheat her; she did.

I continued to have "fun" over the next couple of days, but it put a big damper on the whole trip and put me off the local scene. What’s the main lesson one can glean from this unfortunate story? I will leave that to you, dear reader. But be careful out there. Things can turn ugly. Caveat emptor.

Stickman's thoughts:

Problems like this are more common than you think. Obviously this woman was clearly out of line, but one has to remember that at the end of the day, we’re talking about prostitution, and prostitution is an industry where problems are encountered all over the world.