Truth In Advertising
No. I'm not suggesting a yellow star be pinned to their jackets. It’s not like that at all. But we do need some help. After all what's fair is fair. It should be fair for me and fair for them. I understand that many of us want to be somewhere
else or someone else or have a different life. I'm okay with that but let's not have my rights be violated in an effort to protect theirs.
I've been living in Phuket for the past eight years and have experienced this difficulty before. It’s not only the plethora of fake watches, Oakley sunglasses, Zippo lighters, Polo shirts- the list is endless.
The Ralph Lauren Company confiscated thousands of fake shirts sold in South East Asia and one constantly sees pictures in the papers of steamrollers going over piles of counterfeit CDs and DVDs. And we know that we should not be able to purchase a genuine Rolex on the sidewalk for two thousand baht. Just ask the vendors if you want information -it’s all real they’ll tell you.
However, if one is selling something, there is an obligation to deliver what is presented to the buyer. As anyone can tell you, this certainly does not always happen- especially here.
The Indian tailor shops marked Armani and Boss are a joke. The Cuban cigars sold in Phuket are all made in the Dominican Republic. (Except if you can find any from Cigar Joe in Bangkok. Those are real and worth the expense.)
Remember all the national park land that was sold here in Phuket for hundreds of thousands of dollars about four years ago? It all had “real chanote title” that was issued by the local government.
Go figure. There were sure a lot of disappointed people when the big boys came down from Bangkok and chased everyone off the land.
Once again it's high season. The weather is just fabulous and it's nice to see the restaurants and bars full again. Kata and Karon are filled with tourists, most walking hand in hand on the streets, blissfully unaware that they might be run down at any second by a tuk-tuk or a motorcycle. One has to cross over the yellow line to avoid hitting these people. No matter. The Thai drivers here are also blissfully unaware of the yellow lines or of any driving regulations.
Farther along, the road leads to Patong; a vacation resort filled with couples and families, beer bars, hookers, transvestites, crowded beaches and over priced restaurants. Only Pattaya is a worse choice to take your children or new bride. How do they get here I wonder? Who sends them-these stocky farangs and Korean couples who seem to be happy walking down a broken sidewalk, pushing past Indian tailors calling to them, dodging the touts with leaflets of girly show and massage parlors?
I drove to Karon the other night and it was so busy that I could not find a parking space. I ended up in a bar I had not been to before near Kata.
There were a few katoeys at the bar and also a few cute girls. As soon as I took a seat a girl came over and asked if I would buy her a drink. A greedy girl and not a good sign.
So I said to her, ‘Wait a minute. Are you coming home with me tonight?’
‘Tonight, you come with me -stay long time?’
Having made that clear, I settled in and we had a few drinks together and later I called for the check and bar fine.
The girl looked me right in the eye and smiled.
It was one of those F**k You Farang smiles.
I sorry, have stomach ache. Can not go.’ Followed by a big grin.
I told her that she was a crook, a thief, a bad girl, and a liar.
I got up and gave the money for the drinks to the lady bar owner and told her what happened in an annoyed and loud voice.
‘See this face.’ I pointed to my nose. ‘You never see again.
I never come here again.’
She smiled delightedly at me, along with the bar girl, both as happy as could be. They f**ked the stupid white guy and now he was providing them with some entertainment.
But it’s my fault for living in a tourist area.
The locals see a white face and think ‘There’re only going to be here for two weeks and they may never come back anyway, so let’s screw them while we can.’
Who cares about repeat business when your average customer is leaving the country in a matter of days.
I had parked the car on the road in Kata that runs along Club Med and there were a half-dozen bars in a row.
I stopped in another open-air place. A couple of pretty girls were seated on stools and there was a real beauty behind the bar. I bought her a drink and motioned for her to come around and sit next to me. I wanted a closer look at her. She was tall and slim with long silky black hair. She had beautiful full, sensuous lips and white teeth; I was already imagining kissing her. Her name was Noi and she did not have much English. No matter. She was outstanding.
I noticed that there was a lady-boy at the end of the bar;
dressed to kill, lots of make up and a glittery dress.
I looked back at my girl and she wore slacks, shirt and a sweater- low key style, just what a girl new to the game would wear- not exposing her self too much. I did speak to her a bit and held her hand. She had long slim fingers and a delicate soft voice. She was twenty years old and had just come down from Chang Mai.
I asked if she had any children and she said no.
I had a bit more of my drink as the lady-boy from the end of the bar wandered bye.
What the hell, I thought, might as well make sure.
I turned to my girl and asked her if she was katoey.
What? She replied. Who me? Her eyes wide in surprise.
Jeeze, this is embarrassing I thought but continued to push on.
Yes, you. I pointed to her with my finger.
She looked baffled and did not reply.
Well, I wanted a definite answer and asked again.
Who me? She said.
I replied in a louder voice. You -katoey?
I felt like a school yard bully-haranguing this poor girl who probably did not even know what I was talking about.
Okay, I would stop.
The mamasan walked over to see what the problem was; why I was raising my voice.
‘What?’ she said.
I felt awkward at making a fuss for no reason but I pressed forward.
‘She katoey?’ I said pointing to the beautiful little girl next to me, who was now shyly hanging her head down a bit, looking up with those big eyes.
‘Yes.’ The mamasan said in a matter of fact tone that sounded a lot like ‘Of course she is, Mr. Stupid.’
She then asked if I would pay the bar fine.
Not this time I replied.
I just wonder what we would do if I got her all the way home. I think that she was too young to have had an operation and on reflection she probably wore falsies. Do they think that you might go ahead and have sex anyway or will they say they have their period and opt for oral sex? Or will they say ‘I thought you knew.’
I have no idea but it’s annoying as hell that I almost took her with me. Now, I don’t say that they should wear identification tags when they walk down the street but for God’s sake if they are selling the merchandise in a bar or anywhere else it should be labeled.
We don’t have this problem back home in New York. The guys in drag look exactly like – well – guys in drag.
Can we get all these ‘girls’ together in one or two bars and keep them there.
May be, instead of a yellow star they can wear a yellow butterfly. Wait. They should have to wear the butterfly at all times. Good for them and good for us as they say here. They can identify each other and we can identify them.
The national slogan here should be changed from Thailand- Land Of Smiles to Thailand- Caveat Emptor.
That’s the end of the above piece but if I may please have your attention for a moment longer. A friend told me a story the other day and I realized that I had heard it on Stickman a few times before. It comes up every few weeks like a recurring dream. The writer thanks the Stickman web site for warning about the dangers of falling in love with a bar girl, loosing your head and heart, sending money from home and acting like a fool.
The writer continues and about halfway through he is in a quandary because he has indeed fallen in love with a bargirl. Towards the end, it’s okay because “she’s different”.
The next time some one says those two words to me,
I am going to throw a bucket of ice cold water on them and shout “Wake up you idiot.”
I am also saving a bucket of ice water for my friend fat little Larry from NYC who insists that his bar/girlfriend speaks such good English is because she graduated college and was going to be an architect but was forced in to the worlds oldest profession by cruel circumstances.
Wake up Larry you dope. The reason she can speak English so well is that she f**ked four thousand guys, you moron.
And a bucket for my other friend who tells me he took home his bar/girlfriend after she worked only three days in the bar. Before that she worked in a factory in Bangkok for six years.
Yeah-Right. She worked in Soapy Suds Massage Parlor and she ran so many guys in and out it seemed like a factory.
An ice water bath for my pal who confided to me that even though his girl worked in a bar here for twelve years before she met him, she was always a bartender or cashier.
She never went with a guy for money. What? You idiot. You believe that?
And a bucket of ice water for James Harrison who wrote the submission, “Truth and Consequences”. The girl was getting emotionally attached to you? To your wallet is more like it.
Men of the world unite and stop swallowing all this crap and for God’s sake, stop repeating it.
With ladies, or ladyboys, if in doubt, don’t do it! That is about the best advice I could give. I have to admit that I was watching TV recently and there was a ladyboy on who was stunningly attractive and I did not know! 8 years in Thailand and I was still fooled.