Stickman Readers' Submissions May 16th, 2006

So You Think You Know Bar Girls?

I have the pleasure of living in the same building with many of the girls from Soi Cowboy. I have read 100’s of stories on a couple of different websites and everyone has their own opinions. Leave it at that. Even though there are some real pigs here in Thailand.

Everyday the girls get together at our community picnic tables in the patio, and have brunch, drinks in the early afternoon and maybe even have something to eat before heading off to work in the Soi. Being one of the neighbors, I am always invited to hang out and eat and drink.

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In this environment, there is a different side to these girls that you will never see or find in the bar. For me it is a very happy occasion to share this time with these girls, yet I often hear stories that deeply sadden me to the point where I wish I could help them all.

As a foreigner, I can hear the word poor and have mixed reactions. However, when I hear stories of how poor these Isaan girls are, it gives a new meaning to me for the word poor. It was hard for me at first, to understand how many girls from the same region can end up in the same area and on the same streets in Bangkok and why?

Everyone knows these girls are some of the most beautiful girls in the world and you have to wonder why this happened, how it happens, and then you have to understand Isaan and what poor really means?

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Many of these girls are the main bread winners for their entire families including father, mother, brothers, sisters, even their own kids. Without the income they make on the streets in Bangkok, many of these families would have nothing. Venture up into Isaan and see for yourself what nothing really is.

It is hard to take a girl making 50,000 baht a month at the Baccarat bar and tell her the only other choice is to be a good girl and be dirt poor, or go get an unskilled job making 8,000 a month. That 50,000 baht per month goes a long way in Isaan, better believe that.

It can be very painful hearing the stories of these girls, because it is not like they enjoy sleeping with 60 year old, fat slobs with bad breath to make an income. But they accept and perform the job in order to avoid the alternative, which is to be dirt poor.

I have never been dirt poor, and I cannot question what I would be willing to do myself if I was ever faced with the same situation, so I do not pass judgment on anyone whose shoes I have not walked in.

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You know many of these girls, even with little to no education, are quite articulate, hold a good conversation and still maintain a positive outlook on life in general. Sure they are always hoping for the white knight to sweep in and take them out of there and into the “easy life”, however, they are smart enough to know they have to survive in the meantime doing what they do.

Every evening after dinner and drinks, I am deeply saddened as I watch the girls pile into a taxi and head off for the Soi, even though they are usually happy and upbeat. I guess I can say these girls could all be like your sister and her friends hanging out and you develop the personal relationship that most of the bar patrons never see or experience. This is where it can become sad because I know these girls and they are good at heart and only trying to survive. Granted I am talking about the girls that live in my building and not all the girls in Thailand!

The latest mobile phone, a gold bracelet, and a place to sleep is about all these girls want or need to keep them happy, yet their friendships with each other and me, as I have experienced, is worth more than all the money in the world.

I can sincerely say the time I spend with these girls at our complex, is some of the best times I have ever had and I look forward to this everyday and seeing how happy they are with each other. Their company is extremely uplifting to me personally and always leaves me such a high, just spending some time together.

I think that when you can find friends that can be themselves and accept the cards that life dealt them and still be happy, you are in the company of some fine individuals.

One or twice a month I barfine the whole gang out of the bars so we can go to a nice club and enjoy life away from the action of Soi Cowboy. Once again, the girls can let loose and be themselves and their happiness is so contagious. These girls can fit in with any crowd casual or formal, and are no different that most women I have met around the world. These girls have good hearts and that is why times can be so painful. It’s like saying goodbye to someone you love knowing it is the last time, but doing this every night.

I would not want to see my own sister going out and selling herself every night just to survive and support mom and dad, no more than I want to see these girls doing it. But I have to accept the fact, some of these girls make huge amounts of money each month and it would be impossible for me to help them all out now?, even if they were my real sisters.

The friendship and happiness I have is worth more than all of the sex in Bangkok.

Foreigners that live and work in Thailand and that have lived here for more than 2 weeks seem to have a better attitude and acceptance of the bar girl scene, possibly from getting to know some of the girls and spending inordinate amounts of time in different bars around Bangkok.

Some of the trash that people post on these websites is down-right messed up and you have to wonder how these guys found their way to Thailand in the first place?

If you are 60 years old and ugly as sin and your mission is to see how many girls you can have sex with, then yes you are messed up. In the morning you are still old and ugly, and probably a few dollars short. Any idea how pathetic you look walking down Sukumvit Road with your grand daughter?

I guess the message here, is these girls are human beings, with real feelings, just like sisters, daughters, aunts, mothers. Getting to know this side of these girls has been a great joy for me and I am hell-bent to do everything I can to help them in any way I can.

Stickman's thoughts:

Your optimism and positive outlook is great, but I personally do not share it, at least when it comes to the girls. I also disagree that the problem is poverty. The problem as I see it is education, or a lack of it.

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