Stickman Readers' Submissions June 5th, 2006

Going For The Girlfriend Effect In Pattaya – Part 2

Taeng Mo was my first (and only) relationship that I would consider I had the classic girlfriend effect with in the LOS.

My last article left off with Taeng Mo crying on the phone about not having enough money to visit her sick mother, and Stickman’s words of advice – and reality: The troubles begin when you start handing out phone numbers and email addresses.

He Clinic Bangkok

Currently on my semi-annual visit to the Land of Smiles, I was determined not to see Taeng Mo again. I was not going to go by her bar area. Only one problem – the baht buses go right by the Rolls Royce Bar, located on Second Road, just about 200 feet from Soi 8.

As luck would have it, the baht bus stopped right in front of the Rolls Royce to drop off a passenger. This gave me a chance to see if I could catch a quick peak of Taeng Mo, but I could not see her. As fate would have it, she spotted me. What are the odds this would happen? Did she check every baht bus that went by?

She flagged me down as the baht bus took off and I openly was using profanity for this turn of events and had to figure out whether to keep on going or not. I decided not to be a total heel and got off the bus. The baht bus had gotten all the way to Soi 7 by the time I could make this decision.

CBD bangkok

She was looking as good as ever, all 43 kilograms of her, but I wasn’t even tempted to continue the relationship. This trip was about renewal.

Since my last Stickman report, I had remembered her birthday with gifts delivered by a friend visiting in September and spent an additional two days with Taeng Mo at Christmas. The visit was pleasant, but I felt – how shall I phrase it? It was more like being with a wife than a lover. This was in my own head more than anything that Taeng Mo did, but where else does the GFE lead? To take on more and more responsibility over their well-being? How many steps down the perilous road of rescuing a bargirl did I want to take? This has been discussed enough. I trust you get my point.

As a long time friend has repeatedly told his lovely 22-year-old daughter: A good lie is always better than a bad truth. Of course this friend is not who I go to for spiritual counseling, but it seemed it might apply in this situation. I told her that I just got into town that day, and that my significant other from America was arriving tomorrow.

I was amazed at how strong my resolve was that I truly knew it was the right thing to do to end this relationship pronto. I am old enough and wise enough to know how one thing leads to the other. Plus how many Stickman columns do you have to read to comprehend this simple point?

wonderland clinic

But that still left tonight. I had no alibi for that night. Should I just spend one night with her, just for companionship, for old time’s sake? She would lose great face if I didn’t bar fine her. I was undecided.

The conversation carried on with the ladyboy show carrying on in the background – the same show as a year previous. Quite a selection of ladyboys, many having incredible cleavage that even made Taeng Mo jealous. The performers seemed a little less enthusiastic than previously, but after all, it’s low season and there’s not much of a crowd.

I started laying the groundwork of the fact that the condominium I was staying at, I was afraid the small front desk would remember me and I was afraid my S.O. would find out on her arrival tomorrow. But I wasn’t definitive.

Finally I come up with a solution. After strong hints that I didn’t want to take her back to the condo, I told her: I know. I pay your bar fine so we can go eat. Absolutely brilliant! She saves face and I go on with my life.

I was still equivocating whether to have her spend the night for old time’s sake, but my inner voice was saying no.

After paying bar, we head down Soi 8 to Beach Road and I start telling her how I really feel: “Taeng Mo, you are my first girlfriend I have in Pattaya. That makes you special. In fact, you are my only girlfriend in Pattaya. Yes, I have had other lovers, but you are my only puan.”

We get to the restaurant on the other side of Soi 7 on Beach Road and the conversation continues.

The conversation seemed to be in a loop. Everything was same-same. She work hard to take care of daughter, sister, mama….father-in-law no good. No send money to papa. Take care of everybody. Must pay rent.

As the conversation continues, I tell her, “Taeng Mo, I want you to be my friend, but not my lover. That is a good thing. Lovers come and go. Friendship can be forever.”

I receive a blank look. Am I not communicating?

I smile and gesture openly with my hands, “I know, I know, friendship doesn’t pay the bills.” Little did she know that my friendship may pay much more than being a lover.

I look into her eyes and try to see the real Taeng Mo. One fault in the human condition is trying to see in others what you want to see, not what is really there.

Taeng Mo’s radiant smile can light the room, but now she turns to a more pensive and quiet mood, as if in deep thought, as she is prone to do at times. On our last visit, while riding in the baht bus, a friendly chap at a beer bar shouts out, “Smile, love, it’s not that hard.” Taeng Mo immediately broke out in a lovely smile, the difference between night and day.

“Taeng Mo, you always think too much,” I tell her.

“I know,” she says. “Always think, think. I worry too much. I think about sister, daughter, mama. Have to take care –”

I again gesture openly and with a bit of frustration ask her, “What do you want me to do? What can I do?” No answer. What is there to say?

Although we may not be able to solve our friends’ problems, we can offer a listening ear and support, and sometimes that is enough. Was it enough here? I must confess, I felt like I wasn’t even on the right ball field.

The whole situation reminded me of the play Evita, and as ridiculous as it may seem — and helped along by the fact I do not shy away from awkward segues — I started talking to her about the musical. Evita, as a young lady trying to make her way in Argentina, bouncing from one lover to the next, sings belatedly: Where am I going to? With the final answer being: Don’t ask anymore…

Life is tough, we make our decisions, we live with them. This applies to Taeng Mo and to me. And somehow or another, we make it to the next stage. The school teachers making 6,000 baht a year somehow make it in LOS, although I certainly don’t know how. But life does go on.

I finally made it clear to Taeng Mo I was NOT taking her back to the condo, that just like I said, I pay her bar fine to go eat, because she is my friend, and handed her 2,000 baht. She slips it into her purse quietly.

A minute or two later, she thanks me for the money and she asks me if I am going straight back to the condo to sleep. I tell her yes, and she tells me she doesn’t believe me. Well, that is her call to make.

She sees me off as I get on the baht bus and make sure she is out of sight before I get back off. I walk back to Soi 7 where Wau is waiting for me.

I met her the night previous, a lovely girl who knelt in bed naked while fervently praying to Buddha before turning in for the night. Very touching.

I paid Wau’s bar fine and she went to get her shirt to cover up her skimpy top.

The black T-shirt in the front proclaimed prominently: “fxxx you.”

The back of the T-shirt finished the message: “You fxxxing fxxx.”

Life goes on…

Stickman's thoughts:

Some girls can't be saved. Sometimes it is just too difficult.

nana plaza