A Field Trip
I mentioned in my last submission two things. One, that I was going to the Pong and the Cowboy for some sample pics soon and that my housekeeper is a great person. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was venture into these places alone and be accosted
by the touts and the girls, mostly just keep a low profile and not attract attention…because attracting attention would mean people might notice I was taking pictures. IMO the best way to do that is to already be with a Thai girl and no
other girl (at last most of them) won’t approach you or give you a second look. Well, they might think the girl you were with is pretty lucky for getting barfined do early but that’s about it.
So I knock on her door and she’s reading the Bangkok Post (reads a lot getting that TOEFL score way up there too) and I say “how do you feel about being my escort for the evening down in the nightlife districts?”
“What do you mean “nightlife?””
I say “first we’ll go to Patpong’s outdoor market, walk up and down the sois, and maybe stick our head in a few places so you can see what’s behind the doorways. If we still feel like it we’ll hit the Cowboy and do the same.”
Her “I’ve never been there, what’s it like?”
Me. “It’s the bargirl tourist area, lots of girls in bikini’s moving around poles, lots of smoke, drunks, pickpockets, and the such.”
Her, “Ok, I’ve heard about this but I’d like to see it.” “Do you think I should wear a nice dress?”
Me, “no, just some jeans and shirt nothing fancy ok?”
Her “but we’re going to be listening to music and there will be dancing?” “Umm.. yes.. there will be music and dancing.. but not how you think, simple jeans and shirt ok?” Not understanding completely she says “ok.” We get dressed and head out.
She pressed the button for the floor where my car is and I push the lobby button and tell her we’ll be taking a taxi. “Why?” Because.. it can be hard to park and more hard to get the smell out of the car. “What smell” Wait and see.. The taxi driver takes one look at a 40ish guy with a pretty 20ish sweet thing and grins when we tell him “Patpong Please.” And away we go. Walking along the sois and outdoor markets she was a bit curious about what was for sale but she kept getting glimpses of inside the dark entry ways of the clubs. I’m standing back a way here and there snapping pictures for a very soon to be released Part II on the photography submissions and she’s checking things out.
I should take this time to let you know she is as innocent as can be. Naieve as well. Being well educated she’s heard about these areas but has never seen them first hand and we all know there’s nothing like getting your feet wet for the first time. I finish my pictures indoors and am ready to try using “stealth” mode in the dark bars and see how the images come out (not bad BTW) and if anyone notices me using the camera since there will be no flash being used, etc.. mostly it will look like her and I are just viewing pictures on the LCD we took outside while enjoying a drink.
So I ask her if she’d like to go inside and she’s a bit hesitant and ask what goes on inside. She’d already had the touts offer her the banana and blow dart shows and I think she was scared to death. I told her on the upper flows the raunchy shows take place but on the bottom floors the girls just hang on poles and move a bit in bikinis. “Ok, let’s see them” and we go into a Kings Group establishment and I feel her grip tighten on my arm the moment we walk in. The place is thick with smoke and the stench of alcohol and even urine and I’d swear vomit as well. We were shown to a small table surface with bench seats about ten feet back from the chrome poles. We ordered cokes and then started taking things in.
The look of horror on her face as the girls turned around revealing g-strings and bare buttocks was evident and then she started mentioning their condition, tall, slim / skinny, decent looking, with a few fat and fugly ones thrown in for those who desire such things.. She says what should I do? I tell her to pretend I’m showing her pictures I already took with my camera on the LCD while in fact we’re taking pictures of the dancers and the security guy who is supposed to stop people taking pictures. The place is dark dark inside save for the stage glow lights and without a flash firing they assume we’re just looking at the evenings shots from elsewhere.
We got that done and then I told her to watch the girls’ faces. They had that “Zombie Zoo” look that is all too familiar and she said she felt sad. She didn’t think they were enjoying themselves at all and were probably embarrassed at having to show their bodies to such a degree. I explained to her that chances were the embarrassment phase was very short and lasted only days, but I did agree they looked sad. The music stopped, the girls shuffled to different sides of the stage, music starts, dancing starts.. if you can call it that. She notices that only one or two of the girls have pretty faces but most all have very slender and trim bodies. She works out 2-3 hours a day herself and is “curvy fit” in a very nice way but she asked how the girls got that thin. I told her they smoke instead of eat, take ya ba and other drugs to stay on their feet, drink a lot, and are basically trashing their health as part of the job. “Oh.” Why do some girls go sit with the guys. I pointed out the Thai man down in front and said you just tell him what girl you like and he’ll have her come sit by you between dances, you buy her a drink that she gets credit for, and you get her company until the next dance. “But what if the girl doesn’t want to sit with the guy? What if he’s too fat, old and ugly?” I told her the girls had to get a minimum of X amount of lady drinks per shift and they didn’t care if fat old ugly men bought them. She shrugs her shoulders as if they made sense. Watches some more.
“Why do the ladies come out with their street clothes on and leave with the customers?” Ummm… errr.. they’ve been barfined, paid the bar owner probably 500-1,000 baht to release her for a few hours or the night and they’re off to a short time hotel for sex. “Why would she want to sleep with these guys, even the one young and fit man was obviously drunk and obnoxious.. “ I told her I don’t think they “want to”, but they do because it pays good money and I explained the price structure to her. “But what about diseases or if the man beats them?” That’s a chance they take, hopefully they’ll make the man wear a condom. “How sad.” I couldn’t help but agree with her. The girls looked sad and were off out the door literally risking their lives hoping the guy who was renting them for the night wasn’t carrying the HIV virus.
After a few more minutes I leaned over and whispered “Now watch the men.” The men couldn’t take their eyes off the dancers, they were transfixed as if in a spell and their eyes didn’t miss even the smallest of already small movements the girls were making. More ciggs, more beer, trips to the bathroom, more ciggs, more beer, more trips.. and then they’d pick one. And she watched the girls interact with the men, rubbing their crotches, etc, and couldn’t believe a Thai girl could act this way. In fact, by now she looked almost ready to cry. To lighten things up I said there were three men dancing on the poles, can you tell which ones? At first she didn’t believe it but when I pointed out the katoeys and why she had to agree and said she would have been fooled. I told her many men are fooled. “What do you mean?” I mean, they get back to their rooms, pull down the panties and are face to face with Mr. Happy. Finally she laughed and said “they deserve it!” I had to agree.. but that’s ok. We paid out tab and left and on the way out several “ladies” asked me to sit with them despite her being there but she held her end of the deal up fine and stayed in real tight and glared at them real hard making them back off.
We walked around the Pong some more talking about what she’d seen and I asked her if she was ready for an upstairs show. She said she’d seen the menus and could imagine, no need to see the show. I felt the same so we headed for a taxi. Now I want to say.. it’s very hard to get a taxi outside the Pong that will turn on the meter. They just laugh at you. When this happened the third time I took out my camera, opened the front passenger door, and asked “we want you to use the meter and take us to Soi Cowboy?” The jackass laughed. I took a picture of his hack license and told him I’d be filing a complaint it the morning and all of a sudden the meter was on and we got to the Cowboy pretty quick. These extortionists park their tuktuks and taxis at all the available curb space and try to control the entire area “off- meter.
Anyway, we’re at the Cowboy and she says “this place looks much nicer, less noisy, less pushy” and I agree, this is why many expats come here I told her. It’s more fun and relaxed. “More fun? How?” So after taking some outdoor pics I grab her arm and into the Long Gun we go and she freezes with her hand over her mouth. Same chrome poles as at the pong, same type of girls dancing, but only wearing boots.. nothing else. I lead her to a table where we order a few cokes and that is that.. We are now sitting less than 5 feet from about 20 totally naked women who are squatting down to show their wares, bending over, the standard stuff… and my date for the night is petrified! So.. again.. I say look at their faces and tell me what you see. She comes back with “they’re looking off into space, not at anybody, they’re like animals on display!” Yes they are, I agree. They’ve been dehumanized by this point and dancing naked is nothing new to them and the 60 year old sod laying his face on the dirty bar to get a better look at her goods as she squats doesn’t even register. Like pieces of meat in the market. This time by herself she looks at the men. Here the men look a lot sadder, older, fatter, uglier, and could take their eyes off the girls. No problem, that’s what they were paying for. But I knew the comment was coming and I’m going 1, 2, 3 and “BKKSW, those men must think really low of themselves to come here and pay for sex with girls younger than their granddaughters!” Umm… it’s possible when they get one to go back to the room they’re pretty proud of themselves? “Then they’re sick!” Hard to argue with that. I suspect as some point in my life I’ll have the same disease. The monotony of the moment was broken up by the girls leaving the stage and then two girls coming on nude to get painted with neon glow paint. The artist was pretty quick and did a good job and it was a bit interesting. But it was time to leave.
We walk for a while and she stays close. “Do all men do that?” I answer that I don’t know, but that I personally have never known a man to stay longer than a weekend in the area and not do that? “Have you done that?” You’ve lived with me for three months now, have you ever seen me come down here? “No” That seemed to satisfy her. Whew.. “Do ALL farangs go there and sleep with those ladies?” Me, probably but to different degrees. Some try it, don’t like it, move on. Some can’t get enough of it.
We spent the rest of the taxi ride home with the Q and A session and when I told her that the farang venues were probably less than 10% of the total places like this and the rest were frequented by Thais she looked very lost. “Then it really is true why many Thai girls don’t want to be married to Thai men?” I said I didn’t think all Thai men were that way, but many were.. and that the farangs going to these venues probably weren’t marriage material either. She said she couldn’t imagine being married to a man who had participated in these things. Funny, I myself couldn’t imagine being married to a woman who had participated in such things.. we were in agreement. The next question: “Do all farangs who come to Thailand go to these places?” Most do, but not all. “Well, how would a nice Thai girl meet such a man who didn’t?” This is something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to. I have some ideas but don’t know if I want to get involved with it. There really are nice Thai women out there and really nice foreign men who are marriage minded and want someone to trust.
I’ve toyed with an ultra-high end matching service where both parties would have background checks that must be made available at some point in the relationship. This would be expensive. Probably to the tune of 5-10k minimum for what I have in mind. I don’t do things half way and I don’t fail at what I do. The required time to satisfactory satisfy both parties about what they’re really getting, and to do it right, would be time consuming and expensive.. but I’ve thought about it because such a service doesn’t exist at this level. Plenty of match making services, you can meet someone and have them checked out a lot cheaper I suppose.. but that’s assuming the guy with the money and paying the bills is a good guy and the women is the potential bad person. I don’t buy that. If I’m going to find the crème of the crop so to speak, the very best and honest Thai women, inventory will obviously be very limited.. but my success would be built on the reputation of satisfied women reporting back to other like women more then recommendations from men to men. The man.. to ensure what he’s getting is what he’s asking for, would have to be willing to pay a large sum where some of it would be used to check him out and forfeit his fee if he failed any of a list of pre-determined and pre-supplied disqualifiers. Would it work? I can find the women, the genuine article. Would a man pay 10k to find a mate he could 100% count on the background of? Knowing that she would be provided and advised on his background. I think in the long run 10K would be cheap.. but it’s just a thought in my mind.. that’s been floating to the top more than I care to admit.
By now we’ve arrived home and we laugh at each other in the elevator because we both stink like smoke and alcohol yet we didn’t smoke or drink. We dashed in the door and headed for the shower and we both ended up scrubbing down pretty good before feeling clean again. A bit later she came over to where I was working on my workstation and thanked me. I asked “for what?” “For opening my eyes to my own country. I’ve lived in Bangkok for six years and have never seen anything like that and it makes me hurt for my country.” I tell her that the Thai venues are alive and well all over Thailand and she accepts this and says she’ll keep an eye out in the future. But now she feels armed with information and that my friends is power. She says very softly “Thank you, I appreciate you.” That almost broke my heart. I try to play it down and tell her she’s a “bargain” and helps me a lot but I know what she means. She’s earning a decent wage being my housekeeper, eats when I eat, we go places together, she learns more and better English daily, she grows more fit and shapely from her hours spent in the gym, and she’s becoming quite the catch for the right man.. she just doesn’t believe that yet.. Still, I have 3 or more months with her to make her believe it. If only I could get her to see herself through my eyes.. She looked tired and I suggested she go off to bed and there she lays with all this new information processing away while she sleeps. She’s got the looks, the skills, the intelligence. She just needs a chance.. I’m going to make sure she’ll get it.
Until next time..
If you had included an email, they would be flooding in from, guys who would like to meet her.
The point about the locals not knowing what goes on is ho so true…. That is one reason the authorities often get upset when people talk about this sort of thing – because a lot of the country really is ignorant!