Can A Girl Make It Out Of The Bar Alone?
This is the story about one girl I know very well who works in the bar scene. I consider her to be one of my best friends in Bangkok. We have had sex many times but never in a bargirl / customer relationship- it is aside from the sex, purely platonic
and we only see each other once a week or once a fortnight. I consider myself a shoulder to cry on as Noy, (not her real name) while she is great fun to be with does get quite down and depressed with the work she does.
I'll give a brief background about her. Unlike many bargirls she did finish school and after doing a training course managed to land a reception job at a very good hotel in Hua Hin. She worked here for 3 years before she met her husband to be who later whisked her off to foreign fields where they had a child together. This relationship later went sour (apparently because of his infidelity) and she returned to Thailand minus her son and with nothing financially to show from the marriage. She misses her son greatly but accepts that he is probably better off there as her husband is a very wealthy individual with a family that takes very good care of her son. She has never asked her ex- husband for money but he sends her money every so often which averages out at about 5,000 baht a month.
It appears to me that she liked the lifestyle she had with her ex-husband and stays in a reasonable apartment on her own (7,000 a month) and enjoys her money. Also her family are reasonably well off and she is under no pressure to send money home every month.
On returning to Thailand she was able to procure her old job but was just not satisfied with the lifestyle it allowed her to have. This was the bad turning point in her life in my opinion. She had a friend who worked in one of the bars in Nana Plaza who persuaded her to come and work as a "waitress". This is where I first met her in October 2005. She caught my eye right away because she was so much prettier than any of the dancers. Her English is really good so none of the old "What you name?, where you come fom?, how old you?" I called in many times just to have a chat with her (but of course she was not always there! ) and even barfined her a few times to give her a night off. The bar where she worked was pretty flexible too and she took a day off every week or two with no complaint.
As I said I consider her to be a good friend and so it really niggles me that such a pretty, intelligent girl could continue to work in the worst kind of environment and for the worst kind of people. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not one of these "save the girl from a life on the game" types but I did try to encourage her to try other options and see what happened. However she just seems to have a knack for making bad choices. She decided to leave this job where she had some freedom and her salary was not dependent on going with customers to another much busier bar where she only had one day off a month, and her salary would be cut according to lady drinks and "offs". Her first month’s salary was 3,000 baht and the second 3,500 due to salary cuts. This was down about 3,000 baht on the last job. She was really upset as she was starting to get into debt with people (not me).
She asked me for advice about her future and I told her that she had to get away from the bar scene as it was already starting to take its toll on her. I advised her that if she couldn't be happy with a regular job and average salary then she would be much better off going "freelance". She would go to places such as Riva's and Spasso's twice a week and never seemed to come out empty handed and never less than 4,000 baht. She could make more if she went out more often but she didn't want to abuse her body that much. At this point she is earning a half-decent income for not much work and had no-one to answer to. She could buy some nice things for herself and go out when she wanted. Seemed to be happy enough.
When I returned to Thailand in February 2006 she was still doing the same thing and seemed to be quite content. We went out most weeks and she was happier than she had ever been.- THEN CAME ANOTHER TWIST!!
One night she pulled a guy in Spasso's nightclub and went back to his hotel. When in the shower she realised that her period was on its way and informed the gentleman that business was off for tonight. He replied that he didn't care as long as he had a condom on but she was adamant. He became incensed and basically threw her out and threw her clothes and bag out after her. This really, really upset her and made her feel about as low as you can get. Now you would think this may have been the moment that made her quit the scene altogether, but no. In fact she went back to Nana Plaza (the original bar) with her argument being that at least here she had no expectations that any guys would be nice.
We are still friends but I have now given up on giving her advice although it is quite painful to watch a friend do this to themselves. At the end of the day she will do what she wants to do and my guess is that she will continue to work in the flesh industry until she is lucky enough to meet someone who is prepared to rescue her from the bar.
It seems as though this situation is endemic in the bar world. Once ladies have had a taste of the money they can earn here especially ones with no education they are reluctant to work long hours in a regular job for pittance. One can understand this but it does not compensate for the loss of self respect and the hardening of emotion that they suffer.
Sometimes I really don't want to see Noy any more because it's not nice watching someone you like ruining their life but then what sort of friend would I be if I turned my back?
The one thing I will say about her is that she doesn't smoke and has never taken drugs.
But how long will it be before she goes down that road? If she stays long enough that her spirit becomes completely broken and hope of a happy future has vanished then drugs may seem like a good option.
I really hope that the next time I’m in Bangkok I find that Noy has been taken out of the bar and plans to leave Thailand. I don't think she can make it on her own.
In conclusion, I, like most guys, enjoy a visit to the naughty bars with the lads but sometimes one can't help think that we are feeding the system and keeping parasite bar owners (who in many cases view the girls as nothing more than numbers) in business.
We can be very quick to condemn bar girls and prostitutes in general but think what these girls were like before they went to work there- probably sweet, pretty and full of life.
In my last three months in Bangkok I didn't visit any naughty establishments, and hopefully this trend will continue. It's just not a nice world!
The bar scene destroys lives. Yes, of course there are good points about it, but for the girls who get stuck in it for a long time, and who have some nasty experiences, they will never be the same again.