No Raving Beauty
I often wonder to myself when I see an older farang man walking hand in hand with an unattractive woman.
I think, ‘We’re in Thailand now. There is no reason for this. Hell, I can just about close my eyes and bump into an attractive girl.’ The more I noticed this phenomenon the more curious I became. Now that I was aware of it, I started to see more couples like this in my neighborhood. They all seemed to be firmly entrenched; that is- in a long term relationship. The men were all in their late fifties or sixties or older and the women were all in their late forties or fifties and were all unusually plain or down right homely.
I wondered if some of these couples had been together for years and years and at one time the women were attractive.
I discarded that thought as most, I ungenerously speculated, were never the least bit pretty. I longed to make friends with one or more of these couples and ask them how long they had been together and I did. Some had only been together for a few months or a few years.
My next question would be, ‘Why did you choose such an unappealing looking woman when there are so many beauties around?’
But I couldn’t very well say that could I? I learned later that two of my very close friends were living with homely women. As luck would have it the three of us decided to go on
vacation to Cambodia for a week.
This was a perfect opportunity for me to find out if I could phrase the question properly.
As soon as we landed in Phnom Penh we headed straight for the Le Cyrcee Club. It was a place where the girls were not bashful. We sat at the bar and ordered three gin and tonics. In a matter of seconds a group of girls came over and my friend Reiner declared that this one girl was the most beautiful girls that he had ever seen and made arrangements to keep her for the whole week.
Well, from the look of his girl in Thailand I could believe it. ‘Is this how it happens I thought, by sheer accident? An ugly girl walked up to him in Thailand by chance and he fell for her? I begged him, since we had been in Cambodia for all of an hour, not to be so hasty and to walk down the road with me to the Sharky Bar. It’s quite a nice place, on the second floor, with a balcony overlooking the street. It has a few pool tables and a large oval bar with plenty of space to stroll around and the food is excellent. The big draw is, of course, the girls. Freelancers abound and proliferate as the night goes on. The girls are both Cambodian and Vietnamese. Most are pros but some have regular day jobs and are just looking to pick up a few extra bucks. For my money most of the girls, especially the Cambodians, are much nicer than the girls in Thailand. They are more friendly and less mercenary.
In the Sharky Bar, the Khmers and the Vietnamese don’t hang out with each other. Live and let live. Sometimes as many as twenty Viet girls arrive with their own momma-san. This is very helpful when they don’t speak English.
You can make all of the arrangements with the chaperone.
The three of us sat down on the balcony and were immediately surrounded by a dozen Viet beauties. Heaven, this is pure heaven, I thought, as three girls wrapped themselves around me. I looked over at Reiner, a big guy from Finland. He had his huge arms around six or seven girls and had a giant grin on his face. I glanced over at Nigel from England. He was in a deep conversation with the momma-san. Those of you who have been here know that most of the minders are all of an indeterminate age and look like Komodo Dragons. Fat and forty we used to say back home. Yes, you guessed it. Nigel took the woman back to his room. Why would he choose the oldest and least attractive woman in the place? My two friends had the time of their lives for the week and always came home later than myself.
When they came downstairs for breakfast, all of their girls were invariably homely.
‘Jeeze, if you guys picked out a girl earlier in the evening, they would not be so bad looking,’ I said.
They looked at me in puzzlement. ‘What do you mean?’
What’s going on? I have to get to the bottom of this, I thought.
The next night after I had more than a few drinks, I asked Nigel why he didn’t choose prettier girls, as he sure had many chances and why didn’t he have a younger woman for a live-in back in Thailand.
‘Because the older ones are so grateful,’ he said to me with a big smile on his face.
Well, I gave up. Was he kiding me? Maybe I would never know why guys here went out with less than attractive girls.
Back in Thailand I decided that I needed a full time live-in all round housekeeper and girl. The first one I chose was a real cutie from a bar in Karon. She cleaned up the house a bit and spent the rest of the day watching TV. I got rid of her and asked my friend Marc who has been here a while and speaks Thai to find me a girl. She was cute too and did a whirlwind job cleaning the house.
She jumped on her motorbike at 8 PM.
‘Where are you going?’ I said.
‘I have job in Karaoke. I come back 3 AM.’
‘You didn’t tell me that.’
‘I just got job today.’
‘Wait. Take all of your clothes with you.’
The problem with hiring a young cutie pie is that they are always trying to find a way to finagle a few more thousand baht, mostly by doing short time at the drop of a hat and with your friends too, if they can.
I took the precaution of showing the next candidate around the house. An adorable twenty year old. I asked if she liked dogs- the whole bit. Okay, she moved in the next day. That night she put my dogs outside.
‘What are you doing?’
‘Dogs should sleep outside. I no like sleep with dogs.
I took her and showed her the couch on the porch. ‘You no like sleep with dog. You sleep here. Dogs sleep inside.’ That was the end of her.
I was getting discouraged trying to find a live-in and called an old girlfriend of mine.
‘Meet me at the cafe down the street. Lots of girls come there and I can translate for you.’
I spoke to the owner of the cafe and told her that I was looking for a live-in house keeper and girlfriend.
I offered her a one thousand baht reward and by george in two days she brought me a girl right off the bus from Roi-Et. Twenty-two years old, no babies, no tattoos, no English and sturdily built. She told me that in three months she had to go back home for a week and help her parents with the harvest.
‘What did you do before?’ I inquired.
‘I am farmer.’
And I believed her as she sure looked the part.
Okay, she moved in and is doing a great job. Cleans the house from top to bottom every day, makes me breakfast and feeds the three dogs and the one cat. (I just adopted a baby Poodle.)
Saa goes shopping at the outdoor market, buys and cooks the chicken and fish for the pets.
I can send her into the supermarket by herself. She makes me frozen fruit drinks and waits on me hand and foot.
The bottom line for me was always, ‘Would I barfine this girl out?’ And I have to say no I would not pay a bar fine for
On the other hand I am very happy with her. She in turn is very happy and grateful to be here.
I found the answer to my riddle easily and by accident. Now I understand.