Readers' Submissions

Up To U

  • Written by Anonymous
  • December 19th, 2007
  • 10 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok


I have been to Thailand about 40 times over the last 14 years and have heard the expression "Up to U" uttered by many many Thai ladies between the ages of their early twenties to their mid thirties both to me and others who are sitting near me.

I have heard it uttered by both "good" and "working" Thai ladies.

I have no doubt that when "working "Thai ladies utter the expression "Up to U" they actually mean either:

(a) "Listen up farang, now if you pay my bar fine and pay my agreed contract price for the services I have agreed to perform for you and allow me to go home at the time I have already specified and you otherwise treat me with respect, then it is totally up to you where you want to go and eat and drink or otherwise waste (or fill in if you prefer) time before we hit the sack, but if in any way you do not abide by those stated terms I will have my minder around to deal with you before you can even utter the words "Sorry I didn't understand""; or

(b) "Listen up farang, now if you pay my bar fine and pay me what I determine in my mind is fair compensation for the services I choose to perform for you when I ask for my tip and you allow me to go home at the time of my choosing (as you have not agreed with me on any of those basic contractual terms) and you otherwise treat me with respect, then it is totally up to you where you want to go and eat and drink or otherwise waste (or fill in if you prefer) time before we hit the sack, but if in anyway you do not abide by those implied terms I will have my minder around to deal with you before you can even utter the words "Sorry I didn't understand"; or

(c) As an old Thai girlfriend once simply explained it to me when she said:

"Phil, "Up to U" means "Up to you to do the right f….ing thing!"".

So I conclude that "Up to U" is not a very welcoming expression at all, it has a lot more to it than appears from the mere utterance of that phrase.

The word count for this submission at this point is 417 words, and at the request of Stickman I will lengthen it to over the minimum 800 word requirement.

I will add what I hope are a few NEVERS that you may have heard before but I hope are useful to you when you are in Thailand and dealing with working girls, with some of my own experiences shared for you to show what could otherwise happen.

1. Never taste anything that is part of your bird's meal.

Came back from the toilet at my regular Soi 4 restaurant opposite my regular hotel about 4 years ago and my companion, who I had known for 6 months, said to me "This doesn't taste right, could you try a little bit." I did. 20 minutes later I was in my hotel room with her and feeling drowsy. 50 minutes later I had woken and she was gone and so was some of my money (she left about a third of what was in my wallet).

Obviously she put the drug into her meal while I was at the toilet. For the staff (many of whom I knew well) would have become suspicious if they had seen her putting something in my meal (or in my drink) while I was in the toilet. But they would not care less what she sprinkled on or poured into or over her meal. She was by no means a stupid bitch. She was a very clever (criminal) cookie.

She could of course have killed me; for she would not have known whether I was allergic to that drug or not.

Luckily I did not have in my wallet the normal maximum amount I carry around with me.

I knew where she lived, but that same afternoon she disappeared and changed her phone number and address and left her university. One friend saw her from a distance about 3 months ago; I intend to try to "run into" her again, as she owes me.

The text she sent me after the drugging and robbery was, "I need computer. I will pay you back". I had told her a few days before the drugging that if we lasted a further 6 months I would give her 20,000 baht for her birthday to buy a computer to assist her with her university studies. I suspect she had a drug debt to pay. I never use drugs, but I was aware she liked smoking pot from time to time.

2. Never let a bird into your room unless she has deposited her (true) ID card at reception with strict instructions that it is not to be returned to her unless you approve of it (either in person or by phone from your room).

Prior to the above drugging I had a rule of after knowing a bird for about a month I would not require the ID deposit by them.

3. Never drink any part of your then drink when you come back from the toilet.

Again I was drugged by a bird when I came back from the toilet and continued drinking my then drink. It was in 1997, I think. Always buy a new bottle of whatever you are drinking.

4. Never eat any part of your then meal when you come back from the toilet. Have not been drugged this way yet. Easy way to avoid it is go to the toilet BEFORE your meal arrives.

5. Never think you are with some working bird who will not drug you. Many of my friends have been drugged. We are all long time travellers to, or residing in, Thailand, some having resided in Thailand for over 19 years. Unfortunately the demand for a drug or gambling debt repayment is far more important to a working girl than your life. It might not be her debt, but it may be that of a family member or a close friend, and their lives are far more important than yours or that of any other farang.

6. Never tell a bird when you meet her for the first time in the first 20 or more minutes of conversation what hotel you are staying at, how long will you be staying in Thailand, when you will be going home, where you are from or how many times you have been to Thailand.

She only wants such information to calculate what tip she will quote to you and whether you are worth talking to as a potential ATM. She is not interested in the answers for any other reason. She may be interested in the answers to such questions if you talk with her for a few hours by which time you would have probably provided such information voluntarily. If you did not buy her a drink within about 8 minutes she has more than likely moved on. If birds stay for more than 8 minutes without a drink there is hope for them (in my eyes anyway).

Just be polite, and answer the questions if fired at you in the first few minutes as follows:

Where you are staying? "I can't remember the name of it but I know its location."

How long will you be staying in Thailand? "As long as I like."

When you will be going home? "When I am ready to" or "When I feel like it."

Where you are from? "A long way outside Thailand, but I speak English (or a little English)."

How many times have you been to Thailand? "This is the first time this month" or "second time" as the case requires. Never ever say it is your actual first time.

She will probably run off and ask the English expert of the bar / gogo what a lot of the phrases you have replied with mean, or if she knows what the answers do actually mean, she will know you are streetwise (or on her case), having some "fun" with the answers, are aware why she asked the question(s), and either you will discover she is good company or just another money hungry working girl.

Sadly many of the working girls and good Thai girls have no idea where other countries are. Many who I have shown a globe or a map of the world to have looked in Europe for my country, Australia. Australia is not only a country but one of the continents.

It is very easy to keep a conversation going by asking them the same questions back and talking about them, such as their family, where their farm is, what schooling they had, what clothes and music they like, is eating ever off their mind. And then there is the subject of sex, they can talk about it for hours.

7. Never leave a bar or gogo with a bird unless you have made a contract of price, duration of her stay and services to be performed by her for you. I know many people who do so without those basics agreed to and have not had difficulties, but I know more who have had difficulties and have converted to the contract rule.

8. Never let a working girl suck you into the process of you being the first to offer what your tip is to be to her.

That crap of "Up to U" Up to U". After about five times of her repeating it to you, if you are firm, she will blurt out what price she wants.

Your normal tip may be over what she wanted, for she may actually like to go with you and offer to go at an amount that is lower than your norm; for she may not want to scare you off (she may not be one of those increasing number of short time specialists).

Out of any ten birds, say in Rainbow I, you have about a 10% chance of this happening to you [finding a single girl], for about 80% of them in there have to make so much a night otherwise there will be hell to pay when they get home to their boyfriends (or husbands), and the other 10% have girlfriends who are out trying to do the same thing [make as much money as possible].

You always have the choice of paying your bird for the night more than she wants, and the choice of after that initial offer by her on price declining to have any further contract negotiations (on the basis her opening offer is over the top). If you remain silent it really annoys them, but if you just remain silent and have a look on your face of being dumb struck by their utterance, they soon learn that is your cue for them to move on to another customer.

An aside; about 3 months ago I was in Rainbow I with a friend and his bird from there, and she said that of the birds on stage at that actual moment (and at a guess they would have at least 40 in each of their 20 minute or whatever groups), she knew for a fact (as she glanced over each of them) that every one of them had a Thai boyfriend or husband (and of those birds many have 1, 2 or 3 overseas sponsors who believe those birds are in fact single and not even working).

Stickman's thoughts:

Some good advice there. Druggings are a problem and we have to be careful about that.

Whether to negotiate price in advance is a tough one. There are good arguments for and against!

Oh yes, the boyfriend / husband issue. Most of them DO have someone!