Stickman Readers' Submissions November 13th, 2008

“I No Speak English”

"I No Speak English"

Shuffling between the late night male oriented venues I found a sudden wash of boredom consume me to the bone. The female Thai form swaying next to a pole had begun to lose its excitement in my mind and the flair of the areas we love so much just went south. So I decided it was time to spice things up a bit…

I have always been a little mischievous when it came to dealing with those in the special service industry. Their tactics become so transparent after experiencing them on so many different fronts after some time. I tire of the same old “What you name?”, “Where you come from?”, “How long Thailand?” and so on. There was a short lived craze in my native country of America that when called by a Telemarketer you should always do whatever you can to get them off script, to get them to forget their lines or lose their place and generally talk about anything except the wonderful refrigerator they want to sell you. In a lot of ways dealing with girls in a bar is the same thing only they are selling love, sex, or anything in between if the price is right. Most of them are not very sophisticated in their approaches though and owe most of their success to intoxication on the part of their clientele and their own physical beauty.

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Born from this circumstance I began sometime ago ceasing my normal pleasantries with these ladies. Names, nationalities, and all those other niceties are not really necessary in the business arrangements we intend to embark on. So one day while sitting in my apartment trying to think of something interesting to do that night lightning struck my brain and I was off to Patpong!

It wasn’t long until a scantily clad darling took up residence on the torn couch next to me.

“Hello how are you?”

I was stone silent… doing my best to look panicked.

“What you name?”

I respond (in a heavy fake accent), “I…I no speak English.”

“What you name?”

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“I no speak English.”

By this time mamasan is making her way over to try and get the overflow drink since she is probably sure this beauty has a ripe sucker with me. Mama comes over and the vixen says in Thai that I don’t speak English. Mama (always the problem solver) tries the tried and true method of international understanding.

She screams, “YOU BUY DRINK FOR LADY?”

I just give them a deer in the headlights look and she points to my beer then points to the lady. I give that lightbulb look of understanding and dutifully hand the girl my beer. Mama bursts into a “No no no! YOU buuuuuy DRINK for LADY!” I give them the confused look again and slowly try to hand the drink to the girl again. Now it is time for charades as Mama brings over the menu and begins miming the request for a drink. Which eventually evolves into miming the various sexual pleasures which are available to me, while I just continue to look puzzled. They are beginning to become bored and I sense them giving up on me soon so I spark off with my second line of English.

“I want make shit.”

The girl bursts into laughter and mama motions me to the bathroom, but for the sake of communication I must be sure that I am understood so I mime taking a dump complete with over the top hand motions. Now all the girls on the stage are laughing and mama is holding back the chuckles too. I give a look of despair and embarrassment and mama chokes back her laughter, but the girls couldn’t care less as they are now all fixated on this white foreigner who came alone into the bar, speaks no English, and is now pretending to take a dump. Mama grabs my arm and gives me a friendly push in the direction of the bathroom and I add to the urgency of the visit by cupping a hand over my butt, and jogging.

I get into the bathroom and go into the stall. I play some games on my phone and make sure I take entirely too long in the bathroom before re-emerging to sell the concept that I actually took a dump in this nasty go go bar. For added effect I pull a length of about 3 feet of toilet paper and tuck it into the back of my jeans for a “tail” effect which causes one girl to nearly fall off the stage when she sees it and another to pull three other girls over to look at it. Again mama comes to the rescue and removes the embarrassing toilet paper from the back of my jeans and I just give her a bewildered look like I have no idea why anyone is laughing.

I pay my bill and I am on my way for phase two of my master plan. I stop by one of the many carts and buy the most touristy Singha beer shirt I can find then throw it over the shirt I am wearing. I make my way to another area of Bangkok that also caters to sad lonely men like me and snap some exterior pictures with the welcome girls making sure I am seen clearly in the photos along with the names of the bars.

The following night I return to the same bar wearing similar clothes to ensure recognition. I am immediately recognized as the girls who witnessed the display the previous night were pointing at me and filling in their absent friends on the deeds of the foreigner. Mama approaches me and without saying a word goes straight into mime mode, doing the drinking a bottle of beer motion to signal I should order a beer.

I respond, “Yes ma’am I would like one bottle of Heineken please, and a lady drink for number 22.”

Mama jumps back and then she hits me on the arm and laughing says, “Why you lie to me? Why you can speak English?”

“Lie about what? Why are you hitting me?”

“You say you no can speak English!”

“I never said that.”

“You come here last night I remember you.”

“No I didn’t. You are crazy, please bring me my beer and a lady drink for number 22.”

Mama throws her hands up and walks away. Shortly afterwards number 22 meanders up (the same girl from the previous night) and says a little angrily, “Why you can speak English now, but not yesterday?”

“This is my first time in this bar. I think you have me mistaken for someone else. Why are you unhappy? What happened?”

We banter on and on, but I remain firm in my claim that I was not here the previous night. I told her, “Last night I went to Cowboy all night, you want to see the pictures?” She nods and I pull out my digital camera and show her an array of pictures complete with doctored time stamps showing a range of time which would make it impossible for me to have been on this street anytime during the offending hours. She is speechless for a moment then apologizes and calls mama over for her to view the evidence as well. Mama is a little more skeptical, but after some more shoulder shrugging on my part she eventually concedes that she has mistaken identity. As word spreads round the bar all I see is a sea of perplexed faces. I pay the bill for my two drinks and walk over to mama proudly saying (in the same fake accent), “I want make shit.” Mama’s eyes get wide as saucers and she begins smacking my arm again calling me every rude word in the book behind uncontrollable laughter. All the surrounding girls burst into tears laughing as well with some joining in with mama in hitting my arm.

I apologized and told the girls they should know better than to believe a farang!

Stickman's thoughts:

Thais find things that the average person finds funny to be hysterical so this sort of carry on in the bar can go a long way to not just breaking the ice, but winning the locals over.

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