Stickman Readers' Submissions March 30th, 2009

A Visit to Nid’s Parents’ Home

I've been invited to a bargirl's parents' home In Chonburi to finance a 24 hour party / vacation. It was my first trip to Thailand and I wanted to experience life outside the general tourist areas. I really had no idea what I was in for. The girl (Nid) was one who I had never slept with. I had barfined her friend before which is how we met. A girl from France was supposed to go with us, but apparently she was smarter than I was and didn't show at the meeting spot, Nid's apartment.

Before we even leave, Nid stops at a convenience store to buy film for her camera but has no money left for batteries. So I buy batteries and we wait for one of her Thai friends to return with her motorbike. The friend never shows, so I rent a motorbike and we're off. From here I was nickel and dimed for over 5000 baht.

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I actually didn't mind much at first as I was having a lot of fun. We had drinks on the beach at Bang Saen, fed monkeys on some hill (Khao Sahm Mook) and visited a temple. We stopped at a market to buy food for her family and candy for the kids.

The family's home was quite primitive. The area I was in had nothing but a single chair, an electric fan and a pay phone. The floor was just cement. I had never seen a home like this before.

I meet Nid's mom and brother, and they share the last bit of whiskey they have with me. Once the whiskey is gone, Nid and I go out to get more. While we're out, I'm asked to buy even more food for the family.

Now that the farang is buying whiskey, more people show up. I didn't mind this either as whiskey is cheap and I had fun drinking with everyone. Later some people came by asking for donations for the temple. Of course I was asked to donate. The more you donate, the more luck they all said. Yeah, the more luck for the temple I thought. They also had a list of all the other people who had donated and how much. Nid's family seemed quite interested in this list.

After we polished off 3 bottles of whiskey, I end up taking about 8 of the people to play snooker and drink more. Then we go to karaoke for more food and drinks. Here I pass out, but they wake me up to pay the bill.

Now Nid and I find a cheap room and finally get down to business when we hear a knock at the door. The brother who was already wasted wants more cash to keep drinking. I want him gone ASAP, so I throw him some baht and he leaves. What I didn't know was at this point he left with the motorbike I had rented.

So the next morning, there's no sign of the bike or the brother. I now have to take a taxi back to the parents and wait. I'm pretty pissed off at this point, so Nid suggests we go to the mall to eat and kill some time. I turn out to be the only farang in the whole place.

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Now I hadn't shaved or brushed my teeth as I hadn't planned on staying the night. I was also wearing the previous day's clothes. Add a hangover and I was feeling and looking pretty disgusting. All I wanted to do was get back to Pattaya. I had no idea if the motorbike was wrecked or stolen so I was not in the greatest of moods. After we eat, Nid wants to go shopping.

At this point, even asking me for a few baht makes me irate. I buy Nid some gum, a little cactus and finally announce that the cash machine is now closed. We head back to Nid's parents and the brother and motorbike are there, but my sunglasses have disappeared. Good thing they were cheap. We finally head back, but it's late so I have to pay the bike rental for another day. I give Nid no money as I feel I've spent enough already. That's the last I see of her for this trip.

About a week later another bargirl wants to take me to meet her family. I had no intention of meeting them, but she tricked me into going. I thought we were going to a market – which we did after stopping off to see the family.

This visit was quite different. The family lived in a nicely furnished apartment. They were pleasant but we didn't communicate much as they spoke no English and I spoke very little Thai. So I felt awkward but at least I wasn't asked for anything. Quite a nice change.

Stickman's thoughts:

These bargirl family visits / fleecings sound like a nightmare. While I am all for meeting "real Thais", I would not want to meet people like this in my own country so why on earth would I want to meet them in Thailand. I'll probably get flamed for saying this but while I admire seeking out an authentic local experience, I do think there are better ways of doing it!

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