Readers' Submissions

Thoughts From A (Real) Friend Of Thai Girls



Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

I have read the article of MD Girl, recently published on this site and would like to add a few of my observations and comments.

I lived the expat life in Bangkok between 1994 and 2003, met and dated girls like MD Girl, and I do believe I understand where MD Girl comes from. With no bad intentions, her submission is, in my opinion, misleading Stickman's readers in several aspects.

MD Girls does not consider herself a hi-so girl, just upper middle class. Yet, she is of Chinese-Thai origin, she has spent a year studying in the USA, went to one of the top Thai universities, and visits Bed Supper Club every now and then. The same applies to her friends. I would add that she probably has a graduate degree, lives in her own condo in Bangkok on her own or with one of her siblings (her parents have bought the condo to invest their money, not necessary to let their offspring live in luxury), drives a Thai-made car with leather interior and full options, her parents make between 80K – 120K USD per year. She has an active profile on Hi5 and Facebook, with many international contacts. Next to English, she might speak Chinese or Japanese. She supports the yellow shirts and adores the current Prime Minister. She likes Japanese and European food, shops in Siam Paragon, Emporium and the Japanese food market. She has traveled to Europe oncee or twice, makes trips abroad to Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia or Japan perhaps once or twice every year, and when she goes to Pattaya with her parents, she stays in the Hard Rock Hotel. Family vacations are spent in Hua Hin.

For MD Girl, the hi-so are the people driving BMWs, Japanese SUVs or other imported vehicles, kids who graduated from universities in UK or in the USA, families that own property overseas and people who would never stay in hotels or go to clubs in tourist resorts in Thailand as they tend to stick to private parties in their own villas there. Given her exposure to the western culture, her understanding of upper middle class is identical to western understanding of upper middle class. Here, it is worth mentioning that for your Bangkok bargirl or the typical Isaan daughter, anybody who visits Bed Supper Club and spends money there or owns a car is automatically very hi-so.

For MD Girl age is not a big issue and she would easily date a foreign guy in his late 30's or early 40's, providing he is a Bangkok expat with solid connections and a good lifestyle. And for the expat guy who is not into gogos and CM2, she is the ideal girlfriend. She speaks fluent English, can hold an interesting conversation on many topics, is open minded, understands global politics, knows all the cool places in Bangkok, has interesting and well traveled friends, lives an interesting lifestyle, and when something is needed, her parents and friends have many useful connections. As girls tend to be more adaptable and flexible, many Thai guys are really too traditional and conservative for MD Girl as she likes many elements of the western lifestyle.

I do not want to disappoint Stickman’s readership, but I do not think she would consider many of Stick's readers to be suitable boyfriend material. Please ask yourself these questions: Do I have a university degree? Do I mix well with the crowd in Bed Supper Club? Do I feel comfortable in the Q Bar? Do I have many friends in Bangkok corporate circles, especially in Japanese and American companies? Do I get invitations to new restaurant openings, new product launches, and fashion shows in Bangkok (best gogo dancer contest and Big Mango parties do not count)? Am I considered sociable and connected? Do I own a car? Am I a member of the upper middle class or higher in my own country? If your answers are mostly "no", and most of your social life is centered around Nana Plaza, Patpong or Soi Cowboy, you are probably not the right type for MD Girl.

For the average Stickman reader, your area of focus should not be the royalist Bangkok middle class, but the middle class of the average Thai citizen: the sales girl, the book keeper, the university lecturer, the office girl who makes 400 – 700 USD per month, lives in a rented apartment and does not drive her own car. She is 100% Thai with parents living mostly in the provinces. The girl who honestly tries to better her life, is willing to learn English and make cultural adjustments. She does not live the MD Girl’s life with her own car and her own condo yet, but is willing to work hard to get there one day. And without any doubt, this group is many times larger that the segment MD Girl writes about.

Stickman's thoughts:

Interesting thoughts. Many years ago I wrote an article about what I thought was the target group for the average Westerner and I described exactly the type of woman you mentioned. Our thoughts were uncannily similar. But now, I would probably recommend MD Girl's peer group. Whether that is a reflection on how I have changed personally, or simply how my thoughts on the matter have changed, I honestly do not know.

I would also suggest many Stickman readers are not bar hoppers at all!