A Little Bit Of Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing…
I sometimes get annoyed by stuff written about Thailand on the internet. For instance, Bangkok Barry tells us that eighty percent of the go-go girls are working in the bars because they have had a baby and then been abandoned by their Thai husbands. I have no doubt that eighty percent of the gals Barry talked to came out with this explanation for their plight but they are just words deliberately uttered to tug at his – or yours or mine or even Dana's – heartstrings.
If the truth pill was dropped into their Colas, the following is much more likely:
Darling, I spent the last five years in a local brothel where I had mostly unprotected sex with thousands of Thai men but don't worry about that everything still works.
Honey, my husband works in a gay go-go where he pretends to like farang men and I work in girlie go-go where I pretend to, err, like farang men – don't worry about AIDS there is a cure now.
Darling, I love my husband so much I don't want to see him working like a slave for a 100 baht a day, much better for me to sell my pussy to people like farang who don't really exist in our (Thai) world and give him most of the money.
Honey, my pussy's so horny I don't really know exactly which Thai man is the father, there were so many of them back then – and isn't it great I get paid for being horny by all these old fat farang and I only have to wait for a really stupid one to come along to make me rich.
Darling, you have to understand that Thai people have to have all the face, farang can have none, and therefore the girls you meet are, like me, the lowest of the lowest and Thai men all use us for free sex and easy money. Sad but true.
Honey, I am so crazy from all the drink and drugs that I haven't got a clue why I am here, where I have been or what anything means – I just want more money for more drinks and drugs.
Or some combination of the above or something even worse.
Then we have Brokenman Phet, digging himself out of one hole, finding someone has switched the lights off and plunging down into another abyss – namely a forty-something Thai lady in the UK who has already got divorced and is looking for a new beau. I mean, if that doesn't get neon lights flashing with danger signs what does? Perhaps I am being a bit nasty, by the laws of averages he must get lucky eventually. No doubt, he will later tell us that all the elderly Thai ladies he bumps into have had a bad time from brutes of British husbands and it is a mere coincidence that they divorced after five or six years just when they got their British passports.
Actually, Phet and I are almost exactly the same age – and as you get older it actually gets harder to get lucky. Unlike, Brokenman, I am still into the same groove I was twenty years ago – namely lusting after twenty-something Oriental babes and given my current knowledge base, more than likely a suicide run. I sometimes think that the innocent charm of a first-time visitor to the Kingdom goes a long way in the bars…
Twenty years lounging around in Thailand equals a remarkable lack of employment prospects – mitigated by never getting married and keeping my investments back in Blighty. Buying and selling at the right time in the cycle over a twenty year period, just owning a single property in the UK equals a five, six times return on capital and enough of a monthly rental income to survive quite nicely in the Far East (about 40,000 baht a month at today's terrible exchange rate), but having my cover blown by the last Thai babe (as in knowing I was worth serious money) ends up making the Kingdom a very dangerous place to lounge, these days – used to be the Thais would only concern themselves with the money you brought into Thailand – after all, farang can't expect to actually own any assets that are in baht, can they? – but these days they will go to the ends of the earth to get their hands on some easy dosh.
Someone else noted that the Royal Thai Police should be considered as a criminal organisation rather than someone you can go running to when you're robbed or attacked. Another website suggested it was easy to get information from Immigration's database! It's always been fairly obvious that if you get ripped off whilst enjoying the delights of the neon scene then you were pretty much on your own – certainly, you would not expect Sergeant Sombat to come rushing out of his nicely air-conditioned kiosk to help some hapless farang being set upon by the locals. In the past, I did manage to piss off one of the Nana bar bosses – and on one occasion I exited the fire trap of an entertainment plaza to find someone who had a passing resemblance to myself being set upon by a pack of Thai louts. These guys seem determined to do maximum damage, decent travel insurance for possible reconstructive surgery a necessity! The boss had given me a nasty stare across one of his bars about an hour earlier, so it could well have been meant for me – Thai louts basically will beat up anyone they like, not making much difference to them if they get the wrong guy.
However, personally I have never had any problems with the Thai police – this is because, I believe, I have never given any indication that it was worth their effort to turn me over. A patina of aged poverty, living in cheap apartments and bunging the lady of the moment a mere pittance never added up to a blip on their radar screen. At least until the last babe when the criminal elements got fed up with her Thai husband shouting his drunken head off at his state of poverty and his wife staying with a farang for free. Serious loss of face for the Thai nation, which if I had not cut and run could have resulted in anything from death to fiscal deconstruction – if you end up coming to the attention of the serious gangsters or police, things can rapidly go out of control.
As mentioned in my last submission, I am seriously thinking about going to the Philippines next. I have been to Manila a few times, but not recently – the last time six, seven years ago. The big problem with the PI, you have intelligent guys doing menial jobs – everything from hotel security to room cleaners; plenty of time for them to mull over ways of ripping off rich tourists. On the surface, Manila seemed like quite a violent city – shotgun touting security guards all over the place, bombs and kidnappings, and half the male population looked like bandits, cut-throats. But as far as attacking foreigners went, the Big Con the preferred method of their dissolution.
Oddly, Filipinos seem quite keen to get farang by using their legal system whereas the Thais tend to deal with them rather more summarily except for the odd occasions when there isn't any obvious source of quick money. A particularly nasty twist of the Filipino legal knife, set Mr Farang up with an underage sex rap – just the hint of such an attack, with its ramifications back in the West (everything from sex offenders list to having your passport confiscated to a rather nasty time in prison; all it takes is to be actually charged rather than convicted and your whole life is completely ruined) enough to have even the sanest farang trembling in fear and loathing.
Such an attack takes many forms – from picking up a gal who is underage but whose ID card suggests otherwise to reception sending up a young woman after phoning to say a friend has arrived to a so-called friend turning up with her daughter – doesn't matter that nothing has happened, just having an underage girl in the room who is willing to testify is all it takes for Mr Plod to be beaming from ear to ear and wondering what he is going to do with all the loot. The going rate if amenable to an early settlement is a couple of thousand dollars – cheap compared to the cost of fighting it through the courts and the potential damage done to one's reputation.
True, forearmed with an honest attorney (there are a couple in the PI) and phone number of one of the honest cops (ditto) you can possibly front your way out of trouble but expect a violent payback from those who lost face. In my past sorties into the Philippines I had a few occasions when odd phone calls were received but cut them short as soon as their nature became obvious – easy enough to slam the phone down and then disconnect the line – but it always threw me into maximum paranoia mode. And the level of corruptness in the airport easily matches that in Thailand.
I have done quite a lot of preliminary research on the internet dating sites – there must be tens of thousands of Filipinas available and it is almost a full time job to work your way through them, filtering out the most obvious con-artists (hint, tell them you are coming to the PI soon, the crooks will mostly ignore you), getting rid of the bible-bashers whose height of leisure is laying in bad reading the Good Book, using Skype to home in on some of the possibilities and then getting rid of the ones who seem to be reciting junk straight out of the bar-babe bible or being prompted by friends overheard in the background – which so far has, err, eliminated ALL of them. I think I must've developed a good ear for bullshit over the years or merely descended into total cynicism and paranoia.
But there is always a new site to suss and explore and it keeps me amused in the evenings as I have lost all interest in bar-hopping in the UK – being chatted up by some fifty year old farang horror not to my taste at all. There are plenty of attractive women in the UK but they are either already attached or about eighteen and likely to summon the police or their father, who most likely is both younger and bigger than me! I had a lot of sour looks wandering around the UK with the last Thai babe so if I end up with a twenty-something Filipina who probably looks about fourteen to English eyes I shall probably but narrowly avoid being strung up!
On one level, Oriental women and Western men are a match made in heaven but the whole scene is obviously warped by poverty and desperation and whole nations of disgruntled Asiatic men who quite rightly are seriously pissed at farang trying to steal their women. This creates women who are mired in two-faceness and multiple personalities; those few willing to go along for ride without any easy money available have to play a huge deception on their Thai men and families long enough to clear off out of the country – most don't have the energy or inclination for such extended deviousness. And why bother when there is always another besotted, idiotic farang around the corner?
None of these things add up to much inspiration to get on an airplane but the combination of poverty and beautiful, available, Filipinas makes one ponder, especially as they have a much better rep as wives than Thai gals – it is just a matter of bypassing all the bullshit and getting hold of what passes for a Good Catholic Girl. And, of course, appearing as if you don't have any serious money. Half the time, I keep telling myself it isn't worth the time, expense and hassle but, then, if you are a fifty-something Western male what's the f..king alternative?
There seems to be something of a consensus amongst old Asia hands that Filipinos make better wives than Thais. I wouldn't know but I do hear this over and over again.