Why The Bars Bore You
When do you realize that the p4p scene in Thailand is not for you? Obviously it happens to people at different times, for some it will never happen, no matter what bullsh*t prevails in the industry.
Some will love the p4p forever. It's their makeup, their reason for travelling to Thailand and will always be. That is their choice and good luck to them. They the hardened monger keep the scene alive. Not big spenders, but always returning, the bread and butter of the industry. The newbie is the cream on top.
Old favourite bargirls wait for the experienced mongers return. Hopefully for the girls the mongers are the low season veterans, customer and bargirl looking for a familiar outcome.
As you sit in a beer bar, and hear the bargirl talking to her customer of the moment, it's far better when it's a return customer and even better than that when it's a sponsor. All the lies etc it's fantastic to listen to, especially when you have seen her previous customer / sponsor who has just returned back to his home. You are in the know, you know what is going on, you are almost on the inside of the p4p scene and you are now bound to keep the secrets of the trade. <Not even close to the inside. You know you're really on the inside when you do a 24-hour gambling stint with them while consuming methamphetamine – Stick>
When a bargirl sits with her customer and greets you when you walk into the bar, and she then explains to him, "he long time Thailand" (even though you are only on your 30-day trip), that comment seems to exempt you from being a threat but it binds you to keep the secret. Throw in some badly spoken Thaiglish words and that completes your cover.
Can you keep your mouth shut? Can you just sit drinking your beer? Can you leave this lamb to the slaughter. Yes of course you can. The p4p scene has lost its magic. This magic will never return. You're no longer just a customer, your time has come.
It's so bloody awful, the diatribe between wh*re and customer. It's all so bloody fake. Thaiglish abounds, how do people who live in the tourist areas of Thailand put up with it? The bargirl is running the show, the customer is hopefully an experienced monger and can take care of himself, but usually it's the cashed up newbie or 2nd tripper.
Non p4p Thai people look at those farangs being led around by the bargirls and draw the inevitable comparison between that farang and his erstwhile four legged equal from the rice fields of the north east. P4p is losing its magic to you. You only see the sh*t of this situation. You're being judged by non p4p Thais on the actions of these bloody farang.
You go to a go-go, normally outside your environ when in Thailand. You sit, look at the girls and admire their youth and looks. You look at their faces trying to see how hardened they are by the industry, note their tattoos and then you come to the conclusion that if you sit outside the university, eating your noodles and drinking your Leo beer that the girls walking about shoot the go-go girls down in flames. You have achieved the state of the p4p really losing its magic. What do the go-go girls have in their favour? Only their availability is the answer.
Upon sitting in a go-go, the waitress asks you what you would like to drink. You ask for the price list, alert 1. The first girl comes to sit next to you and you invite her to do that in Thai (you just want to people watch, and see what horror show girls some punters will barfine), alarm bells ring in her head, and she is out of there.
Perhaps the mamasan will make a visit to you. She will ascertain if she knows you, then from somewhere mamasan brings out a fresh from the farm girl. You are ideal for that girl as she starts to make her way in the industry. You're most probably no threat, you speak some Thai, you're not from the various nationalities p4p girls fear or dislike. Ideal, you will buy that girl a drink, because it's good practice for your Thai language, but the underlying fact is that you're not going to bar fine her. No way will you. The magic has gone from p4p.
As you sit in a go-go, in walks a customer. A girl appears from nowhere and sits next to you, a waitress also in attendance. The semi naked girl starts patting your leg smiling and laughing. You're being treated like an idiot throwing 1000 baht notes on the carousel 5 minutes before. Why is the girl doing this? Because the man who just walked in is probably last night's customer and is a weird b*astard. The girl has gone to sit with a safe option, the Thai speaking farang who she has no chance of pulling, is no bloody threat. Your safe to her. P4p is really losing its magic.
You see girls working on the construction sites, girls waiting in large groups outside factories for the bus home. These girls battling for their living, battling for their family, and you compare them to the p4p girls. You almost cry for these girls struggling with their low paid jobs, doing it hard but they have their pride. Now you know what you truly see in the p4p scene and the magic has gone.
Hard to say how much of you this submission is about. I've found that to continue to enjoy the bar scene – as a local – your interests in it become more intellectual. You look at the anthropological side of things, you try to remove emotion and just look at it as an academic would, and try to understand it as best you can. Then it starts to get quite fascinating again….
I am as cynical as anyone about the whole industry but there are still a few bars where I can have a good time. The trick is to know what works for you. The magic need not totally evaporate.