Stickman Readers' Submissions March 23rd, 2010


I've just arrived back home from Thailand a couple of weeks ago, en route from Australia. Having been away for a year Thailand was probably the highlight of my trip, even though it was only 3 weeks. Me and my mates all agreed that we loved it and would go back in a flash. I loved the natural beauty and being able to do pretty much anything for peanuts. But the thing in Thailand that makes the biggest impression for 4 early 20's blokes is obviously the women. Or bargirls, as I realise that as a tourist you don't really encounter the real typical and traditional Thailand so much.

But reading some of the stuff you wrote has basically just confirmed everything I suspected deep down about the place. As much of the place as a tourist is likely to see anyway. Ie that everything is not as rosy as it seems on the surface. And its all just common sense really. Its all there in front of you.

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As you can imagine with beautiful Thai women fawning all over us we thought we'd died and gone to heaven. At first I thought I must be the bee's knees, but then I realised the deal. Quickly I was aware that it wasnt just us who had such attention, as every greasy bald middle aged white man seemed to have a young Thai hanging off them, an obvious sign that you aren't special or different after all. But we lapped up the attention anyway, because its nothing like you get back in England. We'd even convince ourselves that money aside we are more attractive options for them, being young and ok looking, than a greasy midlifer. Who knows. On the surface it seems like paradise.

If all you care about is an easy lay, then its great for you. I can see how it does make you feel wanted as well, a basic human need I guess. So the two obvious reasons for going round gogo bars and picking up girls are there. I started to wonder whether all these sex tourists know what makes the whole sex industry tick, whether they care why and how it exists, whether they know or care about why a girl does what she does. I guess they don't know, don't want to, don't care, as long as there's no consequences for them. I guess for more lonely types there is often consequences, as some of the stories on your site seem to testify.

Reading some of those posts you've written has got me feeling slightly more cynical (Which I'm guessing you don't intend) towards Thais, who in general I found likeable. It confirms all these things that I wondered about. While they welcome you and are friendly, you just don't know what they are saying behind your back, how they see you and how you live up to their preconceptions.

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And I knew the girls were only after a payday, and as much as I enjoyed the attention, I had a a sense of foreboding about just how forward they were. However there were some bargirls whose company I genuinely enjoyed, like just talking to them. I remember one in a bar in Chang Mai, who had a daughter and was 30 odd. She was attractive, and really nice, spoke to us normally, and told us how Isan (which we quickly deduced was where the majority of these girls are from) girls were bad girls with bad hearts, how she (from the south) was a bad girl with a good heart. And she said she'd never let on to her daughter that she did what she did. Which is a pretty tell tale sign of the reality. What she was doing had a stigma and she knew it, but she did it anyway out of necessity. Who knows how genuine she was, but I didn't feel she was trying it on with me or trying to sneak something out of me, which was unusual for there. At the time I felt it seemed refreshingly honest.

On the other hand there was some I was pretty mesmerised by just looking at them, I probably fell in love about 4 times there without doing anything with them! A Lao dancer, a girl with pigtails on Soi Cowboy etc. And that's the danger of it all isn't it. They know how to play you and if they sense you like them they are all over you. And if I'd let them I'm sure they'd have taken me for a ride and left me feeling like a tit.

I suspect I have more of conscience than my mates, I don't know how they saw that side of it. Well I do know, they loved it and I doubt gave it a second thought. They filled their boots on that trip. Partly down to getting food poisoning I didn't 'ahem' buy into that side of it like my mates did anyway.

Thailand is definitely an eye opener. I'd love to go back, its a weird and wonderful place. Maybe nothing is as it seems, and it left me wondering how much of it was real. I was only there a short time, but it got me thinking a lot, and left me with a lot of questions. Which I guess have fairly obvious answers really.

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Stickman's thoughts:

It is what it is although we all interpret it differently..

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