Bangkok Suburbs And Some Observations
I don't normally write submissions, I like to read them, often just to remember things that I have casually forgotten, but lately there have been several different submissions that caught my eye and felt a need to contribute to the site and for other readers to amuse themselves with or gain some information that they might find useful on their travels.
It is very cheap to live in Thailand if you wish to live like a Thai, not always a totally pleasant experience but it will take you out of your comfort zone. I lived in Rachada with my girlfriend where the room rental was 1500 baht per month. All food was purchased at the markets or bought from the street vendors. Having coffee in the morning would set me back 10 baht and if you like to have cigarette with that, you can smoke Thai tobacco for about 2 baht for the roll your own variety. Breakfast would normally be a bowl of the best tasting noodle soup you ever had for about 20 baht or the local food diner would do the fried rice with egg or pork / chicken etc for about 30 baht. After these meals you didn't really need to eat anything more for the day and the water that Thais have in their homes is always fresh and cool. <Don't count on it as many, often poorer and / or rural Thais don't have a fridge yet keep food for days – Stick> Some of the street vendors would also sell the fish to my girlfriend and she would cook it up. There was a lot of fish for a 100 baht but the neighbours and the clan folk would also turn up with the rice, the spice, the bowls, the vegetables, and a mighty fine feast would be had, Thai style of course. The street vendors also make deserts that should you wish to try are fabulous, and of course the beer is about 25 baht for a tall one in the back alleys. Ice is 5 baht extra.
Movies and entertainment is always on offer in the suburbs it just depends on who’s house it would be in. There's always lots of people, women, food and beer.
The working class Thais are a funny lot, not much different from the people at home sometimes except that a Thai person talks and lives life in the heart and comes from the heart when he is engaged with you as a friend, not a customer, not a business deal. If you want a Thai friend you have to be one first and then you may be pleasantly surprised at what a Thai friend would do for you.
Having a Thai girlfriend does help and a Thai girlfriend who is liked by her neighbours and family and friends, and often is the case, money does not come into it. I have had guys go buy me music because I just so happened to like what was being played and they would give you a lift anywhere on their motorcycles, invite you to their family home, even offer to give you a some ink or take you to the tattooist! They are always happy to show off the farang. I have been sick and they bring you medicine and generally Thai folk will look after you and look out for you. I have been taken to a local corner by my girlfriend's friend's father to get me a taxi that would not rip me off and I am always given fruit and water or food.
Visiting a Thai's home is one of the best things about Thailand and as in their nature always a happy time. I did not live in Rachada because I was poor, far from it, but to get a total perspective on cost of living as opposed to being seen as the cashed up farang. It does amaze me when a comment is made about how expensive things have become in Thailand, as I have discovered that for about 10-15 dollars a day you can have a very reasonable standard of existence and you won't find much to complain about if you are hanging out with some Thai people. The downside to this of course is also the dark side of Thai suburbia where every third house is a gambling den. Most Thai men drink an incredibly large amount of whisky, straight of course, which can lead to the inevitable domestic violence scenarios which Thais abhor but come morning all is forgotten and the bloke who made a dick of himself has managed to find work on an island or Pattaya so has already left and the problem goes away.
Then there are the people who seem to always find a way to the big house, some minor crime it seems, but yep he goes too, and then there is the drug business which seems to be rampant in the working class areas, but the catch is this,, as outlined above if a Thai is working he/she may only make 200 – 300oo baht a day maximum, but he can live and eat and have somewhere to stay whilst still managing to send money home or for a rainy day, or for drinking, gambling, and drug purchasing.
A lot of Thai men have more than one girlfriend and they also seem to be immune to anything that resembles responsibility. The older ladies of the soi keep the peace, the control and generally police what is acceptable in the soi with the family etc. The men know this and let them. As it saves them from having to do it and they can then go and do whatever they want and they usually do which leaves the young ladies who although have been raised quite proper are subject to the men's behaviour, which compared to the west is pretty wild. They get beaten, abused, stolen from, cheated on, lied about and basically cop a lot of crap from the Thai boyfriends. It has been discussed with me that that is how you have to keep your woman because all women are stupid. This coming from a group of Thai men only made me think that they really should come out of the cave. Then, enter the farang man who having come out of the cave is quite comparably different! To their Thai friends, the women most men meet in Bangkok bars and clubs are looking for someone who will not treat them like a Thai man does. And by cultural differences we don't, so the debate about weather mongering is good has two sides and those two sides also have two sides. Women in Thai culture still have a long way to go before you could say equal opportunities abound. They are merely recognising that they can have a different life and it is slowly being recognized in Thai suburbs or the groundswell of popular belief. Thai men know this and are terribly threatened by it but they stick to cave man antics, all the while their ladies who are out looking for a farang boyfriend / marriage partner are being wined, dined & treated like a woman would like to be treated, and voila a heart is captured and another one has turned to farang for comfort money and some security as they do not get this with there Thai boyfriends.
To a Thai woman, it is not money they want, it is security and love. T they are no different from any other woman on the planet. Girls who work in the industry suffer from shame and guilt like any other and requests for money from the farang never match the requests that come from their family and friends. This is simply a woman's lot in life in Thailand and of course it does not represent Thailand as a whole but since 80% of Thais are from rural working class families it does ring familiar with a lot of families there. You think you are rich when you come to Thailand because your money buys here what it can't buy back home. Your right, it does and women know this and will happily help you part with it, but really tell me, is this not done all over the world with women, which the irony is what brings most men here after all.
If you are afraid to spend money on a woman then you shouldn't come here, because the women here are trained to have some of your hard earned dosh. They tell each other how they can get you to part with the folding stuff before you have got to the airport. Is it a crime? No not really, after all they know you are coming, they in fact need some of the stuff you are bringing, they don't have actually any of it now, but their brains and sisters do tell them that your boyfriend will be here soon so everything will be perfect. See it from a woman's point of view in Bangkok and who is doing the mongering. They have it all over us and we know it. And they know it, remember in the p4p game you are customers, you are not friends and she is working, and you are on holidays. Her job is to be paid for services rendered, it is not mongering, for men it is primal. I have wanted to get laid since I was about 13 years old I still like to get laid and I am not quite 50. My friend is 69 and he loves to get laid, it is not mongering when you follow your instincts and come to the party, then you go and spoil it by falling in love with the dream and you confuse the fuck out of the Thai working girl who is working and taking your money because she is not coming from the heart, you are! And she is not about to give that away to just anybody, especially a man who goes and visits bars and clubs looking to get laid! Because in her eyes you are like a Thai man and she is absolutely not looking for that! She is in a bar trying to find someone who will take care of her and her family. You have to now show her your stuff and prove that you are not like a Thai man, so you are already up against the wall in the trust department and her torturing of your soul is designed to see if you are for real. We just think that all she wants is money and start our own little tests to see if she really likes you or is she just saying that to get more money. In Asian culture a man does not tell his girlfriend / wife that he loves her very often but he is expected to demonstrate that love by supporting her and honouring her, so consequently she has been let down by Thai men and farangs who don't follow through on their promises. Not all bargirls are bad and if they are then they are working and if they have completely helped you part with a considerable sum of folding stuff you should respect them for they have done there job well, and remember when they do there job well their friends and family pay a lot of respect to these women as they are rewarded with cars, homes and jewellery. So is it mongering? I don't think so. Is it a sad lot on life? Yes!
But the question remains who is fucking who? I it is simply what it is. Am I sex tourist? Yes and no. I like to have sex when I am on holidays but I have been on many holidays and most of them were not in Thailand. If you want real love with a Thai woman
and it is very much worth the price, you will have to jump through a lot of hoops and generally put up with a lot of what you may consider crap, but it is not crap to a Thai, then come from your heart with your dealings with the lady of your desire,
a lady who is being genuine will not like to ask you for money. She will expect you to offer it as is the custom of Asia and the prime reason she chooses to be with you, because you offer security and not what they are used to. And remember to
show some backbone in your dealings with her as this also is what she is used to. A Thai woman's heart is, in all its glory, a marvel and the key to much happiness for any man who truly captures one.
To emphasise another point, my son has just married a Thai woman he has known her for 2.5 years and they now have a son who is half Thai / half Australian and has the most loving parents I have ever seen. And I have never seen my son more happy. I lost a daughter a long time ago and I must say that having Da as my daughter in law has made me feel truly blessed. She has taught me much about Thailand and the way of the Thai. I know what she had to go through to change her life and I will never have enough respect for her strength and determination to change her odds, her life and that of her family. They say a person doesn't change, a leopard doesn't change his spots etc, my daughter in law is a former gogo dancer from Nana has presented me with a superstar grandson and I could not be more proud of this woman. She is beautiful on the inside and out and has a strength that I have never seen in a farang woman. So while all the debate rages about mongering. The problems with Thais and Thailand, the pay for play trade, who has the best club and bar etc just remember to ask yourself what it is you really want. Nothing wrong with sleeping with women and drinking beer if that is your bag. But you may just be missing a lot more of life living like that. If you have ended up in Thailand because life back home sucks don't be cynical, accept what it is. Life here does suck most of the time compared to Asia's greatest melting pot of fun and culture. We are not Thai! But if you can come from your heart and accept change your life can turn around, you can make a new friend and find new avenues for creativity. Treat the ladies with respect and be a friend first. Forget what other people think about your choices and think first about your own. I love Thailand and have been about 10 times and stayed for six months at a time. I don't care to hear about the old days because it is irrelevant and besides my good old days were pretty wild on the northern beaches of Sydney. But I can relax in Thailand and feel alive. T there is a newness when one leaves Farangland. And now I have a smile and a permanent connection to the land of smiles. Living in Oz we do have to put up with an ever increasing intrusive government and a culture that is slowly more separatist than in times gone by. Thailand for all its faults gives freedom to the farang to live his life the way he chooses, and that is the way it should be. As for my girlfriend, she is coming here again. Until we can go to her home again and as the Buddhists say security comes from the inside not what we acquire from the outside. So live your life anyway you want as long as it is your authentic self.
It's great that you are so positive about your son's choice of partner and have been able to keep such an open mind. That would be too much for the cynic in me!