How Not To Drift Into A Relationship With A Bargirl
When a farang first comes to Thailand, he is likely to be thrilled and a little frightened in equal measures. The streets of Bangkok are awesome, the impact on his senses is overwhelming. Then when he goes to a bar and the girls surround him, he starts to relax and feel very good indeed. He barfines a girl and although he does not expect too much, the experience is good. Some time later, perhaps his tenth girl, he finds the girl lingers in the morning, and he does not mind. He likes this girl, she was better than the others, it felt like she really liked him. He takes her to breakfast before sending her on her way. The next day he finds himself returning to her bar, perhaps she is not there or he sees her caressing another man and he is surprised at the strength of his feelings for her. Some day soon, he barfines her again, she senses his enthusiasm and increases her displays of affection. Soon after, she is staying all day with him and as the days turn into weeks, she suggests they both get checked at the clinic and stop using condoms, the sex becomes exquisite. She starts to drop hints about him buying her a house. This is where the farang needs to stop and start asking himself (and her) some serious questions.
What does he like about this girl? The answers are likely to include the wonderful sex, her working class delicious roughness, the dirty talk, the delightful spontaneity of the girl, her youthfulness compared to him, the way she can introduce him to some of the subtleties of Thai society, the way she dedicates herself to him while they are together, her devout Buddhism. He is amazed that a girl who is basically a prostitute can be such a nice person and such fun to be with. So far so good, useful stuff to be conscious of.
He asks her what she likes about him. She struggles to answer him. He asks her about her life. If she is willing to reveal it, her story will go something like this. She grew up dirt-poor in a village about 20 miles from some tin pot town in Isaan. She grew up with a considerable number of siblings. There was never any money for any special treats for her, childhood was one hard struggle, and full of boredom because there was nowhere to go and no money to spend. She left school at 13, able to read and write Thai but not much else. She received little affection or attention from her parents, probably she hardly saw her dad, and her mother farmed her off to her grandmother for long spells while the mother went away for work. The girl leaves home to go to Bangkok when she is 13. She works hard for very small money for years. Eventually, aged 17, she meets a Thai man. He is charming, for the first time someone is paying attention to her, she starts to need him. He feels the need to assert his total superiority over her. He gets her to a private room and he rapes her. She becomes his total servant. Her self-esteem is at zero. If she hesitates in her attention to him, he beats her viciously. At some point she gets pregnant. Her man does not show up for the birth. He has started to take the small money she has from her job and is spending it on whisky and yaba and card games. When the baby comes, a taxi driver is the only witness to her confinement. When she takes the baby home, her man continues to beat her. One day he arrives at their home with another woman and announces she is moving in. Our girl leaves and goes back to her mother with her baby.
Her mother tells her she has no money and there are no jobs near the village. So our girl goes off alone to Bangkok or Pattaya, promising to send money for the care of her child. She arrives in Sin City. She is terrified by what she sees. It offends all her Buddhist principles against drinking and adultery. She forces these thoughts aside, thinking only of the need to send money for her daughter. She gets work in a bar. She tells herself if these other Isaan girls can do these things then so can she. One girl in the bar takes her under her wing a little bit. She explains the most important thing is to make the farang pay good money. She stresses that when a farang wants to take the girl, she must ask him how much he is going to pay her, and to insist on a minimum figure, probably 1500 baht. She tells her it is alright to go with farang, even though it is prostitution, so long as she gets good money, and she uses that money to send to her mother for the care of her baby. She must also use some of the money to make good heart at the temple. This will atone to Buddha for her misdeeds.
Five years later, our girl has earned and spent a considerable amount of money, probably near three million baht. Very little of it is in her bank account but she does have some gold items that customers have bought her, these go in and out of the pawnshop at regular intervals. She has come to be seen by her family as a stylish (if slightly slutty) lady, expensively dressed and adorned. She enjoys this image. She is generous with her family, and she regularly goes to the temple to make good heart and she gives freely there also. She sends regular money to her mother for the care of her daughter but she has a bit of a problem there because her mother spends most of the money on herself. Every two months she goes to her village to see her daughter but she only stays two days each time, her daughter hardly recognises her.
Like every bar girl, she hates going with farang every day, she does it and thinks only of the money. Like every bar girl, she dreams of meeting a special farang who will take care of her long term, even marry her. She told her life story to one customer who she knew liked her. He was deeply moved by her story and felt compelled to help her. He wanted to rescue her. He was generous with her and when he went home he sent her money every month. But she did not want to be rescued from her current life and she continued to work in the bar. After several trips, the man realised she did not want to be rescued and he left her.
Now this girl is starting to feel the time has come to hang up her sexy clothes for good and she is asking her latest farang to buy her a house and to fund her to the tune of 30,000 baht every month. She explains that she needs this to match her current income. She cannot countenance a drop in income because she needs it to pay her mother, her family, her clothes, the monks etc. She goes to a fortune teller regularly and this man has assured her she will soon meet a good farang who will provide this. She gets impatient. She decides to put down a 20,000 baht deposit on a new house with a price tag of 3 million baht. She figures that Buddha has said it is going to be OK. She will ask all her regular customers to help her. Maybe they will all give a little bit each. She needs this house, she must have this house. She must provide a house for her daughter who needs to come and live with her now she is older. She also feels a duty to provide for her mother and father and she wants rooms for them in the new house, even though they have neglected her since birth, even stolen from her.
Does our farang offer to help her? He got carried away with her for a while but he is a wise man. He always paid the girl properly when he was in Thailand but he never sent her sponsorship money. Now sadly he must leave her to her fate; he has his own children to think of. He will not give her money for the new house. He knows she is not equipped to be a wife or even a girlfriend. Her past relationships with parents and her Thai man have left her with no idea how to behave in a decent relationship. She does not know how to relate the way that spouses need to do. She rarely shares her thoughts. She lies repeatedly about what she does and what she is thinking about. These habits will not change in an instant. She has been with dozens of men while she has been friendly with this farang, she dismisses this as “only acting” but he knows she feels as much and as little for most of these men as she feels for him. She is addicted to her high spending lifestyle. She may get lucky, maybe one of her customers will help her, even marry her. Otherwise the only thing that will reconcile her to a lower income is when her old age forces away the customers.
For sure, this is pretty much exactly what happens to so many of the girls who end up in the industry!