Som Nam Na (AKA Conversations With My Conscience)
Life should be lived in harmony and with balance (otherwise the Dragon’s gonna bite your ass)
The Thais say it quite often with a smile and a shake of the head. It may sound as though it’s said in jest – and quite often it is – but the smile is just their polite way of diluting their lack of sympathy for your self-inflicted situation here in the LOS. Yeah, serves you right old sport; you should’ve known better. A conniving bar girl has taken you for your life savings; som naam na dude. That freelancer you did the business with bareback is HIV positive; som naam na dude. The bar girl that you married, and took back to your home country, has a Thai husband back here in Thailand; som naam na dude. You’ve just finished building a large mansion for your teerak up in Isarn – spending most of the money that was set aside for your retirement in doing so – and you’ve been given your marching orders by her and her family; som naam na dude.
0900; Monday, 16th August 2010 – Surin Beach, Phuket.
There was a misty haze rising from the 1.5 meter surf as I stood there in the soft yellow sand and inhaled a lungful of fresh, salt-tinged air. It was good to back here. It had been far too long. The distraction of too many years in the fleshpots of Bangkok, and Pattaya, had kept me from the pleasures that the natural environment has to offer in the LOS. I’d been diligent enough to keep myself in reasonable shape, through a regular exercise regime and, therefore, the excesses of the pleasure domes hadn’t seen me disintegrate into a walking bag of shit. At fifty four I was still fit enough to climb onto a surfboard and catch a few waves. Guys that I know, who’ve been here for years, told me that one day it would happen; I’d wake up one day and say to myself ‘Yeah I’m done, time to do something else besides drinking and fucking whores.’
No doubt I won’t completely divorce myself from the temptations of Thailand’s adult entertainment industry but the heady days of the mind being constantly absorbed by the need to ejaculate into some pay for pleasure pussy were a thing of the past. I’d pretty much done it all since the move from Phuket a decade ago and simply came to the realization, not too long ago, that it was time to start seeing it for what it really is; an expensive way to stop yourself from being bored while in Thailand.
Over the years that I’ve been here I’ve often found myself reflecting on some of the seemingly bizarre, and almost crazy situations that many a farang, me included, get themselves into with the women of this place we find ourselves so addicted to. Situations that, if they were to be replicated back in the lands that we come from, would have friends, and relatives, shaking their heads in disbelief. “You’ve been paying a whore forty thousand baht a month for the past couple of years? Are you completely insane, man?” Well no, not insane, but the kind of behavior that we just come to accept as being par for the course, while we’re living here, is, quite often, cause for concern and, no doubt, probably has many a man, myself included, wondering if a bit of professional counseling might be in order.
I mean, when does the mia noi situation become acceptable? To many respectable Thai women it probably isn’t but it just seems to be a common practice here in this land of layered realities and mai bpen rai.
“Well, you know, I’m just getting a bit on the side with a regular gig”.
If you were married, and were back in the real world, this would be called adultery and you’d have your balls in a major bind if the wife found out.
“Well yeah, but this is Thailand so don’t think too much. Teerak, can I have some shopping money please?”
Indeed. Many guys, myself included once again, wake up one day and see it for what it is; just another expensive way to stop yourself from being bored in the LOS. A few million baht later you decide that no cute piece of fluff is worth that kind of expense so you simply terminate the arrangement by cutting off the money supply. It doesn’t take long for the poor, down and out teerak to find herself another willing sponsor. At this point you breathe a huge sigh of relief and head out to Soi Cowboy to celebrate. Thereby, in the process of celebrating your new found freedom, putting yourself right back in the firing line for the whole silly process to repeated again. Yes, that’s it; we’re rats to the treadmill of seductive, young Thai pussy. I guess a lot of us are slow learners. I mean how often does it take to be hammered over the head with the same old sorry process of history repeating itself? Will you ever learn man? Bar pussy equals a bloody great financial hole in the pocket. Well, yeah I know but the one I had last night had a pussy that was as tight as a mouse’s ear. Well there you go dude; Som Nam Na.
Too many late nights, and too many hangovers, later you begin to wonder if all this new found freedom is actually worth it and, in moments of weakness or deluded reasoning, you begin to hanker for the stability of the psychotic, nymphomaniac whore that constantly had your nerves on edge for the past few years. No, fuck that, the hangover will pass and I’ll just readjust the lifestyle a bit. It’s time to get healthy old sport. Indeed. I’ll start staying in a bit more and look for some hot pussy on the dating sites.
First one contacted on Tagged; name is Ploy, comes from Chiang Mai, white skinned and twenty three years old with a well endowed cleavage. Introductions made, phone numbers exchanged, bingo.
“Hello, I am Ploy. I stay Chiang Mai. I just finished university and my mother just die. Please send me money so I come to Bangkok”
“Hmmm, is the buffalo sick as well?”
It’s good to see that some things never change; it’s all about the money. I think I’ll head back down to the Tilac bar again tonight and barfine number two.
Occasionally something will occur which has you questioning your cynical summation of these conniving little vixens; doubt enters the mind and weakens the resolve.
“Teerak, I love you and I want we be back together”
“What about the sugar daddy?”
“I just doing my job. He give me money. I not love him”
“Hmmm, okay. But I’m not giving you any money”
“No problem teerak. I just want you fuck me”
Do you realize what you’ve done? What? You’ve just comprised your moral code of ethics. I see. I don’t think I’ve had much in the way of that for the past ten years and besides, I won’t be paying much for it now. Welcome to the murky world of being a pua noi my friend.
You eventually come to realize that being a pua noi to the psychotic, nymphomaniac whore has its limitations and that, even allowing for the fact that you’re not handing over the monthly allowance anymore, the shopping trips to the Emporium, and Paragon, are becoming far too frequent for your liking. The other disturbing realization, that you eventually come to, is that the said psychotic, nymphomaniac whore has begun to try and apply some stringent conditions to your pua noi job description. The nightly meanderings to the watering holes, and fleshpots, up and down Sukhumvit have now become an obstacle course of jealous harassment via the mobile phone. Rule number one when handing out phone numbers to Thai ladies; never, ever give out your work contact number.
Using logic to explain your nightly amorous wanderings doesn’t register in the bargirl's take on the responsibilities of pua nois. The fact that she’s out getting pounded every night before coming home to serve you slops isn’t an issue in her little fantasy world of money and sex.
“Look teerak, you’re having sex with the sugar daddy most nights of the week. If I take a lady for the night it’s just the same”
“Not same Teerak. I just doing my job. I not love him”
“Well I don’t love those girls either; I just want to have sex”
“You jai dum teerak. I know you not care me”
Has any farang ever tried to argue a point with a Thai hooker using common sense, and logic, and come away from the exchange thinking that you may as well have been talking to a brick wall?
“If you give me same money he give me teerak I stop be with him and just stay with you”
“No teerak, I told you I’m not giving you any more monthly salary”
“Then I have to keep working. I must take care family”
Ah yes, the good old fall back argument. The family, despite the fact they’ve got a good sixty rai under rice, have a decent house and two pickups, are literally wasting away through starvation. The poor buggers. Perhaps I should offer to help them out with a hefty donation that will fatten them up again.
Another thing which always has me laughing, inwardly at least, is the way in which Thai bargirls/hookers/whores
describe what they do as work. I suppose it is but the job description probably doesn’t make for very good reading on a CV.
Job function or title: sex service provider in the adult entertainment industry (fucks for money)
Primary skills set: copulation, cock smoking and stimulation of clientele’s genitals.
Expected remuneration: the going rates for short and long times plus any tips, or bonuses, the can we haggled, wheedled, cajoled, manipulated, stolen or harassed out of the client.
You may find that funny, or tragic, or both but it’s pretty much how it is. The idea that what they’re doing is just a job, in a real sense, is open to interpretation. Anyway, there are some escort agencies out there, in Bangkok, which take the idea of promoting a sex service provider’s skill set to a whole new level. A recent search on the internet brought up Admiral Escorts. Each lady is listed on an information matrix and it makes for some fairly amusing, or tragic, reading.
Patcharee: 24 years old. Does threesomes – yes, but only with Da and Noi. Does anal – yes. Smoke no condom – yes. Come in mouth – yes (for an extra 500 Baht). Goes with the physically disabled – Yes.
It’s good to see that the physically disabled are not being discriminated against on a sex service providers’ skills set matrix. Anyway, there you have it. Patcharee, the same as the rest of them, is just doing her job. And, I guess, in this competitive day and age it pays to advertise.
Right then, it’s time to give the internet dating sites another go. Second one contacted on Tagged: Name is Puk, 35 years old, with a killer set of cosmetically enhanced mammeries. Phone numbers exchanged, dinner date set, things look promising.
Over a nice Thai meal I find out that she’s a financially independent gal who was fortunate enough to be the beneficiary of a large inheritance following the death of her elderly American husband. She had a couple of business interests including her own escort service.
“I have forty girl work for me” said Puk as we drank and surveyed our surroundings at CM2.
“Hmmm, you’re quite an entrepreneur then I see” I said nodding with approval.
“Can you help me with something?”
“You’d like me to do a working assessment on all of your employees?” I said enthusiastically.
“No. I need Russia lady work for me” she said giving me a sideways glance.
“Hmmm, what do you want from me then?” I said thinking that this is looking a bit dodgy.
“Can you go that table over there and give those Russia girl my business card please?” she said with a smile as false as any I’ve ever seen.
I was seriously contemplating telling her to fuck right off but the joker in me thought ‘what the hell’ I’ve had a few and it’ll be good for a laugh.
“Yeah, no problems. Give me your business cards” I said as I downed my beer, grabbed the cards and strode confidently across to the table of Russian totty.
Cue the puzzled looks on the faces of the four Russians; I wasn’t Arab or Indian. I smiled and started handing out Puk’s business cards.
“If you want a job, call this number” I said holding my hand to my ear in the internationally accepted hand signal for a phone call.
The girls all smiled and I wandered back to our table feeling smug about the successful mission. You’re well pleased with yourself, aren’t you? Well yeah. How do you feel about being a pimp? Oh come on, it was just a bit of harmless fun. Really? What are you going to do next for this Madame? Okay, I see what you mean.
I decided the best policy with Puk, in future, would be the ‘don’t call me, I’ll call you.’
Not to be deterred I chanced my arm again. Third one contacted on Tagged: Name is Vicky, 23 years old with one the biggest sets of natural hooters I’ve seen on a Thai bird. Introductions made, phone numbers exchanged, she’s coming over to my condo to join me for lunch at the restaurant we’ve got on the premises.
“So, what do you do for work?” I asked politely.
“I work from home” said Vicky.
“You do computer stuff, is it?” I enquired.
“No, I have a small escort service”
“Do you know Puk?” I said just for a laugh.
“Yeah, I work for her before” she said without batting an eyelid.
“Hmmm, I don’t suppose you’re looking for some Russian ladies are you?”
“No, why you ask?”
“Oh no reason really, I’ve just got some experience with recruiting Russians in your line of business. Look, now that you’re here, what’s the price for a short time?”
“I not like that. I want be friends with you” she said looking a little offended.
Right then, I‘ve had enough this bullshit. I’m going down to Cowboy tonight to bar fine number twenty three out of the Dollhouse.
My thoughts drifted back to the present. The tide was coming in and the surf was picking up. I began applying wax to the board and thought about the past four days in Phuket. I had a set routine each day which included eating, at about 6:30 PM, at a nice café situated on the corner of Soi San Sabai and Patong second road. It had large open windows which afforded an uninterrupted view of the hectic twilight activity; punters on their way to their favoured watering holes, couples heading out to eat and, of course, the girls on their way their chosen venue of professional interaction with Mr. Farang. A lot were on foot but there were also many who were dropped off, right in front of where I was seated, by a young Thai guy who, no doubt, was the boyfriend. Cynicism eventually gives way to the reality, or totality, of what one is seeing. You, the farang, are nothing special. You are a means to an end. A walking cash cow. A lump of meat to be used and dispensed with once you’ve been bled dry. As a wise man said, a few years ago when considering the merits of the Thai bar girl, never forget that money really is number one and that you, the farang, rate somewhere down there with the family dog.
It’s interesting to compare the eyes of a Thai good girl with those of the ‘working girl.’ Looking into the eyes of the girls working in the café the only thing recognizable is a sense of genuine friendliness; no hidden agenda is detectable. The eyes of the average bar girl are often blank and lifeless. The harder, longer term, ones often look at you as if you’re being assessed for your potential worth. As a mate of mine once said “they’ve got knives for eyes.”
The pity is that it’s only the industry that does this to them. Their past lives of poverty, and a poor education, makes them likely candidates for a life of hardened desperation in the bars.
Six months ago I met Titiporn in the Rock Hard A Gogo on Soi Bangla. She was an attractive twenty one year gal from Buriram and had only been dancing for a week when I bar fined her for a few days. Her English was poor and she seemed completely naïve to the longer term realities of the profession she had entered into. She’d abandoned her dreams of finishing business college (studying to be an accountant) because the demands of the family had to be met first. She showed me photos – taken only four months previously – of herself, in uniform, at her business college in Buriram. She’d dropped out because she couldn’t pay the fees and then spent three months working in some low-paid supermarket job. A friend of a friend had then suggested she might like to try her luck in the adult entertainment industry down in Phuket. The rest, as they say, is history.
I walked into the Rock Hard A Gogo last night and spotted Tittiporn up on the dance platform. She’d put on a few extra pounds, no doubt from the requirement to meet the monthly lady drink quota, and hair had been died red. She saw me and smiled as I took a seat next to the bar. As soon as she’d finished her routine she came over to see me. She said hello, asked me how long I was in town for and then, pretty much, demanded that I buy her a tequila (when I first met her she would only drink orange juice). We engaged in a bit more light hearted conversation during which she informed me that she’d already been bar fined for the night but I could come and get her tomorrow night. I said I would think about it and when I informed that I was going to move on to another location she pushed her breasts towards me and asked for a tip. How times change.
I finished waxing my board and strolled down to the water’s edge. Directly in front of me and seventy, or so, meters out to sea was a nice little right hand peak with just one surfer on it. I pushed out through the invigorating white water and paddled into the line-up. I looked across at the other guy and he caught my eye. We both smiled simultaneously.
“Nice day for it” I said as we surveyed the green, jungle clad hills surrounding the bay.
“Ya wouldn’t want be anywhere as would you at the moment” he replied back as the sun broke through the cloud cover and sparkled off the azure blue of the ocean surrounding us.
“Yeah, it’s a pity I didn’t start doing this about four years earlier” I said with a wry smile.
“Could’ve saved myself about five million Baht” I said shaking my head.
“A bar girl” he said smiling.
“Yup” I said flatly.
“Som nam na dude”
“Your wave” he said nodding towards the approaching swell.
Wonderful! I love these brutally honest reflective pieces that cut through the BS and shatter the illusion!