Karma, Bargirls, or Both?
An avid Stick reader and an expat in Thailand now for just under 11 years, my story is one of perfection, until the bitter, twisted end.
Others seem to start with a prologue so I will too. I was 25 years old, living in the UK, great job, good money, company car, steady girlfriend, but my future seemed boring. I was in the rat race and until that New Year's Eve hadn’t figured out that my next 20 years were more than predictable, my earnings would substantially increase each year, along with the latest car, I would marry my girlfriend, get a house and have kids. I was 25 years old and already felt 40. That night I decided I was going on a round the world trip, travelling, and would hang my hat wherever if felt right. I asked my girlfriend to come with but she wasn’t interested. I guess the thought of all those years being thrown down the drain were too much. We separated, I purchased a round trip ticket and left 6 weeks later.
I had travelled extensively in Europe as I grew up so was no stranger to ‘out of box’ thinking and managing foreign situations.
Asia though was a first, and foolishly I thought my several Rough Guide and Lonely Planet tour books would see me straight.
I did the usual touring first, flew into Mumbai, India, (hated it), trained down to Goa, 2 weeks on a lovely beach that could have been any beach in the world, left India for Singapore, got bad guts but still enjoyed it, then travelled via bus and train all the way through Malaysia, the islands and into Thailand.
I did every island in the South of Thailand, and loved it, not a single bar girl met, no girly bars entered. Funny, touring as a traveler using the Rough Guide, you don’t see much of the real country or people, just those that are sustained by the never ending back packhuggers, all very fake I’ve come to learn, like saying you stayed in Khao San road for 3 weeks and loved Thailand. I’d question you never even saw Thailand!
So some 8 weeks into my journey I arrive in Bangkok, Khao San road to be exact. I finally plucked courage and ventured to Nana. I went inside and was disgusted, girls on stage with number badges, how demeaning. I couldn’t stomach it (actually I wasn’t that bothered, but I was with a mate and he clearly was not impressed so I followed his reaction, I wanted to stay !) We left.
I ventured back a week later, alone. I hit the escalator on the right and as I got to the top I was being pulled in all directions, literally. I didn’t know where to go or who to follow. One girl stood back but was smiling at me, waving at me, to come into her bar, Nancy Bar (it's gone now). I followed her in and sat on a stool in the narrow bar beer. She said ‘sum drink?’ I ordered a beer she came back with a cold towel, wiped my forehead and just sat there, I was mesmorised…
I had not read Stick, I had not researched bars, I was the total meal ticket on a plate, and had no idea. Her English was non-existent, none at all but through her older sister (blood related) we worked out for 500 baht she would come to my room for a
massage, and then I should give her 1,000 baht for that. Seemed like a deal.
I was staying in a shit hole in Khao San, no good for this poor innocent thing. The bed was hard, the shower outside the room and the air-con noisy. Oh no, I would take her to the Marriott on soi 2. I checked in no problem and she was amazed. Her eyes were popping out of her head! I tried to explain to her after entering the room that actually I had changed my mind, I wanted her to stay here with her friends. I told her she could invite all her friends over, have a party and I would leave my credit card at reception for the bill in the morning. I was going now (please, I know, I was oh so very very lucky to say the least). She wouldn’t let me go though, and we ended up having sex. At the time it felt like making love, but knowing what I do now of Thailand and bargirls for sure, our first encounter and many after that, were simply customer hooker sessions (stop saying of course!).
Well in the morning I gave her 1,000 baht, walked her to the street, kissed her cheek and watched her walk away. Wow, she was amazing. She was 20 years old I would later learn.
I travelled around Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, did the usual backpacker hiking tours and what not, but once back to Bangkok…..yep, you guessed it, straight back to Nancy Bar. It had been 3 weeks and when I was only half way up the escalator I could hear my name being screamed out, as I stepped off the escalator I was jumped on and hugged so tightly I could not believe it, she remembered me (seriously, give it a break, I know!).
After only a few days, I discovered that she had a 1-year old daughter, was from Issan, married at 16, never in love. He dumped her and the child, she came to Bangkok to work as a brick carrier near the Chaophraya. Her sister had talked into the bar where she’d been 1 month. I had apparently met her in her first week, her English was a bit better than before (no doubt the customers helped that along). Well I was smitten, I decided to cancel my flight to Vietnam and stay for another 2 months until my visa expired. I asked her to move in with me and she did, out of the bar into a condo in Bangkok. There was question about paying the bar fine to leave but I said why as she wouldn’t be going back, so that was stopped.
Pretty much things were great. I was having a wonderful holiday with someone I was falling for… What was it I fell for? The affection, the sex, the smile, the tenderness, the thought I was saving her and doing some good in the world. Pretty much all of them, not conversation, similar goals, ideas or hobbies.
I want to skip some time here so all was good, no red flags although I didn’t even know what red flags were back then ! I decided to find work and was very successful in doing so for an international company on a good salary (not teaching or boiler room I might add). We got a more permanent apartment, 3-bedroom and things were great. I started going out with the guys from work, and it was always the same routine, bars, beers, BJs, beers and ST rooms. I was cheating on my loved one so early on, but it seemed okay. I know of course it was not.
I would get home from work, my apartment was spotless, dinner was on the table, cold beer in the fridge, she had purchased 2 books in Thai called cooking farang food, and she was working through every page. She was great.
We got married about 4 months later. I negotiated everything with her directly – 100,000 sin sot, no money to stay with me, no money for family ever, 100,000 one off sin sot for life. After that she and her daughter (yes I was taking on her daughter, living with us) would never go without, but nothing for anyone else…she agreed.
I spent the next year sleeping around, hiding it from her, never taking the piss (yes, I realise I already was). I would be home by 12 PM, never later, never covered in lipstick or hairs, always ready to have sex when I was home. I would never go out on weekends. We would go somewhere nice together and have good times. I was treating her like a queen but playing away when out. We were both happy.
She caught me in a bar. I had a girl bouncing on my lap in Clinton Plaza. She stood at the door and saw me. I threw a 1,000 baht note on the bar and legged it after her. She was hurt, angry and threatened suicide. I begged forgiveness, told her I was drunk, was sorry, just fooling around, promised never again. She accepted that and we agreed from that day things would be better.
I stopped fooling around completely, and we had another great 6 months until she asked me to check her email. I did, and there was an email from a French guy, asking if he could see her again. I asked what this was. She told me, remember that night in Clinton Plaza, well you really hurt me, so now I hurt you the same. NOW we can move on…turns out she had done the dirty with a guy she met on the street, 6 months later, to hurt me for what I had done….I was really hurt, but it was my fault…right ?
I felt we had now taught each other a big lesson, we both went forward and things were good. We travelled together around Asia with my work. It was great! She never asked for money, there were no sick buffaloes. Obviously as the months passed I was very up on BG’s and the life and I mentioned to my Tilac many times that if I had known then what I know now I would never of married her! It's true, I wouldn’t have.
So now the career is going great guns, same company, very good position, permanent contract, 4 years into our relationship, no hiccups or issues, we decided to try for kids. Our first was an angel, 3 years later with things still going strong and wonderful in a rented house we tried for another, and was rewarded again with another angel.
Life was great, she was great, everyone complimented us, other mixed couples asked us for relationship advice, how did we do it, etc. I was the success story rarely heard about. I had taken the bar our of the girl and had a loving happy family to show for it. I can’t give the reason as it would give away information concerning my employment but I can categorically say until 9 months ago she had never cheated on me.
So what happened? Well, 12 months ago my wife wanted to go out with her girlfriends once a month, after pay day, to a local karaoke bar. Unfortunately her friends were ex-bar that didn’t work out and were now maids, factory workers or in one case servicing Thai men in Sattahip…the lowest of the low, but I had known them as long as I had known my Tilac, so I was okay. She would be home by 2 AM and it was just once a month…it's not a prison, right?
Well on the 3rd such evening she informed me she would be home at 6 AM as after the karaoke they would go to Ratchada for some food. I refused to accept that, said it was too much, not safe for her that late at night and totally unnecessary. She insisted it to be. As she left with her girlfriends she shouted at me “Why can’t you trust me, 10 years already, don’t you know how much I love you, you’re not fair, just trust me!”
It didn’t feel right, I emailed Stick and requested the impossible, an immediate trailing of my wife who had just left to a karaoke somewhere! Stick was fair in his answer given the impossible request! I stewed for a few hours and then SMSd her saying I was sorry, it wasn’t that I was jealous, it was that I was concerned for her safety at that time of night and couldn’t protect her which made me angry should anything happen. She called me, told me she was also sorry and she would be home at 2 AM. She told me which karaoke bar she was in.
I decided to smooth things over that I would drop in and surprise her, not to gate crash, but to buy a bottle of whiskey and some mixers for her and her friends as a make-up present and then leave. To this day I 100% wish I hadn’t done that, but I’m also 100% glad I did.
Part 2 soon.
Great start to this story. Can't wait to read part 2!