Readers' Submissions

It’s All About The Money, Money, Money…



So the other night I am at Spasso with an old friend of mine. He has flown in to Bangkok on his way to somewhere else in Asia for business – he only stopped here because I happen to live here now, also for business by the way. He may have stopped in for something else as well – I will find out later. We start off the evening with a tour of Nana Plaza, just to give him a flavor of it all. It’s his first time here solo (he came once before with family) and he never saw the naughty side of the place – he kept telling me Bangkok is the “Vegas of Asia” (is this because of the Hangover II movie? Many other parts of Asia have Vegas-like environments with both casinos and overt and sometimes legal prostitution. Thailand does not allow gambling anywhere. I suppose perception is reality though). We had no intention of actually bar-fining anyone at Nana, and I personally have no interest in bar-fining anyone at all (anymore) but I was shocked actually whilst in Rainbow 3 or 4 (forget which one exactly) they said the bar fine was 2,000 baht.

It was a night full of drinking – beer only for me, as the hard stuff messes me up, and the wine is ridiculously expensive here due to the import taxes, so I have gone off wine all together which is a pity (what does that say about economic theory of taxation? Would the Thai Government bring in more tax revenue if they lowered this tax? I bet they would because I would start pouring a lot more wine down my throat!). The drinking could be blurring my memory about the exact amount of the quoted bar-fine, but I just remember telling my friend that it was way too expensive for a bar-fine. Maybe they thought we were tourists right of the boat, or maybe we both looked extraordinarily wealthy (which we didn’t). Does this figure sound right? <Not right at all unless it was New Year's Eve or other special night when barfine rates are hikedStick>

Anyway, we finished our drinks and went on our way, and I chose Spasso as our next destination as my friend seemed to be in the mood to sample some Thai culture and a more down to earth (well not really) freelancer might be a better experience for him than a Nana Plaza girl, or so I thought. Certainly she would be less expensive anyway compared to a 2,000 baht bar-fine from Nana!

So off we go to Spasso and we soon find ourselves in the midst of the throbbing masses on the dance floor there. This is where the story about my friend departs. I was out dancing on the packed dance floor and having a good time, and he eventually comes over and tells me he is off and going back to his hotel. I said good night and good luck – whether he went off with anyone I don’t know. Maybe he will tell me later what if anything transpired that evening.

So now I am solo in Spasso, but I am not interested in hooking up with any of the Thai women there, and there are many of course (it is the weekend), and very easily available for the right price. No, I am targeting western women this night. I know, crazy right?

Now, I am mid thirties, in decent shape, full head of hair, good corporate ex-pat job and reasonably good looking – at least so I am told by various Thai women in my office. I have never had a problem meeting up with Thai ladies in venues like Spasso, and actually have had a Thai girlfriend for a while now. The problem is, the Thai girlfriend is bordering on insane, and the relationship is about to come to an end (details of which shall be spared for a future submission).

So here is the crux of this submission – I have come to the realization that the only reason I have a relationship with the Thai girlfriend is because of the money-sex industrial complex. President Eisenhower warned us about this, didn’t he? Or was that the military-industrial complex he was talking about? I always mix those two up. I will re-address this in a future submission as well. Right now I need to stay on topic.

Which is to say, with Thai women, it's all about the money, money, money – contrary to what the Katy Perry song tells you (if you have been living in a cave, the song goes “it's not about the money, money, money”). But with Thai women – at least those I have experienced – it is without question all about the money. That is to say, they give you affection, sex and other services (like cooking for you, washing and ironing your clothes and other domestic chores), and then you give them money. I am not talking about short time or long time transactions, or girlfriend experiences – those are very clearly all about the money.

I am talking about longer term relationships, where they continue to ask for money ostensibly in exchange for the perception of a normal or long term relationship. And they will do this even if you – the man – don’t live in Thailand, but only visit periodically. How bizarre is that? But there is never an end to it. As I have come to realize this, I have made a few attempts to break it off with the Thai girlfriend (who never worked in a bar by the way, but is a member of a clique of Thai women who don’t have jobs, who all have western boyfriends or husbands, and who all rely on them exclusively for support), but I am a weak man alas, and it’s hard to live without the services associated with the “contract” I have seemingly entered into.

But I have decided that I must move on, and another Thai woman is not the solution, because I don’t think that it will be any different. So my thinking is I must go back to western women who aren’t so (overtly) interested in whatever money I can send their way. It would be nice to have someone who thinks the same way as me, who shares my values, who wants to contribute equally to the relationship. I am even prepared to accept these western women’s shortcomings – generally their sheer size, which I unfortunately find unattractive, but which is due to the sheer volume of food which westerners are trained to eat by the western food companies (trained like monkeys I should add – western women – OK, and men – eat so much more food than their eastern sisters, and all the wrong kinds. I am constantly amazed by the diet of the Thai girlfriend – vegetables, chili peppers, and insects – yes she is from Isaan, but she stays damn thin as a result!). But I will overlook that in the interest of finding the right woman with the right brain and who doesn’t want to suck every satang out of my bank account.

Now, I know what you are thinking – with western women, or any women for that matter – it's all about the money as well. They just position it differently, whereas the Thai women are more up front and direct about it. The western women get the money out of you in the end, but in their own way and perhaps over a longer period of time. This is a truth few can deny – I would like to hear the denials if there are any to be shared. On the other hand, one could argue that the Thai way is at least more transparent, more clean, and transactional. However, I have grown tired of the transparency, and the constant requests for cash (most of which I reject, but not all), but more so, I am tired of the lack of intellect and maturity (tantrums, mood swings, etc).

The point I am making here comes back to western women, an elusive breed here in Bangkok whom I was seeking out that evening at Spasso. My thinking was that I need to find a nice western woman here in Bangkok, someone with whom I can develop a “normal” western style relationship. Someone who has the intellect and maturity compatible with me, and ideally, not too over-weight (by the way, the word “maturity” is a double edged sword, as I have been accused of lacking “maturity” by western women in the past. Oddly, I have never been accused of this by a Thai woman).

We all strive to find the perfect partner, don’t we? Is that so wrong? Surely there are western women here in Bangkok looking for a good decent western guy with similar values who doesn’t want to date Thai women (their number one threat by the way).

This was not the first effort I had made to try to connect with western women here in Bangkok. A few weeks ago I made another run at a western woman or two in a disco (Insomnia I think – again, alcohol has impaired the memory – I wonder if this is a recurring problem? Of course it is, so spare me the lecturing please!). We had a chat about how Thai women pursue western men fervently and are only interested in getting money out of them (which I whole-heartedly agree to be the case). They (the western women) clearly expressed their disgust at Thai women in general and made the comment that its all about the money for Thai women (which I think is true at all levels of Thai society, but again, is also true for western women at the end of the day).

Back to Spasso. With this previous market research in hand, I approached one of the western women I met in Spasso and attempted to strike up a conversation. She was younger than me (maybe 5 years younger) and a tad plumper than I would probably prefer, but not a show-stopper. She was with another female friend, and I started off with what I thought we had in common – i.e. Thai women are out to suck every penny possible from western men. This seemed to strike a chord with her and we got to chatting and then she even came out and said that with Thai women, it's all about the money! Just as I thought we were on some common ground and making progress, she suddenly shut down, finished the conversation, and moved away from me. Her friend then followed suit.

You never know what goes through women’s minds. The influence of alcohol adds another dimension to it of course. I clearly said something to put her off (although I don’t know what), or I just wasn’t the right guy for her. I can’t help wondering whether there is a large population of politically correct and good looking western guys here in Bangkok just chomping at the bit to date the few attractive western women who are here, and that she had so many other eligible men to choose from, that I was just at the bottom of the barrel. I seriously doubt that this is true, but it boggles the mind anyway.

I don’t know why I was rejected – maybe she had a boyfriend or husband already, the chemistry wasn’t right, whatever. Someone will no doubt point out that I was inebriated at the time, and this was the reason, but who in Spasso isn’t? But it’s the cold heartedness of it all which is off-putting and takes me back to my days of dating back in farang-land. Why do western women make courting/dating so difficult?

So, my best efforts to date western women here in Bangkok have thus far yielded little fruit. I will keep trying, but if in the end, it's all about the money for both western and Thai women anyway, I am starting to think now that the transparency and transactional nature of the Thai to westerner relationship, is frankly more pragmatic (as long as you – the guy – knows how to manage it and not get taken for a ride). If anyone has any pointers to share which might help me in this aim, I would very much like to hear them.

Mr. Heineken


Stickman's thoughts:

For a lot of women in Thailand it is all about the money, but if you take the time to look hard, there are women with good jobs earning decent money by local standards i.e. 30,000 – 60,000 baht per month and for whom the idea that their boyfriend should give them money would be abhorrent. Sure, this may not be a common demographic, but there are more and more women with such a profile.

I wonder whether you will be able to stick with a foreign woman – if you can find one – after a relationship with a Thai woman. That would be an interesting submission, whatever the outcome!