Stickman Readers' Submissions November 1st, 2011

Rich vs. Poor Mongers

Do the rich and poor mongers really have that much in common? Let's analyze some of their behaviors.

First, getting to Thailand. A rich monger may fly first class and enjoy a nice meal while relaxing in comfort. He may try a new wine and have a very restful sleep before arriving. A poor monger will be traveling in economy and may have had a very long layover. However, the people in the seats next to him will likely be in the same situation and may be eager to have jovial conversation about their last barfine. Although, there will be no fine wine to sample, there's nothing like a beer with your new buddy.

Going from the airport to the hotel is easy for both groups. The rich monger will take a limousine and be at his hotel in no time. The poor monger will go downstairs to catch a taxi. If inexperienced, the poor monger may end up paying more than for a limousine if he gets cheated by the driver. The hotel chosen by the rich and poor monger will still have roughly the same characteristics. The hotel will be close to the action, have a good buffet, and be guest friendly. The rich monger will actually have a harder time in this area because he will still be concerned about his social standing even while on holidays in a foreign country where no one knows who he is. This may cause him to be a little more generous with his tips and always be on the lookout for who may be watching him. The poor monger could really care less who sees him and will be proud to show off his lady of the night.

At the bars, a rich monger really doesn't care what the price of everything is. He'll order what he wants and isn't shy of buying lady drinks. He may even buy a Japanese a drink to show off. The rich monger can buy the basket full of ping pong balls and drop money like it's nothing. The poor monger will drink just as much and buy lady drinks as well. However, he understands there is no point in throwing around good money. When it comes to massage time, the rich monger heads straight for Rachada while the poor monger heads to Annie's or a dirty oil massage place. They will both have an amazing time. They will both at some time in their trips end up at Eden Club as well.

When it comes to food, the rich and poor monger really won't be much different. There are ample buffets around. The only difference is the rich monger likely won't eat any street food (his loss). Time spent during the day will depend on the person more than the level of wealth. They can both drink themselves silly, do touristy things and go shopping.

So what's the point of this analysis? The point is I'm not actually comparing rich and poor mongers, I'm comparing new and old mongers. New mongers are more likely to behave like they're rich and be more frugal as they gain more experience. The first long flight a person makes has them assume they need to fly first class. On subsequent trips they realize economy is not that bad when you're excited about your destination. The limousine from the airport is the first and most prominent thing you see in the airport. Hotels are subsequently chosen for convenience rather than luxury. A beer is a beer and there are plenty of bargirls. No need to try and impress a bar girl. A massage is affordable and well worth any money paid. Good food is good food whether served on a plastic stool or in a five star hotel.

The difference in costs:

Rich Monger

$3000 for first class flight

$2800 for 14 nights at a five star hotel

Poor Monger

$900 for economy flight

$700 for 14 nights at a budget hotel


3 trips by the Poor Monger is cheaper than 1 trip by the Rich Monger

Always monger with your money in mind!

Keeping costs low when mongering is always a good idea. However, keeping costs low to save for mongering is a great idea. Here are some simple things you can do:

Don't drink coffee or cut back significantly. A few less Starbucks never hurt anyone. Drive a less expensive vehicle. You don't need a BMW. If you have debt, get rid of it. Start by paying down your highest interest first and make sure you can pay everything off within three years. It's no time to be mongering if you can't support yourself. Cut back on drinking. A nice cold beer tastes great in Thailand, not quite as tasty drinking at home by yourself on the weekend. You can also look for more revenue streams. Take a small part-time job and use any money from that strictly for your trips back to LOS. You'd be surprised how fast it can add up.

After you've made all of your money from scrimping and saving it's finally time to enjoy the spoils. Just remember you'll have another trip shortly so don't blow everything or you'll be back to where you started. This takes us to the next phase. Retiring in Thailand. This costs a lot more than you realize. In fact your two or three trips back to LOS will probably prevent you from retiring comfortably there. However, you could probably keep up your regular trips.

If you manage a comfortable retirement, then you can finally let loose. Just be careful not to blow the whole nest egg on some condo deals or you may be joining the Pattaya Flying Club.

So where does all of this information lead you? For god's sake be careful with your money! Don't send any monthly allowances to your teeruk. Take care of yourself before looking after others. When you are truly comfortable then buy a few extra lady drinks.

On the other hand, life is short. You can plan carefully for a nice retirement but there is no guarantee on how long you will live. Take good care of your health and don't drink in excess.


Stickman's thoughts:

Spend your money how you please and don't concern yourself with what other people have, or how they choose to spend their money. There is a huge number of factors that come into play when someone chooses how to spend their money that you cannot possibly hope to understand. To wit, I recently paid 8,000 baht for a pair of shoes – and didn't think twice about the price. I baulked, however, at paying 150 baht for a drink, and chose instead to go to another venue where the same beer cost 107. That might sound strange to some, but it demonstrates how we simply cannot understand what is going on in someone else's mind when they make a purchase decision.

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