Stickman Readers' Submissions December 16th, 2011

Ladies of Negotiable Affection


Karma; an idea, or a way, of accepting one's lot which seems innately imbued in the fabric of life in this part of the world – Asia. A life philosophy, seemingly spiritual in nature, which one uses to accept the nuances, or ups and downs, of our path through our time on this planet. Often described as being something which is cyclical in nature it is considered destiny, or fate, by many who ascribe to its theory; that being, we reap what we so, or what goes round comes round. Some like to attach a sinister connotation to their take on Karma; that it represents some sort of justice, or revenge, against those who have committed injustice. Just as those who do bad receive bad in return, much is made of the idea that those who do good will receive good in return. There may be something real in this way of looking at life, and there may not be, but the idea that karma is, in some way, linked to getting square is simply not true. According to Deepak Chopra, the spiritual law of karma may be described as thus: any point in life, a person may find themselves in, is simply the result of the choices one makes leading up to that point; nothing more and nothing less. A poor life situation is the result of poor choices. A good life situation is the result good choices.

As I sit here writing this it is exactly eight months, to the day, that my daughter was killed in a motorbike accident in Pattaya. There are a few who know of my personal tragedy but, for the most part, I’ve kept it to myself. Partly due to the fact that I’d misguidedly convinced myself that it was payback for my years of self indulgence; that such a life tragedy had occurred as a matter of karma and that if I’d been less neglectful, she may still be walking and breathing today. A Thai male friend convinced me of otherwise; “As sad as it may seem, it was her destiny.” Destiny? Perhaps, but in quiet moments of introspection the heart still feels heavy and the eyes still moisten. In reflection there may be something in what he says; what were the odds that she would fall off her moped directly into the path of a speeding chopper? It’s often said that time heals all wounds – and I’ve certainly tried to move on in life – but it’s still hard to reconcile oneself with the fact that someone, with so much vitality and potential, had the life crushed out of her at just 14 years of age. Perhaps that song was right after all; only the good die young.

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Still, there has to be something positive to come out of it. And, there was; the realization that life can be fragile and fleeting. That we shouldn’t waste our time with seeming less nonsense and that we need to be doing the best we can for ourselves at all times. The trivialities of our silly little emotional dramas with the wrong type of Thai women, that are so often written about on this site, are suddenly put in perspective; it is just trivial nonsense. Perhaps we like the dramas associated with the shenanigans of being involved with these women? Perhaps we, for a time at least, don’t know any better? When the loss of a loved one – someone who was good and decent – occurs, it’s a wake-up call to stop wasting your time on something that isn’t going to be of any long term benefit to your life. Sadly, it took the loss of my daughter to come to my senses and finally rid myself of the ex.

One might think that after this harsh dose of reality I would be doing all that I can to find a “good girl” to ride off into the sunset with and live in eternal, everlasting bliss. I’ve come to the sobering realization that this lovely little Mills and Boon situation might never happen because, over the years of being a player, something has happened to me; it’s almost as if I’ve crossed the bridge of no return and I’m caught in no man’s land. Just as many of us have commented that going back to the real world is no longer an option, so it is that entering into a “loving relationship” also seems far removed from the realities of living in a world that appears increasingly to lack trust or integrity. I have tried. And the ladies that I’ve met, over some of the internet dating sites, all seemed reasonable but there were always questions that were left unanswered; the most pressing being “what exactly are your intentions?” Perhaps I’ve become too cynical, too critical, too hard edged but there’s always some kind of unspoken expectation with getting it on with “good girls.” I’ve found that their expectation is called commitment and the provision of access to their bodies makes that even more binding. Some may laugh at this and say I’m overcomplicating things, but why rush headlong into something when intentions aren’t being made clear. If one wanted to just bonk them and enjoy the ride for a while then why not just be upfront about it and avoid the complications that eventually arise when you decide you’re getting bored with the “good girl
” that’s become attached to you?

You see, what I’ve found is that I value my freedom above anything else in this fair land now. The freedom to do what I want – when I want – without having to explain my movements to a lady with expectations for me. I’ve dated a number of ladies from the dating sites, and they all seemed in a hurry. I even had one tell me that after we’ve been on three dates we could have sex. It was almost as though she had some preconceived plan in place for luring a farang into her spider’s web. Needless to say; we never made it to three dates. Most of these ladies will never tell you, but in the deep dark recesses of their minds, they are expecting something in return for access to their bodies. Politeness dictates that this expectation will, for a time at least, go unmentioned but the primeval encoding remains unchanged; food, clothing and shelter from the best provider they can find. It would be interesting if, on the first time meeting these girls, one was to announce that all you wanted was a shag, without paying, and you weren’t interested in seeing them again. That would be the ultimate reaction test; being upfront and declaring one's intentions from the outset. I did it once and the look of indignation I got in return was priceless. She informed me that she didn’t do that kind of thing and that she was a good girl. A few minutes later she confided in me that she was emotionally stressed because she was having problems with her boyfriend in Phuket, who also happened to be married.

In a rather odd way I’ve come to appreciate the short term comfort that can be provided by a Bangkok ‘working girl.’ I get my immediate needs satiated without entering into the age old war of the sex’s scenario. The sex is fine. There’s a warm body in the bed, when I feel the urge, and I retain my freedom when they depart in the morning. Some might say that it’s a rather shallow way to go through life; that it’s a joining with the female, of our species, at a purely physical level and that the connection of minds is being forfeited. I agree that it is, but it suits my present life style. There are many of my male colleagues out there that openly admit that the ongoing loneliness of this type of life would not be to their liking; that a female companion, to provide an ever present feminine component in their lives, is a necessity that they couldn’t live without. And I must admit that there are often times when I’m lying alone, and ruminating on the events that occurred eight months ago, that I envy their domestic situation. But, as I’ve often been heard to say, loneliness, and being alone, are two entirely different things; one is a state of mind and the other is a state of being. And it is the mind, according to BKS Iyengar, that is the ultimate controlling influence in our lives; the mind is the king of the senses and rules all others. It is what we think that directs our decision making processes and the choices we make during our relatively short existence here.

I mention BKS Iyengar because, over the past few months, I’ve become a devotee of his yoga system. Yoga you say? Isn’t that about women in leotards stretching? Well, no, it’s not. A ninety minute session down at the studio in Thong Lor might have you thinking otherwise. Aside from being the world’s oldest exercise system, it’s a metaphysical activity that puts your head completely in a space where you’re living at that exact moment you are in and nothing seems to matter too much. It creates a mindset which has you connecting with what Taoists describe as the stillness, or the quiet spaces between the chaos we often encounter running through our minds. It brings a feeling of peacefulness, or a state of being completely at one within oneself, that I’ve yet experienced with any other physical discipline. Pain, sorrow, suffering, and the worries of the day are eliminated as one lives in the moment; enjoys the moment.

You might be wondering what this has to do with my interaction with ladies of negotiable affection. Well the fact is, not much. It has, however, helped soften my attitude, somewhat, towards them. Although still not trusting them as far as one could kick them I understand that they provide an invaluable service and are, regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the merits of what they do, just simply trying to make their way in this world. At the end of the day it’s up to the individual punter to defend, and educate, himself against their wily ways. After all, what they are doing is simply a job and, for the most part, their attentions are a well rehearsed and well acted routine. A lot of them wouldn’t be entirely out of place in Thai TV soap dramas. As many an old Asia hand has mentioned; let the buyer beware.

I now indulge selectively and not too often. I say that because I’ve become increasingly aware that the environment that we enter into, when cruising our favourite red light sois, is not particularly beneficial for one's physical, and mental, well being. I think most of us can appreciate the obvious with regard to the long term debilitating effect of too many late nights and an over-indulgence in alcohol. What isn’t readily obvious is the long term ramifications of associating, too often, with a class of people whose primary function in life is to lie and deceive. It is, unfortunately, the darker side of humanity. But that’s okay because in a world in harmony we must have dark to balance light. As the Taoist sages mentioned, centuries ago, that is the natural way – the yin and yang – of universal existence; heaven and earth, life and death, dark and light, day and night, good and bad, sorrow and happiness, suffering and joy, pain and elation. There is no secret to understanding this; it just is. One does not exist without the other; that is the balance of life. The key to living with it is to be able to be in control of your own situation at all times; don’t become too immersed in one or the other. See bargirls for what they are. Appreciate their efforts to entertain you, even though it’s not completely genuine, but never lose sight of the fact that they are largely immersed in the dark side of the spectrum; be on your guard at all times.

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August in Bangkok; not yet the peak of the wet season but still rather steamy and the rain drums in almost every day. As I rounded the corner, from Soi 23, into Cowboy the drizzle was dripping off the blaze of neon signs stretching out before me. I hadn’t been here for a while, months actually, but not much had changed. Even though the weather was keeping the punters away the hostess girls, employed at each establishment, were still doing their best to entice me in for a drink. A few meters along the soi and there it was on the right; Shark Bar. The only sharks inside were the two-legged variety and, even though lacked the savagery of their swimming counterparts, they could still be a dangerous breed. I stepped through the red curtain and adjusted my eyes to the dimly lit interior. The dance podium was crowded with some of Isarns finest, wiggling their little toods around to the beat of the MTV style dance music. As a hostess guided me to a seat in the bleachers I had my own music playing in my head. It was a stark reminder, if one set no limitation on ones involvement in the dark spectrum, of where it could all end up.

Please allow me to introduce myself

I'm a man of wealth and taste

I've been around for a long, long year

Stole many a man’s soul and faith

And I was round when Jesus Christ

Had his moment of doubt and pain

Made damn sure that Pilate

Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name

But what's puzzling you

Is the nature of my game

Well, I do know the nature of the game and it’s called deception. But, as I’ve come to realize, that’s okay because the balancing counter to deception is complete and total honesty. Now I know what you’re thinking; honesty with these ladies is akin to being hopelessly naïve. Well, the honesty I’m talking about, first and foremost is honesty with oneself; because it is that clearly defined state of mind that helps one avoid becoming entangled with one of these vixens. If you ever, even for a moment, had a notion that you might like to try and turn one into girlfriend just ask yourself this; would you, even for a brief moment, consider having a prostitute for a girlfriend back where you come from? With this a constant baseline the rest becomes easy. A couple of freelancers I’ve known recently suggested that I might like to take them on as girlfriends. Not wishing to offend them, by replying that I don’t take prostitutes on in relationships, I simply said that I don’t pay monthly salaries. Their interest soon dissipated and they’ve since moved on to the next likely candidate. Give them their due though, some of them are very attractive, they’ve got great bodies and the sex is good. The ever present constant though with their choice of work, once again, is the dark spectrum.

I stuck around St. Petersburg

When I saw it was a time for a change

Killed the czar and his ministers

Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank

Held a generals rank

When the blitzkrieg raged

And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name, oh yeah

Ah, what's puzzling you

Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

A waitress drops my order in front of me. I cast my eye over the bevy of semi-naked beauties on the dance podium and reflect upon the idea that places like this exist on the edge of the twilight zone; it’s real but not really. The players are all here, and are alive as one can be, but their real identities are something we’re largely not interested in. Mostly what we see is their lithe little bodies, the enchanting smiles, and the delightful parts that they wiggle around to the music. Their hopes, aspirations and motivations, initially, don’t count for much. I say initially because, if one isn’t careful, very quickly you can be drawn into their little worlds of make believe. Many have, I have. And, there’s a lesson in that; the choice is entirely yours because they will keep weaving their little worlds of make believe regardless of whether it’s you or someone else that gets to attend their school. Smile, enjoy and don’t be drawn in. After all, if you keep it at the purely social level, it’s an entertaining and rather hilarious little world; just keep it sanuk.

Most of us that live here eventually just take it all for granted. We forget that there’s millions of guys around the world who spend almost every waking moment dreaming, nay visualizing, themselves in places that we often dismiss as just another boozy night out in Bangkok. More to the point, there are many millions more that don’t know that places such as the Shark Bar even exist. Perhaps we should be thankful for that because, if those millions ever catch on, we’d find ourselves queuing up to get through the door and paying a lot more once we’re inside.

Because, as much as many of us don’t want to admit it, it’s mostly about the ladies. That’s why we’ve moved here, continue to stay here and continue to return here. I’ve given up trying to pretend it’s anything else. Some go to great lengths to defend their moral high ground: they’re here on a work assignment; they’re here for the cultural enlightenment; the weather; the food, Buddhism, and so on and so forth. Fair enough, whatever floats your boat? The thing is though that all of those above mentioned scenarios help create a more worthwhile LOS experience; it all adds to an enjoyable life here. But, let’s call a spade a spade; at the top of that list go the women folk of this country. Otherwise, why would we put up with the ongoing bureaucratic difficulties we encounter in trying to make a life here for ourselves?

Every so often, someone sends in a submission deriding our ongoing attachment / fixation to the land of smiles. That we’re like a bunch of losers that can’t get over an addiction. That we’re running away from something; we’re running towards something. That we’re carrying baggage; we’re creating baggage. That we’re lost or we’ve lost touch with reality. That we didn’t fit in back where we came from; we aren’t fitting in where we are and that we’re an irrelevancy here in the Land of Smiles. Whenever I read one of those submissions I just shake my head and laugh; most of it is misinformed nonsense written by people with their own issues to address. The fact is that I don’t particularly care that I don’t fit in because, really, the only thing that matters is that I fit in, in the life I make for myself here. I certainly know that I don’t fit in back in the world that I came from. That’s okay though because I don’t have a particularly high regard for the PC governed, over taxing, bureaucratic, police states that most of the so called first world has become. In fact I would add further that, in many regards, I don’t fit in, all that much, here in this country I’ve chosen to call home. But, like many others that have made a permanent move to the LOS, we make the best of the situation we’re in.

To be honest, all that I experience now, here in the LOS, just seems like a normal state of affairs and even though I’ve had my share of trials and tribulations, over the years, it still seems a better option than the alternative offered by a return to my home country. Yes, others may delight in the fact that I’m not going to be walking down the aisle with one of the white skinned hi-so elite’s any time soon but, to be perfectly honest, after looking at their cute but silly looking countenance, beaming down at me daily from the BTS flat screens, I’m not overly bothered about that. You see, even though I’ve accepted that I probably don’t fit in with their world, the fact is that a white skinned hi-so type would have great difficulty fitting in with my world; a world that is increasingly about pleasing myself first and foremost. As selfish as it may seem, I make no apologies for this. At 55 I don’t have all that much time left and so I’m going to indulge myself to the maximum extent, within reason, of the 25 – 30-year old ladies that are on offer in this exotic land.

And the ladies, as wily and calculating as they can be, are still a rather delightful lot. Scratch below the surface and sometimes you’ll find an interesting tale or two. Often times born of desperation, or tragedy, their motivation for swinging off the poles may be the same – money – but their personal stories are as varied as the punters sitting in the bleachers. Their backgrounds, generally, tend to be one of poverty and a poor education but I’ve also met a couple of well educated ladies – uni graduates – strutting their stuff on the dance podium as well. Pey, a bubbly and fun lady from Nongkhai, had a degree in mass communications. Her reasons for seeking employment at Tilac Bar had an all too familiar theme; after an unwanted pregnancy to the Thai boyfriend she was left to fend for herself. At 30 years of age she had few options available and, with the ever present financial demands from the family hovering in the background, swinging off the chrome seemed like a way to make some quick cash. To her credit she used the improved financial stream to put herself through eight months of English language courses. The first time I bar fined her there was nothing remotely hardcore about her. Twelve months later I could see that the constant consumption of booze, and the late nights, had begun to take its toll. She was still friendly enough but there was now a hardened edge to her conversation and manner. And, she had that look in her eyes that they all develop; a mixture of being world weary, and a mind lacking compassion.

Some don’t stick around for long. For one reason, or another, they never feel comfortable about what they’re doing and move on to another line of work. Some get lucky and bag a rich sponsor and some, the ones who seem to thrive in the job, become hardcore whores. There’s nothing wrong with hardcore whores, as long as you know that’s exactly what they are and understand that they’re only interested in one thing; money, and that they’re only good for one thing; having sex.

As I looked back out over the dance podium the song was still running through my mind and keeping things in perspective.

I watched with glee

While your kings and queens

Fought for ten decades

For the gods they made

I shouted out,

Who killed the Kennedys?

When after all

It was you and me

Let me please introduce myself

I'm a man of wealth and taste

And I laid traps for troubadours

Who get killed before they reached Bombay

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah

But what's puzzling you

Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah

But what's confusing you

Is just the nature of my game

Standing side by side and smiling across at me were Ann and Noot. Ann and Noot were hardcore professionals. They had the best bodies in Shark Bar – my original reason for being interested in them – and they had attitude. Attitude born of the confidence gained of being two of the most popular ladies in the bar. Some guys might feel intimidated by their completely business-like manner; perhaps bordering on bitchiness. I just thought they were the ultimate mercenaries as they flitted from one potential customer to another maximizing their lady drinks earnings each night.

Noot, a typical Isaan lady and probably the more hardcore of the two, was all about two things; money and sex. She didn’t waste too much time before hitting you up for a drink or a short time and, if you were in agreement with either, or both, propositions she’d alternate between quaffing her drink and fondling those parts which us blokes like having fondled by a dirty little strumpet. I bar-fined her once and was not disappointed. As the saying goes; she could suck a golf ball up six feet of garden hose. Ann, a born and bred Bangkok lady, was the more sophisticated of the two. Although showing the same merciless sense of business, in her chosen profession, she would at least create the illusion that she wasn’t just there for the lady drinks and the bar fine. With a good standard of English she could engage you in a modicum of reasonably interesting conversation. I bar fined her a couple of times and eventually found out a couple of interesting facts about her. She’d used her earnings to put herself through a four year fashion design course. This was corroborated by some of the stylish clothes she wore; she’d made them herself. The other rather sobering fact was that she’d been dancing for 15 years. With no kids she still had a great figure but I really didn’t want to consider what the psychological effects of doing a short time, almost every night, for the past 15 years might be. To her credit, if she had any issues, she didn’t show it. She also maintained good personal discipline by sticking to a maximum of two beers a night and going to the gym three times a week. As already stated, for a lass approaching her mid 30s, she was in great shape.

Ann and Noot finished their set, climbed down from the dance platform, and, with beaming smiles, joined me in the bleachers. They both knew that I was good for a couple of drinks as they snuggled up to me. The three of us had something in common; Ning. My ex was a friend of theirs. Shortly after my initial bust up with Ning I’d made my way to Shark Bar. A lot of the ladies, including Ann and Noot, had, initially, given me the cold shoulder; a lady drink was fine but a short time was not in order. I found out later that Ning had warned them off. I soon realigned their distorted take on how things were, between Ning and I, and had them accompanying me out of the bar. It was another old Asia hand that gave me a reality check on this situation; “The best thing you could do is bar fine Ning’s mates. Soft heartedness won’t gain you any respect.” It seems like such a long time ago now; anger providing impetus for silly notions of revenge. It didn’t matter anymore; times change, people change, life moves forward. What once was, is no more. An ex just becomes a person you once new. A past reflected in that jazz classic, Stolen Moments.

As we continued to amuse ourselves with entertaining small talk, they enquired if I wanted to avail myself of their services. In an earlier time I probably would’ve already paid the bar fine; perhaps for both of them. But that urgency, nay erratic nature, of an earlier time, was no longer there. I was a far more emotionally subdued individual these days. Getting one’s end in didn’t seem like such a big deal now and as a number of ladies had heard me say in recent times, as I stumbled my way home alone, “If I don’t f@#$, I won’t die.”

I paid the drinks bill, took my leave from Shark Bar and ambled along the soi towards Asoke. The rain had eased up and the nightly street circus was beginning to crank into life as the food cart vendors took up their positions. The price of a beer was a small amount to pay to be able sit in an outdoor bar area, such as the Tilac, and watch the human interaction as the night wore on. The neon, the drinks, the laughs, and the sanuk with the ladies, represented the lighter side of humanity here in this twilight world. If one keeps it at that level then it’s an uncomplicated relationship.

It’s only when one goes looking for more that it shifts from the uncomplicated to the complicated. When a guy begins to read more into the affections, that he’s being offered by these ladies, he crosses the line and enters into the dark spectrum. He enters into their world; a world of deception, lies, intrigue and mind games for money. Through time-worn experience I’ve found this to be a way of living that I just couldn’t, or wouldn’t, try to cope with anymore. I’ve found it to be a profoundly unsettling, and insecure, way to go through life. Perhaps it’s got something to do with the yoga but, lately, I’ve found myself wondering if Thai people have an affinity with intrigue, deception and lies which is the direct consequence of not wanting to lose face? And it’s not just with bargirls either. I know a number of farang who’ve had nightmare experiences – far worse than could be imagined with a bargirl – with so called good girls. One mate, in particular, after supporting a hi-so lady, and her two daughters – including overseas education – for 16 years, was given his marching orders because the biological (Thai) father made it clear that the daughters couldn’t expect their inheritances if the farang was still in the picture. Another mate was set up by his Thai wife after she planted drugs in his vehicle. Extrication out of this duplicity cost him incalculable levels of emotional stress and hundreds of thousands of baht. As another friend has often remarked; if you’re not careful, the deceit is bottomless.

As much as I don’t like to say it, many Thai woman that I’ve met / interacted with – be they bar girl or good girl – have had a degree of deception / hidden agenda about them. They will often tell you that they don’t lie but is that concept any different to not being completely honest or open about one's motivations in life? An insight into the mindset / thought processes can be gleaned from a recent submission here. A farang wrote about his Thai girlfriend (a good girl) and how he found out she had a Thai boyfriend (gik). What was interesting, from her point of view, was not so much being confronted about it by her Farang boyfriend but the idea that it was acceptable for her to be conducting herself in this manner because her friends, and family, thought that it was okay; that screwing multiple partners was not an issue because everyone knew that the farang was her primary boyfriend and that he should be grateful because she cared for him in a far better way than his wife did. I don’t want to try and think how this type of mindset works. Perhaps it really is the East and West divide? It shows an approach to life which is far more deceptive, and hidden, than I would ever be capable of. I can understand the concept but it’s a complexity that I could never live with; an emotional landmine that this simple soul would much rather avoid. Going to the beach, getting and tan and diving under the surf appeals as a far healthier option. I’ll leave the dark spectrum, and it’s draining consequences, to those who prefer to indulge in it.

The rain started again as I took the last gulp of my beer. Number eleven glided out through Tilac’s blue curtain; no doubt to cool off after her set. She looked at me and smiled. I smiled back. Number eleven; the babe, the hottie, and another hardcore professional. With bookings for her days in advance she’d be on a six figure sum every month. She had the body, the smile and those eyes; the eyes of a vixen going in for the kill. I wondered how many overseas sponsors she had; plenty no doubt. Kudos to her and pity the sponsors for their descent into the dark spectrum. She looked at me and smiled again; looking for an opening of interest. I grinned and eyeballed her with a look that said “Pleased to meet you, I know exactly what your game is.” She glanced away; probably thinking this farang roo maak, no doubt.

I paid my bill and made my way towards an Asoke taxi. I was done here; there was nothing left. I’d run my race in the go-go bars and worn out my welcome. As many a farang finds, who’s been in this town too long, I no longer felt any attraction to poor, village ladies from the North East of this country. They were fine to look at while one was having a beer but there was no interest anymore in a horizontal liaison. Increasingly I was finding the charms of night club freelancers to be a more appealing proposition.

“Bed Supper Club krap” I said as I closed the taxi door behind me.

A few minutes later I was standing on Soi 11 and looking up at that odd structure that has become known, over the years, as one of Bangkok’s trendsetting night clubs; the cover charge at the door, at least, tells you that much if nothing else. As I walked up the ramp towards the entrance I couldn’t help thinking that this place was, although trying it’s best to prove otherwise, just a high-priced meat market. Sure, there were some genuine hi-so types that hung out here but, for the most part, a lot of the female faces inside were of that distinctive North Eastern genre. Many were what I call the “whore with attitude” type. Over-priced, and over-rated, they were, to put it bluntly, quite full of themselves. Trying their best to show that they weren’t really that type of lady, they’d put on an entertaining little act before finally offering themselves up, for triple their genuine nightly rate to punters deemed worthy of their attention. The punters, by and large, were mostly the young partying / clubbing types. Many, buoyed by their youthful looks and energy levels, were there hoping to get a freebee because – they’d be at great lengths to tell you – they didn’t really do it with prostitutes. It was all just a silly game with the players pretending to be something that they were not. It was pretentious bollocks because, at the end of the day, it’s simply about human beings operating at a primeval level; sex, and offering up of sex, for a negotiated fee or reward. And, really, this little black duck doesn’t see anything remotely special about that idea.

I paid the cover charge and moved towards the entrance of the white room. There was a bit of a crowd around the bar and standing smack, bang in the center was a figure that I knew so well; Ning. By the look of it she was plastered already. It’s Murphy’s Law of course. Of all the nights she could possibly be here it had to be tonight; my birthday. I stood there and watched her; she was legless and looked like shit. Eventually she spotted me and gave me one of those silly grins they all seem to have when they’re wasted. I moved towards her thinking that the coming encounter should be entertaining.

“Tilac, I miss you.”

“You’re drunk, Ning” I said as she swooned about me.

Mai bpen rai. You want Jack Coke? I have a bottle”, she said trying to impress me.

“How many have you had tonight, Ning?”

“About ten glass already.”

It was only just after midnight and she was completely out of it.

“I want you stay with me tonight at my condo Tilac”, she said as she held herself up unsteadily on the bar.

“I told you about that already Ning”, I said as I ordered two bottles of water.

“Why you so difficult”, she said eye balling me with that look she reserves for situations when she’s not going to get what she wants.

“I’m not being difficult Ning. I told you, I don’t f@#$ another man’s woman.”

“Plenty other guy want me. They don’t worry about that”, she said, starting to get aggressive.

‘Well, that’s their problem”, I said already getting bored with the situation.

“Tilac, I still love you. I know you still love me”, she said changing tactics and giving me the sad, doe-eyed look.

“Sorry Ning but I’ve found someone else I love much more”, I said looking into her eyes.

“Who?” she said almost in a state of shock.

“Myself” I said as I picked up the two bottles of Evian and strode out of there leaving her dumbfounded.

As I walked back down the ramp I couldn’t help reflecting on the reality of Ning’s situation. It was a situation that so many ladies from Isaan often end up in. Despite their seemingly amazing good fortune, after hitting the farang jackpot, they seem to do their utmost to screw it up. In the end, and despite the condos, cars, and big monthly stipends, the true nature of their backgrounds always gets the better of them; they just can’t help themselves. The lack of self-control, or personal discipline, combined with the ongoing boredom of having very little to do each day, all coalesces into a state of abandoned recklessness. Even though they’ve got everything you can still see them out at the freelancer venues trawling and drinking. I’ve come to the realization that there’s something wild, raw and unsophisticated inside them that no amount of money can ever satisfy. They have a mindset honed on hardship and survival. That doing whatever it takes and getting everything you can, regardless of how it’s gained, is quite okay as long as you can show everyone else that you’ve made it; that you’ve dragged yourself up from the poverty of the rice villages. It’s a shallow, style / image conscious mindset which is largely the domain of the poor and poorly educated. It’s a mindset concerned with looking good at the expense of intellectual substance. And, finally, it’s a mindset which is so utterly boring, and insubstantial, that, once one has lived here for a while and seen it clearly for what it really is, one cannot even be bothered trying to communicate with it.

I walked into Q Bar and headed straight for the bar; I was in need of a stiff drink to settle the nerves. As I stood there waiting for my order a large pair of breasts pushed their away in beside me. I turned and looked at the face of the owner of the large pair of breasts. It was an odd but attractive looking face. No doubt Thai but one could be forgiven for thinking that it was a face that wouldn’t be out of place in of those ex-Russian states that ends in the word “stan.” Uzbekistan for instance. The face smiled.

“How are you? I’m Mark”, I said as I smiled back.

“I’m fine thanks, nice to meet you. My name is Nat”, she said giving me a wai.

“I think I’d like to call you Betty,” I said with a bit of a snigger.

“Betty who?”

“Betty Big Boobs.”


Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
Cause I'm in need of some restraint
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, um yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down
Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!
Tell me baby, what's my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what's my name
I tell you one time, you're to blame
Ooo, who
Ooo, who

Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Oh, yeah
What's my name
Tell me, baby, what's my name
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who

Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who

PS. Thanks for the great shots, Stick.

Stickman's thoughts:

I like your style and your honest introspection, and I admire you for putting yourself first and refusing to get into the games these girls play.

The longer these girls are in the industry, they more they get damaged. I think the same can be said for a lot of the guys who spend time with them, particularly those guys who don't have much going on in their own lives.

nana plaza