Readers' Submissions

A Bargirl’s Handbag

  • Written by Khun Bill
  • March 19th, 2012
  • 5 min read

Here is an absolutely true story that happened to me last night. To protect the anonymity of the lady concerned I cannot divulge the location of events, but this took place in Thailand last night. I am an experienced visitor to Thailand and can speak some Thai, enough to hold a simple conversation with taxi drivers, hotel / bar staff, massage ladies etc. In fact enough to often elicit the 'pud Thai geng' comment (which I believe to be little different in sincerity than the 'handsome man' and similar comments). I had met with the lady in question on previous visits to her place of work and enjoyed her professional services back at my hotel. Her fee of 1,500 baht I find very satisfactory for the service provided, essentially full overnight stay and as much 'action' as desired. I had grown to both like and trust her. Communication was, however, difficult because she is deaf and dumb. Now to those fellow Stickmanites who have enjoyed the company of a deaf and dumb bargirl, please do not jump to the conclusion that it is the same one…of course it may be, but there are many deaf and dumb working girls on the scene (so I am told). Employment opportunities in Thailand are very difficult to come by for those with any sort of physical handicap. Anyway, time for a paragraph…

So to procure my place at the head of the queue last night I went to her bar early, paid the bar fine and gave her an advance of 1,000 baht. Of course I only did this because I knew her and trusted her. I told her I would return later. Communication with her is done by a combination of signing, lip reading (Thai or English) and writing English at a fairly simple level on paper. Incidentally she understands my Thai via lip reading very well because tones do not come into the equation. However this did mean that she could not tell whether it was dog shit or horse shit that I trod in on the beach at Hua Hin the previous week (ha ha ha…at least those of you who speak some Thai will understand this pathetic attempt at a joke!)

Back at the bar at 10 PM we sit and drink and communicate as best we can. Around 11 PM we leave for an air-conditioned establishment where we can cool down for an hour or so before going back to my hotel. Around midnight I need to pop to the old 'hong naam' – as you do – and when I return to her the cellphone is out and she is reading a text message. It is in Thai so I have no idea what it says. I am told that she has to go back to her bar for 20 minutes, something to do with some key that she has? Now as an oldish Thai hand I am immediately suspicious. Has she had an offer of a quick 'short time' with an old flame? Does her boyfriend / husband need to see her for a cash advance? Had she forgotten her toothbrush?

I make it quite clear to her, subject to the limitations of our ability to communicate, that I will give her 30 minutes, no more. In hindsight I should have told her to return my 1,000 baht deposit and 300 baht barfine on the spot and go. But because I had had good service before, and, arguably stupidly, because of her handicap, I trusted her and let her go. It was not until the 20 minutes was up that I noticed she had left her handbag behind. Excellent, I thought, a sure fire guarantee that she will be back. 30 minutes, 40 minutes, 50 minutes…no lady. By now I have finished my beer and I have to make a decision. That decision was to take her bag back to my room and confront her the following day – which will be tonight. She does not know where I am staying so as far as she is concerned, at the moment, the bag has gone, lost for ever, plus all its contents. If I see her tonight I will return her bag. I will expect a full refund of my 1,300 baht. She may make a counter offer…we will see

To see if there was anything of value in the bag, and indeed to see if there was anything that could get me into trouble, for example any sort of drug, and, to be honest out of simple curiosity, I have today made the following inventory

The bag itself is a fake Prada in fairly tatty condition. The sort of bag that a customer might have bought for her on the street for 1,500 baht or so.

Inside the bag, small bag 1 contains two face powder compacts and 10 assorted lip liners, lipsticks, lip-gloss, mascara and hair clips. Small bag 2 contains shower gel, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, cotton buds, panty liners (2 – small size), foundation, nail clippers and more hair clips. Small bag 3 contains eye shadow and no less than 14 brushes / applicators for same plus a sewing kit. Small bag 4 contains 7 condoms. Small bag 5 contains 4 pens, some notes of email addresses and some highly personal transcripts of what seems to be an exchange of text messages with an ex long term (foreign) boyfriend.

Loose in the bag is a strip of 'POSTAN' tablets which I believe mainly deal with period pain, a full set of keys, approx 60 baht in coins and one lollipop.

Finally, and amazingly, inside the bag is her current That ID card.

So there you have it. Being a gentlemen I will attempt to return everything to the young lady in an hour or so from sending in this submission. In return I shall expect to receive 1,300 baht. What are the odds?


The postscript

I got my 1,000 baht back and an apology. I didn't pursue the bar fine. Not worth the hassle and may have got her into trouble.

Stickman's thoughts:

Frankly, she should have returned the 300 baht barfine to you!

I am surprised she did not come rushing back for the bag. She would have realised fairly soon it was missing. That she didn't come hunting for it makes me wonder just what she was up to!