I truly thought I had done my homework before I traveled to Thailand earlier this year. I was not prepared at all.
First, I arrived in Bangkok. My plan was to learn of the culture and take in some sights. My first reaction was to that smell, you know that smell when you first walk out of the airport. It may be sulfur, charred flesh or something else. I will never forget it as long as I live. Then a horrific cab ride at high speeds to the resort and spa where I had made reservations. At this point I was wondering what I had gotten myself into.
After a good night's rest and a scheduled upscale massage, I was ready to go exploring.
I ended up at Soi Cowboy later that evening where I was milked of every last baht I had on me. After spraying Lysol through the room, the mamasan then proceeded to dig through my pockets to relieve me of my last $26 USD for purchase of two condoms. She wanted 50 baht for these, but she said my USD would do. All was laughably surreal. This was no problem for me, but the next leg of my tour has me back in counseling.
After leaving Bangkok, I flew to Phuket. In ways I wish I never went.
Upon arrival, I went out to peruse the area, got lost and ended up finding my way back to the hotel long after dark. I met the usual Egyptian tailors, taxi drivers, and massage girls. The next morning I decided it was time for a massage. After breakfast, I went to find a certain massage girl that stuck in my mind from the previous evening, but as my drunkenness increased, my motivation to find her decreased. Then I heard the sweetest broken English Thai lady say "Hey… how you?"
It was all over. Not the one I had in mind but I was tired of walking.
In hindsight I wish I had never entered her shop. It was early morning hours and they were not open yet for the day. She moved to one side of the couch as I tried to talk to her. She had just woken up and had not had time to brush so she would hold her hand over her mouth as she spoke.
She said, "I see you come walk, walk, walk yesterday, you say hi pretty lady to me, I sit on motor bike outside."
Guilty as charged, but I had said that kind of thing to a lot of ladies the prior day.
TSA has ensured travelers like me have no access to nail clippers, so I proceeded to tell her I needed a manicure. She asked that I come back at noon.
I said ok. "I will be back for a manicure at noon."
"And massage" she replied.
"Manicure and maybe massage", I said, but she had seen me coming. I was the fresh of the plane farang.
When I returned at 12:40, I was dead drunk. I stumbled up the stairs to a private room where I give her 800 baht. I confessed I was drunk. I believe a massage was about 300 baht or so but I didn't care. I gave her everything I had in my pocket. She proceeded with her sob story as I gave her mine. We connected mentally and then somewhat physically as well. Before I left the 3-hour massage session she had informed me she loved me and she was mine forever. She wanted to marry me and have my baby. She even said "I talked to Buddha, I ask for good man with good heart yesterday, today he give me you, Buddha give me big lucky." I didn't argue because I was ready for action. When I tried to make my move on her lady parts she stopped me and said "We must leave something for tonight."
The next 4 days were blissful. We rented a chalet from her friend for a measly 400 baht after discount. We went everywhere together and made boom boom every 2 or 3 hours for the remainder of my stay. She convinced me that this was love. Whatever it was, I liked it. She told me everything I wanted to hear about myself. It was quite easy for her to crack my code or get my "PIN." My friends asked if she was taking me for me money and she wasn't. I spent about 6,000 baht on her, but she had spent 4,000 on me.
The night before I left, there was a certain pressure to talk of money. I thought it would be easy to just send her a couple of plane tickets to the US for her and her son and that would be that. The language barrier and intoxicants would make it much more complex for this farang to understand. After all, anything would be better than living in a massage shop, right?
Long story short, I cried the whole way to HKT airport, believing that I had screwed her over. I had promised to come back for her. It all fell through within a few weeks. The total amount she had asked me for was 17,000 USD. I told her to take a hike. I don't have those kind of funds. I only make 40k a year. I would have given it to her too, if I had the resources.
The Isaan girls in Phuket can be very accommodating but I feel like short time is all the bar girls, and the rest are long term investors. After reading similar posts, I am glad to see I am not alone. I walked away feeling guilty and powerless, until I realized I was being used. I am very torn about returning. I loved it there, but if I do go back, I will be as superficial as a good Thai lady.
I bet you weren't the first she asked for 17K, and you won't be the last…