Give Isaan A Break
Thank you Stickman Readers' Submissions for giving me many hours of pleasure! Maybe I should be reading the classics of literature or inventing something for humanity or giving my time to charity but instead I spend a considerable time reading Stickman! Why not! It is relevant because I am married to a Thai. Specifically, she is from Isaan. No, she has not been a bargirl, a freelancer, or a masseuse. She made money in the sewing industry in Bangkok for many years. A young farm girl, she had to help her family make ends meet in Isaan. Her mother put her in a Thai monastery for three years after a few years of public education to minimize their expenditures. Her four siblings were apparently better suited to furthering their education and making money for the family or so the parents thought. That is the key element to Isaan. Support the family at all costs! Thus, my future wife spent her teenage years in the confines of a Chiang Mai nunnery learning to meditate and having compassion for others – especially the poor and invalid. She also learned to read and write Thai but most importantly as it turned out, the nuns taught her to sew.
However, economics for the benefit of the family forced my wife to withdraw from the nunnery to marry a Thai rich man. It helped her family in the short run but her husband had a bad habit of beating her along with their infant son. Therefore, she entered the sewing industry which brings us to the theme of this submission in a round-about way.
Not all Isaan ladies are whores! I accept the fact that most of the ladies in the bar industry and related sex trades are from Isaan. However, I also contend that most of the labor force in Bangkok whether it be in the factories, grilling food on the streets, the hotel workers, the taxi drivers, or any job that is labor intensive is performed overwhelmingly by people from Isaan. I speculate that at least 50% of this labor force are Isaan females who are doing something other than working as prostitutes! Please Stickman readers, let us not forget that! Let us give Isaan a break! What do all people in the world crave for after food, water, shelter, and a decent standard of living – respect! What do farang expats want who are active in the Thai sex trade as consumers – respect! Whether it is sewing your shoes, grilling your food on street side barbeques, cleaning your room, or servicing your sexual needs in your room, Isaan ladies command your respect! They may not be able to communicate their needs in English, German, Dutch, etc. but they just want to be treated like you want to be treated – like a human being.
By the way, Isaan ladies in the sex industry did not all start out that way. By personal experience, I knew two of my Thai female relatives before they became prostitutes. One was a college educated woman making only 20,000 baht a month after all her education in a respected Thai industry. The other pretty girl had worked for many years in the sewing trade. For one reason or another, both are now in the sex trade much to the dismay of their Isaan families for purely economic reasons. Personally, I am saddened by their fates. One has actually done quite well making money and has helped her family considerably in Isaan. The other lady is struggling to support herself, her mother, and her husband. Both did it for the family. No, they are not saints! Yes, they are sinners. Dear farangs, if YOU were born poor with little prospects in Thailand where status is EVERYTHING, would YOU work for pittance in a Bangkok factory or make the same money in a few days selling your body? What would you do my dear friends to gain respect in Thailand? Let us give ladies from Isaan a break. Put yourself in their shoes! You don’t have to marry an Isaan lady working in the sex trade but if you have an innate respect for them, they will respect you as well! You both deserve it!
Some interesting thoughts here, and none more so than this quote, "Support the family at all costs!" If that is indeed true – and I'm not saying that I think it is or it isn't, it does give some perspective on why things are the way they are!