Several months ago, I consulted with some sage people (hehe) for advice with regards to moving to Thailand. I left the finance industry with a small fortune, nothing to boast about but enough to laze around for a while.
I was involved with a G-club hostess. Just Google the term and you’d get the idea. I still keep in contact with her but made it clear to her 2 things: 1) I don’t love her 2) This is purely transactional and I know what’s going on but let’s play nice and pretend to enjoy the moment. She agreed and she’s my pretend girlfriend when I need her to be and a sleeping buddy.
Thanks to sage advice, I steered off the path of marriage. Things were going well for a while. I took time off to pursue recreational activities and trying to strengthen my financial portfolio. Basic ‘educated guesswork’ on the markets and things like that; win some, lose some. You can really only be this reckless when you’re young.
To cut to the chase, I decided for the first time in my life to go rogue. To taste new flavours, to veer off-course from the conventional and set my eyes on Thailand. A new place to call home for the next 6 months.
With an apartment set up and taking care of affairs back home (setting up life + health insurance policies for family members), I decided to play out a rather childish fantasy I concocted one dreary pub night back in college. Oh, BTW, I’m as Asian as they can be but was exposed to Western education. Just so you know where I’m coming from.
I wanted to be like Dorian Gray. This was in the 1990s and this ‘plan’ came into fruition only in 2013. The moral of the story here if you’re too lazy to read: Art imitates life more than you know.
I decided to crush whatever mushy feelings of romance I had planned for the G club hostesses but kept her around for the sex. I ventured into truly, devil places, places off the trail of Farang tourists and into the depths of Thai-Thai prostitution. Prostitution that goes unnoticed and unopened to foreigners. No males, no girls aged above 23 years of age (I insisted on seeing an ID every single time.).
That wasn’t enough. I ventured online and met up with women. I slept with them using a mixture of whatever charm, seduction and ‘skill’ I gained over the years.
I slept with a lot of people. Each time, thinking;” Ha! I’m NOT going to be one of those farang guys on Stickman biting their tail after another failed bargirl / working girl romance.” That’s not me, that’s for other people. Not me.
Whatever plans I had to teach English went down the drain. Most of my money is still intact not due to prudence but passive rental income from properties back home. I didn’t overspend above the amount I was prepared to part with but I did spend quite a sum (100,000 THB-150,000 THB per month) on myself and the vice-laden lifestyle I chose to experiment with. No drugs, just women (hookers, normal women, hi-so women etc. I chased them all and took what I could).
No, this story doesn’t end with an STD or AIDS/HIV. I’m clean and get tested every 6 weeks. I insist on contraceptives even for oral sex. I’m a bore that way.
Back to the point, I soon found a startling realisation: I didn’t really love Thailand or Thai women or its culture. I simply loved sleeping with Thai women. I wasn’t fond of their food, music or movies. I wasn’t fond of the way things were run here.
But the sex, as shallow as this sounds, was what made this place sparkle in an otherwise boring region. You know things will never be the same once you had your tom yam; a spice, a zest that no other nationality can seem to match.
It seems like the sex was an anaesthetic, a shield and rose-tinted glass that I needed in order to block out all of the city’s problems (and there are many). Price helped a lot too; I’m not kidding that Bangkok’s affordability in comparison with the region and other global cities is what attracts hordes of international ‘expats’ here.
I’m leaving this article open to all readers to respond in submissions (not my email haha). I’d like to stay anonymous for privacy reasons.
I didn’t get scammed (at least not majorly and abandoned all romantic notions with the G-club girl before things could take root). I’m not boasting and I feel that I played, rather than get played.
But something feels weird. Something feels like I didn’t win anything, not there was anything to win at all. Something feels like I was happier being misled in the past, happier being a fool and unaware of my situations and surroundings.
I’m on a 1-year education visa and got some months left. I’ve not worked a day since I was here and plans to study CELTA / TESOL didn’t materialise due to daily hangovers.
I really let myself ‘go’ here and not quite sure Bangkok is the mystical place I imagined it to be: Thai smiles, traditional dancing against a backdrop of new, gleaming skyscrapers (old juxtaposition against new/east meets west type of photo) and feminine, loyal women.
I’m undecided as to whether this is enough of my time being based here. A former colleague of mine argued if the life here was all I wanted, I could set up in Prague or Budapest for a change of environment.
Bangkok felt empty for me the last few weeks, despite overnight companions and debauchery. Dorian Gray indeed, huh? Wished I learnt the lessons from the novel and not real life!
It was foolish of me to act out a college fantasy in my 30s but the taste of waking up to the true image of yourself and character can be bitter sometimes.
I indeed do wonder if I’d be better off falling in love with a bargirl, getting ripped off but smarter after the experience. Still going strong in the city, still hoping and still believing in hopes of a happier life. Meeting new people, getting into a little bit of drama, learning from mistakes and getting back on my feet.
Perhaps that is merely the grass looking greener on the other side. Or rather, in my case, better than just feeling numb.
It's interesting when one actually asks themself if they enjoy what they are doing, and really questions the lifestyle.