Stickman Readers' Submissions January 12th, 2015

Patpong Bargirl Experience

I went to a place that I see advertised on your website quite often, picked out a young attractive girl named Meemee (she can be seen on some of the ads/promo materials) to sit with me for a bit and siphon some of my baht. She was nice and attentive in the bar so long as the lady drinks kept flowing and I basically said yes to everything other than limiting my drink buying to Meemee and the waitress, despite everyone’s best efforts to get more girls involved. I will say that I make a decent living and the money itself isn’t a big issue, I just don’t enjoy playing the (total) fool…only the partial fool.

None of the girls had numbers on so I was assuming they were coyotes and either could not be barfined or if they could it would be prohibitively expensive. While Meemee was doing a turn dancing I started questioning the waitress on this topic saying, “these girls are all coyotes?” It was funny because she got a look on her face like this was not a welcome topic. She was doing everything she could to not say the C-word, starting with, “not many girls tonight” (this was Saturday night mind, causing me to wonder when there ever were many girls, though there seemed enough to fill the bar for the most part). I tried another one, “Meemee is a coyote dancer?” and again got a grimace and she says, “she is working.” “But she is a coyote dancer?” I ask needlessly for the third time but I’m interested to see if I’ll ever get a straight answer and then she says, “how you know?” like it was supposed to be secret. I just laughed that one off and soon Meemee returned from the stage so I asked her directly, “you are coyote dancer?” and she says yes. “So I cannot barfine?” and she sizes me up and finally with some more back and forth translation from the waitress that yes, if I wait until midnight then I can barfine her for 1,000 baht, which I agreed to. It seemed a bit strange that there was all this hemming and hawing over being a coyote dancer when it turns out the barfine was not entirely unreasonable but I just shrugged it off as the usual Thai not-sense.

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More lady drinks and “after midnight” finally arrives at about 12:30am and after I pay my 4,000 baht bar check we leave. Meemee directs me to another bar in Patpong where her friend is working so I can sit and buy more drinks for her and her friend. Meemee is getting drunk/crazy and it’s fun for a while because she’s a hot young thing, dancing/grinding on me, etc. so I’m not complaining. In time I see that she’s getting very drunk and chain smoking and I think she’s probably entering dangerous territory so I steer a final tequila shot away from her and to some other girl in the bar. I bought her friend at least three drinks for which I got no thank you, no direct conversation and a half-hearted shoulder massage at one point that lasted about 10 seconds and that apparently seemed to cover the tab in her mind.

I paid another 2,000 baht bar check and we finally leave about 1:30am. We get in a cab and I ask about getting some food because I’m hungry, but pretty soon she has a look on her face like she’s going to get sick. I tell the cab driver he needs to pull over but he’s not quick enough to react and pretty soon she’s leaning out the window and vomiting. I put my hand on her back while she retches in attempted comfort and I tell the driver to forget the food and we need to stop at a 7-Eleven. We do and I go in to get water, tissues, etc. to help the cause and come back out to see her again getting sick on some poor unsuspecting street tree. I’m wondering if I even want to bring her back to my apartment I’m renting but decide leaving her now would be too much for my conscience and who knows, maybe I’ll earn some loyalty points for attempting to take care.

We make it back to my apartment and as I’m paying the cab driver she’s squatting in the car park like she’s going to get sick again much to the dismay of the security guard who is clearly not pleased. I apologize and quickly usher her in, and as we enter the apartment she kicks off her shoes and heads straight to the bed fully clothed and immediately passes out.

I let her sleep and a few hours later she wakes up and asks me what time it is. I say 6am and despite her telling me earlier in the night that she can go “all night” she says she has to leave in 10 minutes to go home to her mom. I say OK, we get up and I walk her out because the apartment is a ways down the soi with no cab stand and I’m trying to be a gentleman and get her to a point of transport. We walk up to Sukhumvit and she stops to buy some fried chicken from a stand, pulling out a wad of bills that has at least several hundred baht. Finally I get her to the BTS station and she looks at me and says, “have no money!” There is no way I’m giving her a usual nightly fee given the events that transpired and frankly giving her anything at this point should have been more than expected. I only had 1,000 and 500 baht bills on me so I gave her 500. She begrudgingly nodded and, without any thanks, goodbye, hug or any attempted sign of affection whatsoever she turned and walked up the stairs to the station. Apparently she felt that on top of everything else I should have paid her 3,000 baht for watching her vomit and pass out?

So, for 7,000+ baht I had a decent time for a couple of hours at the bar followed by caretaking a sick girl, receiving zero sexual gratification and zero thanks nor apology for it. I thought back to the previous time I barfined a girl and she later pulled a temper tantrum over some minor occurrence which I could not understand at the time but later it struck me that the whole thing was likely play-acted so she could be dismissed without actually going home with me (which she was, I didn’t need the aggravation). This is coming from a 43-year-old even-tempered, amiable and well-dressed guy who is in good shape and I think considered handsome even in the US where I don’t have a lot of trouble getting dates when I can be bothered to make the effort. I only say that to rule out appearance or demeanor as a complicating factor to my bar girl troubles.

I’ve been thinking about your theme that Thailand is gradually adopting a western model and it struck me that in the US when I go to a strip club what I expect is that a girl’s conversational effort will be to make it seem like there is some real connection between us, like there is really a chance that we might be together outside of the strip club, which I know is not true and as soon as I’m done flipping 20s in the bar all effort in that direction ceases. What I used to appreciate about Thailand is that the effort continued after that point all the way to the bedroom and potentially beyond if one wanted to have multi-day companionship. Now it strikes me that Thai bar girls are approaching almost exactly the bait and switch experience of their American counterparts. They will walk out of the bar with you but then the attempts to minimize and/or avoid further obligation often begin.

Again I don’t write of this experience because I’m really upset or bitter. I know what I’m in for at go-go bars and the money doesn’t mean more than it should to me so I can shrug it off for the most part. But I do write this with the saddening conclusion that the happy and different place that Thailand used to be is no more, and that genuine appreciation and desire to provide value for one’s dollars/euros/baht by attractive young females is apparently a thing of the past. I’ve pumped many thousands of dollars into the Thai tourist economy over the years and done so without regret, but I think maybe we’ve jumped the shark and it’s time to move on. It’s a long way from America and I can probably get more value and female appreciation in Mexico, Central/South American, etc. at this point.

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The saddest part is I don't see another country that can really substitute for what Thailand once was. I've been to Cambodia and Laos and had fun but I think the Thai experience of the early 2000s (for me that was the first time, understand others say 90s or even 80s) was a unique moment in history that Meemee never again transpire. Oh well, we still carry on.

Stickman's thoughts:

There are two issues here – a lady drinking too much (perhaps with the encouragement of her customer) and the lady breaking the conditions of the agreement.

Some bar ladies are alcoholics. Many are small and their capacity to drink may not be great. Fill a lady with alcohol and what follows is a lottery.

I hear many stories about ladies agreeing to one thing and then later saying she has to go and see her mother / friend / sister. It must be awfully frustrating for a guy who does the rounds looking for a girl to spend the night with, finds someone he likes, makes a deal and then the conditions change at such a time that it's too late to find a replacement and in many ways the whole experience is ruined. It seems to be rather common these days.

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