Readers' Submissions

Time To Move On

  • Written by Jimmy
  • February 17th, 2020
  • 4 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

It was very interesting to read Stick’s interview re: expat life in Vietnam.

Many expats in Thailand, including myself, complain about our life in Thailand, especially compared to the good old times. I have come to realize the good old times are gone for good, and I doubt they can be relived in Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, etc.

Thai culture and dare I say Thai women are unique in the world. Yes, they have changed. They have been educated by the internet. Where the Thai school system failed them, the internet passed them into the modern age. I believe that is the big change agent and that agent will soon affect the same change in Cambodia, which I find closest to what Thailand was 12 years ago when I first arrived.

IMHO, the best bargirls are in their 30’s. They understand their role in their industry and also share the same experience that I had over the past 10 years. We share many things.

I leave for Canada in 12 days and I started to say my goodbyes to expat friends and bar girl friends. I used to have many gogo girl friends but now I am down to one and she is 37 but presents as 27. I spent some time with her reminiscing about the 7 years I have known her. She knows about my family and our imminent return to Canada and she said she envied us. I have a 5-year old son with my Thai wife and she also has a 5-year son via a farang who has since passed away. I made the mistake of saying that I had worked very hard to get where I am, and she quickly replied I work very hard as well! She is absolutely correct! I could not see myself getting naked on the stage, smiling at farangs with the hope of getting bar-fined and spending time, going through the motions with someone I care nothing for, to be able to eat, pay the rent, and send some money back home for my son. Seven days a week, with the odd week off to visit my son.

The gogo girl in question left school at grade 9 because, as is often the case, her family did not not have the money for school fees in grade 10 through 12. She worked at many jobs before coming to the decision that the only job available to her that paid a decent wage was the bar industry. She is very different from the 20ish something gogo girl you meet today.

The modern gogo or bargirl is not interested in the GFE. She is only interested in collecting barfines and short term. It was interesting seeing these young ladies arriving about 10:30 and getting undressed and back on the stage, looking for another barfine and short term for the evening. This is the new Bangkok and I do not think a 55-year old expat arriving in this day and age is going to have much luck finding a lifelong partner. The young girls do seem interested in young farangs their own age, but the price is always the same and it is usually short term as well. Probably because they know the young guys are on vacation, passing through.

My expat friends keep asking me if I will miss Thailand and I say nit noi, and they laugh and say I will be back by Christmas. I will be back, not because of me, but because my wife will want and need to see her family. We are gone for 18 months this time around and when we come back, Pattaya, a resort town, will be our home base. In many ways, Pattaya is like stepping back 5 years in time, especially with pricing.

This time, in Canada, we will buy a car and explore all that Canada has to offer. My wife will enrol in language classes with the intent of gaining Canadian citizenship during the next 2 years. My son will enrol in school during March and he is not looking forward to it. Some things do not change with time.

The key to making my return to Canada work is what Stick and I both share. BYOG! Which means ‘Bring Your Own Girl’. I, and I suspect Stick, have a wonderful Thai lady who ticks all the right boxes for me. We have been together for 7 years now, and each year has been better than the last. So, to all my expat friends, I will miss the old Thailand, but I bring the best of it with me.

I will turn 70 this year and my wife will turn 34. My long-term goal is to see my son turn 21 and my wife turn 50. If that happens I will die a happy man. If not, my life insurance policy will see my wife and son looked after. My family in Canada can be counted on to assist in whatever way they can. I finish by saying, in the past, you could find life long happiness with a bargirl. Not all of those relationships ended in failure. In the future, I am not so sure.

See you in 18 months :-)

Jimmy

The author of this article cannot be contacted.