Readers' Submissions

Here I Stand Head In Hand



Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

Here I stand with head in hand
Turn my face to the wall
If she’s gone I can’t go on
Feeling two foot small
Everywhere people stare
each and everyday
I can hear them laugh at me
And I hear them say
Hey, you’ve got to hide your love away
Hey, you’ve got to hide your love away

First time contributor, many, many years a reader. I’ve not contributed because I’m not an expat and my only experiences of Thailand were two visits in the late ’80s as a backpacker, and one a few years ago when a cruise stopped in Pattaya and Koh Samui.

So, what can I add to the Stick milieu in these dark times? Ha! Dark times indeed, mostly because my regular Vietnamese massage girl has sprinted back to Vietnam because the Australian government isn’t about to support her as a foreign student and massage shops aren’t considered an essential service. That’s a perspective thing of course, but there you go.

I’m missing her terribly as it turns out. And my previous long-term massage girl, a Thai lady name of Molly, is living with her Australian boyfriend and her permanent residency goal shouldn’t be derailed by horny little me. So, here I am, hiding my love away for God knows how long.

Bollocks, isn’t it?!

Anyway let me start at the beginning… in a galaxy far, far away, when I was a happy, horny, naïve fool of a 20-something backpacker travelling Asia with a mate on the way to London. The UK was the siren song in those days. Still is, I assume, but I don’t really know. Me and my buddy had ended up in Bangkok, staying at a place called the Malaysia Hotel, I think. (I recall it being famous as an R n R spot during the Vietnam War. Or the American War, as my Viet girl calls it.) Anyway, off down to Patpong we went. OMG. After a lot of WTF, we ended up in a bar on the second floor up some wide stairs. It was full of fat German blokes pawing young honeys while watching girls do biologically improbable things with darts and cigarettes on a stage in the middle of the large room.

We assumed the throng of girls that surrounded us were because of our youth and outstanding good looks, them being sick of grandads touching their arses. We welcomed them alongside with a smirk at the older folk around us. The chits that kept on being shoved in the little glass on the table were slightly puzzling but oh well.

It was a great night, drinking and carousing with the half-naked girls who came and went. We’d spent a bit of time with two girls in particular. I still remember their names, mine was Wow Butterfly and my mate’s girl was Boom Boom. Cool names, we thought. But all good things come to an end and we called for the tab. Oh my God. I literally felt the blood drain from my face as I checked the bill. I saw the blood drain from my mate’s face. What was going on here? We checked in with Wow and Boom Boom. The bar has made a huge mistake! Ah. The explanation didn’t alter the fact that we had around a third of that amount on us. We looked around, looked at the tough looking Thai hombres milling about and worked out we were in trouble. We explained the situation to Wow and Boom and quietly contemplated our fate as they gabbled away in Thai.

To cut a long story short, they told us to go to the bathroom and then loiter close to the fire escape door and wait for a commotion. Sure enough, someone dropped a huge tray of empty glasses, everyone’s attention swept to the scene and we sprinted down the fire escape and out on to the street. They’d told us to meet them in an hour or so around the corner by a convenience store. We did. And after late night street snacks, laughter and admonishment from them about our stupidity, ended up back at one of their homes. They then, in an exquisite stroke of luck, took us to Koh Samet for a week or so. It was reached by fishing boat in those days and I think there were only a couple of rough shacks on a pristine beach. You ate local food, washed in the sea and drank Mekong whisky at night. My god it was good. Welcome to Thailand, boys!

And welcome to a fascination on my part for Asian women that has stayed with me for almost 30 years. I still look back with a modicum of shame at our naivety and also at the fact that we didn’t really pay the girls for their week away. Accommodation and food yes, but not what I now realise was their valuable time, plus the opportunity cost of being away from the bar. I should also mention that my girl – Wow – was slightly plainer than Boom Boom… but as it turned out, an actual woman. LOL! I still mention this in passing every time I catch up with my buddy (who now lives in another country). He feels I should get over my immature referencing of old memories. I feel not.

Young and stupid pretty much covered us and I regret it. That said, it has given me a respect for working girls that I wouldn’t have had and I try to make up for it these days with respect and generosity to the women I come across.

I fully understand how lucky I have been with my education, birthplace and the opportunities we Western folk have. Most don’t have that start in life and I stopped judging people for the choices they make without the backstop of my privileges a long time ago. Not that I use that tedious SJW terminology.

This has become dull for all, and I apologise. I will continue in another submission with my second visit to Thailand and walk through my new memories of Thailand from the visit a few years ago on the cruise boat. And perhaps, talk about P4P here in Sydney with massage girls versus what I read here on Stickman about Thailand. I have a few conclusions about the whole experience and during these work from home iso times, I have the time to bore everyone rigid with my thoughts. Ha! Until then, stay safe people.

All the best,

Chairman Miaow

Stick‘s thoughts:

I particularly enjoyed the part about the girls creating a diversion so you could flee the Patpong upstairs bar. What a hoot! No way would anything like that happen these days. That’s a really charming example of how the industry and the girls have changed.

The author can be contacted at : [email protected]