Stickman Weekly 29/4/2001
More feedback on the financial consultants who are doing their bit to sully our fair city with the following email explaining exactly what they do and how they do it.
Ingredients, take one slime ball or several slime balls buying the whole stock of a NASDAQ quoted company for a few cents per share.
Then with the aid of corruption, have a stockbroker's set up in some easy going country, cities such as Bangkok or Manila will do fine, and become a member of their stock exchange, complete with corporate bank account.
This will result in said slime balls owning and controlling the price of a listed stock.
Now all you have to do is make up some bullshit story about said stock having secured a contract with the American government or some big computer company and that the news is not yet public knowledge. Bingo, you then can offer to the public (worldwide) these same shares for $5.50 a share.
This explains how you can earn up to $US 18,000 per month as an account opener.
If you are a closer and load the poor punter with $300,000 you're on your way to $50,000 a month.
At a lower level you can canvas for customers and earn the $3,000 a month and still be an asshole in Bangkok or anywhere this crime is allowed to continue.
At the top level, or bottom level of the ladder depending on your views, the slime balls earn millions of dollars a year.
Still think teaching is better? I do. If this was honest everyone would be doing it and the scum that are doing it now would have not have a hope in hell competing with people who are working honestly to make a living. I can honestly say I can live with myself, these people would sell their own grandmothers for money.
You know the best thing is they can't even admit what they are doing is wrong, they try to even sell it to themselves.
You never know one day someone might even submit some company names in Bangkok and when they raid the offices all the scum can be deported for at least not having a work permit. Maybe even criminal charges can be brought and they can spend some time in these wonderful Thai prisons I hear so much about. Hey, but the big bonus would be fewer scum in Thermae not having to listen to bullshitters who reckon they are such financial wizards.
Although this is a Canadian chef's creation many of the CROOKS sorry COOKS come from America, U.K., Australia as well as many Canadians.
An email was sent to Lars, the former owner of Thai Visa that I talked about in last week's column, requesting an interview from him regarding the dodgy visa operations… No response from Lars at his new hide out down in Malaysia as yet.
Someone got a very nasty deal in the English teaching industry and I hear rumours of a farang salesman being a small fortune out of pocket for commission earned, but as yet unpaid. Ah, the English teaching industry just gets better and better…
Regarding my complaints about the work being done on the Elephant Head Bridge, it seems as though the bridge will soon need a new name, because the workmen are taking my beloved elephants away. The bridge is being widened, presumably another lane added to either side, in an attempt to provide better access to Siam Square / MBK for all of the BMW and Benz driving youths who flock there at the weekend. This also explains why a most ungainly orange walk bridge had been installed right alongside the existing bridge… If you have spent much time in that part of the city, you'll know that the elephants were quite a landmark. I wonder where they'll end up?
Is there anything worse than people who wear their mobile phone on their belt? Why is this phenomenon so prevalent in Thailand, not just with the Thais, but with a lot of expats too? Maybe the phones sold in Thailand are bigger than those sold in the West, or maybe trouser pockets are smaller in Thailand? I mean, can't you put it in your pocket?
I had reason to find myself on a Thai Airways flight this past week and as always, the service was very good – far better than any of the Western carriers I have ever used. But, what impressed me most of all was the Airbus aircraft that I found myself on. Thai Airways have gone for a generous seating configuration and there seemed to be more legroom on board than one finds on Thai's Boeings.
Roaring up the Gulf of Thailand this week in an Airbus
with stacks of leg room. Is the writing on the wall for Boeing?
Are you a smelly backpacker or a sex tourist? Well, its a loaded question and most likely, you are neither. But if you do fall into one of these two camps, you will probably find that a trip over to the "opposition's" territory may result in an interesting evening. Khao Sarn Road continues to gain popularity amongst the Thais and while it may be perceived as a bit of a backpacker ghetto, it still has a lot to offer. Beers are much cheaper than Sukumvit and while the food in some places is churned out according to perceived farang tastes, other places knock out some damned good fare. Further, there are more than a few Thais at Khao Sarn Road who are open minded to a liaison with a farang. If you have an open mind, whatever camp you fall into you should enjoy the other's home territory.
It is very popular for venues within the Thai orientated nightlife scene to have pictures up outside the bar of all of the girls that are currently working in that bar. For whatever reason, this trend has never really taken off in the farang scene, and only a few bars actually have photos erected outside, such as Hollywood Strip in Nana and Baby A Go Go in Pattaya. However, the photos of the girls are old, seemingly seldom updated, and if you can find the picture of a girl on the outside, who is actually still working in that bar, you are doing very well. For the ever fussy Thai man, the nightlife magazine Night Variety has pictures of girls currently working in the advertised establishments, more often than not, massage parlours. They usually have quite a few details too including the girls nickname (not necessarily her real nickname but her bar name), her height and her weight. Providing the girls' physical specs like this is sort of akin to reading the performance data of the latest offering from Ferrari or Porsche and I feel it dehumanises everything and makes things feel more like prostitution in the West. Sort of like 0800-dial-a-whore. "Would you like E-sarn or Chiang Mai"? "Any KY jelly, just 45 baht when you order an E-Sarn girl aged over 30…" "Your whore will be delivered within 30 minutes or she's free"!
Pictures of girls outside various bars in farang areas are never updated
and therefore provide no use, whatsoever. Sort of like false advertising really.
Other than around the Grand Palace where they are swiftly taken away, beggars can be found in most places where you find tourists in Bangkok. Many of them are well organised and in fact many make a lot more money than the suckers who end up teaching English. My personal favourites are the fellows who sit there looking particularly glum, with a dirty cup stuffed in their mouth, forlornly hoping that you will put some spare change into their cup. While it may appear that these poor wretches are amputees with no arms and bugger all opportunities, they are in fact the proud owners of two perfectly good arms which are tucked underneath their t-shirt. They can be found on the BTS walkway that adjoins MBK to Siam Square and are also popping up around World Trade Centre, a favourite spot for beggars. Is there a volunteer out there who would be willing to walk by and rip up the fellow's shirt, revealing two perfectly good arms so that I can get a picture of it and post it here. Volunteers need only two good legs to run when the beggar gets mad…
Have you ever worked out the opportunity cost of sex with a bargirl? I thought about it in very simple terms. From what I gather, one hour with a lady of the night back in my home town in Farangland would cost about 2,700 Thai baht equivalent. Back there, an average plate of friend rice in a cheap Thai restaurant costs about 120 baht so for an hour with a girl, you missed out on 23 plates of fried rice. (From what I gather about such experiences, one plate of fried rice would be better, let alone 23!) In Thailand, the same type of experience would cost around 1200 baht (averaged out including associated costs, room, bar fine etc.) and here in Thailand, the price of good, cheap fried rice is about 25 baht a plate. That is 48 plates of fried rice. What would you rather have, the girl or the rice? What is the ratio in your country of plates of fried rice : a 1 hour session? An hour with a Thai girl or a plate of fried rice at the cheapest Thai restaurant? Email the ratio to me and I'll put them in next week's column.
I was down in Pattaya recently and still maintain that the Apex Hotel is the place to be. The front wing rooms at 500 baht have everything you need (fridge, air, cable TV and hot water shower) and the staff are efficient AND friendly (this being a bit of a rarity in sex tourist class hotels). I get nothing from the Apex Hotel for mentioning them – they always look after me and I'm sure they'll look after you too. The location is good if you like to roam around as it is walking distance to most places other than the massage parlours up near Big C.
Maybe a year or so ago, Amstel was launched in Thailand and this fine Dutch beer quickly became my favourite, replacing the former hangover tonic I so foolishly drank. BUT, why is it that so few bars have Amstel available – yet it's a great beer? I wish someone at Amstel's sales and marketing department would get their act together and make it available in all the decent places. Woodstock is about the only bar in Nana Plaza that stocks Amstel and as for the other bar areas, I don't know that I have ever seen this fine brew available.
Saw a few big "tough looking macho type" guys drinking Singha Gold the other night. If you didn't know, Singha Gold is actually a light, i.e. low alcohol content, beer. Plenty of tourists seem to think that it is Singha's premium beer because it has the word "gold" in its name but no, it isn't. Whatever the case, it tastes like a light beer, and that isn't good, is it! Anyway, they didn't look like they'd want to be told they were drinking a girl's drink.
I notice a lot of girls, both bar girls and regular Thai girls in more savoury night spots are tucking into these Bacardi Breezers – and there seems to be something chic about drinking them, maybe the fancy colours? Soo-ay na! I have yet to try one and at the price that many bars charge for them, 150 baht, I doubt I ever will. So, if you are offering to buy a bar girl a drink, but are also mindful of your pennies, be careful that she doesn't take the liberty of ordering one of these!
In the last year or two, the flow of new entrants, predominantly village girls, into the world's oldest profession has slowed down a little. Go into a bar today and again in a months time and there may not be anyone new there. In the last week, Five Star 1 bar in Cowboy has added not one new girl, not two, but ten! For a bar that usually only has around 15 or so girls, 10 new lasses has given the place a whole new lease of life.
Call me a freeloader, but if someone wants to give me something for free, I won't say no. However, this does not normally apply to bars that celebrate birthday parties and put on free food. Is it me or does the sight of a pig on a spit with a familiar looking farmer hacking away at the carcass with a meat cleaver put you off your food too? Don't you just love it when you are standing nearby minding your own business when the friendly farmer notices you out of the corner of his eye. From 0 – 60 in less than 5 seconds, the farmer hacks at the pig with three quick blows, scoops some pork on to a plate and hands it to a girl who carefully adds the rice and delivers the plate to you. Looking over at the farmer, he grins back all proud, happy to have been of service, a big gap in his mouth where a few teeth are missing. And then you realise that it was him that was driving your taxi earlier that day!
Hacking away at the pig with a meat cleaver,
the food at bar birthday parties is over rated.
Now speaking of free food, Lucianos in Soi 33 has posters up advertising a free dinner to all customers on the evening of May 4, supposedly a Labour Day promotion – even though someone forgot to tell them that Labour Day is May 1. I wonder if there'll be a pig on the spit or would that lower the image of soi 33?
Or has the imagine of Soi 33 already been lowered? A lot of the bars are nicely done out relaxed with a non pushy atmosphere and some of the bars have some very attractive girls too. So they should given the prices down there. But who did the recruiting in Chelsea Bar? What a bunch of ragamuffins inside. The bar needs to hire some new girls urgently, even a couple of merely pleasant looking girls would be a huge improvement. Strangely, this bar offers a special which is quite contradictory to the prohibitive pricing structure of most other bars in the soi, the special being "500 baht – drink as much draught beer as you can". Surely this too will attract the wrong type of customer… Has Chelsea Bar got it hopelessly wrong?
What do you do when you are sitting in a gogo bar with a friend and he invites one of the dancers over and buys the dancer a drink. After a few minutes he is nudging you, winking at you and saying "isn't she a bit of all right". The problem being that the dancer is a lady boy and your friend doesn't know. A dilemma arises. Do you want an hilarious story to tell others within your group of friends or do you subtly let your friend know the story? Happened to me this week and I let my friend know….but I'm beginning to think it may have been better to play the story out a bit more.
Does Casanova bar in Nana Plaza have the best and most suitable music for a gogo bar? A visit this week lead me to believe so. It's just a shame that the dancers are not quite to my taste. Still, once in a while, Casanova is ok for a laugh, especially if it's getting late and your beer goggles are clouding your vision. Casanova specialises in taller dancers so if tall is your preference, check it out.
On Tuesday afternoon, the cops were hanging around Panthip Plaza and most of the shops selling dodgy software stopped selling for a short period of time. Likely they were in negotiation over their tea money and once the negotiations were settled, they left, allowing vendors to resume business. This happens from time to time. If you ever find yourself in desperate need of a piece of software and the Panthip vendors are not selling when you visit, note that there are plenty of other places that seldom have problems such as Hollywood IT, Seri Center, Mahboonkrong 4th floor etc.
On a slightly different note, if you are a foreigner living in Thailand and are one of the folks selling dodgy software to people in other countries, I would strongly urge you to stop…the authorities are busting foreigners and the penalties are harsh – figure around 1,000,000 baht.
Smooth 95 FM is good if you like easy listening music but who is that guy who occasionally fills in in the afternoon? Oh God, his monotonic voice drives me up the wall and I find myself tuning into a Thai station for relief – and that really is saying something.
The third Nanapong dance competition is being held tonight, Sunday 29 April, in Pink Panther bar at the Suriwong Road end of Patpong 2. Sunday seems an odd night to have it, reason being that Pink Panther wouldn't allow the Pong boys to use the premises on a Friday night as that is the busiest night of the week (and presumably Sunday is the quietest!) It will be interesting to see how many come along for it but if it's as good as the last one, it'll be well worthwhile.
From the ever popular Eden Club, Marc has added a new room, taking the total to six rooms. In the bar area downstairs, he has erected several signs advertising his latest theme, "Uniform on Request". Currently, the uniforms in stock are lingerie (uniform?), maid, nurse and school girl. To my request for a Thai policewoman's uniform, he said he'd tried to get one but so far, he has been unsuccessful. Business seems to be booming at Eden. This past Friday, Marc reported that of the people that took girls upstairs for shopping, 96% of the guys took two girls. On the same day, more than half of the girls had been taken outside of the establishment for long time, including one guy who called from Surat Thani who ordered a girl for three nights and another guy in Pattaya (?!) who ordered three girls for the night – I guess there aren't any working girls down Pattaya way.
Drink prices at Nana Disco have gone up with a beer now costing 130 baht and ANY spirit costing 160 – even Mekhong! If it wasn't for the fact that this disco is located on the ground floor of the world's most popular sex tourist hotel, these drink prices would not be tolerated. If the Thermae can charge about half of what the Nana does for drinks and survive for 30+ years, one quickly gets the feeling that management at the Nana are really raking in the profits…
The word on the street is that Camouflage Club, the newest bar in town, is failing to attract many customers. Located by the Raja Hotel, down soi 4, the owners obviously fail to realise that 80%+ of Nana Plaza customers never make it down that far, many not even realising that a few more bars exist down the street. Notwithstanding that it is a stone's throw from Nana, the location is NOT good and surely it was this that was a contributor to Rainbow 2000's failure. How long will Camouflage Club last?
Maybe due to Trink's ramblings or maybe due to their own stupidity, many folks continue to go bareback with the local girls. Do they really think that you can't get AIDS? Perhaps it is not my business to comment, but hey, I think you are plain stupid. I know of at least two girls who were floating around the Thermae the other night who are both working while they are knowingly HIV+. You have been warned!
Your Bangkok commentator,
If you like this Weekly Column, why not check out the BaronBonk Weekly article that is also available online here.