The most common question that I am asked by email is "how can I move to Thailand and find work without having to resort to teaching English". This is closely followed by "how can I meet regular, non bar-girl Thai girls". The first question I am happy to answer but the second I shirk, for it is a very complicated matter – and I often wonder if the person asking it really wants to meet a regular girl – or if they would be better off with a bargirl.
Regular Thai girls. To many Western men they represent the holy grail. The perception being that regular, non working girls have all of the positive aspects of the bar girls, and none of the negatives. They have the soft skin, the demure attitude, they don't smoke and they are generally vice free. In addition to this, they have a high education, a good job and they have a mind of their own. They are the perfect female. In your dreams! Frankly, nothing could be further from the truth!
Thai girls who have never worked the bar and would never dream of such a career are NOT the perfect female specimen as many folks falsely believe. They are quite simply different from their bargirl sisters. Where many bargirls share certain negative traits, so to do the regular girls, but we are talking about two completely different sets of traits here.
Regular Thai girls are often dependent on their parents, to the point that they have to ask for permission to go out well into their mid and sometimes even their late 20s. They are compelled to be home by a certain time, often before it gets dark! And in so many cases, they don't dare disobey their parents orders. Yes, orders! So while many guys complain that the bargirls are too close to their families, forever sending money upcountry, so too the regular girls are very close to their family also.
While they may be free of some of life's vices, many regular Thai girls do not have the personality of the bargirls. Bargirls can be a laugh, you can joke around with them, be silly, be juvenile and remember what it was like to be a teenager. Bargirls are not afraid to really let their hair down and party hard. If you want to, you can have a riotous time with them. Many regular Thai girls tend to be a little stuck in their ways, seemingly programmed into a certain way of thinking and I often wonder at what point they are given the "Thai Good Girl Manual For Life" because so many of them are damned near identical in all that they say and do. It's like they are pre-programmed and they live this regulated lifestyle. In so many situations, just like their bargirl sisters, you can predict what their response will be in any given situation. They are scared to break away from the mould and many desperately cling to the image of being a good, traditional Thai girl. Even though both their hormones and their wild friends may be telling them one thing, their parents and the impositions of traditional Thai culture are telling them another.
So, at the risk of going against what I have said in previous columns, bargirls are not that bad! Regular Thai girls, while offering many wonderful traits, are far from perfect. Bargirls for all of their vices, aren't that bad.
For the Western man seeking a female partner, there is a huge choice available in Thailand. The tough part is to work out exactly what you want, and then try and go and search in the appropriate place. I'm coming around to the way of thinking that the hard part is actually knowing what you want because once you know, it really is very easy to find Miss Right in Thailand.
Last week's where is this pic was taken from Rama 1 Road, beside the World Trade Centre, facing east. The building in the centre of the picture was Gaysorn Plaza. With a bit of luck, there will be prizes for the where is this pic from next week onwards…more about it then.
Where is this pic?
And if you're really good, where was the picture taken from?!
Another scam to be aware of.
I was surprised that a lot of guys are so upfront about it. It seems this will quickly pollute this chat site as "nice" girls get scared away. I'm certain high class hookers must use this site, going on what that guy said to me. It's a pity, but I'll give it a try again some time.
My post grad students today revealed to me that many Uni girls sell themselves for sex to ensure they maintain the top fashion accessories and trends. They assure me not all Uni girls are from rich families. I couldn't believe it, but they say it's true and most students around BK know that many Uni girls are like that !! I guess they're the kind of girls who go on chat to pick up customers, or perhaps they work in the massage / escort agencies far from view of their friends and neighbours. Sad, like you say, "once a hooker, always a hooker", it's sad to think that even the higher educated Thai girls seek this life. But who are we to kid, Western female students are doing it now, so I guess it's just this generation of teenagers that are befallen with tough financial times.
Last night's sunset at Patong Beach, Phuket.
An interesting titbit came out of the Candy Store Gogo in Clinton Plaza this week. It appears that the owner has a spy at Nana Disco (and maybe some other freelancer venues too?) and if any of the dancers go there, big trouble for them! This is not the first time that I have heard of such a story and at least one of the gogo bars in Nana Plaza threatens their dancers that going to Nana Disco will lead to THEIR SALARY BEING CUT! This is nothing short of outrageous, and it is policies like this that really do make us think that a handful of bar owners really are monsters. I simply cannot think of any valid reason as to why they would try and force their employees to stay away from such venues, other than that they are scared that the girls would see that they could make just as much money working at such a venue, without having to dance in the buff, put up with varying amounts of shit in the bar, take shit from the mamasan etc. Note: most bar owners are just fine!
Lumpini Park always makes a refreshing break from the big concrete jungle that Bangkok is, though it it must be said that I often wonder if the people in charge of Lumpini are trying to keep us out. Lumpini Park is not small, not small at all, yet finding the way in is never easy. Along the entire Western side there is no entrance, along the northern side there is just one entrance, and on the southern and eastern sides, just two entrances. This often means that you have to walk a few hundred metres in the steamy heat, to get into the park. Just why is that?
I am getting more and more emails from readers asking me about visas, and how they should go about applying for a visa to get their loved one over to Farangland. Its something I know very little about. Anyway, what is important to know about visa applications is that the majority of declined visa applications are declined on the basis that the paperwork was not in order. Missing documents, incomplete forms or contradictory information result in a red "declined" stamp more than anything else.
Quote of the week from a reader. "Never surprise a bargirl because it will backfire on you big time."
Over the last few days the police seem to be cracking down on guys that have the mirrors of their bikes pointing inwards (meaning there is no way in hell they can see what is behind them).
Sounds like there has been a real visa mess up down in Phuket. A whole load of people have temporarily lost their passports which had been deposited not with one of the "visa run" services, but with the Phuket Immigration Department themselves! Things have become very embarrassing for the passport holders involved who have had to go all the way up to their embassy in the capital to get a replacement, and then go on to immigration HQ in Bangers to try and get the whole mess sorted out, pay a fine, face questions etc. Is this a crackdown on such services? The answer is probably no, but if ever there was going to be a crackdown, then now could well be the likely time. What was actually happening down in Phuket was that bona fide tourists were going into the Immigration Department and asking for a 7 day visa extension, the cost of which would ordinarily cost 500 baht. However, they were being offered a 30 day extension for 2,500 baht, and some rogue within the department was taking their passport – along with goodness knows how many others – down to the Malaysian border and brining it back with a new 30 day visa! It seems that this just became too popular and well known that eventually Bangkok got wind of it and acted upon it.
If you're passport is currently on holiday, I'd start to worry! Remember with these visa services that you get a legal visa obtained in an illegal manner. The issues that you should consider are as follows. If you are stopped for ANY reason and asked to who your passport, what will you do. It might be that you get in some sort of trouble or simply that you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. When they fire your name into the computer and it states that you are outside of the country, then you are really going to have to try and convince them that computers make mistakes. God forbid, what happens if you do need to leave the country urgently, a loved one back home has fallen ill for example. It's gonna be hard to escape without that passport! And finally, we never really know what the future holds. Perhaps one day it will be revealed that so many people procured dodgy visas and the premier of the day decides that such people should be deported, for they are not the type of people that Thailand wants to attract…..you just never know that the future holds. The bottom line being that if you do send your passport on holiday, you really do not know what may happen.
Riding a samlor in the searing heat, is there
a worse job at this time of year?
Down in Phuket this week, I counted 7 bargirls on the flight from Bangkok, a fairly high number. Now I do not know how many seats were on the plane but if we guess at around 300, and if we assume that this number was representative of most flights between Phuket and Bangkok, that would mean that bargirls make up almost 2.5% of Thai Airway's customers on this particular domestic leg. Quite high, isn't it!
I notice that Phuket is much quieter at the moment than one would expect for March. A lot of people around, but it is very easy to get a room in just about any hotel and the beach wasn't as busy as you would expect. The girls in the bars said that they were doing a terrible trade – though they would say that, wouldn't they. Actually, it was quieter than I have ever seen it before.
I notice that most of the Patong Beach gogo bars have taken down the "gogo" part of their signs, removing it from their name. The signs at some locations look really daft because they have covered over the words "gogo" with masking tape. It seems that this is a move to appease the Phuket authorities who do not want any signs advertising gogo bars.
While Phuket may have the reputation for being the most expensive holiday destination in Thailand, even more expensive than Bangkok, bargains can be found if you hunt around. C&N Hotel have very nice rooms for 800 baht, with all of the usual amenities – air-con, hot water, cable TV etc PLUS those two things that Stickman really likes – a high pressure shower that is scalding hot the moment you turn it on and reception staff who do not bother you to leave your key at reception every time you go out. On the drinking front, beer bars still charge just 70 baht for Heineken and most beer bars stock Beer Chang at just 50 baht a bottle, some places even offering a special of 4 bottles for 150 baht. Barfines are still 200 baht and the girls were talking 1,000 baht all night, all of which indicates that the prices in Phuket have not moved at all in the last year. Just as well really because prices had shot up in the previous few years. It might be more expensive to get to Phuket than say Pattaya, but once you are there, it is not THAT much more expensive if you know where you're going.
One has to wonder about that strange game that they play along Soi Sea Dragon where customers are invited to hammer a nail into the trunk of a tree. Never quite worked out the point of that one. Btu what perturbs me is the idea of some of the crazies in that soi with a hammer in the hand and a bit too much liquor inside them – not a nice combination. One fellow who threatened to smash the hammer into one girl's head had the effect of clearing out the entire bar in seconds, though it only took the cops a couple of minutes to round him up and take him away.
"Midnite Mike", the former manager at Midnite in Cowboy is back in The 'Boy, but not at Midnite which has a Singaporean manager. Mike can now be found at The Dollhouse where he is the early shift manager. Pop on in and say hi!
Escaping the heat under an umbrella, a homeless man sleeps.
A nice new website has been launched with some fantastic photography of Sukumvit Road along with other places in both the capital and around the country. Check out www.sukhumvit-rd.com and I'm sure the great shots will impress you as much as they impressed me.
When it comes to choosing the most beautiful of the bunch, Thai men and farang men are seldom able to agree. Whereas Thai men will invariably select the girl with the whitest skin as the most attractive in a group, a farang man seems more likely to choose a slightly darker girl, and will often show a preference for long hair. When I first arrived in Thailand, I, like most farangs, had a preference for darker skinned girls, but in time, as the inevitable happens and I slowly go native, my tastes have started moving towards the fairer skinned girls. But there's something about white skin that doesn't grab me. Some folks argue that the fairer skinned girls look unhealthy, like they have a lack of colour. I don't see that as a major issue, but one does notice that with whiter skin, blemishes become more visible. Unless a white skinned girl has absolutely perfect skin, all of the little blemishes can be so easily spotted – and in a land of so many beautiful women, that can be quite a turnoff!
If anyone knows the whereabouts of Dan Cockayne, an American living in Thailand, would you kindly contact his brother who needs to get in touch with him at: [email protected]
In Bangkok there are at least two girls currently working in the gogo bars who have just one eye and a third girl used to work, but she seems to have disappeared. Both of the one-eyed girls seem to be fairly popular which is nice, and I gather that one of the two has been working for almost ten years! Down in one of the beer bars in Patong Beach this week, I met a lovely young lady who had two perfectly good eyes – and eleven fingers! Yep, one hand had six fingers! Again, she seems to be popular.
One2Call, the pre-paid mobile phone system that is so popular with Westerners in Thailand due to the ease with which one can get themselves set up, is now expanding its services. In the past, one could not make international calls nor send SMS message internationally, but the service has been expanded and these services are now available. In the past One2Call used to be great because of its convenience but the prices used to be a lot higher than a regular, invoiced account. However, it seems to me that One2Call is probably now a lot more convenient than a regular account.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, please use condoms. Yet another girl called Stickman's free advice line for wayward bargirls this week to tell me that her sister had just self-aborted,
yes you read that right SELF ABORTED (!) at 4 months, and she was sitting in her room, bleeding profusely. Fortunately she understood the meaning of "get her to the hospital fxxxen fast" and the line disconnected about 15 seconds later.
Another Thermae girl…why is it that I always hear about Thermae girls getting pregnant? Anyway, after two days in hospital, she was discharged and now appears to be on the road to recovery, though whether she will be able to have any more children
is anyone's guess.
Your Bangkok commentator,