I've been saying for a while now that the girls in the gogo bars are not as attractive they used to be. And while more than a few people will argue with me, I know what I see, and I stand by that. Whether or not the girls are as attractive as they used to be may be considered a moot point by some, but what is a fact is that more and more girls are being pulled out of the bars in record time and I believe that this is the main reason why we see less attractive girls these days.
Not so long ago I was chatting with a bar manager who said that the girls in his bar were being taken out of the industry and married off almost as fast as he could get new girls in. Some girls were getting pulled out of the bar within a week of starting work! So, where do these girls end up? Some end up as the live-in girlfriend of expats resident in the Kingdom. Others end up as a mianoi to farangs who may already be accounted for. Perhaps the most significant number are those who end up being whisked away to Farangland.
A new life in Farangland awaits the little Thai princess, but does she really know what she is getting herself into? What are her views of Farangland? Obviously, Hollywood has played a big part and it really is quite possible that she thinks that the man she is about to marry and venture off to Farangland with lives in a house the size of Buckingham Palace and drives a car like Magnum PI. While she may not have seen it in the movies, she quite possibly thinks that there is a somtum stand on every corner and that you can buy a packet of Mama and get change from a 5 baht coin. Her ideas of Farangland are idealistic and reflect exactly how she would like it to be. East meets West with the respective flavours of each that she most likes… Ahhh, if only that were the truth.
These girls really do not know what the West is like. They have completely unrealistic ideas about Farangland. Their modest education combined with completely different values and beliefs mean that time away from Thailand may be a disaster if not carefully planned.
And when one gets a girl back to the West, what does one do with her? If your life is as busy as many people's lives seem to be these days, you'll be forced leave her at home all day while you go to work. And in this age of long working hours, you'll get home tired, exhausted, stressed and may want nothing more than to sit down in front of the TV, the opportunity to relax and do as little as possible. She has been waiting all day for you to get home, because you are the only person who understands her, the only person she can talk to…and before you know it, you are all she has.
But you simply don't have the time for her. She starts to think back and quickly realises that it wasn't like this when you met in Thailand! You were with her every moment of every day for almost two weeks. You went out all of the time, wining and dining in fine restaurants before a long night of partying, day after day, night after night. Why are you neglecting her now?! The mundane, dull, sterile suburban existence that so many lead in the West would represent terminal boredom for the average Thai girl. For a girl who has come from the excitement of bright lights, big city, drinking every night and meeting lots of interesting people, is the over sanitized, over regulated, overly safety conscious, cold, boring West what a Thai girl really wants? The West might not seem that bad to us, but to Thai girls, especially those who have worked in this exciting industry, this is how many feel.
Oh, and if you come from a country where English is not the first language, things become even more difficult. Even in the likes of Scandinavia and Holland where excellent English is spoken by most, she will be at a huge disadvantage for a long, long time. When a Thai girl mentions to me that she is considering going overseas, an English speaking country is what I stress to her is the most important thing.
Many girls who have been overseas are happy to talk about their time in Farangland, and while they report that many aspects of their time away from home were enjoyable, they almost always talk about how they became impatient to return to Thailand.
So, the question must be asked. By pulling a girl away from the country that she truly loves, is the punter really doing the right thing for the girl? Is this really what she wants her knight in shining armour to do? One of the great things about Thailand is that unlike most other countries, the locals are largely content with their piece in life, and generally don't want to live elsewhere. Are you doing the right thing by pulling her away from Thailand? Are you rescuing her, or are you selfishly trying to set yourself up with the ideal wife? Is she aware of what she is really getting herself into? Have you told her what the West is REALLY like?
Personally, I think that in many cases it is an absolute tragedy to take a Thai away from Thailand. Thailand may not be paradise, but for Thais, it is what they know, and what they like. I often wonder if taking Thai girls away from Thailand is a cruel and unusual punishment. If she doesn't truly know what she is getting herself into, do her a favour and leave her in Thailand. The things that are important to these Thai girls may not be the same things that are important to you and I. Even Bill Gates doesn't have a somtum dealer around the corner from his palace.
So, if you are thinking of taking your little teeruk back to Farangland, do her a favour and take her there for a short holiday first to see how she finds it. It might be just what she had always dreamed of, but then again, it might not. Do everything that you can to educate her about the West and describe to her how it is different in so many ways to Thailand. Explain to her that back in Farangland, you won't be on holiday any longer. If you do this, you'll have a better chance of making it work. Good luck.
Where is this pic?
Another easy one so no clues…
Remember, the first person to email me with the right answer wins a fantastic calendar with pictures of Thai ladies from the good folks at ThaiTemptations.com. Last week's picture was taken inside Hindu temple on Silom Road, looking out on to the main road. The first person with the right answer was Claymore who won the calendar.
Are Thai men so bad?
An outdoor aerobics class near Pra-Athit Road.
At Carousel Bar in Nana Plaza a few days ago, I saw a young'un on the other side of the bar, no older than 16 in my estimate, and more like 14 in my drinking partner's opinion. Oh, it wasn't a girl – it was a guy. What an age to start! The guy had his tongue down some girl's throat too! Good lord, what is the world coming to? That poor young fellow will never quite be the same again.
News from within The Dollhouse is that TJ from Pattaya is now taking over the day to day management of The Dollhouse in Pattaya and Big Jack is running Cowboy with Mad Mike in charge at Clinton. Seems like The Dollhouse is in good hands…and Andy and Darel don't have to worry about the day to day running of it and can concentrate on partying and screwing their brains out!
Rumour about town is that the new beer bar area on Sukumvit soi 10 is temporary, very temporary. Rumour has it that the land has been acquired by Tesco Lotus and the life expectancy of the Sukumvit Square, as it has been called, is short… 14 months is the timeframe that has been mooted. Seems that quite a bit of effort has gone into the bars given this relatively short life. Similar rumours have been going around about Asoke Plaza which has anywhere between 2 and 5 years remaining, depending on who is telling the story.
I hadn't popped into Tilac bar in Soi Cowboy for a while, so cannot guarantee how new this is…but it was news to me at least. Tilac Bar now has a number of imported beers available on tap, and the prices are attractive. I can't remember all of the different beers that were on offer but there were several, including one of my favourites, the excellent German beer, Warsteiner. The bar has a good layout with nice decor and with the variety of beer available (not something that Bangkok's naughty bars are known for), it is well worth a look.
Just across the way, I notice that even with The Dollhouse's presence in Cowboy, Long Gun remains very busy – and getting a seat is no small a problem. With Raw Hide seemingly always quiet and apparently owned by the same person (people?) – and often featuring the same showgirls, I wonder if it is possible to somehow review the way these two bars operate? While it may not be possible to join the two bars together physically, I'm sure they could come up with something better than the present system where by a lot of people stick their head in Long Gun and quickly exit, less than enthralled at the thought of having to stand. Long Gun always packed, Raw Hide usually quiet…what can they do?
Midnite Bar in Cowboy surged in popularity early last year and the girls have been clocking up quite some mileage since then. This bar had just about everything going for it until….this week. My visit there was curtailed by what I can only presume is a new DJ. The music was all hard rock (which others may like, but I only care for in moderation) and the volume was horrendously loud, so loud that conversation was impossible. One beer and I was on my way. Hopefully this was just a temporary blip, because Midnite has been a favourite for a while now. So Midnite gets the inauspicious award of the loudest gogo bar in Bangkok.
Contrary to what I said a week or two back, Suzy Wong's in Soi Cowboy has not been sold and remains on the market. This one has been for sale for a while.
It seems that the boys in brown paid a visit to a few bars on Wednesday night / the early hours of Thursday morning. They visited one Nana Plaza bar that shall remain nameless and forced the bar to close at 2:30 AM…a little later than they are supposed to be open. Groans all around from the customers who were watching something called the UEFA Cup on TV. Don't know what they were moaning about. If it had been rugby, then I could understand. Later on the same night, it seems that the Siam Hotel on Petchaburi Road was also targeted. This venue, known as the place where many of the Thai massage parlour girls go to earn a few extra baht, was also paid a visit. One off visits or strict enforcement of closing times? Who knows?
Pattaya is again a zoo with hoards of marines hitting town last night. Prices go through the roof (e.g. baht bus 100 baht to North Pattaya etc) and the queue to McDonalds at 8.45 AM went out of the door and about 10 yards down the street!! Avoid the city of sleaze for a couple of weeks!
Be careful with your milk. Most brands seem to print an expiry date on the bottle stating that the milk will go bad about 10 – 12 days after it was bottled. From memory in the West, the expiry date is inside a week? Anyway, after about 5 – 6 days you can definitely smell a difference and usually 3-4 days before it is supposed to go bad, it already IS bad. So trust your nose ahead of the expiry date printed on the bottle.
And on the subject of milk, one of my pet hates in Bangkok is these blasted supposedly flash restaurants and hotels that have the cheek to serve you supposedly decent coffee but provide you with powdered milk! If one is buying decent coffee, is fresh milk too much to ask for, or am I the only one who doesn't like coffee that reminds me of what it used to taste like around the school campfire?
I thought I had a bad deal at my apartment building with a phone line that disconnects after an hour. But this week I came across the worst deal I have ever heard of in another apartment building. 5 baht a call with unlimited duration BUT you pay whether you reach the person you are calling, or not. If there is no answer at the dialled number, they still bill the apartment for the call! RIP OFF!
A bit of nostalgia…Clinton Plaza in the early days.
I don't know that I have ever seen a dry ice machine in a Thai gogo bar before – but noticed one in The Dollhouse Soi Cowboy. There is nothing funnier than watching the girls shriek as the dry ice machine kicks into action, and all of the girls jump across to the other side of the stage, seemingly scared that the dry ice is some sort of poisonous gas.
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". Whoever wrote those profound words surely did the Bangkok / Pattaya bar circuit a few times.
There's something about the way that many Thais say gin garfair (literally eat coffee) that really gets on my nerves. Eat coffee? Why don't they say deum garfair (drink coffee). The idea of someone munching away on their coffee…well, it just doesn't fit. Hell, I guess I really am a stuffy old English teacher…
They started off life as Hamilton Institute of Studies before becoming the elaborately named International Education Consortium which was very quickly changed to International Education group. Two years later and it seems that they are again changing their name, in an apparent effort to re-position themselves through re-branding. This English school is now peculiarly called Bangkok school of Management. It would appear that they are trying to branch out into new areas.
All sorts of rumours – and none of them positive – are coming out of a certain "new" language school located on Sukumvit Road. Teachers are complaining that they haven't been paid for April and the big rumour is that the owner / manager is about to board the big bird and jet away, leaving all of the problems behind. Ahhh, the joys of English teaching.
If you don't want to go all the way down to Rama 4 Road to use the internet connections at the internet cafe mentioned in last week's column, the cheapest connections in the Sukumvit area (that I know of – and no, I don't live in that part of town) are in the Sukumvit Soi 10 area, near all of the new bars. 45 baht an hour for net access there. In Thai neighbourhoods, it tends to be 20 – 25 baht an hour, but then you are often using a connection in an internet cafe that is overrun with school kids playing Counter Strike with the sound cranked right up. All in all, a decidedly unpleasant experience, so it is often worth paying a little more.
It seems that the authorities in Hua Hin are doing their level best to discourage Mr Sex Tourist. That alley of beer bars opposite the big hotel (yeah, you can tell, it has been quite some time since I was down there!) all close at, get this, midnight! Yep, come 11:55 PM, it is checkbins all around and at the stroke of midnight, the shutters are pulled down. A friend who visited this week maintains that while the bars may close early, there are a few pretty girls down there doing very little trade.
I'll happily sink a Heineken and if you are buying, I'll drink as many Jack Cokes as there are on the table. But when it comes to drugs, I'm a virgin. Never touched them, and odds are that I never will. What you do is your choice, but in this part of the world, playing with drugs is not a game at all. It has been brought to my attention that a request from Thai police for one to provide a urine sample is not a test that you can reasonably expect to decline. Now I gather that traces of drugs can be found in your body at up to three months….so, the question that must be asked is this: If one consumes drugs in a country outside of Thailand but gets tested in Thailand and tests positive for them, what will the consequences be? Could be an interesting situation indeed…
A friend has a 1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L Limited for sale. 65k and only 2 owners. Black / grey colour in good condition. Currently the car is in Pattaya but it is often in Bangkok. Looking for offers around 550,000 baht. Email me and I'll forward inquiries to him.
For those of you computer savvy folk who keep emailing me looking for work, here is another position for you to apply for.
Please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. All shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
This week a reader asked me to report on an average week for Stickman. How many nights out, how many naughty / how many with bar girls and how many with non-bar girls? He also asked me to talk about such mundane things as work, travelling, other pastimes etc. Well, I hate to appear like a boring fart, but the truth of the matter is that I have not been with a bargirl for a very long time, in fact I can't even remember the last time. And neither will I be going with one again. And even in the old days, I never even went with many bargirls. There would be plenty of people who come to Thailand who do more in two weeks with the bar girls than I have done in my lifetime. As far as the other things go, work consumes usual office hours, Monday to Friday although I'm not at all adverse to slipping away early when possible. Travelling doesn't happen that often but when it does, it is invariably to one of the beaches. Other pastimes are not anything too exciting and include photography and reading. You see, I really am a boring bugger. So, if you have delusions about coming to work in Thailand and going out to party every night of the week for a long, long time, you might find that that routine doesn't last forever. Sure, some people live that sort of lifestyle but eventually, it catches up with them. Me, I guess I was never like that.