Stickman's Weekly Column May 12th, 2002

Taking Her Away From Thailand



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?

The myth of the “bad Thai man” is utter nonsense for me. Where does it originate? First from middle class women with their prince-charming-dreams who don’t realize that cheating husbands are as common with Westerners as with Thai men, secondly from bar girls. How would a customer of those feel if they would tell you: “Yeah, I have a husband in my village, Hess a nice guy but so damn poor, so I just dumped him to have a better life in the bar. Of course I screw that fat farang, tell him how good looking he is, that his disgusting bloated stomach is seen here as a sign of prosperity. For Christ's sake, he pays me a shitload of money, especially when he feels sorry for me when I tell him that my husband has beaten me and cheated on me. Anyhow, after that I will go to some boy bar, spend a bit of money, barfine one of those hard bodies who's gonna screw me the way I want, takes the stink, the farang left on me, off.” I think that the instance of pervs in Thailand is proportionally much higher under the farang male population here. Just the amount of social inepts looking for a Thai wife or roaming around the bars is tremendous. No idea about the country, no clue of the language, living in a constant dream world about their importance and attractiveness. Look at it from the way of Thai culture and customs. Flirting is really big here. The endless double meanings of the language are perfectly suited for witty jokes and fast piss take, very few Westerners could partake in those very intelligent lingual games Thais basically grow up with, the come-on lines of most Westerners (“you go boom-boom me?”) sound seriously retarded if you have ever seen and heard Thai guys chatting up Thai girls. Reality is that most middle class women with foolish dreams very soon find out that there are no prince charmings in any race, and that bar girls do as bar girls do everywhere (but maybe a bit more sophisticated in Thailand than in other places). Just hang out with Thai men, and I don’t mean with tuk-tuk drivers specialized in ripping off Westerners or the assorted range of pimps, touts and bar waiters. You will find out that there is an as wide range of personalities as in any other place on earth. Just because they speak a language you are too bigoted or lazy to learn doesn’t mean that they are all singular monsters.
A good point indeed…
I don’t wish to sound over dramatic, but there are a hell of a lot of readers to your site that are looking to score the "good girl". I am sure you have thought this over a million times, but do you think that telling everyone where to find these decent girls is wise? With the internet revolution came the decay of the "farang industry", because it gives people more information, options and ideas. The same applies to the girls and I believe (for what its worth) that a decent portion of your readers are little more than sex addicts, looking for the trophy GF / wife to display to all. They want to boom boom boom, but also want that traditional Thai girl who will fulfil their needs too (one being trust). They are certainly unsure of themselves and by telling these people where to land the good honest girls could lead to disaster as these girls may get the impression that all guys are like these guys etc.
Don't do drugs.
At the time of the following incident I did not know anything about Ecstasy. I had gone with this BG several times and always had a good time and things were moving toward the serious side for us, I thought. I had come to the conclusion that she could be someone who I would like to send a lot of time with. On this night she seemed in a strange good mood so I asked her what was going on? She related that she had taken a tablet of Ecstasy just before I got there. Feeling a little uncomfortable I decided to "go with the flow" and paid her BF. She seemed to be more talkative than usual but I chalked it up to her being "high" on Ecstasy. The strange effect started with her seeing my ex-main squeeze leaving with a guy we both know. All of a sudden she said that the ex was ba-ba bo-bo for going with a man for FREE, she continued with the comment that she herself NEVER had the mood for sex, did not like sex, and that any woman that went for free was out of her mind. She finished with the comment that "I NEVER GO FOR FUN OR LIKING SEX I ONLY GO FOR MONEY." Needless to say I was knocked back out of my shoes, here is this BG that I had "gone with" several times and never had an inkling that she felt this way. As I had already spent the BF I took her to my house and did "the deed" but it was not as enjoyable as normal. The next night I went back to the bar and she was there waiting for me, I asked her if she remembered what she told me last night but she could not remember anything she had said. When I told her what she told me about sex and money she turned as pale as I have ever seen a Thai girl, and when I told her I would never be seeing her again she ran off to the hong nam and puked her guts out. After this had happened I did a little research on MSMD or "Ecstasy" it turns out that it was developed by psychiatrists and used to "get patients to SPEAK MORE FREELY ABOUT THINGS THEY NORMALLY WOULD NOT TALK ABOUT." So if you are thinking seriously about someone and they "just happened to take" some Ecstasy you MAY find out things they normally would not want to talk about. Just be ready to confront things you may not want to hear. But remember it works BOTH WAYS, so if YOU are the one high on Ecstasy remember that YOUR mouth may run away with it's self.
If your wife is keeping the bed warm…
There is still a short time hotel in Nana – the new place has only occupied the ground floor of the Guest House – the entrance is now on the top level. Actually, for anybody willing to spend an extra few minutes travelling, a far superior spot is the PB Hotel between Soi 3 and 11. You need to go out and cross Sukhumvit then get a taxi up Soi 11. Max 3 hours, 320 baht – including two bottles of water – room service food if required and decent decor, furniture and bathroom.
How many green bottles hanging on the wall?
Would Clinton Plaza see more turnover and be a viable business venture? Certainly not if the Suzi Crazy Bar customer policies are anything to go by. The Suzi Crazy bar is located right next to the Dollhouse and I made the unfortunate decision to take a seat in there and order a Kloster beer. However a Kloster was not what they served me. Instead I received a green bottle which had no label on it, nor did it have a bottle top. And inside it was anything but Kloster beer. My best guess was that this was a cold bottle of 70% tap water and 30% stale beer. I immediately spat it out and asked for a Heineken instead. I watched carefully from the corner of my eye as one of the girls reached into a red esky bin on the side of the bar and brought fourth a similar green bottle as before (cold, opened, no label). I smiled sweetly at the half dozen attractive staff and promptly made my departure vowing never to return to Suzi Crazy Bar.

An outdoor aerobics class near Pra-Athit Road.

If you are reading this, you have successfully found the new address for this website. The site received its visa this week and has been successfully migrated across to www.stickmanbangkok.com, where forever it shall remain. So, change your bookmarks because the redirection from the old address will not remain forever.

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.

Vektor Multimedia Thailand is seeking an experienced Macromedia Director Developer who is currently based in Bangkok (immediate opening).

Please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. All shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

It has been mooted in the news that the bar zoning nonsense will come into effect before too long. Existing bars outside the designated zones will not be allowed to open beyond 2:00 AM – as things stand now – and I also believe that new nightspots may not be built outside of the zones, though I am not totally clear on this. But, if this is the case, it begs the question: will a new farang bar area mushroom up inside one of the zones? The Patpong area is the only farang oriented area to be included inside one of the zones though it is hard to see much more development down that way, because the cost of real estate in that part of town is not cheap. So, if there is to be a new bar area, where will it be?

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.

Stick