Stickman's Weekly Column June 23rd, 2002

Our Friend Sun



A couple of months back I was sitting in my regular Friday night bar talking with a bunch of friends and other like minded people who assemble to bitch and moan about expat life in our little corner of the globe. As the night went on, the crowd started to disperse as the bulk of guys went off to leer at flesh. Me, I prefer to sit back, relax and chat with people, the flesh bars having long lost their appeal. On this particular night, there were just three of us left, me, a guy I shall refer to as "Sun" and one other fellow.

Sun is a nice guy. He's about the same age as me and he comes from the US, California I believe. But what I like about him is that he reminds me more of an Antipodean because he really is incredibly laid back and relaxed. Nothing seems to bother him and I find it easy to warm to his laid back ways. We were chatting away about life in the Big Mango when Sun mentioned to me that his girlfriend, a former bargirl, had moved in with him. She no longer worked the bar and she was now on his payroll. There had been the usual problems along the way, but on the whole, things were going well for Sun and his teeruk.

Sun and I chatted about farang / bargirl relationships and he knows my viewpoint on them – how they seldom work and worse, how they often end very, very badly. He considered himself informed, aware of the dangers and was still prepared to give it a go. Fair enough. I then brought up with Sun one of the dangers of getting involved with a bargirl and moving her in, one of the dangers that SO MANY foreigners fall into. Once the girl has moved in with them, the farang soon considers her to be his girlfriend, that their relationship is exclusive and thus starts to lower his guard. BIG MISTAKE! Trust develops magically and the farang becomes more comfortable leaving this former hooker alone in his apartment for long periods of time, starts to introduce her to his friends and God forbid his colleagues too, and slowly, but surely, any outsider can see that she has successfully reeled him in. But what happens next is one of the most foolish things a man can do. It is, to me at least, conclusive proof that the farang has lost the plot. They start to have unprotected sex.

Now exactly how the hell the farang gets himself into this situation, I will not speculate, but when you start heading down this road, you are quite frankly, out of control. There are serious questions that must be asked. And no, I'm not just talking STDs, I'm talking pregnancy.

There was something about Sun, perhaps his laid back ways that made me fear that perhaps, just perhaps, he would shed the sheath and go without. I told Sun of the inherent dangers of such behaviour and with his charming grin, he openly admitted that condoms had long since gone by the wayside! The English teacher in me quickly graduated to a lecturer as I delivered Sun a sermon about such behaviour being madness, pointing out that for a girl from bahn nok (the middle of fxxxing nowhere), becoming pregnant to an American citizen could only be bettered by winning the lottery. Sun's response shocked even me, and that is easier said than done. Sun advised that as she had previously slept with many customers without a condom and hadn't got pregnant in the past, then why would she become pregnant now?! Speculation was made that she could well be unable to become pregnant. My counter salvos were fired, but they fell on deaf ears.

I recently found out that Sun's sperm are indeed fine swimmers, and that coupled with the fact that his girlfriend appears to hail from the Valley Of Fertility mean that Miss Sun is now pregnant. While he doesn't seem to realise it, Sun's worst nightmare has just begun. So Sun, I know you are back Stateside now, and I know you that you have a fairly relaxed attitude towards life. But please, please, please believe me when I say this, YOU HAVE GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT NOW! If she goes on to have the child, you are connected to this girl for life…and I know that that is not a commitment you are prepared to make. A little child is going to be calling you Dad. This little mouth will need to be fed for the next 18 years. The child needs to be looked after, to be cared for – and that is a 24 hour a day job. And where is the money going to come from?

Moreover, you will be tied to this girl for life! And what so happens in these cases is that the child is used as an emotional lever to extract baht, time, effort and emotional support from the father. And mark my words, very little of that baht that you hand over will be spent on the child, very little indeed. Sun, you know what I think you should do… There is a clinic in Sukumvit soi 12 where your potential problems could be terminated. Get her there now, that is if you can.

Sun is a super nice guy and I hate to see bad things happen to nice guys. But being nice is not always enough and nice guys don't always win. Yep, I have said it so often before but I am going to say it again, unprotected sex with working girls is utter madness.

Note: While I am not a doctor and will very clearly state that I have NO IDEA about the side effects or inherent dangers with it, the EC (emergency contraceptive aka the morning after pill) called Postinor can be bought over the counter from many pharmacies in Bangkok. And at 35 baht for the two pills, it is super cheap too.

Where is this pic?

Ahhhh, is this the easiest pic yet?

Last week's where is this pic was of Petchaburi Road. The shot was taken from the over bridge just along from the Amari Watergate Hotel, looking west. On the left was Panthip Plaza and on the right, Centrepoint Petchaburi Road. Wonder upon wonder as the winner was the illustrious Khun Sanuk. He doesn't get many right does Mr Sanuk, but this week not only did he get it right, but he was first to email me too. I don't know what his Mrs will think of him erecting a pic of Thai girls on his wall, as room as it that she prefers other things erect. Still plenty of calendars to give away so first with the right answer wins a cool calendar from Thai Temptations.

From father to son…

I'm in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and travel to the LOS about 3 times a year (for the last 5 years). As a senior enlisted member I can tell you for certain that the troops are encouraged to be generous with the girls, but not stupid. Most of us old timers tell them that Baht 1,000 – 1,500 (depending on quality) is about right. Taking freebies from the girls is seriously advised against (nothing from a bargirl is really free). As I'm sure you know, the month of May is generally the most profitable month of the year for the establishments in Pattaya and for the most part, I think my boys behave pretty well (they certainly behave better than I did when I was 18 !!).
How to be a movie star, part 2.
I've never been to the Parkway Inn, but for your readers concerned about see-through mirrors, I believe I know of an easy way to test for them: Hold a coin edgewise, or the tip of a pen, or anything really, against the surface of the mirror and look to see if there's a space (the thickness of the glass) between the object and its reflection. See-through mirrors have the reflective coating on the front side of the glass, thus will show no space between the object and it's reflection. Regular mirrors are coated on the backside and will show some space between the object and its reflected image. I would be a lot more concerned about the possible presence of pinhole video cameras, though. I see these for sale all over the place, and they get a remarkably clear, wide-angle picture, as you can see on the monitors they're hooked up to at the stores where they are sold.
You pay…do you still have to make an effort?
I agree 100% with your tip re. smell and Thai girls. I clued into this years ago and have long since "gone native" and shower many times a day. Although, as you indicated, smelling clean is paramount, other aspects of grooming and hygiene are important to the ladies as well. For example, they often inspect your hands. Keep your nails trimmed and your hands washed! Dirty fingernails turn a Thai girl right off. And, of course, dress well. As ZZ Top says, "Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man!" A lot of guys think none of this matters if they're paying for the girl's company. What a mistake! They'll just end up paying more and getting less, if you know what I mean. Bar girls aren't fundamentally different than any other breed of woman. It's definitely worthwhile to make a little effort to appeal to them….
Isaan…is money the only motivation?
I love the ladies from Isaan, but because of their economic situation, it does usually get down to money and then I get frustrated. I have met many "middle class" ladies in Bangkok who rarely talk about money, but they are not as amiable and fun loving as the lower class ladies. Maybe it's impossible to have it all. The poor ladies are more fun and full of life, but it always gets down to money. The middle class and upper class ladies don't usually ask me for money, but they are a little on the serious and conservative side for me. I think a lady who is somewhere between lower and middle class is best. She has a little ambition and education, but doesn't come from a rich and spoiled environment.
Not a good place to live?
Thailand is second to none as a holiday destination for warm weather, beaches, sex, shopping and value for money. It has an exotic culture which is mysterious and enticing. For a poor country, the crime rate is relatively low. However, as a place to live and settle down in, there are some disadvantages which readers should be made aware of, the main one of which is the Thai people themselves. Speaking as a historian who has been based in various Asian countries for many years now, I am convinced that the modern culture and behaviour of any nation's people can be understood by a brief study of that nation's history. The Thais are a proud people and this comes mainly from the fact they have never been colonised by a foreign power. However, what many westerners are unaware of is that Thailand made a pact with the Japanese in World War Two, offering them access through Thailand in return for leaving them alone. Thailand was technically therefore an enemy of the West, and this is why we have the bridge over the River Kwai. The circumstances under which Thailand switched sides as a result of a coup to support the allied cause is shrouded in controversy. This duality and streak of pragmatism is worrying, and can be seen in the behaviour of Thais today. Under a seemingly meek and charming exterior is a ruthless, calculating, and dare I say racist interior. Some of the most vicious fights I have ever witnessed, some directed in packs against foreigners, have been while holidaying in Thailand. As one reader pointed out, Thais are only polite when there is something in it for them, and as another reader pointed out, things are not what they seem – so be warned!
Does it all come back to the language?
Just finished reading a couple of letters to you from some disgruntled Farangs – waxing so forlorn about their failed or failing relationships with Thai ladies. All I can say is, "It's the culture stupid." Thais just see reality through a different lens than we do – we Farangs, that is. Every Farang I know, Australian, American, or European has a story to tell about his Thai girl friend or wife. Every problem can be traced to cultural misunderstanding. But let me tell you something. Nothing a Thai wife can dish out, can match the hell that an American wife or sleep-in can hand you, and they do it without even a kiss. I don't want to bore you with my tale but I have to tell you something. I would rather exercise some control over the umbilical cord that connects my Thai wife to her extended family than the uncontrollable one which connects the American female to her Macy's, Nordstrom, Visa & Master Charge cards – and the endless desire to reach the "American Dream." Been there, done it with the American woman, the Russian woman, the Vietnamese woman. Trust me – learn the rules – make an intelligent pick – and you'll be as happy as a man can be – with a Thai woman. And, above all – learn the language dummy – do it.

Traffic at the WTC…always like this!

The end of Clinton Plaza may be closer than many people think. Bars have been served with notices advising them that things are being wound up. Funnily enough, the notice was not on any sort of letter headed paper and it wasn't even signed! Still, the way things happen in Thailand, one has to wonder if the bar owners are better to cut their losses and take whatever offer they get now. One Clinton Plaza bar owner told me that they will keep on going, right until the bitter end, for every day they are in business, they are making money.

Word is out that a new bar is being erected in Sukumvit soi 2 that will have 4 floors, with restaurants, bars, and other undecided entertainment areas. However, 45% of the site is also up for sale at a price that one reader told me is "not even worth thinking about".

We hear really crazy rumours from time to time and hell, I heard yet another one this week. At least this time it was something original, but that's not to say it is believable! Some of the Sukumvit Square bar owners are getting more than a little excited at the thought that Nana Plaza is going to move to the area behind Sukumvit Square! Hahaha, yep, you heard that right. Many fo the Sukumvit Square bar owners firmly believe that this is going to happen. Did someone put something funny in the alcohol that was delivered to Sukumvit Square this week?

The girls are now officially topless at The Dollhouse's Soi Cowboy branch at long last.

Popping out for the first time in a while this week, it really did seem that the flesh bars were much quieter than usual, the obvious reason being that many punters are staying at home – or going to alternative venues, to watch the World Cup. However, regular bars that have organized promotions around the World Cup, do seem to be doing a very nice trade indeed.

It seems that some of the bars around town, particularly the British oriented bars, are putting on various specials for the World Cup. However, the Bull's Head upset more than a few people by charging a 300 baht entry fee to anyone who wanted to go and watch football there. Granted, they must have put on some free drinks or a buffet or something – I have been unable to determine exactly what the 300 baht actually got you – but the attitude of the staff seemed to be that for anyone lucky enough to enter the bar at World Cup match time was indeed a privilege. After what happened, a few people have said to me that the Bull's Head is on their "never to visit again list". Personally, I like watching the football at one of the huge TVs that have been erected up at various places like outside the WTC, between Siam Discovery and Siam Centre and outside Tokyo Department Store at MBK. Watch the match with the Thais – and it is free. And if you want a beer, just buy a couple at the local Seven 11 for 30 odd baht a bottle.

I notice that the dancers in Angel Witch are still the prettiest in Nana Plaza – and that they also have, in my opinion, the best sexy uniforms in Nana too. A variety of lingerie, bikinis, stockings and suspenders mean that there is a little something for all tastes.

Some of the staff in the bars in Pattayaland soi 2 come around with a tray offering customers hot towels. Take one and you will be told that it costs 20 baht, when in al likelihood you believed it was free! What a flaming rip-off! This is prevalent in Rodeo Bar but it may take place in others in that soi too so be careful! In most bars, cold towels are complimentary.

More than a few Thai expats have been receiving this email and it is bloody annoying: We have been trying to reach you. Please give a call back between 9:00 am and 5:pm on 038 300-331. James. What are they trying to sell?

Why do people keep saying that it is the rainy season? It seldom rains hard at this time of year, and in fact we have had very little rain recently. Check your guidebooks and June will probably me listed as the rainy season, but to me, it will always be the "fringe season", the time between when the hot season and the rainy season proper. So, if you are on your way over for a holiday, don't let thoughts of the rainy season ruin your plans.

The West really is NOT that bad. After all, where
in Thailand can you find anything like this?

I hear rumours from New Zealand that Beer Chang is being sold there as a premium beer in some Kiwi supermarkets! Yep, you can get one of the worst tasting beers around at $NZ 14.95 for a six pack. Compare that with the occasional special whereby you get locally brewed NZ beers for $NZ 9.95 a dozen and very good local NZ beers for around $12 a dozen. So, are any Kiwis actually buying Chang at that price? (By the way, $NZ 1 = about 50 US cents).

Oh, how the great have fallen. Times bring change in the naughty nightlife area, and many local expats favourite bar, Midnite Bar in Soi Cowboy, seems to have taken a real nosedive recently. While it used to be the domain of lots of pretty, smiling girls, it is now full of a lot of less attractive lasses, many of whom seem to be permanently sulking. I don't know what has happened but my theory is that the Midnite girls are missing Ranger.

My condolences to the Australian fellow who paid 2,500,000 baht for an apartment down On-Nut way, not so long ago and in the last week was told to leave….because the person he bought it from was never actually the lawful owner! Now how such a situation arose, God only knows, but at least two lessons can be learnt from this. Buying property in Bangkok is a risky business. But, if you do decide to buy – and many people do and never have problem, get a GOOD lawyer! 100,000 Australian dollars down the drain. Ouch!

I do reply to all emails sent to me, but these days I don't respond quite as quickly as I used to. So, give it a day or two and a reply will come…

The question has to be asked for it has been bothering me all week. Don't know how it came into my mind, but it did. If Western men had the same financial background and were only able to provide the same sort of financial support and security as Thai men do, would Thai women be so interested in us (talking non working girls here). If all other things were as they are, except that financially we were no better off than the average Thai man, how would things be?

An email from a reader this week asked me why I do not talk about places such as Spasso disco in the Grand Hyatt Erewan as places to meet local girls. The simple fact of the matter is that places such as this are expensive and I prefer not to spend quite that much money. This place in particular has an entrance fee of 500 baht (so I believe) and the drinks are similarly expensive. Earning a mere English teacher's salary simply does not allow me to visit many of the top end places.

A question for you… If you were betrayed REALLY badly by a Thai girl, the way some girls seem to betray readers to this site, would you retaliate? Would you seek revenge? I'm not talking about guys who have bad luck, but guys who get badly burnt… I have to admit more than a little surprise at the way that many guys get walked over by some girls… Sure, in some cases, one must wonder if the victim checked their brain in at Don Muang before entering the country proper. However, some girls really do pull a number on some guys. Speaking with a friend about such things, he said that if he ever experienced such nonsense, the girl would, at some totally unexpected time, get more than a little surprise. Revenge…childish or necessary, if only to restore one's self-esteem? Your thoughts would be very welcome. The most interesting responses will appear in next week's column.

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick