There was the girl who called me early one morning. I was strolling down the road to work at about 7:30 AM when the stickphone starts ringing and the display shows an unknown number. Answering, I find a Thai woman who refuses to believe that I am not the person she wants to speak with. After a couple of minutes, she finally gets the message that she has reached Khun Stick and not Khun Somjai. Next thing I know, she is asking me if I am married. She was incredibly interested in me, a foreigner who she had never met. For all she knew, I was the fattest, smelliest, most disgusting individual on the planet, yet without seeing me or knowing me, she remained interested. She called for a while until she got the message that no, a factory worker with a 6 year education was not my cup of tea.
Then there is my friend who we'll call Whosyourdaddy. We'd been out one night for a few drinks and while I disappeared home, he went to the local 7 Eleven before heading back to his apartment. He called me the next day to say that he had "picked up in 7". It seems that his little companion for the evening was more than a little interested in a farang, and was prepared to drop her knickers immediately in the hope that it would lead on to something more. Had he been a local boy, he would have gone home alone.
Both of these girls would have accepted a proposal for marriage within days. No question about it. They both wanted to win the lottery and they saw a farang as the jackpot!
There are huge numbers of Thai girls interested in meeting a farang guy. There are armies of them and in sheer numbers, there is little doubt in my mind that there are far more non-working girls out there hunting for farangs than there are working girls servicing farang whorists. No doubt about it at all. But, one must be careful with the local girls, for often things are not quite as they seem.
There are many Thai women interested in meeting a farang, and even though there seem to be unlimited numbers of farangs traipsing through the Kingdom at any given time, there is still only a finite number of us to go around. And some of these Thai women are desperate, really desperate. And no, I'm not talking working girls here, but some very nice, presentable young ladies with a real education, a decent job – and a bright future. Notwithstanding this, they want to secure themselves a farang and in many cases, almost any farang will do. It doesn't matter what he looks like, where he comes from or how old he is, so long as he is farang.
Some of these girls who want to meet a farang are truly desperate and they will go to extreme measures to secure themselves a real live farang. In contrast to the way they may have behaved in the past, knickers drop in a flash. And things moving too fast with a Thai girl is the biggest sign that she is not quite the catch you first thought she was. Irrespective of her education, her social standing or even her charm, any girl who who is too easy to meet, to get to know, and to become serious with, is someone you need to be very wary of. (Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, you guys are the exceptions.)
And this logic can be applied to either a working girl, or a non-working girl. Do you think that that prostitute you now live with and call your girlfriend (God forbid, your wife) wouldn't have shacked up with the next guy, if she had met him first? How does that make you feel? While feelings may develop in time – or may not – she didn't initially care for *you*, she simply wanted a farang – and you'll do.
So, when you finally find a local lass who you would like to get serious with, common sense says that you establish that she likes you because *you* are a great guy, and have the traits and characteristics that she not only admires, but that she desires in a man. If she likes you because you were the only, or the first, farang who happened to cross her path, then perhaps it is time to start over in the search for Miss Right. Any girl who is too easy to meet, too easy to get to know and dear I say it, too easy to bed is, in my opinion, not the ideal long term partner. Bargirl or not, you need to take your time. And if she dares to say that she loves you in the first couple of weeks, drop her like a lead brick – or at least don't consider her as a long term partner.
Meeting a Thai girl is easy. The trick is too find a discerning lady, who wants you – and who is discerning enough to recognise the qualities you have as being the qualities she is looking for in a partner.
So why is it that so many farangs visiting, or even residing in Thailand, decide to marry a girl they met just a few days earlier?! MADNESS!
Where is this pic?
Not too difficult this week.
Last week's picture was taken of a restaurant down by the new Lumpini Night Bazaar. and absolutely no-one emerald em with the right answer…sounds like no-one is visiting the Night Bazaar! I've got a handful of Thai Temptations calendars left. If you want one, drop me an email and I'll let you know where you can collect it from BUT you MUST be in Bangkok and no, I will not post them out to you.
Nana = Thai for rude?
Some are history already, but will they all soon
be forgotten heroes, relegated to Bangkok folklore?
Unfortunately, the best bar in Soi Cowboy was recently caught showing and it is likely that they be closed down for somewhere between 15 and 30 days. This is a bar owner's worst nightmare but at this time of year, when things are relatively quiet, it is a little more bearable. And another bar in Cowboy has reported that the cops have been popping into their bar 4 or 5 times a week for random spot checks. This bar hadn't had any visits from the boys in brown for months, but the frequency of visits has picked up something chronic recently. Could Cowboy go the way of Nana and showing become a thing of the past for an extended period of time?
I received an email from Marc, the manager / proprietor of the Eden Club in Sukumvit Soi 7/1. As you may remember from last week's column, I included a piece from a reader who had emailed me stating that he had carried out an amateur test on the mirrors in the Eden Club, and concluded that they were two way! Marc's email refuted these claims and he adamantly states that there are no double mirrors in his establishment. Apologies to Marc and the Eden Club for any harm that the comments might have done to his club's fine reputation.
Also, another error in last week's column whereby I mentioned that a virgin was for sale at Black And White Bar – she was in fact for sale at Shadow Bar.
I popped into Photo File, the camera store on the ground floor in MBK and had a good nosey around. I was amazed at the prices of camera equipment there – and also at how fast they are getting new gear in. They have the new Nikon 5700 digital camera for 46,000 baht which is about $US 1,150 and which, if I am not mistaken, makes it a fraction cheaper than the RRP in the US. They also had a very good range of film and other bits and pieces. One thing to note with their camera prices is that they sell cameras with a choice of warranty – either an in-store warranty or a full manufacturer's warranty. Should you choose the in store warranty, you save several percent. Well known local photographer Nick Nostitz says that this store is not just a good place to buy hardware, but also to buy film because the prices are low and they have a very fast turnover, meaning that the film is fresh – and not dated. He also mentioned that camera hardware prices in this store are not that much dearer than the electronic Meccas in the region, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Thai girls love good ice-cream and there is no shortage of decent ice-cream parlours in the Big City. Miss Stick has been doing everything possible to fatten me up and make me as unattractive as possible to the rest of the city's lovely lasses. Our choice this week has been Swenson's whose brownie is damned good. 79 baht and you get the second best brownie in town. (The best one is taken and she is all mine!)
This week I heard about a place called "Romanee Lart Park", apparently not even mentioned yet in Lonely Planet. Word is that there are only around 10 white barbarians, ooops I mean farangs, a month bother to visit. Apparently it is in the district of Maha Chai across from Tanon Luang. It is a park and museum built on a site of the former Maha Chai prison, where Warren Fellows of "The Damage Done" fame was incarcerated. Anyone been there?
I notice that Bangkok Bank updated their website recently at Bangkokbank.com. Info on the new site mentions that they have an internet banking option which they say it is easier than ever. With the appallingly slow service at some Thai banks and the general lack of English skills amongst Thai bank staff, internet banking may appeal to many. Has anyone used their service?
Wat Pra Kaew….nice, but seriously overpriced.
This weekend I made it out for my third visit to Wat Pra Kaew, the Grand Palace, and the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. Moaning and groaning about it here won't do any good, but I really do resent that 200 baht fee they charge foreigners while Thais get in free. 200 baht is actually a lot of money in Thailand – just ask any Thai. In fact the Thais that I went with were both stocked AND embarrassed that I had to pay so much. Its a nice place to visit, but frankly with soooo many tourists visiting, it hardly feels like a sacred place at all, and with zillions of tourists fighting for the perfect photo, the cultural significance is quite frankly lost. Do yourself a favour and check out Wat Po next door which, for me at least, is far more impressive with the world's largest reclining Buddha, has far less visitors AND is only 20 baht for us non Thai mongrels…
When the conversation comes around the the subject of sex tourists, the typical whoremonger is often described as old, fat, bald and almost always…he is German. But I have to ask the question…why is it that whenever I walk around any of the naughty nightlife areas, I hear far more English (as in UK nationals) accents than all others put together?! Are the Germans being unfairly picked on and used as a scapegoat?
Never ever underestimate the importance of food to a Thai. I observed just what happens when a Thai misses out on their midday fill up. At my place of work, staff are provided with a free lunch which varies from very good to totally inedible. The farang staff eat the provided from time to time, the Thais eat it every day. My boss went down to eat her lunch 45 minutes before the cut-off time, and being a good food day, all of the food had been consumed. Ooops! A hungry Thai without lunch! The head of the kitchen was called into my boss's office and was screamed at in no uncertain times that this was a heinous crime, for a manager with no food simply could not do her job. This was the very worst thing this particular staff member had done in her life. No amount of wai-ing or tears would fix the situation either. The manager of the kitchen was told in no uncertain terms that if she didn't go out and buy some food – with her own money – for my boss right that moment, then she should pack her things and find a new job. A plate of food arrived in minutes.
Twice this week I drove past Tony's Bangkok Disco late at night and both times it seemed dead. Location, location, location. Pull the plug, Tony, because that place has got to really be hurting you. No amount of advertising is going to help.
I'm still a little behind replying to some emails but the backlog is almost cleared. If you have not had a reply to any urgent email, get in contact with me right away!
Paradise Disco, you know the place tucked in at that really crappy location down Sukumvit Soi 4, plans to open each night until 5:00 AM, starting from this weekend. It seems they are trying to re-brand the place and the new DJs who play real vinyl are aiming to bring in a new crowd from other places such as Q bar, Silom Soi 4 and Khao Sarn. A good idea, but does this area, Sex Tourist Alley, need an after hours venue known for good music? I think late night punters in this area want something a little different… While I wash them well, there is something about that location down soi 4 that just doesn't seem to draw punters in.
A 2000% mark-up, now that has to be a good! Yep, that is about what the flower man who floats around the various nightlife areas makes on the flowers he sells. He offers them at the seemingly special price of 20 baht a flower, although the odd idiot has been seen parting with a 50 baht note. Well, the same flowers are available all over town for 1 baht a flower, and if you buy them in bulk, a lot cheaper. Maybe it is time for me to get into a new line of business?
David Walls was recently touring around Africa, or at least so the staff at Le Chevalier, David's finest establishment, claimed. But word is that he has been back for a while now. So why is he proving to be so elusive?
The author of the excellent novel "The Scribe", David Young, has a new title out now. Available at Asia Books, David's second book is called "Thailand Joy". I have yet to read it but his first novel was great and I'm very much looking forward to this one – and hope to have a review online soon. If you're not in Bangkok and want to pick up a copy, please note that it is available at www.dcothai.com. In the big city, it is available at Asia Books but has yet to appear at Bookazine. It retails for 280 baht. The budget copies of The Scribe will be disappearing shortly – that price, a measly 120 baht, was actually a mistake by the printers, believe it or not! The second edition, with a snazzier cover, is also available at DCO for 240 baht – still very reasonably priced.
I note that the baht continues to strengthen against the greenback. Currency speculator Stick says it'll be into the 30's within a month – and it'll accelerate all the way to 37, where it will settle for a while, deciding which way to go next.
Your Bangkok commentator,