About three or so years ago, I got home early in the evening to find four messages on my answer phone. That's a little strange I thought for I had only been out for less than an hour.
The first message was from a close friend who lived in an apartment just a few minutes walk away. "When you get this message, can you come over and help me because I have a small problem. There's no need to call before you come over". Mmm, I wonder what that could be about and made a note to give him a call back after I had checked the other messages.
The second message was from the same friend. "Did you get my last message? Can you come over as I have a problem here". Ok, ok, settle down, I get the message!
The third message was, funnily enough, from the same guy. "Don't call me back, please, just come over as soon as you get this message. It's urgent". Now my interest had really peaked…
The fourth message was, you guessed it, from the same person but was cut off before anything comprehensible was said. As the caller was my closest friend in Thailand, I leapt out of the apartment and literally ran the few hundred metres from my apartment to his.
Upon reaching my friend's apartment, I found my friend in a hopeless argument with an hysterical Thai girl, his live in girlfriend. The girl in question could only be described as a hardcore hooker. There is no other term that could be as appropriate for her. Somewhat new to Thailand, he had moved her in to his apartment, more for a bit of company than anything else. She hadn't stayed with him for that long, perhaps only a couple of months, and over the previous week or two, things had deteriorated. They had had an argument and he finally told her that he wanted her out. That is, he wanted her out NOW! It was at this point that she became unstable and started getting violent. She was screaming, kicking and doing her level best to wreck all that she could. She was quite simply, out of control.
It is very easy to move a Thai girl in with you, whether she is a bargirl or otherwise. Many Thai girls like the security, and quite frankly the easy life, that they perceive a farang can provide. But try to move them out and things can be very difficult. If you're not careful and don't plan and manage it carefully, you can find yourself in a very tricky situation.
In the case of bargirls, the golden rule is to NEVER MOVE THEM IN IN THE FIRST PLACE. Yep, follow this rule and you eliminate problems down the road. Yes, it really is as easy as that! But if my these words fall on deaf words and you break the golden rule that all farangs in Bangkok should follow of never spending more than one night with a bargirl and you do decide to move them in, do everything that you can first in an effort to verify that they are not a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
There are many reasons why bargirls go crazy when you try to move them out. First, there is the extreme loss of face as they realise that they are being rejected. Secondly, they are suddenly faced with the realisation that they are no longer on the gravy train, and their income is not just being lowered, but being eliminated altogether. Of course, there is always a chance, as slim as it may be, that they do actually genuinely care for you, perhaps even love you. Al of this contributes to bringing the worst out of the girl and she may try everything possible to preserve the status quo.
So, what can you do to get that unwanted girl out of your apartment, and out of your life?
As many Thais do not plan for the future, odds are that the said girl has no money at all, and kicking her out of the apartment is akin to throwing her out on to the street. A relatively small payout of a few thousand baht may be enough to rid yourself of the problem. Yep, money can buy your way out of so many problems in Thailand. Certainly if a "severance package" is paid, equivalent to say one month's salary of whatever you had been giving them, this should be enough.
But sadly, money alone is not always enough. These errant individuals can go a bit crazy and may start returning to your apartment which can cause all sorts of problems. Even if your apartment building has good security and entry is refused, having a potentially unstable girl staking you out can be somewhat intimidating.
Now this assume that you actually managed to remove her from the premises. Once they realise that they are no longer wanted, they can really dig in for the long haul. This means never leaving your apartment for fear that once out, you will not allow them to re-enter. Yep, it can get this bad! You might have to try and trick her that the two of you are going out to the cinema, or possibly a favourite restaurant, and then abandon her, double back to the apartment building and prohibit her from entering again.
But, just to really complicate matters, the security in some of the cheaper apartment buildings wouldn't be able to keep an ant out. And, worse still, in some situations, I have seen the security guars side with the Thai when there is a an argument between a farang resident and a Thai guess, notwithstanding that the farang customer is essentially paying the security guard's wage!
This might be just the start of a chain of events that will make you regret ever having met the girl. Where it can really start to go bad is if she feels that she really cannot re-enter your apartment building and she then starts to go to your place of work. Imagine that! A ranting bargirl turning up at your place of work will not only ruin your reputation but may even be responsible for your tenure at that company being curtailed! Yep, this does happen. As crazy as it sounds, when dealing with bargirls, it is a mad man who is honest with such a girl about where he works.
I repeat the initial warning. Don't move a hooker in as a permanent, or semi permanent girlfriend. It could very well be the biggest mistake you ever make.
Where is this pic?
Last week's pic
It was of course Dali bar
This week's pic
An hilarious tale this week from the person who correctly guessed the bar. The winner, a certain Mr Craig, had never even been to the bar in question but could see the Dali painting through the window and took a guess wild guess which turned out to be right! Wow He won $25 worth of goodies from the good guys at ClubHombre.com. Remember there are TWO prizes offered for the where is this pic. First person to get the pic right, irrespective of location, wins the prize of $25 worth of goodies from ClubHombre. In addition to this, the first Bangkok based person to answer the pic correctly wins a tube of MyCreme sexsational cream. You MUST be in Bangkok to claim this particular prize which will be delivered to you. So, to all Bangkok based folks, make it clear in your email that you are Bangkok based so that you qualify for the cream that will send your teeruk to heaven!
About Thais and their economy with the truth.
conversations. Neither will go with me for money. They feel it may spoil something. Bar-fining other girls seems no problem but after I think, "was that worth it?" My question is, "why do some people grow out the 'bar scene' and others don't?"
Its always time for a nap. A taxi driver
waits at Soi Cowboy for a customer…
Word is that Soi Cowboy is the subject of close inspection and bars are being checked as often as a few times a week. The police are being thorough it seems with both drugs and underage girls on their checklist. But is this a bad thing? It seems like they are trying to keep the industry at least a little clean – and that can't be bad.
A bit of news related to the folks who own New Wave and both Mandarin and Silver Dragon gogos at NEP. Until a few days ago, they also operated the Big Blue Pool place down near Ambassador Plaza, rebuilt following the fire, back almost a year ago. Well, starting very early this past Friday, Big Blue was vacated, and the furnishings relocated to a property down on Convent Road, down pretty close to Sathorn Road (on right hand side of street, as you approach Sathorn from Silom). Until recently, that Convent property was a bar and restaurant called "What's Up," owned by some Norwegians. The new place will open up shortly – I think the official opening celebration may be December 10th, but I'm not sure.
The same management group (headed by Thomas, the Frenchman who started out with New Wave, Paradisio gogo at NEP, and Baccara on Soi Cowboy, which he sold in early 2001) has just broken ground on a new place that will open next spring – located on Sukhumvit, in the space between the JW Marriott and the petrol station / 7-Eleven on the corner of Soi 4. At this point, the format will be a pool bar similar to New Wave on ground floor, and a No-Hands (and presumably no bra?) Restaurant on the next floor up.
Following on from last week's piece about Thai girls in the UK, it seems the vice squad and home office are really clamping down on Thai hookers in London now. There were 27 sent home a few months ago and I gather that so far this year more than 60 have been deported! That explains who so many of the girls are now described as Vietnamese or Hong Kong Chinese on the various websites. One of the strange things is that almost without exception, the girls allow themselves to be photographed virtually or completely nude, with no attempts to hide their faces. Yet these are often the same girls who scream blue murder when anyone pulls out a camera in go-go bar!
Hollywood Rock had a hugely successful night last Sunday when they hosted the Nanapong dance contest. The ale was flowing so much so, that staff and bosses alike were running around like headless chickens ferrying cases of beer all over the place. It was Hollywood Rock's biggest night in a long time and the atmosphere was as wild as the performers on stage. In the finals when the girls were wearing only their birthday suits, punters were so wild that they were throwing beer all over the gogo girls. It was certainly NOT an event for the faint-hearted and these contests are not to everybody's liking, but you cannot deny their popularity. Love it or loathe it, the event at Hollywood Rock was a huge success. Word on the gogo street is that Carnival wish to host the next Nanapong dance contest in December.
On Saturday of last week, Lumpini policemen, escorted by several captains, entered the gogo bars in Nana Plaza around midnight. Random checks of girls ID cards followed. 10 girls were taken to Lumpini station as they could not produce an ID card. If they are 18 there will be no real problem and they can pay a small administration fee and receive a document in return. If they are NOT 18 then the bar that they work at could well be closed for a full 15 days, which would be a real killer at this time of year (and a bonanza for neighbouring bars!) In about two weeks time the truth will be revealed whether bars will have to close or whether in fact, no young girls were discovered. Some bars were grilled more than others, Hollywood Rock which is farang owned, funny that, was made to tune on the house lights and a thorough check was made.
Fresh neon is going up all over the city as Bangkok is dressed up for first, HM The King's Birthday, and secondly for the New Year holiday period. They really do a fantastic job of making the city look just great.
Down at Nana Plaza there have been less checks by the police this week which is a relief to everybody concerned, not to mention the girls who are dragged off to the police station in the middle of the night. Last Saturday night the bars were raided on what was the busiest night of the week. Word from the inside is that the police involved prefer to do bar raids at weekends as they do not have an early start in the morning! Never mind the ever suffering farangs who just want to enjoy themselves! Forget the tourist industry, the police need their beauty sleep! Looking at it from their perspective it is important NOT to have underage girls in the bars. This is one of the more sensible things that the police have been instructed to do.
The men's room in The Oriental. Nice,
but I thought it might be better….
Have you ever wondered where the best toilets are in Bangkok? Perhaps I have too much spare time on my hands, but it was something that I have spent a bit of time pondering over recently. The Oriental Hotel has the reputation as being the finest hotel in the country, many would say the world, so that would be as god a place as any to to start looking. Well, they were very nice, but a trifle small, and there were was nothing in the way of freebies for me to pilfer. For me, the best toilets that I have used would have to be those of the Heritage Club on the top floor of Sogo Tower, or, as a long shot, the toilets in the excellent Casa Pascal restaurant in Pattaya, of all places. The proprietor in the latter really has thought of everything, although his loos are perhaps not quite as grande as those in the Heritage Club. Does anywhere beat the Heritage Club?
If asked for my recommendation on the best place for farang food in the city, there really is only one choice – Bourbon Street. Manager Doug serves the very best American fare with a southern flavour and the food, service and surroundings are all excellent – and on top of all of this, Doug charges fair prices too. You can't argue about value for money as both the quality of the food, and the size of the portions is excellent. But there is just one very small gripe I have with Bourbon Street. They are the clear winners of an award, a somewhat dubious award. When it comes to the "worst orange juice" in town, Bourbon Street is in a class of their own. Now maybe they had a bad week this week and perhaps someone stuffed up the order, but boy, it sure didn't taste like orange juice. Mystery juice would be a better name. But don't worry too much about that. Bourbon Street is still one of the best places to dine in town, whether you crave your farang food fix or not. It really is excellent.
To add more to the controversial column that I wrote a couple of months ago encouraging Thai girls to go and work overseas, I would like to provide an anecdote of just what is possible for Thai girls working abroad. A fellow I knew here for a year or two married a Thai girl who had at once upon a time worked in a bar. He took her back to the US and they are currently living in the US's version of Sin City, Las Vegas. My friend's lovely wife has been working in clubs there, dancing, doing lap dances – but not dropping her knickers. As at a few days ago, she had earned $US 16,000+ in the month to date. Yep, you read that, 16K in real money! And while this girl was very attractive, there are, in my eyes at least, more attractive girls out there. Yep, there are many reasons why they should stay in Thailand, but given these figures, it is easy to see how they would consider such a move, even with the inherent risks involved. Surely you want the girl to make the most of a bad situation?
The Nanapong 2003 dance contest calendar is available at The Living Room at the front of Clinton Plaza now. Excellent photography of naughty Thai girls. This is gonna sell like hot cakes so get in quick!
We first met him at the Meeting Place in Nongkhai a sort of one stop everything shop about 640 kms at the far end of Sukhumvit Rd, about 3 years ago, the time of the last real World Cup, the RUGBY World Cup! He had a very young Laotian girl on his knee who he introduced as Narlee and said they has just been married in Laos, unbeknown to him. He thought they were just having the usual grandiose party when a farang arrives at the parent's house with more than 1,000 baht in his pocket. Anyhow he seemed pretty stoked about it all & hoped that at 60 odd years old he could settle down after completing his apprenticeship in bargirls. He reckoned, from memory, he had been running the Meeting Place and doing visas there for 9 years without a holiday and from the look of him, I'd say without any sleep as well! Alan wasn’t really pissed but he wasn’t really sober either. And he had the usual problem that few bar owners will ever admit to, he seemed domiciled permanently behind the bar in an unsuccessful effort to keep an eye on the fast fingers of the local staff. Out of the blue I received an email from Allan advising that poor health has forced him back to Australia. But life isn't quite that bad for he has his lovely Laotian wife with him and it looks as though the visa business will continue. I hope to have a full interview with Allan up in the interview section in the next week or so…
Details are sketchy at this stage but I have just heard that one of my friends has done a runner from Thailand. Yep, he called a mutual friend from the airport to say that things had become very dangerous for him and that he had to leave fast. It seems that his girlfriend went a bit crazy and started making certain threats which he feared she really would carry through with… Hmmm, just goes to show that things can get a bit crazy if you are not careful with these girls…
The longer I stay in Thailand, the more I notice that my use of English has deteriorated. Yep, I am using a smaller and smaller pool of vocabulary and occasionally have to think really hard for the the right word to use. I wonder if this effects my ability to write the column as well as I could, and also the ability to teach well too, although speaking perfect English is not a prerequisite to being a good teacher, other things are, in my opinion, more important. But, not being surrounded by English as one would in their homeland and using Thai almost as much as I do English, I am sure that my English is not as precise as it once was. If you have stayed here, or another country where English is not the predominant language, for a long time, have you noticed anything similar?
Your Bangkok commentator