Stickman's Weekly Column February 2nd, 2003

The Busy Schedule!



This week's column is lighter than usual due to a busy schedule. There is no opening opinion piece and Stickgirl's section is absent too. All should return to normal next week.

Stick

Where is this pic?


Last week's pic

It was Henri Dunant Road.
WTF is that?

This week's pic

First to get last weeks pic right won $25 worth of goodies from the good guys at ClubHombre.com. The picture from last week was so difficult that only one person got it right (usually it is more like 50 – 100 readers with correct answers each week). Last week's pic was of course taken on Henri Dunant Road in central Bangkok, which runs between Siam Square and Rama 4 Road. 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!

THIS WEEK'S HOT EMAILS:

Truly a disgrace.

To the thousands of foreigners who visit Thailand and contemplate making a capital investment here or opening a small business like a local bar, restaurant, antiques & collectible shop, pool hall, beauty salon, tattoo parlour, etc. You had better make a bee line for Sukhumvit Soi 10 and see how business disputes are settled in Thailand. At 4 O'clock Sunday morning, January 25, two hours after the last bar and shop had closed, hundreds of police and army descended on the block of somewhere near a hundred shops and bars and razed the whole bloc to the ground in exactly one hour. Nothing was spared, not a chair, TV, Stereo, Stocks. Everything was destroyed in a frenzy of wanton destruction. By morning a large concrete wall surrounded the flattened wreckage of what had beehive of small business activity a few hours earlier with plenty of "Farang" ownership. This should teach the Farangs all they wanted to know and should know about operating a business in Thailand. It was a Sunday Morning Massacre and a national disgrace.
When will I die?
Life expectancy: Well, you would think the tropics would be conducive to good health, but a lot of farangs drink themselves to death once they get here, or engage in other unhealthy practices. They ignore the safety standards common back home, like motorcycle helmets and safety belts in cars. I think a farang who manages not to turn into a total alcoholic or drug addict, who takes care of himself conscientiously and goes to Western doctors and hospitals like Samitivej and Bumrungrad hospitals will probably outlive their counterparts back where they came from.
Overpaying pushes the prices up.
A comment that may apply to most tourist areas in the world. NEVER pay more than the going rate… don't over pay… a small tip is ok but to over pay is not good. I think you know too if we all give too much because we think that that its cheap than THEY (Thailand, Philippines, Mexico) think that we have too much money. Most of the times the locals don't give a tip or very little. Lets not forget that's why we go to those countries. When they realize that we have too much money then it gets to be too expensive. That is the situation now in Mexico… maybe the same 5 to 10 years from now in Thailand. As they say in Japan… sumimasen… sorry for the bad news but hey folks that's the reason we go to those countries…. otherwise we would go to other places that are more expensive but DO receive the services for service rendered!
Perverts deserve what they get.
Such is the current hysteria over child pornography in Britain that any tourist, on return home, could conceivably get busted for having in his possession the photo of an underage girl, fully dressed, if suspected for any reason of being a paedophile. No-one condones the behaviour of the sick individual who would rob the innocence and destroy the life of a child. Unfortunately, the new laws make no distinction between the terminally depraved and your average go-go aficionado who may inadvertently pay the barfine of a 15 year old girl who lies about her age. We have all met 25 year olds who look 15 and 15 year old olds who look 25. I would therefore advise all Her Majesty's subjects to exercise extreme caution about what they take back from LOS to this great country of ours.
Would you invest in Thailand?
it's rather sad to see that nothing changes in Thailand, beneath the surface. Money and power and the events at Sukhumvit Square would seem to show this? Once again, a wake up call to all the farangs in Thailand, that we are only guests and have very, very little rights. The sad point of these events is the disregard that Thais have had for their fellow Thais. For the Thais who worked there, I can only hope that they find employment ASAP. I know that they're in the 'nightlife' and that it's regarded by some Thais as a very low form or employment, but they have families to feed and look after. They don't deserve to be treated in such a callous way by their fellow Thais.
You don't have to do drugs in the bars anymore.
One thing that never fails to amuse me is watching guys in go-go bars clumsily pop a Viagara pill after paying the barfine, trying not to let anyone see them doing it. The good news for these guys is that two new drugs will be on the market later this year. One will be called Cialis (made by Eli Lilly), the other Levitra (made jointly by Bayer and Glaxo Smith Kline). The obsessive compulsives who take their Viagara before commencing a night out will be jumping for joy, too. The advantage of these new drugs over Viagara is that they are longer lasting. This means they can be taken in the morning and left to do their job in the evening. Competition between all these drug companies should also bring down the aggregate cost of a shag.
Monsters at Suan Lum!
Maybe your readers should be warned about what you can find in Lumpini Park: yesterday I was strolling in the park when I saw two enormous lizards walking in the shade. At first I thought they were crocodiles, but they looked like Komodo dragons, about 2 meters long and 40 kilos. They had just killed a cat and were eating it. I stood petrified and could not believe my eyes, this happening in broad daylight! They seem to live in perfect freedom in the canal along the Park. Next time I will take a nap in the Park, I will double check my surroundings.

A Lumpini monster.

One bar owner in Nana Plaza has told me that they have taken in more money this month than December – and this was a few days even before them month had finished. This is particularly good going when you consider that there were two big party nights in December, Xmas Eve and New Years Eve.

I hear rumours that the Thermae is turning into something like a satellite of Thaniya Plaza, not that different from a Japanese club, a place where farangs are welcome, but largely get second class treatment. Haven't been there myself for a long time so this is not first hand.

Readers of this column will have noticed the increasing number of reports on violence around the entertainment areas. Early Saturday evening last week, four uniformed police officers were called to a nasty fight, where once again a farang was left shirtless and covered in blood. Numerous bottles and objects had been smashed over his head. This occurred at the Cathouse Bar at approximately 7.30 pm. Whenever there is violence these days nobody helps but you can be assured that the whole street or bar area will be gawking at the spectacle. The problem is that Cathouse sell Chang Beer at give away prices. Now this stuff is loopy juice anyway, but when you have the opportunity to drink as much as you can in FOUR HOURS (4:00 PM – 8:00 PM) for 100 baht, then you can see that we have a real recipe for trouble. Cathouse should be admired for offering an excellent special, but perhaps it is time to rethink this promotion? Is it worth all the trouble?

There damned nuisance barriers have been erected right the way around MBK and they prevent people from crossing the road, getting out of taxis away from the main taxi rank and generally cause a pain in the ass. I'm not quite sure what benefit they serve, or are supposed to serve.

A scandal in the English teaching industry in the Mango. Not only do we have tea money Thai style – so often considered the norm, shock upon shock, horror of horrors, a little bird whispered in my ear about a fellow masquerading at a certain school as an educator. Strong rumours suggest that the DOS is fully away that the teacher is not the real deal, and that the fellow would not get such a good job elsewhere. So, it would seem, the DOS requires a certain amount of the fellow's salary each month for him to keep his job, and certain data is not disclosed to management. The moral of this story? Get the dirt on your colleagues – it pays well!

I'm not sure what it is, but there are a number of Thai females now reading this column. Incoming email from Thai females is averaging about 4 emails a week, whereas in the past it used to be bout one every so often. No idea how they have found the site.

I note the release of "Bamboo Bar", another novel that appears to be set in or around farang oriented bars in Bangkok. It might be a great read, but at almost 400 baht for a novel of only 170 odd pages, it is a little on the steep side. Why couldn't it be priced more reasonably like David Young's excellent novels, "The Scribe" and "Thailand Joy", both of which can be found for less than 300 baht.

The M & P Entertainment Plaza, above Soi Easy on Bangla Road in Phuket went bust last month, about 3 months after opening. Poorly conceived and badly executed would be doing it justice. I heard that the monthly rental was 300,000 baht, on top of the staff, maybe 30 or more, and air-con etc. Plus they put so much into the place initially. Fantastic lighting system, great sound, but NO IDENTITY. Someone lost some serious baht on this one.

The latest scenes from what was once known as Sukumvit Square.

The dust may have fallen over the site of the beer bar area previously known as Sukumvit square, but as far as the owners and proprietors of the bars go, things are still very much up in the air. Irrespective of all of the nonsense that went on, it really is a shame that what looked to be the first decent beer bar area in Bangkok – something to match the beer bar areas of Pattaya – had to suffer such a fate. (The beer bars in Sukumvit soi 22 are quiet, and many of those bars at the corner of Asoke really are not so pleasant).

The person (or people) using the nickname Stickman in a certain Bangkok chat room is not me. It is someone who is trying to impersonate me…and not doing too bad a job, it must be said. I do not use chat rooms so if you see someone with the name "Stickman", it is not me!

Khun Prachit runs P&P travel agency which was part of the travesty on Soi 10. She is very sad about everything that happened, but is up and running from her house and she will deliver tickets no problem at all. I told her I would let everyone know her email and phone number. She is a very nice women who can be contacted at [email protected], phone 02-6531469, 02-2413885 or 01-3419431.

Word is that during a check on a bar, a 15 year old, who apart from working was found. Apart from being far too young to work in such a bar, word has it that she was also on drugs. To make matters worse, it seems that she is now loitering around outside the soi 7 Beergarden and if asked she says she is 20. If asked for ID, she will give an excuse saying that she has left it at home, or something else equally suspicious. If the punter is foolish enough, she then marches off with him to his room. Once there she sends a message, 10 minutes later there is a knock at the door. Her real age is divulged and khun farang is in deep shit! Apparently 50,000 is the opening bid to avoid prison and public humiliation! In that position, you'd probably would consider it pretty cheap! This all serves to re-enforce the idea that anyone going with these naughty girls really should be careful. Thai girls look much younger than they really are anyway, so why of why anyone would be interested in a girl aged under 20, I really do not know.

I heard an interesting thing this week from an American reader. He was grumbling about how Americans are finding it harder and harder to compete for the best girls in Thailand. What the Americans have going against them is INS, which seems to take a long time to process visas, or at least long term visas. Compare this with the European embassies which process them in no time at all. Oh well, I guess it all evens itself out, because if my observations are anything to go by, the Americans are much more generous with the girls than the Europeans. So, what does she want – the money or a quick ticket out of the Kingdom? Methinks the average Thai working girl will take the money most of the time – so you Americans need not fret!

Quote of the week comes from an American reader. "I have been fortunate so far with my girl although I do send her money regularly, not a lot – only about 40,000 baht a month."

Following the riots in Cambodia this week, I wonder
if the words on the back of this songtaew are appropriate?

Yep, a short column this week. That's all for now.

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick