Stickman's Weekly Column August 3rd, 2003

Thai Women And The Chamber Of Secrets



We all have a few secrets, things that we did in the past, that perhaps we regret, or at least are not particularly proud of. We file these away in the back of our mind and as times passes by, we might just about forget them, perhaps even hoping that we forget them. However, we may be reminded of them when something happens that triggers off that long, distant and often painful memory.

For farangs, secrets sometimes slip out and when they do, others may be surprised by them, but we don’t usually judge others on them, particularly if the secret holder has been brave enough to come out and admit something, perhaps a significant error of judgement, from the past. We acknowledge that people make mistakes, or do the odd wrong, but we are able to overlook them.

Thais, and particularly Thai women, see secrets a little differently.

Some Thai women have a few secrets stashed away that no-one knows about. What is unique about these various secrets are that A) they are not the type of things that the lady in question is proud of B) They and only they, gained from it and C) Someone else was somehow, directly or indirectly, a victim. What is perhaps most important is that the Thai women would be horrified if people close to her became aware of them. If the secret got out, they would lose a serious amount of face, something Thais are not comfortable dealing with.

Thai women have all sorts of pressure on them from society to conform, even in today's modern world. It only takes a few deviances from what is considered the norm and the Thai woman can suddenly find herself classified in an undesirable or perhaps even unsavoury way.

While the average Thai woman generally wants to do the right thing and wants to be a good person, they are driven in a very different way to us farangs. Thais are very much slaves to their body and if they get an itch, by God they want to scratch it. Ever notice the way that Thai women get horribly upset if they are hungry and don’t get to eat at the very moment that they feel hungry? And when they feel ill, irrespective of whether it is something as seemingly innocuous as a minor headache or a tiny bruise, they act as if it is the end of the world and that they need to get treatment for it immediately.

These reactions are mirrored by their urges to scratch other itches.

Young Thai women have needs. They have desires. And many young Thai women know that they are hugely in demand and hell, from time to time, their desire to scratch the itch becomes stronger and stronger.

Enter the attractive, educated young Thai woman. These women are not just beautiful, they are awfully clever and as one of my few Thai male friends once said, Thai women have the cunning of a fox and should never be underestimated.

You can’t control Thai women ­ and if you tried, they would be gone in a moment – but while you can't control them, you can keep a close eye on them. There does seem to be a prevalent mentality amongst a significant subset of Thai women that if they feel that they can get away with something, they'll do it. And from my observations, the more educated they are, the higher the propensity that they will give it a go. The most daring of them seem to be Thai women in the 25 ­ 35 age group. Beyond 35, they seem to settle down a bit. Also, married women seem a little less likely to be daring too.

This is the time when many Thai women think about marriage, or even get married, and in that case it is also the time when they become aware that they should not stray from their husband. Yep, that guy who is getting fatter and greyer by the day is the only one they are supposed to get their pleasures of the flesh from, yet they know that other guys find them immensely attractive – and they find those guys attractive too.

Unlike Westerners, including Western women, who may be quite open with their friends about their sexual experiences, even if it involves cheating on their partner, Thai women would not dream of doing such a thing. To do so would firmly classify themselves as a slut and the damage done to their reputation, their face, is huge.

So, a Thai woman is in a serious relationship or perhaps even married but along comes someone who really grabs her fancy. While she may (or many not) be happy with her existing partner, the idea of a bit of rolly polly with the new guy strikes her as appealing. Let's face it, there is a certain amount of excitement whenever we are about to have sex with a new partner, and this is no different for Thai women than for anyone else. In the case of an educated Thai woman, if she feels she can get away with it, she may well pursue it. But she'll do it in such a way that no-one else knows about it. No friends, no workmates and most of all, no-one in her family.

Many Thai women have a chamber of secrets, things that they have done in the past – things that would horrify some of those around them if they were leaked. Thai women, for all their wonderful characteristics, can be devious little vixens, and in the case of educated women around 25 -25 age bracket, it pays to keep an eye on them, to monitor just what they are up to.

So, if you are in a relationship with an educated Thai woman in the aforementioned age group, don’t be shy to show a keen interest in what she is up to. And don’t be shy to gently let her know that you are interested in what she does when she is not with you. Remember, if they feel that they can't get away with it, they most likely won't try. You can’t cramp her into thinking that you are Sherlock Holmes and are watching her every move, but she needs to know that she does not have total freedom either.

Various stereotypes exist about Thai women. They remain virgins until they are married. They make perfect the perfect wife and they will always be faithful. As with any stereotype, while there may be some truth, but you cannot apply it to them all. In the case of the stereotype by where Thai women will remain faithful to their partner, I believe that this is largely true, but in the case of educated women in their mid to late 20s or early 30s, they have a propensity to enjoy all that life has to offer, if they feel that can get away with it.

Where is this pic?

Last week's pic

It was the Centrepoint Apartment and
the Peninsula and Shangrila Hotels.

This week's pic

Last week's pic was featured three large buildings in the BangRak area, near the river. From, left there were the Centrepoint apartment building followed by the Peninsula Hotel and finally the Shangrila Hotel. The picture was taken from the Rama 3 area with a telephoto lens, looking northwest. Just six readers got it right. There is a prize offered for the FIRST THAILAND BASED PERSON who correctly informs me of the location of the weekly pic. The lucky person wins a 500 baht credit with Cheap Charlie's Phonecards. I'm sorry that for now, prizes are only available to guys who are Thailand based – that is, anywhere in the kingdom. However, for guys outside LOS, still do feel free to email me your guess and I'll reply letting you know if you are correct or not.

FROM STICKMAN'S BAG OF EMAIL:

Don't be so sure they aren't making a profit…
Bargaining tools and behaviour advice is endemic on the web and in tourist guide books. And of course nobody wants to pay more than what is appropriate. But sometimes the price drops make me sad more than anything else because I know they dropped right through the profit margin and reflect a desperate human being who needs to eat. Now I don't feel so good and the blush is off the bloom for my tourist experience. Example: At the Wat Doi Suthep complex in Chiang Mai there is a large attached vendors' market. A woman there was selling replicas of traditional Thai bows and arrows. You got a bow and a quiver and three arrows. I know a lot about bows and arrows and archery. I found this item really pretty engaging and fun. It's true they were souvenirs done up for the farang market but they were interesting souvenirs, especially for a toxophilite like me. So I looked at them and I looked at them and I looked at them. I really wanted them. But I decided that it wasn't a practical purchase because they would undoubtedly be confiscated at the airport and also there really was no practical way to pack them. The price had been stated at 400B. The longer I dawdled the more the price dropped. OK so far. But as I was walking away empty handed the last price shouted at my back was 50B. Now I just felt sad.
One for the German readers.
On my last trip to Bangkok I picked up an interesting book about Thailand, but it is in German. (Although I am an American, I understand German fairly well). Perhaps you have seen it in some of the bookstores that cater to Western tourists. The title of the book is: "Wer nicht hoeren will, muss fuehlen!: Partnerschaft mit einer Thailaenderin."
In English, that means roughly: "Whoever doesn't listen, must Feel: Living with a
Thai Woman." The author is Dennis Hage. He is apparently based in Phuket. He claims to be a non-drinker and thus is able to see the nightlife scene clearly. The first edition came out in 1999, and the second edition came out in 2001. The book gives advice about the nightlife scene and also dealing with Thai women on a longer term basis. There are a number of interviews with Thai women that were translated from Thai into German.
Soi Katoey.
It's low season and most bars are pretty empty, but one place that consistently draws a crowd is Soi Katoey – the strip of bars with all the weirdo transsexuals out in front. You know how Phuket draws a lot of western couples as opposed to the predominantly single male scene in Pattaya? Well, those couples flock in droves to Soi Katoey. It's pure speculation on my part, but I'm guessing it's the Farang WOMEN who drag their husbands and boyfriends along to watch that crap. (Just try to imagine the guys saying, "Gee honey, whaddaya say we go see the homo lady-boys tonight!" Right.) Now, why do suppose western women enjoy so much viewing the spectacle of a bunch of men with their balls cut off? Never mind. Dumb question.
A note for bar owners and managers.
This is aimed at go-go bar operators everywhere. What the f*** is wrong with you guys, do you not know what business you are in, or do you just get so pissed before midnight that you go home and leave the running of your businesses to the Thai DJ's? Your customers are guys interested in looking at girls, preferably as naked as possible, drinking reasonably priced beer, and even engaging in in conversation with those girls, with the intention of forming a relationship, however brief. Your customers are NOT shitheads high on Yaba, who want to hear loud bass thumping music pounding through their heads. GOT IT? It is not that hard. If I want to have my eardrums assaulted by something that sounds like a foundry in full production mode, I will go to a Disco, that is what Disco's are for. Most discos I ever saw, are not offering go-go dancers on poles, they are not trying to take your business, why do you persist in pissing off the customers you have and trying to get the disco crowd in?
Thai cuisine, the world's best?
The more I learn and see about the way these damned Thais prepare food, the less enamoured I become of this S.E. Asian cuisine. I hear in the news all the time about poisonous crap found in the local fare: formalin in seafood (esp. squid), borax in semi-rancid meat (esp. meatballs used for soup), high levels of pesticides (some carcinogenic and banned in the West) on fruits and vegetables, antibiotic residues in chicken, asthma medication in pork (asthma medicine! I think it gives the meat a redder color or something), mercury-laden brown shoe polish painted onto the skin of sapodillas (peeling won't help much. The mercury absorbs deep into the fruit), formaldehyde or some similar embalming fluid injected into jack fruit to speed ripening,…the list goes on and on as these clever Thais invent newer and better ways to make the food look fresher, last longer, kill you faster and yield a higher profit even while sold at dirt-cheap prices. That's the entrepreneurial spirit Thai style!
The book signing for Skytrain To Murder, Dean Barett's latest Bangkok based novel, will be held from 2:30 until 4:00 PM on Saturday, 9 August, at the Texas Lone Star Bar in Washington Square. Free lunch is offered in the Texas every Saturday at 3:00 PM so everyone who goes along will have the opportunity to get the book at a discounted price as well as a free lunch – and a look at the Lone Star belles! Also available will be copies of Dean's other books, Kingdom Of Make Believe, Murder in China Red and Memoirs Of A Bangkok Warrior. The first three chapters of Skytrain To Murder can be found online at Dean's mystery website, ttp://www.deanbarrettmystery.com. Running low on funds, ex-CIA agent Scott Sterling moves into an apartment over a Bangkok bar. He teaches scuba diving and does occasional investigative work usually involving missing bargirls or wayward spouses. Now doesn't that sound familiar! But he is soon involved in tracking a murderer through Bangkok's little known world of upper-class gentlemen's clubs, houses of domination and kinky expatriate orgies. Meanwhile, with the help of his muay Thai trained girlfriend, he attempts to rescue a young girl from thugs in a slum. All the while knowing that his girlfriend might in fact be the murderer. Wow, the synopsis makes it sound great. As soon as I have finished reading Killing Plato for the second time, I'm going to get stuck into this one from Dean.

I heard that "Star Wars" down in Patong Beach is now called "Star World". Apparently Hollywood director George Lucas stepped in with his lawyers to get the name changed. Some one thought Star Whores would be a better name but perhaps that's a little harsh?!

Subway's second Bangkok branch, located at Nana, is now open and it has been a big success so far, much more than even the franchise owners dreamed of doing. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Chicken Teriyaki is the most popular sandwich so far and in addition to soft drinks and the like, Subway have Heineken and Carlsberg at only 59 Baht. They have an enormous seating area upstairs that was totally renovated and it all looks like Starbucks Nana, but much bigger and with higher ceilings. The canvas bags have not arrived but they're giving rain checks out. So remember, after you have ordered, say Stickman to get yourself a free bag. If you say Chuwit, I wonder if they'll give you a free massage?

And speaking of Chuwit, three different taxi drivers have told me that the police are being much more careful about separating you and your baht for (alleged) traffic offences. It seems that good old Chuwit has got the cops running scared and for the time being at least, they are much less likely to try and pull a fast one on you. Good on you, Chuwit!

I wandered along Soi Cowboy this week for the first time in ages and the image of Cowboy has sure changed a bit. It used to be a lot more dimly lit than it is now where many new bars have opened, all with great big neon signs. A lot of the bars used to be old, dull and some were downright decrepit, but they are now resigned to Cowboy folklore. From the outside at least, the bars sure have spruced up. In the past, many of the girls weren't that much different to the bars – some of them were right old hags. The girls standing around these days seem a lot nicer and in the one bar I stuck my head in, Cocktail Bar, there was a remarkable percentage of really attractive girls. Notwithstanding this, Cowboy still seemed a lot quieter than Nana. And talking to one Cowboy bar manager, he confirmed that a number of girls from Cowboy are wandering up the road to Soi 4, in search of employment in bars where there are many more customers.

A couple of years ago I reported in this column that Larry who had just bought Vixens, and later renamed it to Rock Hard, was planning on building a walkway between Rock Hard and Cathouse. The idea being that this would allow people to walk around the first floor (second floor for Americans) of Nana more easily – and it would give MUCH better access to some of the bars in that front quarter. For whatever reason the walkway never eventuated but it seems that the idea has popped up again. This time it is Boss Hogg who is behind it and given that he has bought the old Vixens and his construction team are currently working on it, it would certainly be to his advantage to build the said walkway. It would add to Nana and certainly bring customers add thus add value to his new bar.

Did you know that Travel & Leisure magazine (USA), just named Bangkok the third best city in the world to visit after Sydney, Australia and Florence, Italy? Can't say that I am surprised at all!

Do you really think Thailand is a cheap country? I guess it all depends on what you buy. When I first arrived here 5 years ago, a 750 ml bottle of my beloved Jack Daniel's was 709 baht, a fair price. The same sized bottle now costs 985 baht! Yikes!

I reported last week on Asia Books’ disgraceful refusal to distribute Jake Needham's new Thai-set crime novel, Killing Plato, here in Thailand and that seems to have gotten some swift action. No, not from Asia Books, but from their competitors, the Bookazine group. The day after last week's column appeared, Bookazine emailed me that it was arranging to order Needham's new book directly from his publisher in Hong Kong so that they could make it available in Thailand in spite of Asia Book refusing to import it. Good on you Bookazine! They tell me they will have Killing Plato in their stores well in advance of its official publication date of September 1, but I don’t know yet if they've told the publisher and whether that's going to fly or not. Anyway, sometime in August you will now be able to get Killing Plato at Bookazine's stores in Bangkok, as well as the Bookazine stores in Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, and probably even little Samui. Thanks again on behalf of all Needham's legion of local fans, Bookazine!

Why do Thai women who speak decent English have to try and show off by speaking it in public, even though they are just amongst a bunch of Thai friends? That is, speaking it with their Thai friends, but only when in the vicinity of people they want to impress, or show off in front of. Call me pedantic but there is something about it that is really tacky. I really hate the way that the wealthier Thais ALWAYS seem to want to show off. Insecurity methinks…

English teachers all over the Kingdom are fretting at the introduction of the new, heavily increased, visa fees. Many of these teachers have not forgotten that work permit fees just went up a couple of hundred percent recently too! A good number of schools do NOT pay for their teachers’ visas and work permits and some schools do not even get their teachers legal, forcing them to take visa runs every three months. For teachers in such situations who are so often on a crummy salary, this might just be the last straw, the factor that finally makes them decide to move on. English teacher recruiters in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan get ready for a number of teachers coming your way. Yep, more than a few teachers are saying that enough is finally enough.

Sometimes certain things set me mind wandering back to home, my little corner of Farangland. Often it is a song from the '80s, when I was a teenager, and it gets me reminiscing about the the freedom and the carefree attitude we had at that time in our lives. It also gets me wondering just a little, what the fuck I am doing here?! Feeling just a tad homesick the other day, I tuned into the talkback radio back home for a taste of Kiwi. My God, I have forgotten how horribly politically correct it is, how people get upset over the smallest things – and how every female wants to express her opinion on every single little issue, irrespective of the fact that she knows nothing about it. Thailand ain't perfect but listening to this PC nonsense made me wonder if I could go back…the longer I stay here, the harder such a return would be.

There was a young Thai man who had just turned 20, and was deciding on a career. Maybe the army, maybe local government? In the end of he thought he'd try the police. So he goes in for an interview and asks, "If I join the police, how much will I be paid?" "Stop asking stupid questions" he was told. "We will give you a uniform and a gun – just take what you need!"

The Winchester Club in Jomtien reportedly closed down and has reopened under the name of The Blind Beggar. A rumour suggests that there was an issue with narcotics, but for now at least, it is just that, a rumour.

For guys who stay on a long time in the Kingdom, perhaps until the day the grim reaper comes calling, I really do believe that you are mad if you don't learn Thai – and good Thai, not that disgraceful bargirl talk that so many guys unwittingly embarrass themselves with. I have so often cited the reasons for learning Thai as being able to communicate better with the locals and to understand them better. But one thing that I have not touched on before is the way that the guys who cannot speak Thai are reliant upon others, upon those around them. What happens if your phone gets cut off? What happens if there is an issue with your car? What happens if there is a problem getting goods cleared through customs? If there is any problem at all and you you are unable to speak decent Thai, then you are suddenly reliant on your spouse or assistant to fix it, and if you have a girl from the sticks, then the problem may not quite be fixed to your satisfaction… Quite frankly, a good command of Thai will allow you to deal with such issues yourself. Yeah, in some instances the people you need to deal with may well speak English, but more often than not, they don't, or at best, speak pidgin English. Speaking Thai allows you to deal with these issues yourself and play the man's role, that is, be the leader, and the person who can solve any problems or issues that may arise.

Some people have reported that they have been unable to get into the site this past week. I'm sorry, but I really do not know what the problem was. Hopefully the problems, whatever they were, are no longer.

Mrs. Stick's Corner

Each week, Mrs. Stick will answer questions about Thai / farang relationships and general issues that baffle the average Westerner in Thailand. Mrs. Stick is an open-minded Thai lady who is happy to answer your questions. Please send questions for her, via me, at the usual email address. Ideally, questions should be less than 100 words. Two or three questions will be chosen each week and answered in the following week's column. The responses are hers and NOT mine although I may attempt to correct her English from time to time. Note 1: I may not necessarily agree with what she says! Note 2: Unfortunately, she doesn't have time to reply to your inquiries via email.

Question 1: A year or so ago I fell in love with a bargirl. She was nice and cute and relatively new to this work. I did the sensible thing, and kept contact with her with regular phone calls and visits (every six months) to Bangkok. I was hoping to get to really know her and if she was what I hoped, bring her to my country. But with time her personality started to change, and she became more and more a typical bargirl interested in money and heavy drinking. In the end she finished with me, and now she has a Thai boyfriend (an alcoholic DJ working in a bar in Nana). Now I 'm facing a similar situation since I know another girl who works in the bar since January. She is extremely beautiful with (almost) white skin and a knockout body, but at the same time an amazing girl full of love and care. Now I'm in my country and have to wait until November to come back. I wonder if the sensible thing is NOT to wait to get to really know her, but just bring her here as fast as I can before working in a bar starts to change her. What do you think?

Mrs. Stick says: If you are a Stickman fan, then surely you have read all of the stories on this site, stories which are so similar to what you mention here. Don't you learn from what has happened before you? Remember these girls are trained to make guys feel good and to get the guys to fall in love with them which will allow them ultimately to suck all of the money from the guys as well as emotions and feelings. Western guys have various things to give Thai women such as money, emotions and feelings. That is almost everything you've got! Why don't you keep some of this for yourself? Use your brain! Why don't you just stick to giving the girls the money and keep your feelings for yourself or someone who is more deserving of them? How do you feel that she is doing exactly the same thing she did with you, with every other customer?

Question 2: I would like your input on the following item I have come across. I have be chatting with a lovely 42 year old Thai school teacher in Bangkok. She has invited me to come see her, so I planned a December trip. Now after about 2 weeks of chatting, she has asked me "If I could come before December." Is December some sort of Buddhism spiritual cleansing month? She said she would be spending most of the month of December at the temple, with other Thai women for a mind cleansing session. Would you elaborate a little on this practice of this Thai custom? Is the whole month at a time, the norm? (or is she pulling my leg, for some other unknown reason?)

Mrs. Stick says: I'm not so sure about this situation. In my knowledge, and i admit that I do not know a lot about Buddhist customs, women do not usually go into a temple for that. Maybe just a day or two. Also, if she is working, she absolutely cannot just take a month off like that. Teachers et a lot of time off already so taking December off sounds awfully suspicious. I would suggest you try and find out more by asking her a lot of questions.

What is it about the column that whenever I put a lot of work into it, feedback is lukewarm and whenever I put in less effort, people praise me? I can't work it out!

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick