Stickman's Weekly Column March 19th, 2006

An Even Playing Field, At Last



For single Western men who spend much time in Thailand, the charms, beauty and elegance of Thai women are not lost on them. Even for single Western men who spend a relatively short amount of time in Thailand, the thought of having a Thai woman as a long term partner will surely enter their mind.

But as so many Western men have found, relationships with Thai women – and I am talking all Thai women here, not just the bargirls – are fraught with all sorts of problems. There are the communication barriers due to language, the differences in the roles of each person and the expectations placed on partners within a relationship, as well as the big one, the one that always gets Western men, the idea of honesty. Absolute honesty.

As readers of this site will know, many Thai women have different ideas about honesty in relationships to the average Westerner. I can recall one girlfriend once telling me that I worshipped the truth – and in her mind, that was a glaring fault in me. Just why would I put the truth ahead of her wants and needs?! Was I an alien? Yep, she genuinely felt that me calling her on issues of honesty were problems I had created myself – where I was clearly at fault!

So, you want a Thai girlfriend, possibly someone who could become your wife, but in the back of your mind you have heard about, read about and possibly even seen so many tales of woe, that you really do have every reason to be a bit nervous about it all. Your heart tells you to proceed, your brain doesn't.

There are of course options available to you. You can keep a close eye on your lady friend, looking out for the tell tale signs that she is up to something. You could even hire someone like me to actively keep an eye on her and see just what she is up to. This is effective in finding out the truth, but can be time consuming, and in all truth and honesty, sleuthing is more suitable for following up on bargirls than girls who have never seen the inside of a short time room.

If you feel your lady friend might be up to something online, you could do the ever increasingly common thing of installing a keystroke recorder on her computer which would allow you to see just what she is up to online. But she may not be the internet savvy type, or the internet simply might not be her choice of venue to find someone new, or to communicate with her other darling(s). Installing a keystroke recorder might prove nothing.

So what can you do?

There is one thing which every Thai woman has in common, one thing which is dear to their hearts, and the one thing that is complicit in any fooling around they may be doing on the side. Their mobile phone. A Thai woman’s mobile phone is the vehicle through which all of her most tender thoughts and feelings are conveyed. Calls and SMS messages are made to their loved one(s), received from their loved one(s). Romantic liaisons are arranged. Even if a landline happens to be close by, it is their own mobile that is their communications device of choice.

The veritable mobile phone is a Thai woman’s chamber of secrets. If you could somehow get inside it, and unlock it, you would surely know the truth about everything. And once you know the truth, you are in a much better position to make a decision about the future, and cast aside the doubts that torture many Western men dating Thai women.

But accessing a Thai woman’s phone is not too difficult. A prolific contributor to this site who writes under the name of “Statler & Waldorf” recently wrote that whenever he is with a new Thai girlfriend he will rummage through her handbag, find her mobile phone and go through the phone directory when the opportunity arises, often when she is in the shower. He maintains that this is one way to find out if she has several Western men on the go. He has reported some women with 50 or more foreign names in the phone’s directory, and even one woman whose phone directory was full!

But searching through your lovely’s phone while she is in the shower or otherwise disposed is hardly conclusive. The names of all of her boyfriends may be listed in some sort of code, or if she is really clever, she may even allocate them Thai names or nicknames. She might not even have their names saved. And when it comes to SMS messages, they could easily enough be deleted so you would never even know about them, likewise the lists of incoming and outgoing calls. So a physical search of her phone could prove fruitless as any evidence may have already been removed.

What if you want to get hold of the records of all her incoming and outgoing calls, as well as all SMS messages. Is this possible? Surely a good PI could help with this? Well, actually they can, but the prices for such are incredibly expensive. Last I heard – and for anyone wondering, I do NOT get involved with this sort of thing – you’re looking at around 30,000 baht for a print out. That’s expensive by anyone’s book, and obviously that only gives you listings for a period of time. If you wanted to know what was being said in the future, that would cost you another 30,000 baht! Worthwhile if you are looking at a potentially expensive divorce and you want to prove infidelity (which in Thailand would likely be enough to protect all of your assets), otherwise, it is rather pricey.

Of course there are going to be those folk who are horrified at the thought of someone looking into little Lek’s phone, or spying on someone, invading one' privacy cited as the reason why such is not considered acceptable. That’s a personal viewpoint and one that I understand, but don’t personally agree with. Thai women in relationships with farang guys have proved themselves to be so downright disinsidious that no farang guy can be blamed for keeping an eye on his loved one. I also personally believe that the since advent of the internet and the proliferation of match-making sites and even sites where people married look for discrete, casual sex partners, and the ease with which people can meet on the quiet, infidelity is increasing everywhere.

So we have ascertained that the mobile is the Thai girl’s chamber of secrets, and unlocking it, or having regular access to it, would allow one to know what is going on, what is really going on. So just how do we do that?

This week I was contacted by a locally based firm run by a bunch of young, smart Westerners. They’re an IT firm, which amongst other things, provides solutions for various handheld, mobile communication devices. They were recently contacted by a company in the UK who had an with a number of reps out on the road with company mobile phones running up awfully expensive bills. They wanted a system created whereby the firm could get a record of all incoming and outgoing phone calls and SMSs so that the phone accounts could be reconciled, with the company paying only for company calls, and the reps paying for all of the calls they made that were of a personal nature. A solution was created and the British outfit is happy with it. It was around this time that the local IT firm realised that there may be other applications for what they had created. With some of the guys having had their own sets of issues with local girlfriends, they realised that the technology could be used with girlfriends too. They set about creating the product.

Called FlexiSpy, what they created is the world’s very first mobile phone monitoring facility. Once installed on a mobile phone, the software communicates over the air waves with a server and sends records of all the incoming and outgoing calls, as well as all SMS messages sent and received. The person who installed the software on the phone can check a record of all of the phone's calls and SMS messages from any internet connection, anywhere in the world. For example, if you are at work in London and you suspect that your little darling in Thailand appears to have been up to no good, you could log in to the server and check all of her mobile phone records. You now have access to the truth!

But there’s more. The guys are currently working on FlexiSpy Pro which has one really incredible feature – it turns the mobile phone it is installed on into a listening device. So, there you are in New York, at 2PM, slaving away at work, when you take a break and decide to give your little darling a call in Thailand. It’s 2 AM in the City of Angels and you know that she will be about to hit the sack. The phone rings and rings and rings. She doesn’t answer. Most unusual. FlexiSpy Pro allows you to specify a set of phone numbers – they can be phone numbers ANYWHERE in the world – from which you can call her mobile phone from and rather than her phone ringing, calls from these specified numbers activate the mouth piece / microphone on her phone, so you can listen in to what is happening where ever the phone may be! Call the number and you have a microphone right into her life. Maybe you’ll her slurping away on a late night meal of som tum and sticky rice? Maybe you’ll hear her nattering away in Thai with friends? Or maybe, gulp, she’ll be conversing in English? Worst of all, perhaps you’ll hear the unmistakable sounds of her trying to make a baby…with someone else!

Of course there are a few catches to all of this. The software has to be installed on the phone and to do that, you need to physically have the phone in your paws for a few moments. Installation is said to be very quick and easy. The software will only run on Symbian based mobile phones – that is a lot of the new Nokias. If the word “Symbian” has you confused and bewildered, the Symbian Operating System has been described as the global industry standard operating system for smart phones. Think of it as a platform that allows you to run other programs on the phone. There are also versions that run on Pocket PC and Blackberry based phones which are very popular in America. I am told that these will be available next month.

Thai girls love their mobiles, they really do. They hate to turn their mobile off (something that is highly suspicious) and they always like to upgrade to the latest model. So from a practical point of view, if your girlfriend doesn’t have a Symbian enabled phone, all you need to do is to buy her a new mobile phone after surreptitiously installing the software first. From then you can log on to the server from anywhere and keep an eye on things.

If you are in Farangland and not back in Thailand for some time, you may need to get some sneaky individual to deliver the phone on your behalf and install the software there and then. While you may be able to find the odd one cheaper, Symbian based Nokias can be found from around 8,000 Thai baht up. No Thai girl, I repeat, absolutely no Thai girl, would say no to a brand spanking new mobile phone!

When I was first contacted by the guys behind this product, I thought it was too good to be true. This product has the potential to revolutionise relationships between Thai women and Western men. For far too long, Western men have been cheated on, lied to, scammed and subject to flagrant dishonesty, all while being a good provider, and honest boyfriend or husband. The price of a relationship going bad can be huge, ranging from wasted time, to financial losses, to heartbreak, to in the very worst cases, contraction of infectious and possibly even incurable diseases. FlexiSpy truly has the potential to revolutionise relationships and to provide what Western men in Thailand have wanted for so long, the next best thing to a level playing field.



WHERE IS THIS PICTURE Competition?

It was upstairs in Nana Plaza.

Snow on the temple roof?

Last week's pic was taken on the top floor of Nana Plaza on the right hand side about two and a half years ago. Only one person got it right – amazing! No clues for this week's picture. Is that snow on the temple roof? The first prize in the where is this picture competition is a 500 baht credit at Tony's Bar and prizes 2 and 3 are a 600 baht dinner voucher for 2 at Sin in Sukhumvit Soi 4. The prizes are only available to people in Thailand now – either residents or tourists, and must be redeemed within 2 weeks. You MUST say that you are in Bangkok and able to claim the prize or I will consider you ineligible. If you do not explicitly mention you are local or will be in town in the next two weeks, you cannot claim any of the prizes.

FROM STICKMAN'S EMAIL INBOX

Peeling back the layers of the onion.

Many people want Thailand to be a postcard country. They do not want to consider what life is like behind the curtain or away from the postcard kiosks in the hotel gift shops. Many Stickman readers are in this category. For them reading some of the stories must be like watching a train wreck. They can't tear their eyes away but they are still mystified by some of what they are seeing (reading). Thailand is an interesting place but for a place to be interesting it has to be many things, including mysterious, complicated, incomprehensible at times and often challenging to our ingrained expectations about how others should walk and talk and think and behave. One of the values of the Stickman site is that it is becoming a repository for the most complete picture of some of Thailand that exists. By allowing other points of view and other styles of writing and personal stories it is compiling in a way that no other information source on Thailand can. I predict that someday (twenty five to fifty years from now) Stickmanbangkok.com will be required reading for educated Thais who want to make their country competitive on the world stage. Reading some of the Stickman presentations will be like looking at themselves under a microscope. Not necessarily pleasant but useful information if you are going to be competitive. 'First know thyself'.

Can money buy…?

If the average shop girl or waitress in Bangkok earns 4,000 baht per month for a 50 hour week, that is the equivalent of 20 baht an hour. If they work in a lady bar and are prepared to be naughty, they can earn 2,000 baht in an hour, which is 100 times more. Recently, I heard someone say disparagingly that Thai and Cuban women were prostitutes. Well, the average wage in Western Europe for unskilled labour is about $7 dollars an hour. If I were to offer any girl I had just met in a pub or club one hundred times this amount – $700 – for a short time gig, what percentage would refuse? Ten bucks and my right nut says I would have a very high success rate. Unfortunately, I do not have the money to perform this experiment.

Tourists, 2006 vintage.

I was in a Soi Cowboy bar Saturday before last, enjoying the music. A couple of English lads got up on stage and sang along to a ‘Stones’ song. As they were singing, my girlfriend offered them a rose (from a bunch I had just bought her, which didn't impress me too much, but I didn't make a big thing about it.) The English guys however refused to accept the flower. After the song they made sarcastic noises regarding the applause they received, finished their drinks whilst glaring at me, and then left. Moments later my seething girlfriend went after them, telling them what she thought of them. I realised what was going on and went to retrieve her, trying to calm the situation, only to receive verbal abuse. I dragged her back in telling her they weren't worth it. In the same bar on the same night a colleague was constantly jostled, he feels provocatively, and had his beer taken. Is this sort of behavior more common now, or were we just unlucky? Certainly left a sour taste on my last night.

5th, at best!

I've lived in Thailand for four years and in Asia for almost 35 years. Each Asian culture is as different as European cultures i.e. French and German. The Northern Asians are distinctly different from the South Asians. Thais are the most "money conscious" of all Asians I have come across. Everything relates to money. Thai families view daughters as "money in the bank" and women grow up knowing they are for sale either wholesale or retail. They don't understand that when a farang gives her money for her companionship, be it sex or just a date, that he views her in a different light. I've tried to explain to some decent girls that they will be far ahead financially if they refuse the initial on the nightstand money and continue to show interest in the guy. In a very short time they will be given significantly more money then the daily baht on the pillow. Farang men have a hard time understanding that spouses never rank higher than about fifth with the spouse. Their loyalties always will be mother, father, children, sister, brother etc. If we are higher than cousin then we are about normal. We will never understand them and they will never understand us.

The expensive Russians!

Yes, Russian gogos in Pattaya, two of them on Walking Street. The first one is tucked away but the second is right in the middle with 12 foot high posters of Russian woman and a dancing booth. Prices are 200 baht for a beer and a lot of hassle from the Russian birds for a 100 baht tip since they actually danced on a pole! If you take a Thai lady inside they will add a 200 baht cover charge, however this doesn’t get knocked off the price of the drinks. I believe the 500 USD price is correct and they have a price list inside where for the sum of 1,500 baht you can get a lesbian show!

Today's health tips.

I wonder how many know that the reddish / orange ground chilli powder you'll find on the table in most Thai restaurants is one of the finest and healthiest spices in the world? Cayenne, chilli pepper and paprika are all close relatives and contain equal / similar benefits. Google them to read and learn just how beneficial these foods are for your digestion, cleaning the blood and blood circulation, regulating cholesterol and many other healthful things. They are also packed with vitamin C and rich in anti-oxidants. Of course take care, the chilli is HOT, but start by sprinkling up to a quarter-spoonful over your rice and mixing it well in. It's an excellent habit well worth getting into. Or use Paprika instead as it's far less hot. Another very healthy spice is cinnamon, which will go great over fruit and yoghurt or your (not so healthy) ice-cream. Check out the internet for information on these spices, you'll be glad you did! Turmeric and coriander are two other spices well worth investigating for good health. All cheap and plentiful here.

What on earth is going on in Carousel Show A Gogo, the new name for what was formerly called Hollywood Carousel, the bar that gets visited by the police more than any other. In a move that has other bar owners and bar managers shaking their heads in bewilderment, Carousel Show A Gogo has started a new special where you buy one draft beer and get two free! That is three draft beers for the price of one. They are also offering buy one Chang beer, and get one free. The latter is also interesting as anyone who has drunk much Beer Chang will know, it is a real loopy juice, and can get you drunk before you know it. Beer Chang is attributed as being the cause of a number of the fights that have occurred at Cathouse in Nana which frequently runs specials on Chang. The specials are only available on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – but all indications are that people are responding to them in numbers.

For a bunch of pretty girls, Rainbow 4 remains the best bar in Bangkok. I don’t think any other bar in Bangkok comes close, though there are at least a few bars in Pattaya with at least as many genuinely pretty girls. That is not to say that Rainbow 4 is the best bar – far from it in fact – it is simply the bar with the prettiest girls.

These erect-a-bars are totally out of control. TOTALLY! I was wandering down Sukhumvit late one night this week and I was amazed at how bad the situation has got. Things do seem to have backfired due to the early bar closing, and backfired horribly.

Some nights (every night?), Coyotes down in Pattaya has the very popular “lickathon”. I wonder just what that could be about?

The second Tequila Party was held this week at X Zone in Pattaya. Only 10 bottles of the cactus juice were purchased but it was still a stormer. They had two carry outs at 2 AM, girls not punters. This is proving to be a popular promotion as the barfines go up as the girls drop. And X Zone will have a new promotion next Wednesday. The name hasn't been decided on yet but they are playing with "Best Friends' Night" or "Take2". Basically, they reduce the barfine for two girls from the standard 550 baht each to 800 baht for a pair. They are also looking at a reduced price for two lady drinks as well. It is being dressing up as a sort of lesbian night and all the shows will feature lesbian routines.

While it never hit any highs over the so called high season, Pattaya is slowing a bit, but Covent Garden is still holding its own. All four gogo bars down there are doing a very good trade.

The new Electric Blue (deja vu all over again) is to be called "The Roxy" and will be a show bar, a concept the likes of which we have never seen before! Goodness only knows what Andy has in store for us this time.

At least one high profile Pattaya based bar manager is quite concerned about 2006 in Pattaya. For a while I have been saying that this is not going to be the best of low seasons in Sin City, and now at least one bar manager is saying the same, quite concerned given that the high season never really came.

The taco & Tequila night in Babewatch last Tuesday was a great success and is going to be held again this Tuesday. Order one of Big Al's 50 baht tacos and get one free. In addition, gut rot Tequila will be on sale for 30 baht a shot ALL NIGHT.

Livingstone’s in Sukhumvit Soi 33 will hold their next Pool Party on Saturday 25th March starting at 7 PM. There will be a party in and around the pool, an all-you-can-eat buffet, cabaret show, dancers, sexy girls in the pool, and hopefully it will be as easy and entertaining as it was the last time. They hope to make these a regular party on the last Saturday of every month.

I finally spotted with my own eyes another scam that directly targets farangs. On the short stretch of footpath between Sukhumvit sois 2 and 4, that is right outside the JW Marriott Hotel, I saw a fake monk. The way he was done out was quite ingenious, wearing robes that were IDENTICAL in colour to what many of the genuine monks wear, but the style was actually quite different. He had a very short haircut, but his head was not shaved as a monk's would be. He was carrying a silver alm and attempting to solicit donations from farangs – many of whom were giving! Anyone who has spent much time in Asia would quickly realise that he was not the genuine article, whereas tourists in all likelihood would not. What's the bet he is still there the next time I am in the neighbourhood?

Following on from the piece in last week's column about bars closing at 2 AM, the initial excitement has worn off. In Soi Cowboy, a handful of bars have conspicuously stayed open later than usual, but did not get to 2:00 AM. They were conspicuous by being the only places with blaring music at that hour, while the rest of the soi was in darkness.

The deal with bars in Nana now is that they have the option to stay open until 2 AM. There is a registration cost. However, this week in Nana was not as busy as previous weeks and most bars were closed between 1:00 and 1:30 AM. As one bar owner said to me, business dropped off a bit this past week.

In another reason to avoid the Pong, the owners of the parking lot above Foodland have raised prices. Before this week if you pulled in after 8 PM the price for the rest of the night was 40 baht. Now they charge a straight 20 baht per hour with no long term discount after 8 PM, so you had better not get drunk and leave your car overnight as you could be looking at a nasty surprise!

As strange as it may seem, there was a good crowd in Pussy Connection on Friday. Finally the owner has seen the light and hired some good looking girls and it has paid off with the bar having one of their busiest nights in a long time.

I heard the funniest story this week of a freelancer girl who persisted with a customer who wanted her, but did not want to go to a hotel (and presumably pay the short time fee they charge.) The girl suggested that they get in a taxi which would just drive around in circles while she gave him a blow job. 100 baht for taxi she said, every driver happy to do!

Much is said about the way Thai women treat Western men. A lot of guys truly believe that Thai women treat them much better than they have ever been treated (by Western women), whereas there is a growing number of guys, like me, who feel that the way Thai women treat Western men, is actually very poor, and at times even borders on being condescending. Next time you are in a naughty bar, closely watch the way the girls interact with Asian men (not Asian men who live in the West, but the Asians who live in other countries in Asia). The sort of carry on that they get away with, with Westerners, is nothing like the way they treat the Japanese, Chinese and Korean men in the bars. Watch closely! Still think they dote on you?

If you’re coming from or going to Pattaya this weekend, be warned that it is the weekend of the Pattaya Music Festival. I wanted to go down there yesterday but when they have events like this the traffic is just awful, and what is usually a two hour journey can very quickly become four.

I made it along to what was known as the Fortune Hotel (not sure of its new name?) for the lunch buffet this week and can honestly say that at 320 baht ++ (370 baht all up), it is about the best buffet in town for the money. Unlike a lot of other buffets in that price bracket that typically use just locally grown food products, they had beef dishes, lamb dishes, roast duck – all the goodies! The Thai food was excellent, there were heaps of different varieties of cheese and cold meat cuts, and best of all, unlike many buffets where the desserts look good but taste very average, the desserts there were excellent. To get there, take the underground to the Rama 9 station and the hotel is right there.

It is one thing to wonder about what happens to the girls in the bars over time, but it is another thing wonder about just what happens to the ladyboys, or as they are coarsely referred to as, the katoeys. In Cowboy this week, I noticed a katoey and there was something about him / her that I recognised. Then it came back to me, it was the same one that an old Australian friend had mistakenly taken back to his place, some 7 and a half years ago. This was one ugly creature and I was bemused that he / she was still working. I can only imagine that he / she continues to get some trade…

There have been no sign of bible bashers outside Nana Plaza recently, although I am hardly there every night so cannot say that with any authority, but more of their brethren have been spotted preaching the Lord's words on Walking Street in Pattaya. I guess Walking Street has been recognised as another area full of sinners!

One of my favourite local authors, David Young, has just released his latest, “Bangkok Dick”, another tale about a PI traipsing around Bangkok. I have yet to read it, but am hopeful it will be as good as his other titles. There were a couple of other interesting non-fiction titles set in Thailand released recently.

For the many US servicemen who regularly read this column, the U.S. Department of Defense has officially made it a violation of regulations for any uniformed personnel in the U.S. armed forces to solicit a prostitute, with special concentration on the human trafficking aspect. That is, the situation is aggravated if it is discovered that the woman was working against her will; i.e., transported somewhere, had her passport removed until she worked off a certain amount of money she owed, etc. It is not a violation of a specific Article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), but rather an umbrella-type directive that governs all service members. This includes all service members, all times, all places, to include Cobra Gold. An aggressive campaign is now and has been in place for some time in order to provide training and promote awareness of the new regulation. Inspector General (IG) visits are being conducted in individual commands across the globe to ensure adherence. What does this mean for the service member? Well, at a minimum, it means “don’t get caught doing this”. If such conduct could be proven, it would probably spell c-o-u-r-t m-a-r-t-i-a-l for the guilty party, with subsequent penalty, reduction in rank to Private, bad conduct discharge, forfeiture of benefits, pension, everything. One potential problem that has been envisaged is the difficulty involved in actually proving that a service member is guilty of the crime. Successful prosecution would probably need to include, at a minimum, the testimony of the woman who “sold herself”. This could be problematic for the prosecution for reasons you can imagine. How can it be proven that money changed hands without her testimony? (This brings up the possibility of blackmail on the part of a woman who is aware of all this and has unscrupulous intentions). Enforcement problems aside, nonetheless it is now a regulation.

Word has it that the number of Westerners settling in Udon Thani province has grown steadily over the past few years. Westerners are now much more visible in the city of Udon where there are a number of venues run by Westerners, for Westerners. The average age of the recent farang residents seems to be around retirement age but there are a few younger guys floating around too. Much of Isaan is known as the region from where the vast majority of the girls who work in Bangkok’s naughty bars for farangs come from. In some parts, and the city of Nongkhai is a classic example, you may not see so many young pretty girls there. But Udon is one place where I have heard it said that the prettiest girls remain in the province – and have not made their way down to the bars of Bangkok and Pattaya. A number of the guys who have moved to Udon are former residents of Pattaya.

For anyone interested in the political situation in Thailand, this interesting article was run in Time magazine.

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Ask the Sticks

Mrs. Stick is here to answer questions surrounding anything that confuses you in Thailand, particularly issues of the heart. Please note that for general bargirl related questions, Mr. Stick might answer them. It has to be said that Mrs. Stick is not your stereotypical Thai woman. She is not Buddhist and she is not shy to criticise things about her own country and culture, although having said that, she remains proud to be Thai. Mr. Stick will try and answer the questions which Mrs. Stick is not so sure about. Please do try and limit the length of questions to Mrs. Stick to about 100 words. We get many questions that are entire stories of several hundred words which I'm afraid are just too long to run here.

Question 1: Is it true that Thai women do not remain faithful to their boyfriends and that faithfulness doesn’t actually begin until their wedding night? I read something on this site recently to that effect, and my experience with Thai women is unfortunate, reflecting that. Every Thai girlfriend I have ever had (no bargirls here, all had reasonable to very good jobs) has declared their love for me, but all have still been looking around at other guys, dated other guys or even cheated on me. Is this normal? Please tell me the truth.

Mrs. Stick says: I suggest that you have had some bad luck. It is not specifically the policy of Thai women to be unfaithful with their boyfriends, but I know what you mean and I have seen it happening, more and more these days. Did you meet all of your girlfriends in the same place? You might have to try some new places or ways of meeting ladies because I bet you met them all the same way. Tell me I'm right!

Question 2: How important is a guy's appearance, at least the clothes that he wears, to a Thai woman? I notice that what I wear has a big effect on the reception I get from Thai women. If I am well dressed, I get a lot of interest, but if I dress like a slob, and this is something I do quite often, women seems less interested. Is this me, or is this real?

Mrs. Stick says: This is very real. Speaking for myself, I am not just made disinterested, but actually turned off, by men who have poor presentation. For Westerners in Thailand, nice clothes can be bought cheaply and really there is no excuse not to look good. I know from visiting New Zealand last year that New Zealanders at least are the opposite, and my husband always tells me how New Zealanders, irrespective of their status, might dress down. He even claims that wealthy people who play their presentation down are admired for not flaunting their wealth. In Thailand, people like to look good, and Thai women are definitely more attracted to men who dress well. So buy some nice new clothes and your love life will improve!

Question 3: If a man (be they Thai or farang) refused to marry a Thai woman, due to the man's thoughts on marriage, would the lady leave the man due to the shame she would cause her family? Or would she compromise her family for the boyfriend?

Mrs. Stick says: You need to try and understand women a little bit. Most women want to get married. They want to be looked after and they want the security of knowing that they have a man who will look after them. Without even looking at it from the cultural angle, you should understand that the world over, women want to get married. Here in Thailand, women may get a hard time if they live with their boyfriend, especially if there are no clear plans to get married, such as getting engaged already. For a woman to live with a man for a long time and him having signaled that he is not interested in marriage, then it would take a very unusual woman to stick with it. Of course there are exceptions, but not so many.



Just to quash the cynics before they jump on the Stickman has sold out bandwagon, the opening piece of the column this week was entirely my idea. The company behind the product told me about it and when I realised just what was possible with it, it was MY idea to discuss it and its application in Thailand in the opening piece of the column. I maintain that this particular product is going to be huge in Thailand, and around the world.

And for those people who do use the product, do be sure to let us know what you find. To me, that will be very interesting indeed.

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick


Thanks go out to Claymore, Caveman and Bangkok Grasshopper.