Stickman's Weekly Column October 15th, 2006

How Long Is A Piece Of String?



It is the question that I am totally reluctant to answer. I mean, how can I, in my mid-30s, realistically answer it? "How much money do I need to retire in Thailand?" But it is a question I am asked so frequently that it is good to write something about to reduce the email load.

And in many ways, the impetus to finally write this column came about because of a thread I read on one of the local discussion forums. Someone asked the question whether £200,000 was enough money to retire to Thailand on – specifically Pattaya – and a number of the forum members came on and said "no". £200,000 is 14 million baht, a figure I thought would be plenty… I spoke to a trusted friend in Pattaya, himself retired, and asked him whether he thought £200,000 pounds was enough to retire on in Pattaya and he said a resounding yes. I agreed.

Hmmm, so just how much do you need to retire on in Thailand?

I'll stick my next out and say that you could do it on around 10 million baht. Yes, just 10 million baht, not much more than 250,000 USD, or 200,000 Euros. Of course, you could do it on much less, but my personal feeling is anything less than that would be cutting it tight. Of course the age at which you choose to retire is a big part of the equation. 10 million baht should be plenty for someone in their 70s, but what if you're in your 40s? That would obviously change things completely.

But a lump sum is perhaps not the best way to look at things but rather an income, a monthly income. Let's say this 10 million is invested in a term deposit account. Searching fixed deposit interest rates in the Western world (where money should be relatively safe), New Zealand has about the highest interest rates on term deposits and you can achieve 7.35% in the bank. Now the Kiwi government will take 10% of the interest paid in non-resident withholding tax but you will still end up with an effective annual return of 6.60%, which on your 10 million baht investment would generate a return of 660,000 baht a year, or allow for a monthly spend of 55,000 baht. Funnily enough, 55,000 baht is pretty much exactly what I spend a month at the moment. And that is everything. 55K gives me a nice lifestyle.

Now that said, I have at least one friend whose total household spend is around the half million baht a month mark. Obviously he is a successful guy with a family and a bunch of staff. Even with that in mind, he is not out dining in the finest restaurants every night. You can spend a lot of money in Thailand if you really want to. Boss Hogg once told me that he found it hard to spend much more than 200,000 baht a month – and the boss does enjoy dining out at some of the better spots. This all needs to be contrasted with the fact that many English teachers enjoy a more than satisfactory lifestyle on less than 40,000 baht a month.

There is no doubt that almost any Westerner can retire in Thailand because if need be, you can get by on next to nothing. The big question is whether you would want to, or whether you would be able to, lead a Thai style existence in the countryside. If you could, then getting by on 10,000 baht a month is doable, though frankly, I could not live like that – and don't know many who could. 20,000 baht would allow for much more comfort (many people retire to Thailand on this amount) and if you were spending 40,000 baht a month or more, life in the provinces could be pleasant. Even in the relative metropolis of Korat, it wouldn't be easy to spend more than 40,000 baht a month without feeling like you were actually throwing money away. Of course, this assumes you're not hitting the bottle hard every day. These figures do not include supporting a significant other, or others. Do that, and they would increase dramatically.

Perhaps it is best to get the word from someone who is actually retired in Thailand and lives the type of lifestyle that the average man would consider comfortable. I have a good friend in Pattaya – which is probably a better option for retirement than Bangkok – who lives in a pleasant one bedroom apartment with a great view of Pattaya. I would go as far to say that he leads the type of life that would make many envious. He keeps himself busy by working out, and he has a number of friends he spends time with socially. He dines at a mix of venues from the flasher big name venues, to the roadside vendors. He keeps a motorcycle as one means of transport but is just as happy to use the baht buses. He is a voracious reader. He also happens to keep immaculate records of all of his spending. What do you think the total cost of this lifestyle is? A nice apartment in a good location. Sea views. Good food. And let's not forget he has female company when he wishes. His TOTAL outlay for 2005 was 550,000 baht. Oh, and that included the purchase of a new motorbike, his annual gym membership, a couple of trips within Asia as well as trips within Thailand. All for less than 50,000 baht a month! He is not a teetotaller, but neither does he spend a lot on alcohol. – And this is probably the key to managing that sort of lifestyle at such a reasonable cost.

Another friend in Pattaya who keeps less precise records also outlined his spending per month. It currently runs around 38,000 baht a month, but is inflated by a 20,000 baht monthly allowance for his girlfriend. But don't think having her live with him makes his life expensive. Oh no, far from it. In the final sentence of his email he said to me, "Before I had a girlfriend I would spend over 200,000 a month. Most of that being spent in the bars like a total (but happy) idiot." So having a live-in can work out much cheaper than being single in some cases. Eliminating a female from the equation altogether cuts down on costs immensely – but no doubt also on the fun!

But a lot of guys would scream at the thought of having to live on such a small amount. "It's impossible", they cry! What bothers me about the guys who say that you *need* 100,000 baht + to retire in Thailand a month is that the numbers they are talking are more than the average person *needs* to live in the West. 100,000 baht a month is approximately 2,000 Euros, 2,600 USD, £1,500, 4,000 NZD or 3,500 AUD which is more than the average person earns in many of these respective countries / regions. The truth is you do not NEED this amount of money to retire in Thailand, but if you choose to lead a certain type of lifestyle, then the amount of money required skyrockets.

It seems to me that the evils of retirement in Thailand, at least as far as cost is concerned, are alcohol, partying with the ladies of the night, and / or a high maintenance partner. A lot of the figures I mention today assume that these three evils are not part of the equation. Of course for many guys the idea of drinking out and partying hard are the very reason to retire in Thailand, and if that is your idea of Utopia, you can throw the numbers I reach out the window. A night out can end up costing thousands of baht – do that every second night and you get the idea.

It is all very well to partake in the bar scene if that is what you want, but if you end up in the bars though boredom and lack of other things to do in your retirement then your spending could get out of hand. It is a limitless amount of money that can be spent in that environment and I see it as the single largest barrier to retiring in Thailand early.

Of course there are certain events and occurrences in life, perhaps accidents, or perhaps an act of God, that we can never anticipate. If one is no spring chicken, health worries will eventually become an issue and I gather that there comes a point in time when insurers are no longing interested in providing health insurance and quote accordingly. Affordable medical care is available in Thailand – and if money is an issue you can still get pretty decent care at VERY cheap prices at the government hospitals. I hear mixed reports from these facilities, ranging from perfectly adequate to not up to scratch. I personally have no real experience so prefer not to comment. Still, you would not want something really serious to go down and be forced to have it dealt with on the cheap.

But it is not just your health you have to be aware of. There are so many other things that you just cannot anticipate. What about the adoption of a new hobby, a hobby that might require a certain outlay of funds? Take me for example. I have always been into photography and the more interested I get, the more equipment I want. In fact it would be easy for me to drop $US 25,000 equivalent to get all the gear I really want, from a new camera body to a host of lenses to the equipment to set up a home studio. Now of course one can always do things on the cheap, but as a retiree with all the time in the world on your hands, I cannot help but think that one will develop certain hobbies – and let's be frank, some hobbies aren't cheap!

And of course there are always new things that enter our lives, some new invention that might suddenly be the new must have, but which may cost a bit to purchase and to run over time all add up and put pressure on a fixed budget.

There are so many other aspects to the financial planning of one's retirement in Thailand that are out of our hands. Currency exchange rates are a big one, as is the danger of oil prices getting out of control. Inflation is an issue and the collapse of the stock market or investment houses also has to be in the back of one's mind. All the usual rules of investment should apply – not putting all your eggs into one basket, investing more conservatively if you're getting on in years and hedging against exchange rate fluctuations as best you can.

So how much do you need to retire in Thailand?

It really is an impossible question to answer. The answer is different for all of us with seemingly unlimited variables determining our individual number. 10K baht a month at the very bottom end, and hundreds of thousands of baht a month at the top end is not out of the question. How long is a piece of string?


Where WAS THIS PICTURE taken?

It was the Irish Xchange.

Where is that?!

Last week's picture was taken inside the Irish Xchange on a Sunday, looking across at the excellent roast buffet – 300 baht for a REALLY good spread, in my opinion the best Sunday roast in Bangkok for the money. It's just 300 baht and it includes salad, dessert and a GREAT coffee, Italian no less! The first person to tell me where the picture is wins a 500 baht credit at Tony's Bar in Soi Cowboy. The second person to get the prize right gets a 500 baht credit at Oh My Cod, the British Cafe in the Khao Sarn Road area. The third and forth prizes are a 500 baht credit at Sin in Sukhumvit Soi 4. Please remember that we do have a prize provider in Pattaya, my favourite bar in Pattaya, Catz. However, there seem to be few people in Pattaya sending in answers. If no-one from Pattaya gets it this week it may be time to pull that prize. 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 have a preference as to which prize you would prefer, do not be shy to let me know! Also, if you are in Pattaya, please let me know so you can be eligible for that prize!

FROM STICKMAN'S EMAIL INBOX

400k or effectively 480k?

About the guy writing in about the marriage visa. The requirement for a monthly salary is based on joint earnings between the husband and his wife, so if he is not working then just fudge a letter from a spurious employer (make one up) saying that the wife earns 40k per month AND pay tax on it (which for a year is minimal anyway) and job done you will get your 1 year marriage visa without any real issues or hassles. Just in case anyone hasn't noticed yet, the 40k per month literally means you have to bring in 480k per year hence why the 400k in your bank is no longer sufficient and they probably thought we wouldn't notice the subtle price hike for the married man to stay here – those sneaky rotten Thais eh!

The emotional response.

The girls don't give a price because they know that they are likely to get more if they don't set limits. Sex is an emotional experience, like things related to religion. Churches don't set prices for most things. They take donations after invoking as much of an emotional response as possible just as a good whore will rock your world then tell you, "up to you", while you are in a state of heightened emotional arousal following sex. The going rate for a good live variety show is probably about $40. But many give hundreds of dollars a week and tens of thousands of dollars a year. Ultimately, churches would get a lot less if they set the price as $40 a week for everyone just as bargirls would get less just telling you 1,500 baht for a sexual tryst. And people would not give anything if they didn't come to service that week. Under the donation system, people mail in their donations if they won't be there that week.

More Soi 33 history.

The first bar ever to open in soi 33 was a gogo bar named Cowboy from the famous "black Indian American" Cowboy from Soi Cowboy of course. He had a vision to create another Soi Cowboy there. Later on he moved in Washington Square, he was the first one over there as well. But that is all forgotten history.

You can't go wrong at Zanotti.

I want to thank you again for the Zanotti restaurant recommendation. I had a sensational dinner there. I wanted to arrive at 6:30 but it was a rainy Monday night and with the traffic I arrived at 6:45 and barely nabbed a seat. AT 7PM they were turning away walk-ins. I spoke to the chef, a real Italian, so the food is quite authentic. The decor is crisp white, really beautiful, the waiters well trained and nice and the food of course great. In a long life time of dining, this is one of the nicest restaurants I have had the pleasure to visit and an excellent value as well.

Workplace expectations.

Regarding Western and Thai job expectations in the Kingdom: I once had a job where in an average year I interviewed immigrants from 50 countries. They were all stunned that in America you had to actually produce to earn your money. The only exceptions were the poor piece work factory workers from overseas. But everyone else apparently in the world thinks work is play.

Changing names.

In response to the gent that asked about the lady changing her name just because she got tired of it and changed her name from Sukanda a few years back. When I asked her why she did that, she said, "When I was Sukanda, I was sick too much. When I change name, I not sick anymore." Go figure. I would assume the Buddhist monks might play some part in this also. It would seem that there are many reasons for them to do this but I'm thinking that most are equally as strange as hers.

What is Bangkok like?

Here I was in a queue at my local bar in sunny England, waiting at least 5 minutes to get near the bar my friend turned to me and said "So, what is Bangkok like?" My mind wondered of thinking how I could describe Bangkok in words, just simple English, something that could really wet his appetite, so as we were both queuing up for a beer and getting peed off, I said to him "In Bangkok you never have to wait for a beer."

Ouch, an infection there?!

Those little squirty things in the bathroom are great for a clean up and so much better than using tissue, but watch out for infections in your nether regions from using tap water in those sensitive areas! I can’t be the only one that’s had the occasional unexplained problem or minor discomfort that usually goes away in a day or two, but it’s only recently that the source of the problem has dawned on me and was quickly cured by dousing the area in a weak solution of 20% Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) and 80% pure water. We all know that Thailand’s water supply is not fully treated and while it’s safe enough for showering and washing, bear the foregoing in mind, especially if you have a sensitive botty.

The new bar in Covent Garden in Pattaya, that is the bar that was once known as Babewatch, is scheduled to open today. The theme is said to be of the coyote variety. Good luck to the new owners.

The boys in brown flexed their muscles this week and closed Nana at 1 AM on both Wednesday and Friday nights. It would seem the only reason they did this was to remind bar managers and owners that they are still there, and that they can. It is however a little worse than that, for the boys in brown did not just close the bars at 1 AM, but made sure all customers were off the premises by that time… And just to confuse us, many bars were open until well after 2 last night.

And for those of you who consider yourselves good at sniffing out birthday suits in Nana, good luck! You'll be hard pressed to find anything at the moment. I did a run through on Friday night and those sticky silver stars could be seen everywhere.

The girls in the Big Mango Bar in Nana Plaza have donned black evening dresses and can be seen in this more attractive attire on Thursday through to Saturday nights.

Metro will be holding a Halloween Party with girls in sexy fancy dress, drinks promotions, punch and a buffet on the 31st October from 8 PM. As a reminder, Metro is located in the Raja Hotel car park on Soi 4. If you're looking for a bar that's a bit different to most in the lane, check it out. They have three Brunswick tables and some pretty girls.

I am convinced that if you walk past Casanova Corner with a look of great concern on your face, the shemales will sense it and actively chase you. But if you stroll by and flirt with them they are much less likely to say or do anything. Actually, it seems that these days the ladies there are much less aggressive than they used to be.

The streets of Patpong were very quiet this Friday with most of the bars having just a handful of customers. In the venerable old Safari you could walk in and find open seats all over the place. Even in the normally packed King's Group bars you could slide into the seat of your choice with very little competition from other punters for the best seats in the house. Walking through the market area was a breeze because there were so few customers walking around. It's not known if tourists are staying away because of the coup or the rains coming in the early evening that is keeping the numbers down but this Friday has to go down as one of the slowest in a long time.

Hot on the heels of the excellent Beer Lao being available in a number of Bangkok bars, it seems that the drastically limited number of beers available in Thailand may further increase. Two Belgian beers are now available at Baccarra in Soi Cowboy. Now you've got to be a beer fan to drop 190 baht a bottle for them, but you know, Belgian beer is supposed to be right up there alongside offerings from the Czech Republic and Germany as the best of the bunch. I must pop by and try them out.

Down in Pattaya, it was X Zone's turn to be visited by the boys in black (yes, black – not brown) this week. Monday night saw them visited by the boys in black who were noseying around, sniffing, see what they could find… In all truth and fairness, these visits by the authorities to the bigger bars in Pattaya are a weekly event – and there are plenty of bars visited which I don't mention in the column. A few weeks back the Dollhouse was visited and closed for a few hours. It sounded like something of a carnival with TV cameras there and all sorts.

Rains in Pattaya have been dreadful almost daily – flooding some streets and overflowing curbs and spilling into houses and shops. Torrents have certainly cut into nightlife for locals and tourists alike – and have cut into revenues for most businesses. One gogo bar reported its worst Thursday EVER. But that same nightspot was packed Friday and Saturday nights, no doubt with revellers making up for the lost nights out during the week.

Walking Street continued to experience higher numbers over the weekend as we get closer to high season. Several gogo bars could have put SRO signs out front. Add to that list of usual suspects – most popular gogos – Heaven's Above. The Soi Diamond club filled up early and remained jammed thanks to its line-up of lovely dancers and revealing showgirls. On the other hand, Coyotee's (Soi Marine Plaza) seemed to be falling off in patron numbers; declining quality of gogo girls and lackluster shows may be the cause.

One Walking Street club that attracted a huge crowd last Sunday was the Dollhouse, which ushered in the return of the dirty dancing contest. Following up on the same theme, Club Boesche will host the raunchy event tonight featuring dancers from four gogo bars. Popular for its floor level spa, the Covent Garden gogo bar promises some unusual twists on the dirty dancing theme, no doubt including some wet and wild competition in the hot tub. Festivities kick off at 9 PM.

In what seems to be a huge knee jerk reaction to the social problems caused by alcohol, the government of the day is set to raise the legal age at which one can buy alcohol from 18, not to 20, as may have been expected, but to 25. 25! I could not believe it when I read it. If this is implemented as per the law, what will it mean for younger tourists in Thailand? Does it mean it would be illegal for a 24 year old backpacker to buy a bottle of beer? UNBELIEVABLE!

For those who like to party early, it should be noted that the bars in the different areas have a different kick off time. In Bangkok, a number of Soi Cowboy bars open before the sun goes down, but you won't usually see dancing before 7 PM – and later in some of the bars. In Nana, most bars really don't get going until closer to 8. Down in Pattaya, if you know where to go, you can see dancing throughout the day.

A friend was stuck in a taxi on Sukhumvit Soi 3 for what turned out to be an eternity. While he was close to his destination, the teeming rain we have experienced over the past week prevented him from exiting the cab and walking the final few hundred metres. Frustrated, he fired up his laptop with a bit of work in mind. It immediately picked up a free wi-fi signal and he started surfing the net while sitting in the cab! Just as he was starting to actually enjoy being caught in traffic, the cab moved and the signal was lost. But fear not, 50 metres down the road he picked up another free wi-fi signal and was able to use that all the way to his destination. So, if you find yourself stuck in traffic in central Bangkok and you have your laptop with you, fire it up and odds are you may get a free internet signal!

Why is it that Bangkok gogo girls are generally not shaved whereas Pattaya gogo girls generally are? I can think of absolutely no reason why this is… Any opinions?!

In response to bars being closed at 2 AM (and at times earlier) a number of streetside bars opened up over the past few years, selling alcohol at streetside tables. It's hardly the most inviting place to have a drink, but if you're desperate it would do, I guess. These bars initially offered cheap drinks but then when they began to understand the demand, prices went up and up, to the point where some were charging 100 baht or more for a bottle of Heineken – pricey given the environment. These roadside vendors have always been the scourge of bar owners who are rightly pissed off that the bars can operate without licenses while the bar owners have to jump through hoops to get legal. Anyway, over the past week or two there has been a lot of cat and mouse and some nights the vendors haven't set up. Personally I think they are an eyesore and a major blight on the landscape, preventing anyone from using the footpath, and bringing all the louts right out in to public view – but there is no doubt that they are popular.

It has to be said. The Bangkok naughty bars really are crap at marketing themselves. You never know what is going on, when the shows are, what the prices are, what drinks are available – or anything special they have going for them. When are the shows? No-one but the locals know. And how many bars can boast that they have twins up on the dance floor? Siamese Twins! At least one bar has this spectacle. Bars in Pattaya have girls outside with big, clear signs, announcing show times, beer prices and other specials.

There is a Pattaya bar that had an extension a year or so ago, increasing the size of the bar and adding an extra stage. The lights seemed to be brighter also. Looking around the ceiling and sure enough there is a camera aimed at each of the stages. This may or may not be for security, or of course it could be something else. Video streaming somewhere, perhaps?

Some months back Thailand changed the rules under which visitors can enter the country. Previously, anyone entering the country required a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining on it but this was changed so that anyone with any amount of time remaining on the passport could enter Thailand – but the amount of time remaining until the document expired could affect the duration of time you could stay for i.e. if you had 10 days remaining until the passport expired then you could only get a visa for a maximum stay of 10 days. It should be noted however that the 6 month rule is still being enforced at some airports, Stateside. It would seem that at some airports there are some airlines which will not let you board the plane for Thailand with less than 6 months left at your return date.

A press release from the Thai Immigration Department this week stated that there is a new visa available specifically for people doing business in Thailand. The 3 year multiple entry visa is new and is sure to be sought after by many people who wish to stay in Thailand long term. I am sure the term "doing business" will be interpreted loosely.

The other interesting development with visas is that some readers have been telling me that they are getting one year stamped into their passport when they come through the airport if they have a non-immigrant O visa. They had expected to get 3 months and then apply for the full one year in-country – but it seems that they just get just get a one year visa outright. It was never like this in the past, and there has been no announcement about it – at least not that I have heard.

For guys in Korat or not too far away, the Immigration office in Korat is now doing 1 year visa extensions, very handy for those foreigners who live in Isaan. The office is located on the second floor of the first building when you enter Assumption School, right across the street from Big C and next to St. Mary's Hospital.


The ultimate Thai dating site with ladies from all over Thailand!

Bully had a great birthday with over 400 people coming in. Business keeps building and we just hit another history breaking month, I am sure this will slow a little when the new Irish pub opens at the old bus stop location soi 4. But we will trudge on. They have come out with a new menu.

I noticed that The Londoner was full of attractive, young, SINGLE women a couple of nights this week. They know that the bar is a popular spot for Western men so don't think they are there for the food! And in all likelihood, neither will they repel your approaches, unless of course you look like hunchback. A lot of the female customers there seemed to be on the prowl, so to speak.

Word has it that the mobile phone system number changes in Thailand are "more stable now". Calling from abroad, using either the "1" or the "81" mobile prefix should work just fine.

Thinking back to my first ever journey to Thailand, my overwhelming memory is of the smells. And there is only one word I can use to describe those smells – RANCID! Bangkok used to reek! But these days walking around the city it doesn't smell nearly as bad. Sure, in some areas you get a bar smell but in most places it is not nearly as bad as it used to be.

Quote of the week comes from a freelancer who when asked about her job said "my job me work in hotel"!

If you buy a second-hand car in the West and you don't know so much about cars yourself, you'll probably do one of two things – either drag a mate along who is pretty good with cars, or get a vehicle inspection done. Buying a second hand car in Thailand has never been a preferred option as in addition to not necessarily having a car savvy mate, there were never any car inspection companies in business. Add to that the fact that many locals never service their car but simply top up the oil and it could be a recipe for disaster. Help is now available with this company opening up a vehicle inspection service that on the surface looks very professional. Now buying second hand might make more sense.

There has been really bad flooding in Thailand over the past few weeks. The peak of the rainy season hit Bangkok this past week and this site has a good report and some excellent pictures of what parts of Bangkok look like at the moment. Have no fear, the central areas of Bangkok are just fine.

The latest foreigner to be kicked out of Thailand is an Aussie paedophile and you can find more here. And a fellow Antipodean, a Kiwi, is going home too, but in a box, after he got into an altercation which shows the dangers of the excesses of alcohol.

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. 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: My wife wants to ask your wife some questions: What does a farang husband need from his Thai wife? How should I treat my husband? (Thai-way or Farang-way) My husband is very easy-going. What do farang husbands complain about? We are a middle class family. My wife works for the government (teacher) and we are nearly the same age (around 40 years of age).

Mrs. Stick says: I think you need to ask these questions to your husband, not another woman. Perhaps you need to understand that you and he are culturally different. Mr. Stick likes to have some time to himself, which was a little unusual to me, but I respect that. The things Mr. Stick complained about included going shopping (I go with my friends now and not him), using the car and getting caught in bad traffic jams and not having time for himself. But that is his problem because he spends too much time on his website. Anyway, I think you have to agree on what works for both of you. Every couple is different and is not always because of nationality.

Question 2: What kind of gifts do Thai women like to get? I will be visiting Bangkok soon and would like to get something for some girls I am friends with. I may be travelling late October or over Western New Years. Are there traditional gifts Thai women like to get at certain times of the year?

Mrs. Stick says: When it comes to gifts, something from your country is nice. Or something that is somehow symbolic of your relationship. If your girlfriend has ever mentioned something she likes which is either much cheaper in your country or cannot be found in Thailand, then that would also be a good choice.

Question 3: I have only known a woman for 12 days. We met in a bar but she tells me she comes from a very respectable family. Now she is pregnant. I leave to go back home in three days and she's going to get a pregnancy test and tell me the results. She keeps telling me "Don't worry about me. I have money and good family." She does have money. I saw her bankbook! She offered to loan me money! My question is this: If she is pregnant is it expected that I should marry this woman? I have no problem being a father and taking responsibility for a child but I don't understand what the cultural implications are for our relationship. We don't have the best communication skills which is why I'm not asking her this question. <Important note to readers from Stick – the pregnancy has been verified.>

Mrs. Stick says: Your girlfriend (?) will get a lot of pressure from her family to marry you. In traditional and respectable families it can be damaging to the reputation of the family if a member of that family gets pregnant before marriage. If they are as respectable as they say they are, there will be real pressure on her to get married.

Mr. Stick says: At the risk of alienating people, girls from respectable families seldom meet customers in naughty bars. I assume you mean a naughty bar. Of course, it could be a respectable family, but one with some troubles.

I was recently sent a search report that showed that the two words "Bangkok Stickman" were in the top 20 searches on Yahoo for Bangkok over a one month period. Unbelievably, more people searched for "Bangkok Stickman" than searched for "Bangkok sex" or "Bangkok weather" or "Bangkok Nana Plaza" or "Bangkok hospital" as well as a whole host of other searches that one would think would be more frequent. The top two searches were simply "Bangkok", one word, and "Bangkok hotel". It was kind of nice to hear and shows how established this site has become.



Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick


Thanks go out to Bangkok Grasshopper, Claymore and Mr. Write.