He was clearly enaomoured by her. He ran his hand over hers, his eyes bright with excitement at the beauty he was sitting with.
They were getting to know each other and it was clearly the first time they had met. His questions were asked slowly, in very basic, almost Pidgin English. It was obvious that he had not had the company of a female for some time, the lady in his company was, physically at least, beyond the standard he had been with. The onanist was more excited than he had been in an awfully long time.
Not wanting to be obvious but a keen people watcher and fascinated by his progress, I kept stealing glances in his direction. Roughly my age, he was well-dressed and well-spoken and I am sure he held a more than decent job. He had a gentle manner about him but perhaps he'd not had the sort of luck with the ladies that he should have, for he was a little clumsy and awkward in the company of such a beauty. Frankly, he was the type of guy most Thai women would be very happy with.
I turned away and my refocused my attention on the women on stage, resuming conversation with my pal. Yep, we were sitting in a naughty bar. The gent off to my side had been lining up one of the bar's prettiest dancing girls not just for a night of passion, but from what I could tell, to be his girlfriend!
I have long maintained that the reason many guys frequent Bangkok's naughty bars is the pursuit of a girlfriend. Not a lady for a bit of fun, but a real deal, love me until we part girlfriend. Of course a girlfriend can be found there but really, you're better off looking at such places as a short term thing. A place to be enjoyed, and no more.
Despite rumours to the contrary, regular Thai women are very easy to meet. There is no reason why girls in the naughty bars are pursued in the search for a girlfriend. Believe me, Thai women ARE easy to meet. But meeting Thai women is different to meeting Western women and you may have to go back to basics.
Where and how guys meet and approach women is very much an individual thing. If you are comfortable approaching women in bars, in public places or women going about their work day, then that's the way to proceed. I have always felt that you're better off approaching a Thai lady in a shopping centre than a bar or night spot. Many Thai women go to nightspots for a good time, but not actually to meet guys. For many Thai women, there is a real stigma about meeting a guy in a nightspot, even if he is a genuinely nice guy and there's no hanky panky. I guess the message is that one shouldn't pursue Thai women in places you wouldn't pursue women in the West – it just isn't a natural approach for you.
One of the great things about approaching Thai women is that if she isn't interested she'll most likely be very nice about it and you're much less likely to get a sharp-tongued response as would be more likely elsewhere.
I have always found the best way to meet Thai women is referrals from friends. These friends could be Thai or farang, but for sure, if you are referred by someone you know and trust, the odds are that you will be introduced to someone who is both worth meeting and is actually single and interested in dating too. That's one of the big problems with meeting Thai women, many are awfully hazy about their current relationship status and many, believe it or not, simply aren't interested in dating. Increasingly career-minded Thai women in their late '20s are often more interested in juggling a job and their Master's degree than dating.
Perhaps the best piece of advice I can offer is about your personal presentation. You MUST be clean. This is a deal clincher. It's a MUST! If you smell bad, forget it. Nothing, but nothing, scares off a Thai woman so fast as a bloke with poor personal hygiene.
Your typical Thai woman is impressed by a guy with decent personal presentation so that means a neat, tidy haircut, be it stylish or otherwise, and a guy who looks anything other than sloppy. That favourite old T-shirt that has developed air-conditioning vents should be discarded for a new and preferably pressed shirt. Jeans that look like they have been worn on a building site for years are out, and shoes should be clean. Thai women pay much more attention to the little things – so you should too.
It's not to say that you have to look like you jumped out the latest issue of GQ. Be yourself. It is also worth considering the "Milan rule", that is to follow the fashion sense of those in one of the world's most fashion conscious cities – trousers ahead of jeans where possible, at least where higher society women go. It's not a biggy, but most Thais do consider a pair of freshly pressed trousers to be much smarter than even the most exclusive designer jeans.
Smile, smile, smile! A warm demeanour always helps to attract women in droves. If you're one of the unlucky guys whose default look is on the glum side, you might be thought of as someone who is serious mark mark – and that is just about a crime in fun-loving Thailand. Giving off a relaxed and cheerful demeanour goes a long way. Be nice, be a gentleman and be sincere but remember, while we always try harder early on in a relationship we are serious about, this is something that is hard to fake. If you're naturally broody or moody, you're going to have to work on it!
I have never figured out why many Western men become meek and mild in the company of Thai women. Perhaps this is the effect Western women are having on men, demasculinising them. A lack of assertiveness and confidence is an incredible turn off for Thai women. Ok, so some Thai women can be bossy little bitches but at the end of the day, they want their guy to show that he is a leader, and worthy of the mantle of head of the family. A lot of the games the girls play are tests to see whether you are up to the task or not. Be confident, be strong, be bold and whatever you do, don't look to her for direction, or God forbid, acceptance. Even if you're new to Thailand, you have to lead the way. The traditional roles that men are the breadwinners and the decision makers and women are the child rearers and the home keepers largely remain in Thailand.
The alpha male might clean up in the West but he's not necessarily flavour of the month in Thailand. The bulky bodybuilder with bulging muscles stretching the seams of his T-shirt is more likely to scare a local girl than excite her. As do large, overweight guys turn the local girls off. Don't let the sights of Pattaya's Beach Road lead you to think otherwise. Badly overweight guys are a major turn off. Thai women also don't tend to go for facial hair. Even a moustache or stubble can be off putting for them.
Another turn off is tattoos. Let's face it, it's not much more than a generation ago that tattoos were the domain of seamen, jailbirds and whores. Although some Thai hi-so types may sport tattoos, most Thai women associate tattoos with undesirables. So if you've got any tats, cover them up and sell yourself to her as a decent bloke before revealing the brandings later.
So you've met someone, asked them out and they have accepted. What next? Of course it all depends on her. If she is the high society type, dinner and a movie might not cut it but for most women, dinner and a movie is an ideal first date. Frankly, I'm not a fan of a movie on a first date. The long period of sitting together but being silent goes against my desire of finding out more about her. For an average Thai woman, dinner at a decent Japanese restaurant goes well. The big chains Fuji or Zen are ok, but if you know one of the better places in the next tier up – it does NOT need to be high end – you'll impress her that little bit more. Japanese is sufficiently different as to be interesting yet remains safe – few Thai women cannot stomach Japanese. It should be noted that fancy Western dining on a first date might be too much for a girl who has little exposure to Western food and ways. Save the French bistro or Italian Trotteria for date number 3 or 4.
Once you've commenced dating, don't go in for the kill right away! It's a surefire way to scare her off. Of course some women would be delighted at such an approach but I'd suggest they're in the minority. This does have to be tempered by the fact that some local women are pre-programmed with very specific ideas about how they think a relationship should proceed and if you deviate from that path, you may end up alienating her. That said, any woman who is that closed-minded is, in my opinion, not really suited to dating outside of her own culture.
Car owners have a definite advantage and many Thai women are surprised to discover that farangs are allowed to own, or even drive, cars in Thailand! Being taken out in a private car as opposed to sitting in the back of taxis impresses many a girl no end. But that's not to say you should go out and buy a car to secure a date! Oh, and plopping her on the back of a motorbike is, for most girls, a seriously bad idea.
Granted there are many generalities here. Some Thai women like bulky guys and others like bearded blokes. Some Thai birds want a quiet bloke who will submit to her every command and others like nothing more than the thrill of a hoon on a bike with an engine the size usually only found in cars. But I maintain that if you follow many of these tips you'll significantly increase your chances of meeting someone.
Where was this picture taken?
Last week's picture was taken of the Amari Watergate Hotel and the Grand Diamond serviced apartment building on Petchaburi Road. The first person to email me with the correct location of the picture wins a 500 baht credit at Oh My Cod, the British Fish And Chips restaurant and the second wins a free jug of margarita, valued at 840 baht from Charley Brown's, a well-established, popular restaurant, offering authentic Tex-Mex Cuisine and delicious margaritas. Charley Brown's is located in the small sub-soi off Sukhumvit Soi 11.
FROM STICK MARK II'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick Mark II.) Preference may be given to emails which refer to the previous week's column.
EMAIL OF THE WEEK – Tattoo central!
I totally agree with your piece about tattoos in Pattaya. My wife and I had a long weekend there recently. I made a joke with friends when I returned about being stopped by the Tourist Police and we are now banned from going to Pattaya again. When friends asked me why, I said because between the two of us, we do not have a tattoo. Therefore this obviously makes us strange people in Pattaya! A Farang and a Thai wife without tattoos is not normal there! I reckon there would be more tattoos showing and more tattoo parlours per square metre in Pattaya than anywhere else in the world. And I don't think it's a pretty sight.
Privacy is a Western concept, not an Eastern one.
As a regular visitor for over 12 years it came home and hit me on my last visit. I had developed a relationship with two "good girls" but I made the mistake of telling them of my travel planes. Within 24 hours of arriving in Bangkok I received a most distressing phone call from my lady in the north of Thailand telling me that she not only knew that I was staying with someone but also her name and date of birth! When I confronted the staff at reception about this lack of privacy and security they all denied that it had ever happened. 40 days later I invited the lady for dinner in the hotel and her "friend" was the receptionist. Even then with all the evidence all I got was the famous Thai smile.
Not the choice for superstars.
I have more and more come to the conclusion that guys with real financial freedom would not choose to live in Thailand in the first place. That's why I will probably have to revise my own goals in life. Do you see the likes of Donald trump, Sylvester Stallone, Puff Daddy or Roger Federer owning property in Thailand – or even thinking about it? I doubt the Thai government would drive them away but they have much cleaner and better options with higher standards in their villas in Florida or Acapulco (and no lack of girls either).
Thai women do change.
I was reading your piece on blokes who had moved back to Farangland, and it was clear that the chaps had certainly been changed by their residence in Thailand. It occurs to me to ask 'what about the women'? My wife and I married 7 years ago, and although I've never lived in Thailand, she has now lived in London, The Hague, and now Lagos, Nigeria. Her attitudes toward Thailand have radically changed from what they first were, and she says she would now be quite happy to retire in the UK and have visits back to Thailand. Her positive feelings about the King remain the same. Our sons and her family are still in Bangkok, but in the main she avoids other Thai people – too much trouble. She has never been part of the nightlife industry and is from a middle class Chinese / Thai family. When we moved to Nigeria with the company, she was astounded that locals would try cheating her because of the colour of her skin. My response to that was "Now you know how I feel in Thailand", and it really seems to have hit home. The recent election has had her pulling her hair out, saying "How can those people be so stupid as to elect Samak!" It's been an interesting transformation to be sure.
My flend eat duay-gun!
After a couple of months in a relationship, I took my charming sweetheart to the “Yelloman Beer” show in Future Park. There she announces me that a friend of hers is coming. Two more showed up later without notice. They ate and drunk as if they were starving. They ignored me; I was just the useful paying cretin. This was her third strike, so she was out. Similar cases recurred with two other girls, but these times I said that their friends are welcome but they would have to pay for their own consumption; they didn't come. Be aware of shopping malls! On a first date a girl told me she had to buy a pair of shoes. Guess who paid? Again two different girls, same shopping mall; one with a 12,000 baht mobile phone the other with 7,000 baht beauty stuff “to be beautiful for me.” This time they didn't get away with the booty: I'm not Santa. Thai girls think that all Thai men are bad and clever, and they stereotype farangs as being nice and naïve. Yet they remain the most alluring, charming women on earth. And let's be fair, there is a (perhaps larger) group of conscientious, trusty women willing to share their lives with a good guy.
Cut your ties!
I was rather amazed by Mrs. Stick's response to the guy who had been ripped off by his wife over the car purchase because here was a guy who needed help and advice and all he got was: ‘I hope it works out.' I don't really blame Mrs. Stick for this because the purpose of her section is to give the female Thai viewpoint and naturally she will tend to sympathise with another Thai. This guy could have asked any other farang who would probably have told him the ‘truth' but he is intelligent enough to write for a Thai response and I am sorry he didn't get anything more worthwhile. My exasperation was instantly tempered by your own rider but my response was already being written in my head so I thought I would send it anyway. This guy does not seem to be an idiot but, as he now realises, his act of handing over the money was certainly idiotic. But the facts remain very simple – this lady has ripped him off and, human nature and greed being what they are, she will do it again – she won't be able to help herself. This will never, ever, be the basis of any marriage (farang or Thai) and so this marriage is already over. The only way this chap can ‘work it out' is to divorce. If he can recover any of the money beforehand (because he certainly won't afterwards) he should consider himself lucky, otherwise he should just thank his lucky stars that he won't lose any more. He could also threaten to divorce her unless she repays the money – and then divorce her – but the divorce is inevitable. With my own wife between 2 – 4 years after the wedding I knew I had to divorce her but I kept hoping things would improve (and she also constantly assured me she wasn't after my money, like other Thai women, and constantly told me what a miserable character I was), but they didn't and neither will his, because people don't change – we might make adjustments during our lives but we don't change. It thus took me seven years to make the break. My advice to this guy: Don't lose the next four years of your life hoping. (*There's an update to this guy's plight further down in the column)
The one and only entrance to Nana has transformed into a motorbike car park. It is MUCH worse that it ever was and it is awfully difficult to negotiate one's way in or out of the plaza. And woe be tied you if you knock over one of those motorbikes as you try and thread your way in and out of the plaza in an inebriated state. Most of these pesky machines belong to the thugs doing security work for the bars.
The warnings about freelancer robberies in the Nana area refuse to stop. It has got so bad that I almost feel I would like to post notices up in the Soi Nana area warning of the dangers. More readers report getting robbed this past week including two pals staying at the Mothership. Taking a girl back to their respective rooms, they were somewhat lucky in that most of their valuables were in the hotel safe – but they still lost their mobile phones as well as all of the cash they had on them. One also lost his camera with photos – irreplaceable memories GONE! What is interesting – and perturbing – is that one of the two girls in this instance lodged her ID card with hotel reception. What's the bet it was a fake ID, or it belonged to someone else?
Club Electric Blue is now open at 4 PM each and every day. Their new happy hour runs from 4 PM to 9 PM daily and features "buy one, get one free". The closing time is 2 AM daily, except Friday and Saturday when they are open until 3 AM.
There's been something of an improvement in the atmosphere at Mandarin Table Top Dancing in Nana. There just seems to be more of a fun factor in there than in the past and the staff seem to really enjoy themselves – which is about the best thing you can say about a naughty bar. If the girls are having fun, it's likely the punters will too.
Lumpini police have ordered the bars in Nana Plaza to abide by their designated policy of all staff having a numbered disc pinned to their person. For dancing girls the numbered discs must be red and for service staff the discs must be blue. Will Dave the Rave soon adorn a number?
It would seem that it is going to be more difficult to get a tourist visa from the Thai consulate in Penang, perhaps the most popular consulates for those doing the perpetual tourist visa thing. It is mooted that tourist visas will only be issued to those who can show an international air ticket not just out of Thailand, but out of the region! The loophole of staying long-term in Thailand on tourist visas year after year has been exploited for so long that it's truly amazing that such measures have not happened before now. I would expect to see similar policies at other Thai embassies and consulates in the region before too long.
Last week Shadow Bar advertised by way of a large banner across Cowboy – and also sent me email – that they would be hosting a Superbowl party starting at 7 AM with the match itself kicking off at 8 AM. A number of readers emailed me informing that the time was wrong and that the actual kick off is at 6:17 AM, local Bangkok time. Shadow Bar is grateful to the readers who let them know and the bar's revised opening time is now 5:30 AM. For those who like an afternoon tipple, Shadow Bar's happy hour starts at 12 noon and runs until 9:30PM, the longest happy hour in the naughty lane.
February 7 is Chinese New Year and many locals take a few days' break. If you are planning air travel in the Kingdom in the next few days but have yet to purchase tickets, you might find yourself out of luck. Bookings are heavier this year than previous years, both domestic and international, and you may have trouble getting a ticket.
Down Pattaya way, Beach Road is more active of gals now than in a very long time. It's filled with these country gals making sweet eyes at those approaching them – and cursing them if they pass by without warming to their advances! If you were to hit the Beach Road at around 9 PM you would see them everywhere! I'm not in the habit of doing the dirty with anyone, but personally I wouldn't touch them. Some are really rough looking and it should be remembered that Beach Road is the place where some have mistakenly picked up a ladyboy. Dana would be in heaven.
A little beyond Tony's Disco on Walking Street, pretty much right in front of a certain convenience store, many Thais can be found offering marijuana for sale. They bother passers by constantly and are a real nuisance. They're also scattered up and down Walking Street, but are really clustered in that particular area. Will the boys in brown ever round them up…or perhaps the new prime minister might seize the opportunity to do as his predecessor did, and get the boys in brown to attack the problem with automatic weapons?
Rainbow 4 has absolutely the best selection of pretty ladies in Nana, of that there is no question. Their attitudes are rather a different story though. I witnessed a funny this week with the mamasan wandering around with a message handwritten on her hand which stated "Barfine 600, short time 2,500, long time 4,000". Shock, horror, there's price collusion in Rainbow 4! Seriously though, that's rather expensive! Barfine, plus short-time fee plus short time hotel fee plus a couple of drinks and you're up to 4,000 baht, or in real money, about $US 125. That's a real chunk of change!
I have received so many emails now from guys whose wallets have been lighter after the boys in brown searched them that I would advise readers that if the cops wish to search through your wallet, it might be a good idea to count the money out in front of them.
The management of a new venue in Pattaya emailed me with a link to the site promoting their new venture. It looks interesting, a fine dining establishment as well as a bar serving drinks in a temperature controlled -5 degrees environment. Check out Minus5Pattaya for yourself.
Beware of the information posted on the websites of some naughty bars, specifically if the girls' ages are listed. One particular Pattaya bar lists a lass's age as 22 when in fact she is a rather more motherly 31.
There's much frustration and annoyance amongst teachers with the recent, it must be said, hazy announcement, that all teachers in Thailand will require a teaching license. Up until now, legal teachers were those who had a work permit, but new regulations would appear to state that all teachers need this said teacher's license too. The problems start with the fact that no-one is clear on just what is required to get a teacher's license. It is generally understood – or should that be misunderstood – that you require either a degree in education, or a degree in the subject you are teaching, or a specific English language teaching certificate (for those teaching English) or X numbers of years' experience teaching in Thailand already. With a bit of luck, most teachers will be able to satisfy one of the requirements. For those who can't meet at least one of the requirements, all is not lost. There will be training sessions on Thai culture, language and ethics in Thailand, the last of which has risen more than a few eyebrows! After attending the courses, you can sit an exam and assuming you pass you will be awarded with the teaching license. It has been mooted that those who may have to sit the test MUST attend the course before sitting the test and of course, the fees to attend the course will run several thousand baht. It's mooted that there will be a grace period in which those who need to get certified can, and after that grace period, those without the teaching license will not be able to extend their work permit. More details as they come in.
One of the most popular stores for souvenirs in downtown Bangkok is Naraphand Plaza, located next to Gaysorn Plaza and opposite Central World Plaza. Buy your souvenirs quickly as it is being torn down and the tenants have to vacate the premises by April 15.
I've experienced problems accessing some websites over the last couple of days. Some sites – not all – open without a lot of the graphics and graphic formatting, meaning they look like a rather unsightly low bandwidth version of how the site should look. I thought it was just me and fiddled about with the browser's settings but checking the same sites in other browsers I discovered that the sites looked the same. I then heard from friends using the same ISP that they had the same problem. What's the bet that there is some international bandwidth problem and the ISP is doing something to reduce graphics as a means to reduce bandwidth used?
Are you the sales type looking to supplement your income in Bangkok? How would you feel wandering around the bars selling a software package that prints out receipts and tracks sales etc. The best way to describe it would be to say that it competes with BarSoft, you know, the software that produces those fancy, but clear, itemised receipts. There will be a decent commission (think about 4,000 baht per copy per year). The owner of the company that produces the package needs somebody interested in putting some time into it. If selling 100 copies a year which is quite doable, it could provide nice extra income. If interested, email me and I will forward your email on to him!
Remember the question to Mrs. Stick a couple of weeks ago from a reader asking for advice about getting back the money he had given her to buy a car – but which she later decided she no longer wanted – but did wish to keep the money? He updated me this week…she has returned the money to him, in full. He also said that she's sulking like there's no tomorrow. Good luck!
At the top of this page is a paid ad for a Thailand-based florist. They're offering a 5% discount to Stickman readers. Simply email them before you make the order and they will knock 5% off the price! Customers should send email to: [email protected] and state that you are a Stickman reader along with the product picture you want to order and they will then send you a payable invoice for the flowers at the discount price.
Quote of the week comes from my pal Bangkok Barry who was referring to some users of Thailand's farang forums. "How can you live in Bangkok and have such a thin skin?"
Unrelated to Thailand, this story about infidelity in the UK with a real slant on online relationships makes fascinating reading.
This humorous homemade video clearly shows a Thai bird lying to her "sponsor".
And here's another video, this time about teaching in Thailand.
Ask Mrs. Stick
Mrs. Stick is here to help you with your relationship and culture questions and the things that baffle you about life in Thailand. She accepts questions on matters of the heart or cultural misunderstandings. Her answers are entirely her own without any influence or editing by me. She looks forward to reading and answering your questions, so please give her a big welcome by sending in some thought-provoking things.
Question 1: I have known a Thai girl for a while and I am thinking we are moving in a direction of a so called serious relationship. She is 22 and studying at a university in Bangkok. She wants to invite me to meet here parents and I have no problems with that, but my question is: Should I bring something with me to them when I visit their home for example something from my home country or flowers? Or is this not a big thing?
Mrs. Stick says: A gift will be very gratefully received. The more thoughtful your gift is the more impressed your girlfriend's family will be. As you are coming from your country, why not buy something that has meaning to you and explain its significance to your girlfriend's family. Also, it is nice if you can give them something which they can keep and show to their friends.
Question 2: I am getting married in May. I love my fiancée and hope we can beat the odds and make our marriage work. We will be living and working in Thailand and our future plans are to stay here. She has intimated to be that my responsibilities are to pay for all of the bills and generally be responsible for the family's finances. I am also expected to be the leader of the household. I am comfortable with this as I am older than her and earn almost 5 times what she does. She works an easy but relatively low paying job (21,000 baht a month, Monday to Friday only). What I would like to know is what her responsibilities should be. She keeps telling me what she expects from me so now I want to know what I should expect from her.
Mrs. Stick says: I can't tell you what to expect from her but I can tell you that you should have everything happily agreed and understood before you get married. It's not something to negotiate like a business deal or a sale and each of you has to be happy. If she is working then you can expect her to do much less than if she was at home all of the time.
The whacky weather the world is experiencing these days is being felt in Bangkok. I can never remember rain in January and it is unusual to get rain in the mornings, consistently, at any time of the year, but pretty much every day for the last 10 days or so we have been getting downpours early in the morning, any time from around 6 until about 9 AM. It makes things cooler, but the inevitable happens with the traffic. And now they are saying that more rain is expected and that the hot season is not only going to come much earlier this year, it is going to be even hotter than usual, with temperatures well into the '40s…
Stick Mark II