Stickman's Weekly Column July 13th, 2008

Sponsorship Doesn’t Work


He’s been coming to Thailand for 15 years, had a one-year stretch incountry and has a Thai wife. He's been around the block and should know better.

She’s been on the game for at least four years yet retains a certain sweetness that can reel in even the most learned punters. Her looks intact, her English great, she knows just what customers want and how to satisfy them.

And then there was me. Years experience looking into these girls’ backgrounds and even more years, as The Big Chili magazine once put it, performing the role of "Bangkok’s Agony Aunt".

It was not going to be an easy assignment and I considered turning it down. Her known haunts are the various freelancer venues up and down Sukhumvit. That makes her hard to find. I could be in Gulliver’s and she could be in the Biergarten. I could be in Nana Disco and she could be in Spice Club. She’s not employed at any one venue and her salary is not going to be cut if she doesn’t go to work on any given night. There are many freelancer joints, thousands of freelancers and I have to find her. You get the picture, it’s not going to be easy.

The client’s goals are simple. He wants her observed. Is she going out to these venues? After collecting well over $US 1,000 equivalent as he left the airport several months ago, she promised she would never go to those places again. He sends this amount to her every month. But as a keen reader of this site, very much a breeding ground for putting doubt into even the most optimistic punter’s mind, this long-time Stickman reader was concerned and got in contact.

I explained the difficulty with freelancers is finding them. If I was to undertake the task, he would need to be able to tell me where she would be at a given time, preferably around 9 or 10 PM, so I could follow her and see where she went. A Friday or Saturday would be preferable. Then we would know.

He had an idea. He would arrange for him and her to chat online at a certain time. She always used the same Internet café, located not far from her condo which in turn was not far from the nightlife areas, walking distance in fact. So it was arranged. They would be chatting online at 9 PM.

It's ironic really. On his last trip he bought her a laptop. Cost 55,000 baht. The best in the shop. She said she wanted to chat online and webcam with him every day. So he bought the laptop. She never got an internet connection and never once used that computer to contact him. Since leaving her at Suwannaphum 6 months earlier he had seen her precisely twice on webcam. That was it.

I made it to the net café around 8:45, grabbed the computer with the best vantage point and started surfing the net. It was a small place with less than ten terminals. At a bit after 9:00 PM she enters and sits right next to me. What luck!

I am a little surprised to see that she is in typical bargirlware, ultra tight jeans and a skimpy top. She looks like she is ready for a night out. She looks like a whore.

She signs into MSN Messenger in offline mode. She can see others online but they cannot see her. She starts chatting with a guy and he turns on his webcam. I can tell from the guy’s email address that it is NOT the client. I immediately know that this hussy is up to no good. If she was genuinely keen on my client she would have engaged him in conversation from the outset but she is now asking the usual inane questions to another guy. I know in my mind that she is up to no good and this case is now merely going to be a case of gathering evidence to present to the client.

After a few minutes she goes into online mode and starts up a conversation using microphone and webcam with my client. As she is sat at the terminal right next to me I clearly see everything she and hear everything she says and does. I can see my client in the webcam but cannot hear what he is saying to her as she is wearing headphones. As she is chatting with him other chat windows pop up. Other guys engage her in conversation. Their comments suggest rather more familiarity than mere online pals.

A capable multi-tasker, she opens up Internet Explorer and logs into her email account. I am only half observing as I watch her type in her password. Her finger hovers above one key on the keyboard which she presses about a half dozen times. For sure, her password was made up of just one key. I look across at her email address and make a mental note of it. I am thrilled. Quite unexpectedly we now have the keys to the castle. Things are moving in the right direction.

She goes into her email inbox and with the proximity of our terminals I can clearly see that she has been a busy girl. She appears to receive about 5 emails a day, each from a different guy. Her email inbox reveals heaps of names.

Let’s go back a step. My client has been sponsoring this little hussy for 6 months, sending her a very generous salary, more than the average Bangkok English teacher earns a month. The odd email from a former customer is to be expected, but this level of frequency isn't suspicious, it's incriminating. There's no excuse for it and it is plainly clear that she has remained in contact with many, many guys. Western names. Scandinavian names. Even Middle Eastern names. Busy girl.

And then I notice something. There’s an email to her from a guy I know! Well, I don’t know him as such, but he has a really unusual name. It’s a guy I did a job for many years ago. I mentally file his name away. Small world.

While chatting with her boyfriend, my client, she is also reading email from other guys. I am worried that she might see me peering at her screen but she's so busy both conversing and reading emails in her second language that she doesn’t notice. She opens an email and there’s an email from someone with a decidedly German sounding name. He is due in town next month. She composes a reply while she is chatting with my client, smiling and has completely convinced him of her innocence. She talks about the flowers he recently sent and says they made her loom smell nice.

As they continue chatting she is joined by another girl, clearly a lady of the night, dressed in the usual bargirl garb. This bird looks hard and being quite ugly makes the whole look even worse. The recent arrival places a bag of cosmetics at the terminal which coincides with the client stating that it's time for him to head off to work. They say their goodbyes, close the chat window but she is not done online. She takes time to read emails from other guys and send them replies while applying make up and lipstick. She looks like a hardcore hooker and it's clear I will be on the freelancer venue carousel tonight.

But she is not done online yet. She opens up a chat window with one guy, a late ‘20s looking European. She types some highly flirtatious messages and he has a huge grin on his face. Fortunately he doesn’t suggest webcam sex.

It’s now well after 10:30 PM and the girls settle the bill with the net café owner. I notice that the signs are all in English. The price is 1 baht a minute but they are charged half that. Racism is alive and well in Sukhumvit’s net cafés.

I hurriedly settle mine – at full price – and follow 30 seconds later.

They amble up the road, ever so slowly and I wonder if it is humanly possible for them to walk any slower. I am on the lookout for the nearest motorcycle taxis. I'm not sure which venue the girls are heading for and I know that I might have to use the services of one of the men in orange vests to track them. Fortunately they remain on foot and several minutes later I have eliminated all other venues. They're hitting Gulliver’s. I duck into a shop where I am harangued by the owner to buy some tourist junk. Arriving at the same time would arouse suspicion so I have to kill a little time.

10 minutes later I am in Gulliver's and take up a point across the bar from the two and watch them engaging in conversation with a number of guys. The rest of the night is remarkably uneventful. It is clear that they're up for it but no-one takes them up on their offer and eventually they leave for home. I later learn that they are cousins and share what can only be described as a rathole. But it’s cheap and walking distance to all of the freelance venues. Perfect.

The client had offered to pay for an apartment over and above what he was sending her. You can get decent rooms for 7,000 – 8,000 baht a month with a swimming pool. But a bit further out. This rathole is slap in the farang ghetto, walking distance to any of the freelancer venues, a prime location for her activities. It later transpired that she had taken a number of guys to see her rathole, telling the same story to each customer in an attempt to make them feel sorry for her and help financially. "I am just a poor farmer's daughter with no education. Look how poor I am. Can you help me have a better life? Can you support me? I will be your girlfriend and be faithful to you." Tears followed…

I get home and fire off a report to the customer, but not before I am a naughty boy and try the password for her email account. It doesn’t work! I curse myself. How could it not work? I'm convinced I got it. I try it several times and change the number of keystrokes. It was somewhere between 5 and 9 keystrokes. But it doesn’t work. I include this info to the customer. It is now very, very late and I hit the sack.

In the morning I have a reply from the customer. The password worked. He had got into her account and it was a huge tale of woe. My observation of her behaviour showed that she appeared to be on the game but I had not observed her do anything wrong as such, apart from the fact that she had told her boyfriend that she would not even go to those venues. But the evidence in her email account totally contradicted the observations of my first night of the investigation.

The customer got little work done that day. He spent hours going through her mail account. It was highly incriminating. She had had the account since 2005 and by chance had the save mail setting to on, meaning that every email she had sent in the last 3 years was there!

The client discovered a number of guys sending her money on a monthly basis. But he was the biggest sponsor – and by default the biggest fool. Photos the customer had taken of her had been forwarded to other guys. She had sent some nude photographs of herself to some customers. She had sent graphic emails to some guys of what she would like to do with them. There were salacious emails from a US government employee from his work email address. And then there was the biggest kicker of them all. The customer had left her at the airport some 6 months earlier, both of them with tears in their eyes. She had told him she was broke and he had given her an extremely tidy sum. “I’ll wait for you. I’ll never go to the bars again. I’ll never go with another man until you return” she had promised him. All along, even when they were together on that particular trip, she had been communicating with a European, a man who was to fly in the very next day and she was to spend the next two weeks with!

I couldn’t believe all that he was telling me and I went to have a sneaky look at her email. You didn’t expect me not to, did you?! But the password didn’t work! I couldn’t work it out. It worked for him but it didn’t work for me. I couldn’t understand it.

It turns out that I had caught her password, but her email address, a combination of letters, numbers and an underscore, I had got wrong. The client was shattered. Devastated. They had planned a life together.

Then he had a revelation for me. He revealed that he was divorcing his wife for her. When he told her that he could see her panic. She started making conditions. He had to buy her a condo. He said he would buy a condo, in his name, and she could live there. That was not acceptable. It had to be her name and before the marriage. She insisted on a Thai marriage with a 300,000 baht sin sot. Nothing less. If he could not do these things there would be no marriage. He loved her and was blinded and continued the relationship.

Since leaving her 6 months earlier, he’d been counting down the months to this trip, been sending her a huge amount of money every month and had planned the rest of their lives together. They were going to have kids. They were going to live in the States. Now he discovered that it was all a lie.

The whole case had been solved. Inadvertently discovering her password had revealed the truth behind the smile.

As the customer read through email after email, it just got worse and worse and worse. She had sent out an email to a number of guys saying that she had been robbed and lost her TV, computer and various other items of value. She didn't have money for English school. A number of guys sent money for that. Others were sending her money on a regular basis.

She had received an email from a customer who had had unprotected sex with her and had since found out he was HIV+. The customer told her she needed to get checked. She responded saying that he was a bad man and hoped he would die! She was not concerned at all. She should have been. She admits she never uses a condom unless the guy wants it. She says she insisted they finish outside. Not every guy would. Some of the explicit emails the client read said that the guys didn't manage that. She was OK about it. The guy would end up being another boyfriend sending support.

Amongst the many foreign men keen on her, there was a German who was particularly on her. He was prepared to leave his wife and two kids for her. She didn’t want that to happen. In reading the emails it was clear that she wanted the relationship to remain complicated. That way she would keep getting a monthly stipend but the relationship would not be able to develop to the next level. This is a trick the bargirls play. Guys mistakenly think it is because she doesn’t want to break up a family. That has nothing to do with it. If a guy leaves his wife for a Thai hooker he is going to be in Thailand in no time. He will want the girl to move in with him. He has made a huge sacrifice and will have high expectations of her. She knows that. It restricts her ability to milk other guys so she doesn't allow it to happen. All under the guise of not wanting to break up a marriage.

This girl had been around for a number of years, had very good English and had managed to retain an almost innocent charm that had most guys begging for more. The client couldn't believe what he was reading. He was shattered. His life had been turned upside down. He felt the bitterness of betrayal and the devastation of a relationship breakdown. It wasn’t just the money, the wasted time and hope, but his dreams of a future together. Gone.

The client then decided that he wanted to win her back. He was to arrive in late June but changed his plans to arrive in mid-June, the very same day as another of her customers, that would be the German, the one she was keen on, the one she had sent more lovey dovey emails to than anyone else. The client would surprise her. He would effectively force her to choose. He was sending her far more money than the German, four times as much. He had known her longer. This would eliminate the German from the equation. She would apologise and be all contrite, they would have make up sex and the whole nightmare would be over. He would go to meet her family as they had planned and these nightmarish investigation results would be a thing of the past.

A month later he arrived in town, two weeks earlier than she had expected. He called her and said, “Surprise darling, I am here!”

She couldn’t believe it and she wasn’t happy. She said that she couldn’t meet him now and that she had to go and see her family and that she would see him in two weeks time as they had planned. He then blurted out that he knew everything, knew about the German, knew about other guys and knew that she had stacked the guys’ visits so that they would not clash. She had to make a choice – him or the German.

He really thought she would choose him. But she chose the German. She said that the client was trying to control her by trying to stop her going to the bars and discos. The German was a nice man because he never tried to control her. She likes guys who send her money and let her do her thing without complaint. And she likes older guys who have complicated lives, marriages they can't get out of so they can't take it to the next level. Things remain stuck in support mode forever.

She would be happy to see the client in two weeks. He was in town for a month. He could wait and she would see him then.

The client was devastated and for a few days felt suicidal. He went down to Pattaya, had some fun and tried to get it out of his system.

I met the client on the very last day of his trip. We had a coffee and chatted about the whole ordeal, the past and the future. He revealed to me that he had actually known her for a number of years but it was only the last 6 months that he had been really keen on her and supporting her. She had attempted the “I’m pregnant scam” on him 4 years ago. Her deceit goes back years.

I expected him to have put her in the past, but these girls’ hooks are strong. “I’ve spent 5 days with her on this trip. She stormed out of the room at 7 this morning when I put my hand on her leg. She even smashed things in the hotel room last night, though luckily nothing of value.”

I looked at him surprised. He’d seen her? After all of this, he had seen her?

He had had a sneaky look in her handbag during the night and found scraps of paper with guys' email addresses. These were binned. Her phone was full of guys' names. It was always ringing when he was with her. She was getting SMS text messages from guys based in Bangkok all the time.

On this trip, after everything that had happened, she constantly asked him to pay her bills, take her to the jewelry shop, buy perfume, take her shopping at MBK, pay for her school. All this knowing he had quit his job and was on a tight budget. She was even still talking about him buying her a condo and a car.

She kept asking and asking. He noticed new jewelry on her wrist when the other boyfriend was here. It was gone after the German left. He doubts she has sold it…yet. She will wait until the relationship ends.

She hates the client now. In her mind he is the one at fault. Not her.

Sponsoring girls seldom works. Frankly, it is bad for your well-being. Not just your finances, but your emotional well-being.

Where was this picture taken?


Last week's picture was taken at the entrance to the Grace Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 3. Back in the '80s it was the place to go when other venues closed for the evening whereas these days it is very much the preferred late night spot for visitors from the Middle East. 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. The second person to get it right wins a free jug of margarita, valued at 840 baht from Charley Brown's, a popular Tex-Mex restaurant, offering authentic cuisine and delicious margaritas. Charley Brown's is located in the small sub-soi off Sukhumvit Soi 11. For the next five weeks there is a third prize. Phil Nicks has kindly provided 5 copies of his excellent "Love Entrepreneurs". Please feel free to list which of the three prizes you would prefer!

Terms and conditions: The Oh My Cod prize MUST be claimed within 14 days. The Charley Brown's prize MUST be claimed within 7 days. For the Love Entrepreneurs prize, you must be able to provide a postal address in Thailand. Prizes are not transferable. Prize winners cannot claim more than one prize per month.

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 Happy birthday, Thai style!

Just had one of my worst days ever in Thailand. My girlfriend's brother decided to get married on my birthday, so I got to spend 14 hours on a bus going to and from Si Saket. My girlfriend has made the round trip in 8 hours before, but this bus drove only an hour at a time before stopping for 15 to 30 minutes. The party up until the ceremony had music blasting so loud that it was difficult to hear, and the PA would feedback causing my 8-month old son to cry. I also had to deal with the resident alcoholic who at first thought it would be fun to talk with the farang. He didn't appreciate my constant replies of "mai kao jai". I didn't hear it, but apparently many people were bitching that the air-con on the bus wasn't working well. Of course none of them offered to pitch in any money so we could get a nicer bus (other than my girlfriend's mom's boyfriend who helped out with 3K out of the 19K). I didn't even get a "thank you" from anyone other than from my girlfriend. We got back at 6:30 PM, and I was sound asleep by 8PM. Happy birthday!

Pattaya is golfing heaven.

I'd like to give you a personal perspective on your comment that "Bangkok has plenty of draws away from the naughty side of things and I don’t know that Pattaya does". I worked in Thailand for many years and in all that time I was never interested in visiting Pattaya, thinking it was a "sex only destination". It wasn't until 18 months ago that a friend invited me to Pattaya to play golf and I discovered the best golf in the Kingdom. Now I know golf does not have universal appeal for everyone but Pattaya ranks as one of the best golf destinations on the planet for me. I've been back 3 times in 18 months; 23 courses, great layouts, fantastic facilities and magic staff. I will never play golf in Bangkok again. Pattaya doesn't suffer the same traffic hassles as Bangkok, the courses are seldom packed to the point where you don't bother teeing off and green fees are about half the price of Bangkok. And, judging by the number of non-Thais at the golf courses, I can say that there is a very brisk trade in tourists (female and male) who are looking beyond the beer bars. So maybe there is hope for Pattaya after all, if it's promoted correctly?

Why Pattaya's future is bleak.

Just returned from a weekend trip to Pattaya with a sideline to Ko Larn on Saturday morning. I was the only farang traveling in our group of 8, a mix of professional Thai men and women. They were continually embarrassed by the behaviour of their fellow Thai. The woman at the reception of our hotel threw a hissy fit after seeing a farang in the group, moaning that "the farang" should be paying 800 baht per room instead of the Thai price of 500 baht even though we had pre-paid for 4 rooms. Racism is alive and well in Thailand. The 500 baht rooms were meant to be air-con with rooms without air-con at 400 baht. 2 of our 4 rooms air-con did not work. Requests to move to different rooms were met with a snicker and a sneered " mai dai". Thais don't seem to care about repeat custom. Had a Thai man spit at one of the girls in our group because we refused to buy 200 baht tickets from him for the ferry ride to Ko Larn. I don't know what was said but there was a lot of finger pointing at me with increasing tones prior to the spitting incident. Had 2 teenagers on a motorbike throw an empty bottle of Red Bull at me as they flew past and all of this without even walking past a bar let alone stepping foot in one. I'm an easy going sort of person but this sort of crap made enjoying any part of the weekend impossible. The Thai group I was with do not talk about the events that happened but I can tell they feel deeply ashamed by this rubbish. Of course none of us will be going back to sin city and we'll be telling anyone who will listen about our experiences. Certainly the economic downturn will see a reduction in visitor numbers to Pattaya, but "they" also have an emerging and deserved reputation for becoming "nasty little people" with atrocious service that will have long-term and far reaching consequences.

Punters at risk of leptospirosis!

Reading the weekly about folks wading through the flood water at Cowboy / Soi 23 made me cringe. I wonder how many unsuspecting tourists, or even locals realise that leptospirosis is commonly acquired this way? All it takes is a small nick, cut, or even a blister on the feet to allow the bacteria to enter the body. This is a potentially fatal disease if not treated properly as septic shock can set in and then you are pretty much buggered. Needless to say, contact with street flood waters should be avoided at all costs, but if caught out in them, get cleaned up and disinfect any open cuts ASAP. If one gets feverish, or feeling unwell a few days to a week later, get medical attention promptly.

The landlord from hell.

I moved out of my last condo after the landlady started inflating my electric bills and asked to fumigate the place once a month which would mean that I could not be there for one night a month. The electric bills and telephone bills were directly debited from her account and added on to my rent each month and she stopped bringing the bills for me to look over. I knew something was wrong when I was out of town for nearly a month and the bills stayed the same so I just gave notice and did not confront her about the problem. On my way out of the condo I did not get a chance to clean but I warned her that the place would need cleaning and that she could deduct the cost from my deposit. The place was not damaged. The deposit was three months rent (a rip-off considering it was impossible to leave an unpaid utility bill) and I figured that because she is dishonest, I probably wouldn't get back what I deserved anyway. A few days later she called my workplace asking if they had my new address, claiming that I'd left something behind. She then wrote me a very nasty email claiming that I had stuck chewing gum to the walls. It was actually blue tack that I had used so I would not damage the walls to hang pictures. She had a list of other exaggerated or made-up damages to the room and claimed that despite the 27,000 baht deposit, I owed her more money. The email was so nasty that I did not reply and she's sent a few more asking for a reply. She's been asking other people if they know where I live as well. I haven't replied to her, even though I think that she really believes that I put chewing gum on her walls to be malicious. Hopefully, when she has the place painted, the painter will tell her what the tack on the walls really is. I really want this woman to go away and leave me in peace. Getting an apology or my deposit back is unlikely at best, but I won't pay her any more money.

Let the American go free, we want the Englishman!

I was walking past Subway at Sukhumvit Soi 7/1, and two police officers stop me and pull me to the side. Smiling, they ask me to open my laptop bag and pockets. Trying to get out of this as quickly as possible, I smile, oblige, and ask why in my most polite Thai as they are searching my belongings. Instead of answering, they ask me the usual, "Why do you speak Thai so clearly?" We chat for a bit, and when the senior of the two learns that I am American, he tells me to stop emptying my pockets, sorry for the disturbance, and I can go on my way. "You're not looking for Americans?" "No, we are looking for Englishmen with crazy drugs." Amazing Thailand.

There are two public holidays this coming week, the 17th and 18th. I'd love to let readers know what will be happening with bar closure orders and what not but the truth is that no-one knows for sure until the night before. So if you are in town for a bit of partying please be aware that bars might be closed those days, or at the very least, alcohol might be hard to come by. My best guess? Bars closed both days because at the end of the day, these are Buddhist holidays. Indications from Lumpini police, and they are only that at this stage, indications, are that Nana will be closed for both days. Such a shame that Thailand decrees that no-one can drink on these days. Even in Islamic Dubai you're legally allowed to eat and drink during Ramadan if you're not Islamic!

The jury of one has reached its verdict. For good music, a pleasant and particularly well-maintained environment, pretty girls and reasonable prices, the best gogo bar at this time in Bangkok is….drum roll….Tilac in Soi Cowboy. Pretty much everyone who goes there thinks it is great.

The vendors of counterfeit DVDs on Sukhumvit are now much more open about what they're peddling and are openly displaying what they would previously show you around the corner in a plastic bag. "Porn here", "Sex movie", or "XXX movie for foreigner" signs are displayed brazenly.

How much Windex do they go through in Tilac Bar in a month? The entire walls are made up of mirrors – and they are always spotless! That is one very well-maintained bar!

Bully's Pub has increased prices this week. One of the best value dinners in Bangkok, their BBQ half-chicken dinner with salad previous priced at 180 baht, has been price-jacked to a whopping 260 baht. The second great value meal, their pan fried snapper, went from 220 baht to 270 baht. Rumour has it that their beer prices will follow soon.

For Pattaya based guys with a bit of time on their hands and a desire to learn the local lingo, Walen Thai Language School will officially open a Pattaya branch on the 1st of September.

I finally made it down to Patpong this week to check it out and see what's happening. Not unexpectedly, Patpong remains the most reasonably priced of all of Bangkok's bar areas with most venues offering any local beer and most top shelf drinks for 100 baht, meaning my favourite, Jack + Coke, is just 100 baht. And unlike many of the more expensive bars in Nana Plaza, the likes of Angelwitch at 150 baht and Hollywood at 160 baht, they actually mix a decent Jack Coke. But with that said, Patpong bars aren't doing much trade. None of the bars in the main Patpong soi had many customers late on Friday night and there seemed to be very few locals about. 90% + of customers in the bars seemed to be tourists. Local guys seem to hang out in the older style bars like Goldfinger and of course many make it to Club Electric Blue in Patpong Soi 2 which was one of the few bars doing decent business.

I did see one sight in Patpong that turned my stomach. Now I have seen some horrific sights in Thailand, but this ranks up there with the very worst. There were two different individuals being pushed around in wheelchairs, each of whom had suffered the most truly horrendous injuries in a fire. Their body marred by scars from fire, each had their eyeballs missing – with no replacement installed, but rather a clear view inside their head. It was dreadfully unsightly. The women pushing the wheelchairs targeted Thai bargirls only and asked them in Thai to make merit and from what I could see the girls were incredibly generous.

If smoking is your thing, note that Patpong is smoker friendly and no bars appeared to be turning smokers away. Most bars had customers smoking and those that didn't had ashtrays at every table.

Following up on the issue of sponsorship and the, quite frankly, enormous amounts guys pay these days – which was highlighted in last week's column – comes a revelation from a reader regarding a lass he knows. His friend who dances in Mandarin bar tells him that she would not leave her bar for less than 50k a month. And who can blame her as she averages 20+ "offs" a month from which she makes 70,000 baht on top of her 12,000 baht salary, comprising 9,000 + 3,000 in bonuses) salary. Remember, this is low season and she is not described as being anywhere near the hottest girl in the bar!

I notice the girls in some of the Cowboy bars sporting new T-shirts advertising Express Cash Thailand with the company's website clearly mentioned. I also note coasters in many of the bars advertising the service. What a shame that the website address advertised does not work!

The naughty bars are generally not the best place in town for well-mixed cocktails. I will never forget Mrs. Stick's rant at one of the outside bars in Nana at being served what was claimed to be a Mai Thai but looked and tasted anything but. That said, 5 Star in Cowboy does a decent Long Island Iced Tea so if you're looking for a cocktail or two to start the evening, they do a reasonable job. Crap sound system though!

Billy Idol is one of my favourite singers. His was the first concert I ever went to way, back in '87 and his song, "Flesh For Fantasy" is one of my all time favourites. What a great name for a song and oh so suitable for the naughty bars. But many bars play shitty music these days so what are the odds of me hearing this favourite in a bar? Come on, Dave, why don't you take charge at Angelwitch, pull the plug on the German rock – which no-one wants to hear – and play some classic British rock?!

Speaking of German rock, has Matt of Angelwitch fame got shares in SuperGirl in Patpong? German rock is played there too. Sigh.

In the ongoing saga of the Dirty Doctor versus the fake monks, the dirty doctor once again encountered the fake monks not once, but twice on Monday night. The first encounter was very much the same as last time when the imposters scurried off in a taxi. The second encounter was around 1:00 AM near soi 7/1. The doctor managed to snap a few photos of one of the fake monks who responded by swinging a chair at the doctor from the outside seating area at Subway, all while spewing language that would make a New York cabbie blush. The doctor was not phased and said to the fake monk that real monks don’t act that way. By that time the doctor noted the surrounding Thais' smiles suggested they approved of his actions. From that point the chase was on as they desperately tried to ditch the doctor. They tried to lure the doctor down dark and dreary soi 6, encouraging him to follow. The doctor saw no need as there wasn't anyone on the soi to scam. About 10 minutes later the doctor caught up with the fake monks on the corner of soi 6 and 4 and helped a few passers by make an informed decision about beer money donations to the fake monks. Once again the monks tried to lure the doctor to a secluded spot as the fruits of the night seemed to have dried up. The doctor decided to call it a night as there were few potential people to scam at that most un-monk like hour. A pattern has emerged as to when and where the fake monks go. They hang around the Nana area until about 8:30 or so and then head towards Asoke and then double back to Nana later. The dirty doctor is a rather big man and he is now using this chasing of the monks as a creative way to lose some weight! So how do you know if the monks are fake? First of all, monks are absolutely not allowed to beg and not wanting their photo taken is a dead giveaway.

Here you can see the dirty doctor in action. First he approaches a monk who looks at him, turns and then the chase is on. Petrified of the giant American, the monks leap into a cab and zoom off into the night.

The quote of the week last week, that one where an Australian instructor with 30+ years experience in Thailand telling a bunch of teachers that they would move to a country where it was legal to have sex with young girls has resulted in a massive uproar. Coming from a Ministry Of Education trainer makes it even more outrageous. What is hilarious is that his comments were recorded on video on a camera phone and they are going to be put online for all to enjoy. Will YouTube be banned again in Thailand?!

For Thailand-based guys into Playstation 3 games, check out this site which lists the locations of the shops and the prices of Playstation 3 games at each shop. It also provides a forum for games owners to come together and swap games. It's a nicely put together little site.

Quote of the week comes from a Thai woman. "The worst manager in the world is an older Thai woman, especially if she has never been married!"

Do they really think farang women find love in Thailand?

Any older readers accused of being overly keen on sex, just point the accusers to this article that suggests that sex is good for older gents.

Here's an article from the New York Times about the Thai museum at Angkor.

Correspondents from The Times of India visit Patpong!

This is an odd story at the BBC about an "adulterous couple" on the run in Thailand.

Brits abroad had better be sure about a woman's age…

Ask Mrs. Stick

Mrs. Stick is happy to answer any questions regarding inter-racial relationships as well as cultural peculiarities that may be confusing or baffling you.

Question 1: I would like to know if the following can still be considered the case with most regular Thai women today. I met a 27 year old university educated Thai lady. I wish to know if having sex after courting is still considered as a
big step forward in the relation for a genuine middle class Thai lady? Also, can presentation to the Thai family still be considered as a very serious step?

Mrs. Stick says: This is hard to answer because everyone is different. I think you have to ask your girlfriend about her past and her expectations for the future. If she has had boyfriends before and is sexually experienced then maybe sex for her does not mean that she expects to marry you. But if she is a virgin at 27 then I think she is probably waiting for the right man. When we introduce a man to our family, yes, it means we are very serious about him and that we do think that he is the man we will marry.

Question 2: Is it normal in Thai custom for the children to send some money back to the parents every month – regardless of the social status of the family?

Mrs. Stick says: In poorer families it is customary for children to support their parents and to provide money for them and also look after them. In middle class families it depends. Sometimes the children will send money and sometimes they don't. In rich families I do not think that children provide for the parents!

Question 3: I take umbrage with the farang who wrote asking why Thai drivers are so bad. If nothing else, they are predictable, which is more than I can say for farang drivers here: some are insecure and drive far too slowly; some fear the police and drive much too cautiously; some seem to forget to drive on the left side of the road or are drunk and drive too fast or recklessly. A more important question is: Why are farang always held responsible for all costs pertaining to traffic accidents? Perfect example: I was on my motorbike turning right into a parking lot when another motorbike tried passing me on the right. He crashed into me and sustained injuries and damage to his bike. My motorbike was confiscated by police and I was made to pay all damages as well as hospital bills and a “fine” to police. Several months later, I was passing traffic in the right hand lane (just within or on the dividing line) when a motorbike in front of me began turning right. I crashed into him. (Identical accident but my role was reversed). We both sustained bodily injuries and damage to our motorbikes. I AGAIN had to pay for everything PLUS pay a “fine” to police. Does justice exist in Thailand?

Mrs. Stick says: I think you know that the police are selective about who they target and how they are treated here. If I get stopped by the police even if I drive too fast or badly I never get a ticket and I never pay a fine. I can talk sweetly to them and smile and apologise and they always let me go. But I think for men it is more difficult and I think for foreigners the police know that you have money so they can make you pay. They think if you pay it will hurt you less than if the other person pays. I know this is different from your country and I know that many foreigners do not like or understand the Thai police style. Did you know that the police also pick on vehicles with licence plates from the countryside? So it is not only foreigners who get blamed for accidents.

Mr. Stick says: It is my understanding that in a situation like this that you should call your insurance company and they will sort everything out including any payment. They have a schedule of payments for all situations and in this case I believe any payment should have been covered by the personal liability aspect of your insurance policy. All you should be paying is a fine to the police, official or otherwise. Of course if you have no insurance then that is another situation all together.

If there is one theme that has run through this site since the very beginning – and we're going way back to 1998 here – it is that success stories of relationships with bargirls are very much in the minority. Today's opening piece is real and it was published with the blessing of the gent for whom the task was carried out. I cannot re-iterate enough that no good comes of these relationships and even those who claim that they were the exception to the rule are often experiencing living hell and refuse to admit it. If you get involved with a lady of the night you might want to check out these hints I wrote about three years back. I do however maintain that you're better off not getting involved in the first place. Oftentimes there's just too much baggage for the long road ahead…



Your Bangkok commentator,
6.5/10 – Decent opening piece but not much news
Stick