Over the years I've seen many guys lose it all to Thai women – and I have pretty much always sided with the guy. She took advantage of him so she had to be wrong, was my thinking. But times change and my attitude towards the whole phenomenon of Western men being taken for a ride by Thai women has changed too.
I've been privy to more "A Thai girl did me wrong" stories than most. The readers' submissions section of this site has become a repository for such stories over the last 8 years and I have looked into loved ones for a fair number of folks too. The nature of this site has attracted a lot of emails from guys who wanted help, or at least some sort of objective opinion on their relationship. There's been no shortage of material to mull over.
Coming from a country where relationships generally seem to work and where you really don't really hear a lot about deceit and trickery in said relationships, when I started to learn of what went on in Thailand in Western man / Thai woman encounters – and just what some of these women had done or been up to, I was aghast. I'd never heard of such things in my (perhaps somewhat naive) life. Such duplicity really was new to me. How could a woman do that to a guy she supposedly loved, I wondered. Conning a man in a relationship for money? Who could ever stoop so low?! I was young and I was naive. My thought process was simple. Whoever was behind the deceit had to be in the wrong. And the other person had to be the innocent party, a victim.
Like I say, I was more than a little naive…
The MO of these girls really is incredibly simple. Treat a holidaying Westerner as well as they can for the duration of his stay, knowing that a couple of weeks of attending and pandering to his every need will be enough to reel him in and set them up with a stipend for the next several months or whenever he happens to return to Thailand. Everything is done to give him the time of his life, which if they are doing their job properly will take considerable effort. Once he has been reeled in, subtle requests will be made for gifts, a monthly income requested and over time, more and more requests will follow, often presented in the form of non-existent expenses or projects, the list of which is well-known and includes the buffalo's annual visit to the vet and the medical fees for a relative whose health is in fact remarkably good.
I have never been able to get my head around the idea of supporting a woman, seemingly ad infinitum. In fact, the idea of supporting a woman for any reason other than the fact that you are stinking rich and / or she is the full-time mother to your kids is something I just don't understand – and I don't think I'm being unreasonably harsh here. By supporting a woman and giving her the easy life you're effectively turning her into a third world princess – so expect the attitude to follow.
The question has to be asked. Why are you supporting her? Is she incapable of working? If she doesn't have the education or qualifications to get a decent job, send her to university! It’s a simple solution and good for both of you in the long-term. And if she just plain doesn't want to work, get rid of her! Those with that much sloth in their blood are good for nothing. Supporting a woman forever is madness and sends absolutely the wrong message.
Eventually you’ll come around to the way of thinking that it is about time she actually did something worthwhile. When the pipeline to the money looks like it might be shut off, expect trouble. The premise is basic. The fun and pleasure that I gave you will not continue if you do not continue to give me money or give in to my impetuous whims and requests. In other words, what she means, but will never actually come out and say is that if she doesn't get what she wants – money and valuables – she’s gone! Such an attitude means that the relationship will always have an expiry date. In fact it is not a relationship but a conditional hire agreement. Real love is without such condition.
You can read them like a book. These women are not good liars; most are as subtle as a sledgehammer. The signs were there early on, probably from the very first minute you met her, but they were somehow missed, or worse still, overlooked. When a woman starts asking you about your income, the value of your house or how much your hotel room / condo is worth on a first date, it doesn't take a genius to see that love is hardly the first thing on her mind.
Open your eyes! These women are transparently predatory! Open your eyes and you can see right through them. There is absolutely no sophistication nor any real variance to the way they operate. Sadly their victims are unable to see it until it's too late. Looking back on things after they've gone bang, realisation dawns that it was all a ruse right from the beginning.
But don’t blame her. No, that would be taking the easy way out and shirking responsibility. A worldly fellow like you really should know better! You cannot blame deception on a girl who cannot even add up 7 plus 9 with a calculator, let alone in her head. These girls aren't clever at all and everyone, apart from the guy who is being had, can read her like a book.
My theory is that the political correctness that is marring the Western world has brain-washed men into the misguided belief that all people and all cultures are the same. They’re not and while there should be no shame in stating the obvious, those bold enough to speak out will be branded with all sorts of ridiculous names designed to control their thought process and if they don't confirm, ostracise them. It is ridiculous that it is considered seriously bad form to make negative comments about another group of people or culture when in fact the comments being made are factually correct – and as such entirely valid! From my vantage point, Western men, white men in particular, are becoming weak.
And it’s not like you had no chance of knowing just what she was like or what she was up to. This website has warned of the dangers of getting involved with the wrong type of women since way back in 1998 and there is no shortage of similar stories of woe elsewhere.
Sure, some of these girls are little witches, and their lies and deceit in tricking genuinely innocent guys know no limits. Some are downright evil. The number of guys whose ruin, perhaps even death, is orchestrated and arranged by their Thai wife, is not insignificant. The fact remains that in most cases it is as clear as day just what is going on!
So many guys get tripped by the bloke they see in the mirror. From those of us observing from the sidelines, it often seems like a somewhat sadistic satire.
Where was this picture taken?
Last week's picture was taken of Nefertiti, an Egyptian restaurant in lively Sukhumvit soi 3/1 with great food but it has to be said, dodgy service! This week's picture I have pulled a dirty trick. The only clue I will say is that it is one of my favourite places… 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. The third prize is offered by ThailandFriends.com, an online dating community that boasts over 50,000 members, hosts live events in and around Thailand and allows basic members to send 5 messages a day for free. The prize offered is one month premium membership which adds more to the ThailandFriends' experience with unlimited messaging, detailed member searches, 24 profile pictures, and a whole lot more. And for the next three weeks we have a forth, very special prize with Private Dancer author Steve Leather donating three signed copies of his newest novel, Live Fire, a big chunk of which is set in Pattaya. If you're not one of the lucky winners, this fantastic novel is on Asia Books' shelves now!
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. The winner of the Steve Leather book must provide an address in Thailand for the book to be sent to. Prizes are not transferable. Prize winners cannot claim more than one prize per month.
FROM STICK'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick.) Preference may be given to emails which refer to the previous week's column.
EMAIL OF THE WEEK – Social inadequacies.
First off, my next door neighbour phones me up and invites me over for a morning coffee, as he's over on his bi-annual visit. Duly accepted I go round, and just after he's served it his mobile rings. Next thing I hear that his insurance salesman is on his way to sort out his annual policy, and within another sip of coffee the door bell rings and he presents himself. Do you accept this as par for the course and not let it bother you, play with yourself whilst all these negotiations are taking place, or take this cue that your host has no respect whatsoever, and say you must be departing as he has his own personal business to attend to? Next, your girlfriend says late on a Sunday evening that her friend is coming around and what's more you have to entertain her new farang boyfriend. They arrive Thai time, and it's now after 9 PM. He greets you at your door with a cigarette in his hand that's been lit having just got out of his air-conditioned car. Proceeds to finish it prior to entering your home with the comment, "How much did you pay for this place?" Sits down to make forced, stilted conversation only for his mobile to receive an SMS, totally ignoring you he then goes to read it, and then what's more goes on to answer it. You wait until you regain his attention, for it only to ring again but this time with a call. No apologies as he goes to answer it, and what's more he then goes into detailed discussions with some client. After five minutes of this, still having not so much as having issued an apology, you decide to go back into your study and switch on your computer again. Eventually finishing this call he tells you that he's free now. What do you do and how do you react? I react very badly to situations like that in my own home, spending most of my life trying to avoid such circumstances outside of it. I ask him if it rings again will he answer it, to which he replies "Yes, of course". I then state in no unequivocal terms then if that is the case then he has to switch it off as there is no way I'm prepared to compete with it. Huge problem, huge dilemma, but he eventually complies with my wishes and turns it off. Unreal! I tell you, I have never, so consistently, met so many off the wall people as here in Phuket.
Farang feminists alive in Bangkok.
Well-dressed, with my girlfriend of 4+ years and waiting for a taxi after leaving an upmarket restaurant in the Sala Daeng area recently, I was abused vigorously from across the road by a farang woman for being a "disgusting sex tourist." WTF!? I have a good job here and have lived and worked in Bangkok for some years. In the remote possibility that that nutcase happens to read the column (research perhaps), please be more careful and think before opening your overly-sized mouth. Your misplaced comments upset my girlfriend very much who is of excellent character and standing and holds a good job. The next person you choose to similarly misjudge and abuse may react a lot differently.
Make it in Thailand, make it anywhere.
As I am about to resume life in the West, I recently had the dreaded HIV / Hepatitis test. I thank my lucky stars that I came up clean as I have had many instances of a lost or broken hat during my 200+ introductions to locals. It has been a great 7 years with amazing experiences which I believe will help me in the future. Having beautiful girls offering themselves to me every time I am out, I can confidently say I have no desire to go cheating on my lovely Thai wife in the future. It has also opened my eyes to many scams and evil personas. After 7 years, and having spent 8,500,000 baht in accommodation, beer and sex, I know feel pretty bulletproof having survived it all. "If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere!"
Pattaya, Stick's playground.
It's really interesting how you praise Pattaya nowadays compared to the reserved attitude you still had towards it a couple of years ago. A more basic down to earth bunch of people are running many of the venues there and that's why it's still more original than Bangkok which has just become another cold metropolis shaped by greedy investors. How long they can keep that more personal approach up in Pattaya is another question though…
A few things hit me on my recent visit to Pattaya. First, around half of the bars (beer bars and gogo bars) we frequented really stank. One was so bad that we downed our beers, left and I had to go back to the hotel for a shower. The stench was that lingering and I had started to itch. Such an atmosphere would hardly get the mongerers in the mood, would it? Another thing I couldn't work out was that there seemed to be a weight limit for the girls who worked in some of the beer bars i.e. it appeared that they had to be *over* a certain weight. OK I don't expect beauties to work in such bars but a fat girl dressed in a vest and a short denim skirt plays havoc with my stomach. On this point another question needs answering. The girls get around 3,000 baht a month. These particular girls definitely would struggle with a single barfine each month and would face similar problems with girlie drinks. How on earth do they survive? We were the only customers in one particular bar but that did not change the attitude of the staff. They just carried on watching nonsense on Thai TV and we had to shout (politely) at them to set up the balls on the pool table after each game and replenish our beers. This is the usual standard of service nowadays. The most striking thing during the visit was the attitude of my mate. He normally gets right into the swing of things in Pattaya and practically goes bananas. This time he was very subdued and just felt that the atmosphere wasn't there anymore. I know what he means. Whilst I have never been fulfilled by talking to the bargirls, it simply annoyed me this time. Even the farangs seemed to have an attitude about themselves. Quite odd. In desperation we ventured down soi 6. My god, even that has changed for the worse. A street full of dogs and freaks, a bloody circus show. One thing that made me laugh is that the local authority has decided to rip up the pavement in Walking Street to install some drains / cables. What excellent timing, right in the Xmas / New Year period! One afternoon we happened to buy a beer in one of the Beach Road bars overlooking the sea and found ourselves people watching, in particular the farangs approaching the ladies on the pavement near the beach. We watched a few of these exchanges and could not believe that men were approaching incredibly ugly and fat women IN DAYLIGHT! You could almost understand a guy who had been drinking for hours to make a mistake in the dark, but not in daylight. What they get out of it is beyond me. Another thing, anyone with half a brain must suspect that such ladies are not exactly the cleanest of specimens. They are probably hosts to diseases not even discovered yet!
Many years overdue, it is a case of better late than never as consistently one of the most popular gogo bars in Bangkok for the past decade, Long Gun, is refitting / re-upholstering the bar's bench seating. The new seats are much better and there appears to be more leg room. I would suggest that the bar doesn't smell quite as bad as it once did either.
Of course the big news in Bangkok this week has already been broadcast all around the world and provides yet another in a very long list of black marks against safety standards, or lack of, in Thailand. Just how did the fire at the Santika night club in which more than 60 people were killed and 3 times that injured start? General consensus is that the fire started after pyrotechnics were let off inside the venue (WTF) and that while apparently there were a number of exits in the venue, they weren't clearly signed resulting in a stampede to the main entrance which contributed to many revelers failing to make it out and perishing. I don't know what, if any, lessons were learned from the fire at the Jomtien hotel in the mid '90s when many died so who knows what, if anything, will be learned from this tragedy at Santika. Amongst those who were killed was an employee of a good friend. May they all rest in peace.
There have been a number of fires at various naughty nightlife venues over the years, many of which have been highlighted in this column and hot on the heels of the Santika tragedy, this week was no exception. A fire broke out on the second floor at Soi Cowboy's Raw Hide late on Thursday night, around 2:30 AM, so that venue is going to be closed for a little while. Fortunately it happened right at the end of the night so we did not have a repeat of the tragedy at Santika. That said, remember the second floor is where many of the girls stay so no doubt many lost belongings in the fire. The fire damage is for the most part cosmetic though the seating has all been damaged beyond repair following the water damage and will have to be replaced – and not before time! The mirrors were severely blackened with smoke as indeed were the two TVs. For the time being the girls can be found at Long Gun, Raw Hide's sister bar.
The spotlight is once again on Washington Square and the rumour mill is going wild with just what the future of the square will be. All I have been able to ascertain is that the land owners are trying to put new leases in place at vastly inflated rates and bars in place are aghast at what is being asked.
Sin in soi 4 promised so much but never really delivered. That's not to say that it failed, because it didn't. The original developers did a tremendous job but they just never really managed to get the numbers there to make it a commercial success. Well Sin is open again with new owners and a slightly new theme but the new owners need to concentrate on the same thing the previous owners missed the boat on and that is marketing the venue. There is absolutely no way of knowing it is there. No sign that caught my eye, no board downstairs at the entrance with a menu as there used to be…nothing. That might explain why only two people were in there which is also a pity, because they've done a really good job upgrading the place. Elegant, nice lighting, lots of wood, comfortable seating before you reach the central bar area. I didn't linger, but looked at the menu. It is much smaller than before and more expensive. Drinks are a little on the high side too, with a Heineken going for 160. There is a happy hour, until 9 I think, with Tiger and something else for 95. I really hope they make it but the marketing side needs some work…
This past Friday was very, very quiet in the bars. Making my rounds, Cowboy was much quieter than usual with even Tilac relatively quiet. Wandering up to Nana, there were fewer tourists on that stretch of Sukhumvit than you would expect at this time of year. Nana was quiet although Angelwitch was doing a roaring trade.
Elections for the Bangkok governor will be held next week and this usually means the sale of alcohol is prohibited, Saturday and Sunday night the likely prohibition nights. We thought alcohol would be prohibited from sale this past weekend but we were wrong so who knows what will happen this coming week? As always, the authorities do not make it clear until the very last minute.
This trailer on YouTube suggests that the movie titled "Soi Cowboy" will start at Paragon Cineplex this coming week. It looks like a movie with appeal to the Stickman readership.
The sale of books at the largest chain of English language book shops is down 40%, just another indicator that tourist levels are way down on what we would usually expect for this time of year.
I have been really surprised that many mid end hotels, even those way off the beaten path in crap locations, are refusing to come to the party on price. A friend went to stay in a hotel directly opposite my place earlier this week. Merely a standard 3 star hotel, you never see anyone there so you'd think they would welcome something they must almost never get, walk in customers. There was no-one in the lobby and the place was dead and yet a completely unrealistic price of 2,200 baht a night was quoted! Even 1,000 would have been pushing it and no, they would not move on the price by so much as a single baht – and this just as it was getting dark! Asking the receptionist if that was the best price gave a reaction much like you had just asked her to eat a freshly excreted dog turd!
Am I the only one who thinks the urchins who frequent Soi 7's Biergarten look remarkably similar to the riff raff on Pattaya's Beach Road? And no, I am not talking about the girls only – but some of the guys! There's something about the Biergarten that I find disconcerting. It almost feels like it's not Bangkok. At least on the Beach Road you have a nice breeze and a view… The Biergarten is just plain depressing.
Trouble has been simmering below the surface for a while on Soi Cowboy where The Arab's abrasive ways have won him few friends with other bar owners, both Western and Thai. Midnite Bar, owned by The Arab, can be found right next door to Shadow Bar, which is owned by the No Name Group, that is the group headed by British Peter and investors. The No Name Group is currently erecting new neon for Shadow Bar and as you can see at the far left of this photograph, the final neon sign is still to go up. The rumour mill has it that it will feature bacon sandwiches – specifically to piss off The Arab! His reaction could be interesting and don't think it extreme that he could try and rip the sign down in some sort of hissy fit. He's known for his total inability to keep his temper.
If you offer a lady in a naughty bar a lady drink and she comes back with a cocktail or the hard stuff – which can be priced as much as twice that of a standard lady drink, is it a scam? It's an interesting issue and one which we could debate forever. The whole idea behind the lady drink system was that the girl was compensated for the time she spent with you. No, she is really not bothered about actually drinking it, but making money. In the old days the system worked quite well but with some bars charging up to 200 baht for a fancier drink for a lady, should she be required to state that she wants something fancier? It's an interesting issue. Personally, I have no real feelings as I don't buy lady drinks, but for the players, what do you think? I can't help but think that the Thai oriented naughty bars have a superior system whereby there is a flat rate charged for a period of time, usually 45 minutes, that she will spend with you. It is a fairer system as you know exactly what you're getting.
Many guys getting involved with a woman from Isaan get involved with a woman much younger than them. The well trodden path sees them go on to buy her a house in which they cohabitate. The odds are that he will die before she does which in many ways is just as well. If the house is in her name and she dies first, he could find himself out on his ass. It doesn't happen often but it does happen. So if your young Isaan wife falls ill, get her the best medical care possible. Once she is gone, the family really doesn't need you anymore! Actually, once the house is finished they don't need you any more. God, I really am cynical, aren't I?!
If there is one trend I notice more and more it is that a number of guys who moved to Thailand to retire in the last few years are striking financial problems. It would be easy to put this down to the world financial crisis but that doesn't really seem to be the case. More and more guys, many of whom seem to have something of a "Thailand addiction", simply retired at too young an age with too little money – and burned through what they had way faster than they thought they would. Retirement is a massive step for someone young and many who retired in their 30s to Thailand – and there is quite a number, seem to be having financial issues.
I was appalled at the ridiculous number of checkpoints erected on the road from Korat to Bangkok over the Christmas / New Year period. Two or three-lane roads were merged into one causing bottlenecks and lengthy build ups of traffic seemingly unnecessarily. And just after a number of these so-called checkpoints there were accidents, almost certainly a result of people's frustration at being slowed down and subsequently driving in an erratic manner out of frustration. To make it worse, at almost all of the checkpoints the gang of brown-shirted Somchais weren't actually carrying out any checks at all, but lounging around eating, and in many cases, sleeping! I am all for road safety but this was nothing more than a massive joke.
The plunge of the Sterling has seen it fall below the psychologically significant 50 baht to the pound mark. Not good at all for the Brits, the single largest group of Westerners who visit Thailand.
The latest Bangkok website casualty is Bangkok Bob whose long-running, extensive site has just disappeared off the face of the web. No, it is not technical problems but a conscious decision to take the site down, Bob claiming it was just too much like hard work to run. I bumped into Bob on Friday night in Tilac and he was very mysterious about its disappearance…
And it is not just websites falling but 2009 will surely be the year many bars, and bar owners simply disappeared. I admire what Czech Peter has tried to achieve and his visions for the future but the truth is that his empire is falling apart. He must have sunk a lot of money into redecorating Hollywood 2 upstairs so it is a great shame that it has been closed for months. His ideas and fancy promotion for the Hollywood Inn could be described as completely over the top for what was in essence a short time hotel. Sadly, the much vaunted plans have come to a standstill and the space where the Hollywood Inn is supposed to see is an eyesore, a blight on Nana Plaza. Who will be the first big bar name to fall in 2009? The money has to either be on Frenchie of New Wave / Absolute Bar fame or Czech Peter.
Quote of the week, "One thing about Thailand, once you think you've heard it all, then something stranger comes along."
Western residents have long complained about the lack of exits and the fire traps that many entertainment venues in Bangkok represent. Unfortunately our fears were proven right this week. Mysteriously, the club's promotion poster called the New Year's Party "Goodbye Santika." The Times of London report is good.
Thais are exporting those disgusting ice cream sandwiches or in this case, ice cream burgers.
Proving that there is justice in the West, in the English town of Rugby, a Thai bride is jailed for stabbing her husband.
He said she deserved it, she said he stabbed her – just who will the Thai cops believe? Does this American need to get his eyes tested or what?! And ANOTHER foreigner stabs a Thai woman. What's going on in Pattaya?!
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 you think that the story my former girlfriend recently told me could possibly be true. We had a brief relationship that ended 4 months ago because I could not get very much time alone with her. She also lied to me about chatting on the computer with other men. Whenever we dated she was almost always with her “sister” cousin. The cousin definitely looks and acts like a tom boy. I was told by her neighbor that they were lesbians. They insist to me that that they are straight. My former girlfriend now tells me that her mother sold her to her aunt at the age of 5. I do know that she has lived with her cousin's family since the age of 5. She is now 25. She lives and works with her Tom cousin. The cousin definitely controls her daily activities. She tells me that she now wishes to live with her mother but she can not do so unless she repays the money that her mother received 20 years ago. Mrs. Stick, in this day and age, is it possible that she is living in “servitude”? She is now engaged to a farang that promises to take her to live with him in Europe and she is not asking me for any money, yet.
Mrs. Stick says: I think this is a story and not true. People aren't sold in Thailand to members of family. It is not normal. Sometimes older generations (grandparents, uncles and aunts, older siblings) raise children if the children's parents must leave the district to find work elsewhere. This happens often and the parents of the kids must pay money to cover the expenses of raising the children. But this is not the same as selling children. I have never heard of anyone selling their children to someone in their family.
Question 2: Why do local 'Thai' bars (non-tourist places) insist on having Wild West wagon wheels and wood decor? Did the Vietnam War influx of Yanks kick off the beer scene?
Mrs. Stick says: I think you mean bars in "peua chee-wit" style. Do you know our famous Ed Carabao? He sings music in this style and many bars that have this style of music are decorated this way. I think you call this country music in English. We had beer in Thailand a long time before the Vietnam War!
Question 3: My girlfriend has mentioned that we should get married. I have told her that I believe we should wait until we know each other better as we have only been together for 5 months. As a compromise, she suggested we have a ‘little ceremony' to give her mother some satisfaction. To put my mind at ease, she took me to one of these ‘little ceremonies' today and it looked suspiciously like a marriage to me. Monks arrived at 6 AM, entered her house and delivered a long chant to the happy couple (the monks had a white ribbon connecting them to each other). This lasted about 45 minutes. The monks were then given food by various guests (after the couple) before they left around 7:30 AM. Once the monks had left we all had a meal. Does this sound like a marriage? I am a dyslexic introvert which is why I can not understand Thai and not able to work out what I had just experienced. Obviously having to ask ‘the Sticks' to clarify means I do not trust my girlfriend (which is why we can not marry).
Mrs. Stick says: I don't know what this ceremony was. It sounds a little bit like an engagement or wedding ceremony but if it was an engagement ceremony there would have been a presentation of a ring and gold by you to her. I am sorry to hear you do not trust your girlfriend and I think she needs to be open with you. Ask her politely about the ceremony. She needs to inform you about what is happening. I know that we don't always explain what is happening and why it is happening but I think she needs to tell you more about this ceremony. Please ask her in a nice way and don't accuse her of bad things because we don't like that. Ask her with a smile and you will get better results.
A new year and I guess we like to feel that we start it with a new, clean slate. So what are your new year's resolutions? Do you have any? Does Thailand figure in any of them? I guess it isn't easy to plan too much or too far ahead when there's so much uncertainty in the air. I'm not usually a big one for new year's plans, but if I do have one related to this site it is to get the column up by 6 PM every Sunday. That's one area where I was slipping for a while. I'll do my best to beat the 6 PM deadline!
Your Bangkok commentator,