I’ve run Stickman for over 20 years. Through the site I’ve made a lot of friends. I’ve received some nasty emails and even some quite threatening hate mail too. Amongst those who have sent uncomplimentary comments is a fellow who has been sending me nasty emails on and off for years. He’s not what you’d expect.
Part and parcel of running a website – or having any sort of online presence these days – is accepting that it will attract unpleasant comments from time to time. Negative feedback isn’t a bad thing as you often learn from it. Nasty mail is a little different.
These days I only receive a few nasty emails a year. Generally I take little notice. Often they are incoherent and you get the feeling they were sent when the guy was drunk.
For more than 10 years I have been receiving nasty emails from this one particular fellow. A couple of nasty emails come and then it’s silence for months, maybe even a year or two. And then another nasty email comes and the cycle repeats.
I know this person. He was a major contributor to this website in its heyday. He submitted many stories to be published and many of them were great. He was a popular contributor but his stories have long since been deleted, at his request.
Some time after I deleted his contributions he resumed sending in more new stories. I published them. Everything seemed to be ok until once again he asked that I delete everything he had sent in.
The nasty emails started around 10 years ago. They weren’t polished like the stories he sent in to be published.
I don’t care that he doesn’t like me, and I don’t really care that he emails me nasty comments. What bothers me is the way he often uses a different / throw-away email address, and a bogus name.
I’m not going to run all of his emails but here are a few, copied and pasted without any editing / correction whatsoever.
This first is one of the more recent emails, from last year. I had been happily living in New Zealand at the time having left Thailand 4 years earlier. I had resumed writing the column about 6 months prior to receiving this email, having been off the air for a year. What he wrote seems to indicate he thought I was still living in Thailand.
The kind of essay you could have had 50 of if you had not been such an envious and revengeful fuck. Your present site is a sorry shadow of what you once had. Pack it in and go home, no one’s paying attention anymore, least of all to all the repetitive drivel on hardcore hookers full of tatts and ladyboys you see to love.
Things went quiet for a while until earlier this month when I received the following, short and sweet email from yet another dummy email account.
What a load of bullshit. Find something decent and revealing to write about.
I responded, pointing out I know who he was and the following came back.
Still the pimp, and bet your “innocent” Thai wife or whatever really loves this shit. I’m dead certain you never could have gotten anything like a decent Kiwi woman.or even a decent Kiwi job, what with spending half your life as a pimp for the whore scene in Thailand. Too, as I recall from one meeting we had many years ago, you were lucky to get good dick once a week–by your own admission, no doubt a bloody good reason for finding yourself with an over the hill Thai woman. Jesus, get a fucking life and move on..
Get good dick once a week? I have no idea what that means.
Here’s another of his charming notes:
It’s a pity seeing you still working that half-dead site. You’re a bright enough guy, even if untrustworthy and in my world a scumbag. What was so telling was you devoting so much time to three real scumbags, including the ever- and always arrogant BK…. The dude you spent hours on writing about, why bother? Where is your sense of priorities?
My guess is, as I noted and others have noted in messages to me, you have very few choices in NZ. Real estate is way out of your price range, the women are fat and greedy and wouldn’t want you anyway with no earning potential. So you’re back weekly photographing kathoeys and predatory hookers full of tatts. Better hurry, dude, you’re around fifty and it’s getting late to find anything like a half-decent job. But then who know what your real needs are? Kathoeys as so many have noted?
His emails are the rants of a mad man and nothing like the articles he contributed to the site many years ago.
So who is the guy behind these emails?
When someone posts crap like this online or sends hateful email, I imagine some loner in a dimly-lit room, surrounded by empty cans of Coke or beer, and perhaps a half-eaten pizza from a day or two earlier. He is probably overweight, looks unhealthy, is unshaven, may be unemployed or in a menial job, lives in a hovel and is aged mid 20s to late 30s. He’s single – and it’s easy to see why. I think of someone who doesn’t have much going for him. When I receive nasty or threatening emails I tend to feel sorry for the person who sent it because I guess their life is crap and they have nothing better to do.
But the guy sending these emails is nothing like this.
He is a professor with tenure at a big name university in the United States.
At a guess he is around 80 years old, but he looks much younger. The last time I saw him he was lean and moved like a younger man. He could easily pass for someone much younger.
He told me a few times about his million dollar house and I don’t imagine he was fibbing. Employed for decades as a professor, money should never have been a problem.
He likes a drink but I never saw nor heard anything to suggest he couldn’t handle alcohol. Quite the contrary, he seemed to be in total control when he drank.
So here we have a guy who is bright, has had a highly successful career, appears to be in good health, was a high earner for a long time….who infrequently sends silly emails to the operator of a website he once contributed to.
He doesn’t like Thailand at all, and I understand he has not visited in some years. As I understand, he doesn’t plan to ever visit Thailand again.
We met up a few times over the years and always got on perfectly well. We had some good discussions about expat life, the bar industry and life in general.
What am I not telling you? I must have provoked him or antagonised him or done something to cause him to get angry, right? People don’t go bananas and send stupid emails for years, for no reason. Is there something I am not letting on?
No, there’s really nothing more to it than that.
Don’t 80-something-year-old retired professors who are in reasonable health and have plenty of money have better things to do with their time? I wonder how many other people he sends nasty emails to.
Last week’s photo was taken in the small upmarket shopping centre next to the Grand Erawan Hotel at Rajadamri Road. To those of you who comment that the photos are too easy, you were quiet this week, eh?! Not one of you got it right. This week’s isn’t so hard if you look closely…
Stick’s Inbox – the best emails from the past week.
Walking Street becomes Dining Street.
Interesting to read about the change taking place in Walking Street in Pattaya. As no tourists are around, the plan is to have food tables set up for the locals to enjoy an evening out. Good idea. But the plan also includes opening up the street to traffic. The very last thing you do to attract diners on the street is open it up to traffic and exhaust fumes. What you do is close it to all traffic, all of the time. Which is what many, many European cities have done. I’ve spent some time doing virtual (video) walks around London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Budapest, Stockholm and other cities, and every one has pedestrianised quite large areas. It was actually quite a shock to see it so commonplace. Thailand, of course, has to do the opposite and turn a walking street into a traffic jam.
Getting the best hotel deal.
Your correspondent’s comments regarding moronic hoteliers reminded me of a hotel stay in Kanchanaburi in 2016 which was just the opposite. I had not booked in advance and was told by reception that the walk in rate was 2,400 baht per night. If booked online it was 1,600 baht. I told the young lady that I had no facility to book online. On hearing this, she sat me at a nearby computer terminal and guided me through the online booking process so I got the reduced rate. This saved me 3,200 baht over our four-night stay and was much appreciated.
The customer is always right.
Regarding Suzie Wong, Thailand has never really cared about repeat custom. It’s better to fleece the one you have (a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush) and up to now it has worked for them. Unfortunately, with a customer base now made up of expats only, losing a potential regular is far more short-sighted than ever. Unless tourism is restored fast I would think western customer service values could be the difference between staying afloat or not.
Gold in tough times in Thailand.
Gold and silver prices are increasing. It’s not surprising as the fear of stagflation mounts. Precious metals have always been seen as a safe haven hedge whenever there is fear of future economic downturn coupled with inflation. That said, in Thailand especially, gold is often used as a floating currency, kept on the body as instant emergency money. Nowhere else in South-East Asia are there so many thong shops as in Thailand. The working girls who had / have gold now in these tough Covid times are taking off that gold ring to either pawn or sell. It is serving its purpose and was kept during the prosperous times as a form of insurance.
Lucky money for lucky ladies!
A shout out to “Mr. Generous” who wrote about how he contacted his female friends and offered them money i.e. 2K baht – 5K baht each. Great idea! I have been inspired to do the same. I send a Line / text message to the particular woman and ask them for their bank account number and then I send them some “Lucky Money”. 200 baht. I know it’s only a fraction of what Mr. Generous sent. My income (I work in Thailand) is a fifth of what it was 5 years I’ve come to realize that 100 baht is a lot of money for a lot of people, myself included. 100 baht can cover someone’s return trip on the BTS from Onut to Nana. 100 baht can buy someone’s family a kilo of chicken breast (@ 60 baht/kg) and a kilo of rice (at 40 baht/kg). If one’s living in Thailand it’s so easy to send money locally with the banking apps. If others feel inspired and generous, and don’t feel like going out to a gogo bar and buying a woman a lady drink, you can buy them one virtually and send them some “Lucky Money”.
The cat got the cream, or did he?!
A Thai girl I know well moved to New Zealand at the start of the year to work in the tourism / hospitality sector. I’ll withhold the exact location. Last time we spoke she hadn’t worked for months due to the Covid situation. Money had dried up and she couldn’t afford to get home. She has since taken up with a local fella, I am guessing out of necessity rather than design. Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth and going on her social media, the Kiwi looks like the cat that’s gotten the cream. Love’s young dream indeed. Little does he know, however, that she paid her way through 4 years of university in Bangkok by working in the naughty nightlife industry. Being a good-looking girl and very popular, she’s taken more pricks than a prison dartboard. I guess that she’ll not be bringing that up anytime soon. Good luck to her though, she was a little firecracker in the bedroom.
Gratitude and karma.
I think Mr. Generous who offered money to the Thai women he knows really shouldn’t bank on the favours or karma points being returned. Thais rarely say “Thank you” on being given gifts.
Spanky’s on the middle floor of Nana Plaza is working hard to get punters in the bar with a great promotion on Sunday and Monday nights – buy a lady drink for any of the many sexy ladies and your first drink is free.
Some bars have made an effort to get punters back by dropping the price of drinks. What about barfine rates? Feedback from expats is that in some bars they are just too high. Some farang gogo bars have set the barfine rate at an even 1,000 baht. Is that realistic? If barfines were say 500, would more money be spent in the bars and more barfines paid?
XXX Lounge in Patpong soi 2 is offering FREE barfines on Sunday and Monday nights after 10 PM. This promotion will run until the end of the month and is the sort of outside the box thinking clever bar owners come up with. As a side note, many restaurants have introduced all sorts of promotions and special deals – bar owners, take note!
The Hillary bars on Soi Nana – to include Morning Night, which is also part of the Hillary Group – no longer honour their discount cards. Customers with discount cards that previously received a 20% discount are being told that the card is no longer honoured “because of the coronavirus”.
Contrast that with the popular, farang-owned Stumble Inn at the top of Soi Nana and its discount card, the Bangkok Fun Card. Stumble Inn welcome Bangkok Fun Card holders who get 10% off all food and non-discounted (i.e. happy hour / special offer) drinks. If used on “western Wednesday” which already offers a 20% discount off selected food and drink, Bangkok Fun Card holders get a further 10% off. Please note, the discount does not apply to lady drinks or barfines.
Back at Hillary, draft beer is now served in the swanky new glasses pictured below.
Random in Nana Plaza is said to be loaded with a bunch of ladies who previously worked at Patpong. Word is that there are more than a few lookers amongst them so do add Random to the list of bars worth stopping by in Nana.
A small gogo bar in Nana Plaza is looking at closing a couple of nights a week as trade has been lousy ever since they reopened. Sundays and Mondays could see the small bar in darkness after trade has not bounced back as the owners had hoped. It would make Bangkok a little less sexy at night.
Some bars are pushing the girls harder than ever to achieve their monthly quota of xx or xxx number of drinks. With trade down and bars fighting for every last baht, I get it. At the same time one wonders whether pushing the girls to pressure customers to buy more lady drinks might backfire. Customers have choices like never before and one of the biggest complaints in recent years has been girls being pushy for drinks. Is this the best approach?
The girls work to make money – obviously. Just going out to work incurs various costs. The girls tend to live some distance from the bars so there are travel expenses. Some travel to work by sky train, others by taxi or perhaps motorbike taxi. Getting to work late afternoon or early evening isn’t so bad as there are many options. Getting home late at night invariably means taking a taxi which often means a 100 – 150 baht fare. Let’s not forget that before they go to the bar many like to get their hair done which I believe is around 100 – 150 baht. So some ladies part with around 300 baht / day before they start earning. That mightn’t sound like a lot to you or I, but to your average Thai it is. Some girls have not been barfined / had a customer since they returned to work last month.
Speaking of girls not being barfined in over a month, one friend tells me that he hasn’t figured out whether some girls in that situation are more desperate for money or more desperate for (good) sex.
Soi 7 in Pattaya had been quiet long before Covid-19 came along. Covid-19 has almost killed it completely. Photos kindly provided by a friend resident in Pattaya show much of soi 7 in a sorry sight, in darkness.
Over in the Philippines, Angeles City is – or at least was – popular with some Stickman readers. Like soi 7 in Pattaya, it has been dying a slow death – and the comparisons between Angeles City and soi 7 don’t end there. Covid-19 has been a hammer blow to the smallish nightlife district of the city. I am told that all of the gogo bars are closed. There are a few beer bars and restaurants open but most tourism-related businesses have been lights out for months.
Westerners are still being targeted by police on the other side of the Asoke intersection. Police checkpoints are again a thing in my old soi, Sukhumvit soi 16. A checkpoint is set up after dark in the same old spot, at the intersection well down the soi where it intersects with Soi PhaiSingTo, out front of Like S22 Condo. That wasn’t the only spot the cops were at it on Sukhumvit this week. A long-term reader dropped me an email to say that he was stopped for the umpteenth time by the same two cops on a bike who have stopped him before. This crap will never stop.
Krabi doesn’t get a lot of coverage in this column but this week a reader made it down there and sent a report along with a bunch of photos. Said reader said that it felt like 95%+ of businesses in Krabi were closed.
Interesting times at Yaowarat and gold shops in Thailand this week with the price of gold jumping around, which is an opportunity to make money. Next time you’re down in Chinatown, keep your eyes open for some of the older, Chinese Thais who hang around outside gold shops. They’re often dressed modestly, look poor and even out of place. Many are gold traders who monitor the ever-changing price of gold throughout the day. They buy and sell large amounts of gold and make a small profit on each trade. For many, it is their livelihood and apparently some do well and have a decent standard of living, belying their often shabby appearance.
A friend with a Thai wife who lives in another part of the region looked at what was required for the two of them to fly in to Thailand. They are legally married so he can fly in to Thailand if he is willing to undergo quarantine on his own dime, get an approved Covid-19 insurance policy and test negative for Covid-19 before departing. When he started to go through the process he discovered some stuff was even more difficult than he thought. He would not be able to fly together on the same flight as his Thai wife. He would have to prepay 50% for the hotel quarantine before he even had the first Covid test done in his country of residence – and if for any reason he could not get on the flight, the 50% hotel deposit was non-refundable. Worse still, he has read reports that some hotels say a farang husband & Thai wife cannot stay in the same hotel room because the Ministry of Health forbids it. Of course, there is nothing on the MOH website that says any such thing. What a hassle.
In the column of August 2nd I mentioned how I took a peek at the social media accounts of a few people in Bangkok. I commented that a couple of high-profile Brits had talked about the worry of going for their annual visa extension and how there is always a chance it won’t be approved. This week Richard Barrow – probably the highest profile foreigner in all of Thailand at this time – posted to Twitter that Immigration had spent 3 hours at his place of work this week. Richard wrote, “Looks like they will not extend my “visa”. They said I most likely will have to leave the country.” Richard has done more for the tourism industry in Thailand than anyone and the idea that he is facing difficulties extending his visa is ridiculous. Thailand should thank him for all he has done by granting him honorary citizenship. Perhaps the situation isn’t as grim as Richard makes it out to be and he is being a bit of a drama queen about it. Who knows? I just hope common sense prevails and the visa extension is approved. If Richard was shown the door I imagine it would cause some concern amongst learned foreigners in Thailand.
A couple of readers resident in Bangkok used the “B word” to describe how things are in Bangkok these days – boring. For those of you in Bangkok at this time, do you feel that way? I guess – and I am 10,000 km away so this is very much a guess – if you spend most of your time with Westerners / in the places Westerners go to then it might not be as much fun as it was. If you hang out with Thais and go to places where Thais go, I imagine it would be a whole lot better.
This Week’s News-Feed / Thailand-Related News Articles
Quote of the week comes from a friend, “Watching Thais select cherries is like watching people prospecting for gold.”
Reader’s story of the week comes from Orde, “A Covid Impact Story“.
Social distancing in Thailand sees kindergarten children in Perspex cages.
A drunk female Bangladeshi tourist strips off and clambers over a Buddhist shrine in Chiang Mai.
There is no end in sight for the flights ban in Thailand.
Here are ten really unusual buildings to check out next time you’re in Bangkok.
An official says it will be next year before foreign visitors can return to Thailand.
HM The King commutes Myanmar men’s death sentence over Britons’ murder.
The Big Chilli had a great interview with Sombat Wayne (scroll down to page 34).
Some bar owners can be sensitive at the best of times, and some are known to get quite tetchy when something is written about their bar that they don’t like or approve of, even if it is entirely true. In recent times this has gone to a whole new level. Today, some bar owners have become hyper-sensitive. This is difficult for someone writing a column like this as it is important to have relationships with those in the industry. In this week’s column I mentioned that a Bangkok gogo bar is looking at opening just 5 days a week – but I didn’t name the bar. It’s partly to appease bar owners and it’s also partly because what is newsworthy is more what is happening and not necessarily the bar itself. Of course, from time to time I might drop a clue or two about a bar I am referring to. I hope you understand that the combination of difficult times and at times hyper sensitive bar owners means that with some reports in this column it is prudent not to name the bar.
Your Bangkok commentator,
Stick can be contacted at : [email protected]