Stickman's Weekly Column November 29th, 2020

The Invisible Woman



I had always heard that when a Thai woman moves to Farangland, local men fall over themselves to get to know her. But you know what? I don’t see evidence of that in my backyard. Thai women down here just don’t seem to turn heads and I think most Kiwi guys just aren’t that interested in them. I know of Thai women in New Zealand who stay single for quite a long time – and not by choice. This is the story of Nee, a lovely Thai lady in Kiwiland who can’t find love.

Nee came to New Zealand a few years ago, and settled in to life in Nelson, a town of 55,000 odd people located near the top of the South Island.

Nee would soon find a reasonable job and make new friends, but there was something missing. Nee didn’t have a man in her life. And Nee felt that local men just didn’t seem to be interested in her.

Nee does not have a long list of past boyfriends. She has never been married and doesn’t have any kids.

Nee is more attractive than 98% of Thai women down this way. She is sweet and always seems to have a smile on her face. Not a fake smile but one that shows her cheerful nature. While I don’t know her that well, she strikes me as honest and is no gossip queen. She really doesn’t have anything going against her. You’d think she’d have a queue of local men keen to meet her but that is not the case at all.

Nee has the looks and personality that would make her very popular with Thai men. But Kiwi guys just don’t seem interested in her.

Nee couldn’t find anyone in Nelson so she did what most people do these days and got on Tinder. Some interest was shown, but most of those swiping right lived a long way away. One guy who caught her eye was a good-looking fellow. It would turn out he was not a Kiwi, but a Welshman. He was in the North Island and Nee was in the South Island. But geography was not a problem for Peter the Welshman who liked what he saw and arrangements were made to meet.

Peter flew down to meet Nee, things went well and they clicked.

Their relationship blossomed and Peter would fly down to Nelson to visit Nee frequently. She flew up to visit him in the North Island and check it out. Everything was going well so Peter invited Nee to relocate north and move in with him. She agreed.

Nee liked the north. There was more going on, and in many ways the weather was better than Nelson – not as sunny, but not nearly as cold after dark.

Nee found work in a local factory and while it was menial work, her boss was kind and at almost $20 / hour, the money was ok.

I never met Peter who Nee described as generous, kind and outgoing.

But there was a downside. Peter was the best-looking Welshman in town and those randy Kiwi girls wanted a piece of him!

Nee suspected something was up when he started coming home late. She knew something was going on when she found condoms in Peter’s jeans. Peter somehow managed to explain that away, playing on Nee’s trusting nature. But when Peter didn’t come home one night at all and tried to say he had been at a party with friends, had too much to drink, fell asleep and his mobile phone battery ran dead, she realised that she was not the only one in Peter’s life.

Nee and Peter split up. They were no longer a couple, but still lived together, albeit sleeping in different rooms. Peter felt guilty that he had invited Nee to relocate north, so he allowed her to stay with him while she decided what she wanted to do. They continued to live under the same roof for some months.

Despite what had happened, I think Nee secretly still loved Peter and hoped the flame would reignite. But it wasn’t to be. For a while it seemed like the relationship was on again / off again but eventually Nee got the hint and moved out.

Peter decided New Zealand wasn’t for him, and returned to Wales.

Early 30s and very attractive, Nee was keen for a new relationship. She was living in a city which was on the move with plenty of men her age, but she couldn’t find anyone. Work, friends of friends, Tinder – it didn’t matter where she looked, no-one showed any interest in her.

I couldn’t work it out. Nee is very attractive. She has a lovely manner and is cheerful, friendly, polite and sweet. She works full-time and is not looking for a sugar daddy, or someone to look after her. She has permanent residence so it’s not like she needs a local guy to help her with visa problems (which is rather common amongst Thais in New Zealand). She just wants what most people want – to meet someone nice, fall in love and have a long and happy relationship.

But Nee couldn’t find anyone.

There is absolutely nothing about Nee that could be considered offensive or off-putting. She speaks English reasonably well. She doesn’t sport tattoos or excessive piercings or use garish-coloured contact lenses or have blonde-dyed hair or bolt-on boobs or anything like that. She is average height for a Thai woman and is probably somewhere between 155 – 160 cm tall which makes her shorter than your average Kiwi woman – but it’s not like she’s a hobbit. She doesn’t have kids from a former partner she has to support or anything like that.

But Kiwi guys just aren’t interested in her.

Nee decided to move back down south, this time to Christchurch, the biggest city in the South Island. She should be able to find someone in such a big city, right?

Despite a Tinder profile with a photo that would make many a Bangkok expat’s heart race, Nee still didn’t get much interest.

She would date a couple of Kiwi guys but things went nowhere. From what I heard, it seems like they weren’t interested in anything serious and may have lost interest when she wouldn’t drop her knickers on the first date.

Nee isn’t fussy. The one proviso is that she doesn’t like old guys. No-one aged over 40, thank you – perfectly reasonable for a lady in her early 30s.

There was some interest shown by a Korean guy but it didn’t go anywhere.

Eventually a Slovenian guy living in New Zealand showed some interest in Nee. A good-looking fellow, they dated several times and things looked promising when they went away for a weekend. The hotel room had two beds and much to Nee’s disappointment, Mr. Slovenia didn’t venture over to her bed in the middle of the night!

Nee is still single.

I can’t work it out. Nee is, arguably, more attractive than all but the most attractive local women. She’s slim. She’s sweet. She’s honest. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she’d make a great girlfriend and probably a wonderful wife – yet Kiwis just aren’t interested in her.

I’ve touched briefly before on the idea that the average Kiwi guy just doesn’t seem to be that interested in Asian women, generally. In this case they are really missing out. Nee feels like she is the invisible woman.

 


 

Mystery Photo

misstery

Last week’s photo was taken of what was Monsoon in Sukhumvit soi 8 where it and the Adelphi Suites are getting a makeover. Apparently this was the location of the soi 8 Biergarten which I have to confess I don’t actually ever recall visiting. This week’s photo was kindly provided by a Swedish reader.


Nana Plaza
 

Stick’s Inbox – the best emails from the past week.

Mid-2021 for Thailand to reopen?

To the person who wrote “The days of the leather-skinned, tatted up fat farang in Speedos walking along Beach Road with a tatted up hooker are over”, I say, “Not for long.” Once the borders open up, every tatted up, fat farang will be back in Pattaya, pining for that tatted up hooker, who might ask for some extra baht for more piercings. And he will happily oblige. When will the borders open? Once Covid vaccines are widely available. I predict that by July at the latest, most of Europe will open again. Losing another summer tourist season will be avoided at all costs. For Thailand, the high season is lost, sadly. No way the dinosaurs will open the country in the next few months, nor should they. Summer is the slow season, so for Thailand maybe by late summer?

Lady drink pricing.

I am still a believer bars could win in this tough market by simply using common sense with clear pricing for lady drinks. Yeah, I’m banging that old drum again. Tell the truth and let people know how much lady drinks are. What a far out concept!

Life as a laid off bargirl.

There are few places for a bargirl to turn if she seeks alternative employment. Many are tatted up and that virtually eliminates any chance they have of working in, say, a bank or an office. Besides that, so many have minimal education. If furloughed from the bars, they hit the market competing with all the displaced hotel and restaurant workers, other bar staff, shop staff, and now even some factory workers hit by the slowdown in world trade. It is not a good time to be a job seeker anywhere, not even Thailand. Because their work history has been sketchy, most don’t even qualify for the government handouts when those are available. They are really up against it.

When it rains, it pours.

I have a friend from a famous bar I look after. She is quite endearing but under enormous pressure from an extended family that could fill a city. She has been facing not only the usual budget issues, but was experiencing a lot of abdominal pain and unusual bleeding between periods. I took her to Bumrungrad for a diagnosis. Ovarian tumor. May or may not be malignant. She needs a 200,000 baht laparoscopy. As part of her bloodwork, it was determined she has a long-term, undiagnosed case of syphilis, likely from her Thai baby’s dad. Her bar ‘regularly does blood checks on its staff’. That lie can be tossed into ‘the check’s in the mail’ category. I don’t know if she ever passed on her infection to any punters, but I do know there are more than a few punters who insist on going without protection. The woman is my friend, and I guess I’m lucky in that as gorgeous as she is (she features regularly on her bar’s Facebook page), I always let common sense get in the way of short-term passion. Back home in Isaan she is hounded endlessly by anyone and everyone for money. How she can deal with that pressure is beyond me. It has to take a toll. The last thing she needed was a tumor and an STD diagnosis. When it rains, the skies open.

 

 

Girl Of The Week

Ya, # 95, Erotica, Nana Plaza

22 years old and from the outskirts of Bangkok,
the 170 cm tall Ya enjoys dancing very much.

 

ya-4

 

ya-3

 

ya-2

 

 

 

whiskey-a-gogo-nana-plaza

Nana Plaza’s newest bar.

 

Courage has been shown by a new entrant to the bar business in Bangkok with Whiskey A Gogo opening in Nana Plaza last week in the space that was previously Chilli. Whiskey A Gogo is run by Sasha, a former Phuket guesthouse / bar owner who has relocated to Bangkok. A former semi-pro basketball player in the US, he’s been in Thailand for several years. Opening in these troubled times is a bit of an eye-opener, but the landlord came to the party and offered a good deal. Sasha is in it for the long-term and feels that opening now will have the bar well-placed for when tourists do return. The bar looks mostly as it did as Chili, except the sofas have been reupholstered in a leopard print, the usual bar tops replaced with low coffee tables and the Chili shower pulled out. Bottles of Leo, Chang and Singha are just 99 baht all night, every night – great deal! Lady drinks are priced at 195 baht. Of note to those with good taste, Whiskey A Gogo stocks a selection of high-end spirits you don’t typically see in gogo bars, including Johnnie Walker Blue, Green and Gold, Macallan 18-year Irish whiskey and other 12-18 year-old whiskies. As for ladies, if you like thin ladies with not too many years on the clock, you might want to stop by. Many of the dancers are said to be transplants from King’s Castle in Patpong and Rainbow. Whiskey A Gogo is currently open Tuesday through to Saturday.

From this coming Tuesday, December 1st, Billboard on the top floor of Nana Plaza, will introduce its first-ever drink promotion. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, from open until close, all local beers (Singha, Chang, Leo, San Miguel Light and Heineken) and all house pours (house whiskey, vodka, gin and rum) drinks will be 2-for-1. This special deal will run through until New Year.

The reopening of Dollhouse on Soi Cowboy this coming Tuesday has other bar bosses talking. In the last couple of weeks both Tilac and Kazy Kozy have closed, and some bars in Nana Plaza and Patpong have reduced the number of days they open. But Dollhouse is ignoring all of that and plans to get the show back on the road. Drinks are half price for the first week. I admire the spirit and the positivity of the owners opening in what are clearly difficult times.

How will the lineup look in a bar that has been closed for 8 months and is about to reopen? Will it be the same old team or a whole new troop? Word is that some of the ladies were who danced at Dollhouse pre-Covid can be found in other Soi Cowboy bars at this time, and some have said they plan to go back to Dollhouse when it reopens.

 

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Dollhouse in Soi Cowboy will reopen on Tuesday of this week.

 

Crazy House and Suzie Wong’s were banging Friday night. Suzie continues to gather more and more good looking dancers. And Crazy House has been helped by getting the Kazy Kozy girls who are as happy as pigs in shit. One dancer who was averaging no more than 2 barfines a week at Kazy Kozy got 10 in her first week at Crazy House.

On Saturday night, Oasis was doing very well and early in the night at least, was doing better than anywhere else on the soi. A friend who did the rounds last night said it looked like a normal Saturday night in Oasis. Well done!

I hear from my former partner in crime, the Dirty Doctor, that #21 in Suzie Wong has the best rear-end in all of Soi Cowboy.

It’s more than a year since the new bar area in soi 7 opened. It got off to a slow start with the 10 baht charge to use the toilet getting more press than any of the individual bars. Despite complaints by bar operators to the landlord about the toilet charge, nothing has changed. Nana Plaza On Soi 7, as it was ridiculously called initially, started to get a bit of a following and then Covid came along. Since re-opening in July, the bars managed to negotiate a 50% discount on the rent. A few bars closed and some owners are headed back to Sukhumvit Soi 22 – where they had relocated from. I’m told it’s slow going but most bars have built up a small number of regulars – and there is a feeling that things are getting better. New bars will open up and some existing bars have expanded to take over empty spaces, like Longshots which has trebled its space and taken on a pool table which is free for punters to play. Speaking of Longshots, they have various promotions including buy two local beers and get a third free – a promotion which has proven popular. Where the Soi 7 plaza stands out from other bar areas is that some bars stay open until very late – 6 AM, 7 AM or even 10 AM. The odd bar may not close at all and might stay open through the night and right through the next day. So if you’re looking for a late night / early morning drinking hole, soi 7 might be for you.

 

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Long Shots, Sukhumvit soi 7.

 

I note emails from some readers who feel that prices in the bars are on the high side and should come down across the board – from drinks prices, lady drinks, barfines to the rates ladies charge. I’d suggest the chances of that happening are about the same as Trink, Elvis and Einstein all making a guest appearance at Patpong tonight. Prices in the bars are baked in and despite bar trade being quiet, the girls do have other options so don’t be unrealistic and hope prices will drop. Expect sharp pricing in some bars over the next several months but when borders reopen, I’d expect pricing will revert back to what it was.

This is not to say that bars should just operate as they always have without giving customers a reason to return. The trick is not just getting customers back, it is turning occasional visitors in to regulars. Repeat business is what bar bosses should be pursuing. If I was a bar owner, I’d introduce a discount card for expats. I’d keep it really simple with a 10% discount off EVERYTHING – lady drinks and barfines included. On top of that, I would offer a buy 10 drinks, get the next drink free deal too. Bars can afford to do this and I imagine it would help. Keep it simple, make it generous – and so long as the bar has something going for it the punters will come.

 

bangkok-snow-calendar

 

Why not start the year with an awesome 2021 Bangkok Snow Removal 18-month calendar featuring local scenes from around Bangkok, all covered in a blanket of pure white snow? They look fabulous and are great Christmas gifts for family and friends.  Christmas cards featuring the snowy scenes are also available. For more details, take a look at : BangkokSnowRemoval.com. To make an order, send an email to: [email protected]

Reports of police stops in the Thonglor area continue but this week there was a new twist. White guys on motorbikes passing through the Thonglor area (and I would suggest there are a lot of white guys using motorbikes in this particular area) are being stopped and hassled the same way white guys walking through the area have been for many years. One white guy who was stopped on his bike this week said the cops wanted to take him back to the cop shop. These hassles seem never-ending and writing about them week after week, month after month and for what is now year after year is like some sort of twisted Groundhog Day.


 

I follow the news from Thailand and watch the morning Channel 3 TV news from the country each day – and enjoy it. I don’t watch Thai TV shows nor Thai movies which for the most part don’t really appeal. Someone suggested I check out the Thai movie Bad Genius which was released 3 years ago. With few decent movies being released at the moment, I thought why not? Bad Genius is about a bright Bangkok high school student who gets greedy, making lots of money by helping her classmates cheat in exams. It’s a real insight in to the lives of high school students and Thai culture generally. If you like a decent drama, it’s worth watching if you can find a copy. I’d give it a solid 7/10.

Anyone flying in to Thailand at this time needs a ‘Fit-To-Fly’ letter from a doctor, issued within 72 hours of the flight. In the UK, a private medical company which shall remain nameless has become the go-to outfit for Thais who require these letters, charging 30 pounds for a telephone consultation and a further 50 pounds to issue the letter. An entrepreneur is providing copied letters for 40 pounds – and word is that they had been promoted to Thais. The Thai embassy in London is aware of this and the ground handlers at Heathrow have been informed and instructed not to accept copies. When that happens it means boarding is refused. In one case, 2 Thai women were denied boarding a Thai Airways flight as they were found to have fake Fit-To-Fly letters. They were able do a video consultation in the departure hall with a real doctor who emailed a genuine Fit-To-Fly letter to ground services – and the ladies managed to get on the flight. If you are flying at this time, be careful of fake Fit-To-Fly certificates and be aware that in the UK at least, both the embassy and the airport authorities are aware of them and able to identify them.

 

This Week’s News-Feed / Thailand-Related News Articles

Reader’s story of the week comes from Richard Penniman, “Boulevards Of Busted Dreams“.

Thailand Plus is the Thai government’s latest brainwave, a mobile phone app that allows those in power to track foreign visitors in the country.

Thais expect to start receiving Covid19 vaccines in mid-2021.

Pre-dawn venue raids just north of Bangkok found the icky business of ladies aged under 18 being sold.

Thailand’s ‘largest drug bust’ – $1 billion of ketamine – turns out to be…..a cleaning agent!

A video of a walk around Patpong last weekend shows how trade is in Bangkok’s oldest bar area.

A famous Thai photographer who shot beautiful (plastic surgery-free!) Thai women during the golden age of Thai cinema has died.

 

kolkata13

Kolkata, India, a city I’m keen to visit again.

 

A full-page advertisement – full-page as in both sides of the broadsheet – for beer in this weekend’s New Zealand newspaper used an odd angle to promote the product. Apparently it is New Zealand’s first beer which is carbon-neutral. I kid you not. Promoting products in this manner seems to be the way much of the world is going. I guess it was a couple of years back when the term “Flygskam” became known outside of Sweden’s borders, the Swedish word that translates as something like flight-shaming. It’s a movement which seems to be gaining momentum, and I note it is referred to more frequently. Could it become an even greater issue post-Covid? For most of us, getting to Thailand means taking a long flight. No doubt things are going to be a little different post-Covid but I hadn’t given any thought to Flygskam until now. International travel is a big part of many of our lives and I for one have missed it terribly this year. Are some people really keen to take the ability to travel internationally away from us? Or wean us off it? Or perhaps only allow us to make a limited amount of travel each year? Nothing would surprise me in this crazy world we live in. I told the other half this week to make a list of the places she wants to visit most. When borders open we’re going to set about traveling….while we can. Covid took that away from us and who knows, maybe some do-gooders will try to take it away from us again, or limit it. If there is one thing I have learned from Covid, it is to make the most of things while you can. Whether that means returning to Bangkok or climbing Mt Vesuvius, or cruising along the Bosporus, now is the time to do it. No way do we want to be stuck at home like this again!

 

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick

Stick can be contacted at : [email protected]