I read somewhere that all Thai girls want is to get their hands in your pockets, and once they have cleaned you out, that’s it. No money, No Honey as the T shirt says. Is this really true? I have met a few nice girls every time I’ve come over, and although I pay for everything when we’re out together, I think that’s natural. I pay for everything back home when I take out a woman, so what’s the difference?
Dear Confused Chas,
The difference is you get more fun out of the relationship here, my Petal, or that’s what I get told by my gentlemen friends. It is nice to see there are still gentlemen in this world, and if you are paying, I’ll have a bottle of Veuve Clicquot when we go to dinner. Of course you can have what you want as well, I’m not stingy. Please let me know a week or so in advance, as I will have to fit you in to my crowded appointment book, though with promises of Veuve Clicquot you do go to the top of the waiting list.
I write this to anyone who considers complaining about Thailand or Pattaya or Chiang Mai or where ever. Start with the weather. It doesn’t get much better than in Pattaya, right? The girls are cute and can be very funny. Thai-food is fantastic. Thai-people are sweet people (most of them).
I have travelled to Thailand and elsewhere in Asia, as much as I could afford for the last 18 years. I have spent more than 5 years in Thailand, in total. Spent all my money, travelled all over this beautiful country, most of the time with great companions, though most of them don’t like even a short walk.
The Thais are great teachers, both in customs and language. I always bear in mind that I am a stranger and if any of us has to learn something, then it’s me! And it is like the more I learn, the more I realize that it will go on forever learning about Thai-ness. I really love it.
I am not sure how other people deal with Thailand, but if you want to live there, here’s a few advises: Learn to speak/read and write Thai. Eat Thai food, Thaistyle (on the floor and loads of chilli). Don’t fall in love with the girl in the bar. Keep a cool head. Just remember that you are NOT there to ‘rescue’ anyone, okay?! But have your fun. That’s why you are there in the first place, right? Keep a cool (not cold) heart, and you will get into it. Finally I can recommend to stay in a room with no air-con. Fan will do. It’s a lot cheaper and then you acclimatize. The list goes on.
But stop complaining. I write this from Denmark where I sit alone. It is pitch black outside, rain and heavy wind. Other than the sound of the wind, the streets are deserted and it’s a very quiet Sunday night. I miss Thailand and the wonderful Thai people. Enjoy Pattaya and Thailand!
Dear Peter J,
You certainly did pick up the Thai bug, didn’t you! In fact, you really did pick up a very serious case of the Thai bug, didn’t you! Sorry I had to shorten the letter, my Petal, but we ran out of space. It is 32 degrees here as I write this, even with a thunderstorm threatening, so why don’t you get yourself pointed back here, where you can enjoy life and living! I agree that your advice should be considered by all newbies to Pattaya. Mind you, I’m not very thrilled by fan rooms at night. I need my air-con. I don’t care how much it costs! (Anyway, I don’t worry, as the Editor pays for it!)
I am told that the bar girl sex for sale thing came with the Americans on R&R from Vietnam. That’s about 40 years ago. Surely it’s time to stop blaming us Americans for everything?
Dear GI Joe,
Thank you for the opportunity to print a correction. The R&R Americans did not bring prostitution to Thailand. The “world’s oldest profession” was alive and well long before the VN conflict. In fact by several hundred years! It really is time people understood that this is not a Thailand phenomenon, but exists everywhere. Any of you been to Amsterdam (Holland), or King’s Cross (Australia), or Soho (London) or the Reeperbahn (Hamburg) recently? However, Thailand may be just a little bit more honest about the whole situation.
When you go to any function here in Thailand, there are always some fabulously pretty girls as hostesses or promotions girls. How do you get to know these girls? Can you just bowl over and chat them up, or what? I’d love to be seen with one of these on my arm. They’re almost too delicious to be true. My mates at home wouldn’t believe it if I could get a piccy with one or two of them.
Yes, they are very pretty, and they are chosen for the position because of their looks. To look as immaculate as they do, most of them will spend a couple of hours before the function on make-up and hair styling. (Not like me, I can bolt out of the dormitory in under three minutes, but then I’m not a “pretty” am I?) You see, these girls are employed to be hostesses and promotions girls. That means they are paid. It’s their looks that they are selling. That is their job, and they have to do it well, or they don’t get another gig. So now you know how you end up with one or more of these “pretties” on your arm - you pay for the privilege, Petal, and you may even find that most of them don’t speak English. They are there for their looks, not for language skills. There are more photo opportunities on Walking Street, Loi Kroh, Nana or Cowboy. And the girls from Walking Street, Loi Kroh, Nana or Cowboy can at least speak English, such as “Hello sexy man!” if nothing else. That’s on top of “Welcome” and “Sit down please.” Amazing linguists some of them.
Regards the chap Brian who pays his GF a 30,000 baht salary each month - Brian your first step should be to cut your GF salary by a lot and ask her to get a decent job. Two months ago I did the same just gave 6000 baht. Now I cut it to nothing. She is now forced to work at the farm for 200 baht a day to survive. Maybe now she appreciates the money better again, or might turn up working in a bar. Whatever I fed up with this prima donnas.
I think you have to rethink what you want out of a GF. If it is someone to share your life with, that is a lot different from someone you just share your bed with. You do not seem to have much affection for your GF, so I think it is better for both you and her to go your separate ways. You have to learn about commitment first, and you haven’t any.
One respondent asked last week about the cost of living in Pattaya, and this brought out many replies from the readers. Mark wrote, Welcome to Pattaya. I live over the “Dark side”, this is where most long timers live. You will get a two bed bungalow for around 15,000 per month, water, electric, call it 3000 and 2000 day/night walking around money. Why not have a look in the “Luckytimebar” on Soi Nernplabwan, good people, they may be able to help, good luck.
Phoenix wrote, I agree with Ms. Hillary’s opinion. For a decent life, including restaurants, venues, cigarettes, funny (but not too much), if you own the condo, month expense can be around 50/60,000 baht. Of course it depends what you want to do, can be much more.
Don chipped in with, Bah! and more Bah! I have a live in, reside in a high rise condo, am not dumb enough to pay outrageous wine prices (400 % tax), eat in good, clean, reasonably priced restaurants, and home a lot, use common sense in shopping and have change left over from 50,000 a month. The good Doctor and Hilarious have expensive tastes!
While jcb said, 100,000 can live nicely for much less than that! However, if you are a ponce and want to show off and do unnecessary things then maybe you need more. 10K per month for a room and no more than 1K each month for food and a couple of beers. What else do you want?
Dear Mark, Phoenix, Don and jcb,
Thank you for your ideas and experience. Of course Thai people can live very much more cheaply than you Farangs, but how much you spend really does depend on your own idea of lifestyle. I might have expensive tastes (Veuve Clicquot is just getting outrageously expensive these days!) but if you are happy with a 50K lifestyle, then keep going with the Chang outside the 7-11. As long as you are all happy, my Petals!
I don’t believe the bar girls are anymore “out for what they can get” than the fellows pursuing them. They have a job, often entertaining foreign undesirables, do it well and deserve what they earn. The percentage of “baddies” is quite low!
I agree with you, Petal. As I have written in this column for many years, the ladies from the bars are doing a job, bringing in millions of tourist dollars, and as you point out, “entertaining foreign undesirables.” However, let us not forget that their “occupation” is still against the law. Not a well-policed law, but it is there in the statutes, nevertheless. I do receive reports of successful marriages between bar girls and foreigners, but I also get a greater number of sad letters from disillusioned men.
There are lots of theories, but may I ask the thorny question, ‘Are you actually a lady of the female gender?’ Your approach in your column seems very masculine to me; why don’t you publish a visual image inside your ‘heart’ at the top of your column, unless you look like Claire Raynor or Marge Proops? Are you going to give me a literary lashing for my cheek, wearing only thigh-length boots, a thong and nipple tassles (sic), like Madame Whiplash? Ooh, I hope so.
Dear Submissive John Thomas,
May I ask the thorny question, ‘Do you really have a John Thomas?’ What have I done to engender doubts on my gender? Your approach seems very British to me, being so disrespectful to my sisters in The Sun and The Daily Mirror, such newspapers known for their consistent high standards. Or should I say, standards. And who are you referring to in the thigh-length boots? You or me? By the way, before you get too excited with your verbal imagery, it’s ‘tassel’, not ‘tassle’, Petal. However, don’t worry, I will publish my photograph the day you get photos of your John Thomas published in these pages. I expect a magnifying glass will be in order?
(Regarding Singha Jerry’s letter supporting ‘Mia Chow’ “salaries”) Let’s not be too hard on Jerry, he has not been here long enough, let him spend every night in Walking Street and thereabouts, and why not. Jerry is a happy guy and I’m sure after a few years he will wake up and understand. I hope he does, if he doesn’t, then maybe we will be reading Jerry’s letters again.
Dear Thai Mark,
I am glad to hear that Jerry is a happy guy, because, like you I don’t think he will be a happy guy forever. “Salaries” are paid to servants. Wives are not servants. However, I am glad to see that male chauvinism hasn’t died out, and Jerry appears to be the ring leader in Pattaya. I look forward to meeting him.
Some of the forums round town are cracking on about Thai women wanting to marry foreigners because they are “rich”. Sure, the average foreigner who lives in Thailand has more money than the average worker in Thailand, but there are lots who make less than the upper level Thais do. They also forget that it is natural for men to fall for a Thai lady, because that’s who there is to choose from in this country. So is there anything wrong with a foreigner falling in love with a Thai lady and vice versa? I know of plenty of couples and the foreigner is just a pensioner and they don’t have much money at all, but have a good marriage. The only reason that foreigners get burned is when they put themselves in the position of choosing from the bar girls, who are there to make money, they aren’t looking for love. There should be no confusion. You’ve told them often enough Hillary.
Yes I have told them, my Petal, but every year there comes a fresh batch of starry eyed foreigners ready to buy the gold and then the house, the land, the medical bills for father, the motorcycle for the brother and veterinary bills for the buffalo. But you can help try and get them to see that a one week liaison is not the foundation for a good long marriage! Unless, of course, the groom has very deep pockets which can last until he shuffles off, leaving everything to his bride (and her family).