With no real prospects, many of Pattaya’s bargirls say they have basically two choices during the city’s coronavirus shutdown: Depend on foreign men to bail them out or go back upcountry and let their parents take care of them.
“Warunee” said she used to make her money spending time in hotels with foreign men and dancing around chrome poles. But now that bars are closed, she has no way to make money.
She said her “boyfriend” in Germany sends some money, but she wants to go back to work and meet other guys.
Her bargirl friends are doing likewise, pleading with johns from the U.K., Australia, Sweden and other places to support them. Some are now sharing their tales on live video streams and enticing lonely men in the west to pay for “virtual’ drinks, of which they get a small cut of the bar’s take.
Warunee said girls without a man to take care of them usually decide to go back to Issan and live with the family.
Bargirls have a storied reputation for laziness, but a small number of industrious bar workers have broken the mold, choosing to stand on their own two feet by selling second-hand goods at markets, selling vegetables or getting into the cook-to-order food business.