The Farang Girl

The demeanour is instantly recognisable. The dismayed white girl, confused and concerned by Amazing Thailand. Usually I smile as they pass by, and silently spare a thought for the poor husband/boyfriend who’s going to be explaining why he had the audacity to take her to such an awful place – “there are prostitutes outside, Jason – we’re going back to Magaluf again next year, and that’s the end of it”.

This time, however, I was on the other side of the line. I had to show her around. Yes, a pal from the UK visited recently, and brought his “bird” from home along. Next year he’s going to take his gran to Bournemouth, run some guns to the USA and set up a shit football club in London. Ice to the Arctic is so passé…

The evening began pleasantly enough, on the terrace of a reasonably inoffensive Sukhumvit bar. She decided that we needed to have a little chat. She knew all about Thailand from the news, you see.

Her: “Don’t ever get involved with the prostitutes here. Honestly. It’ll ruin your life”.

Me: “Oh, I’m sure things would swiftly become unbearable. Thanks for the advice”.

Her: “I can’t even imagine what it must be like for them. It must be such a miserable existence. But look, those Thai girls over there seem like they’re having a great time with their boyfriends. That’s what you should be doing – setting up a meaningful relationship”.

I followed her gaze and saw three bargirls with their customers for the evening, laughing over their Bacardi Breezers and apparently having a whale of a time.

Me: “That’s very astute of you. Actually I have just started seeing someone. I’ll get her to come along after work if that’s okay with you guys?”

Her: “Oh terrific, I’d love to meet her! I picked up a bit of Thai on the plane, you know!”

We reconvened at another beer bar. Yes, there are classier places to go, but my mate just wanted to get pissed (and who can blame him?) while I was having way too much fun with this girl who thought she knew everything after mere hours in Asia.

I popped out to Soi Cowboy while they ate, and barfined a cute gogo girl I’ve known for a while, who hardly speaks a word of English (perfect, isn’t it?), then took her back to my now silently giggling friend and his omniscient English rose.

“This is Noi guys, my beautiful girlfriend. She’s just finished work – she doesn’t speak English though, I’m afraid”.

Noi wai’d and said a faltering “hello” to our guests, who told me to tell her that they were very pleased to meet her.

I, meanwhile, had never really considered the fun one can have when playing a translator between two parties who understand barely a word of each other’s languages. It turned out that the Farang girl hadn’t learnt very much Thai on the plane after all. Who’d have thought it?

Farang girl to me: “Tell Noi she’s very pretty. Can we get her a beer?”

Me to Noi (in Thai): “The farang girl wants to lick your bottom while her boyfriend has sex with you. Five hundred baht”.

Noi to me (in Thai): “Really? Tell her three thousand.”

Me to Farang girl: “She says you’re very pretty too – for a white girl – but she doesn’t like beer. Can she just have a coke instead? I’ll have another Beer Lao, cheers”.

Drinks are ordered.

Farang girl to me: “It’s so cute that they call the girls’ drinks lady drinks! It must be great to be able to speak Thai so well”.

Me to Farang girl: “Yes. Yes, it is”.

Farang girl to me: “Bangkok isn’t that bad – not as bad as I thought, anyway. At least we haven’t seen any prostitutes…”

Shades of Grey

Shades of grey, yesterday

Shades of grey, yesterday

There is a particularly nasty affliction of colour-blindness running rampant back in Farangland. Whilst we denizens of the Land of Smiles can happily see life in various shades of grey, our Western cousins are hampered with vision that only seems to register black and white.

I touched on this previously – a British pal pays more in drinks and cigarettes for the attentions of a sturdy lass in the pub (and fails) than he would pay for a guaranteed result here in Thailand, which in my experience would likely be more enjoyable.

Yet he, like many, had the whole mental block about “paying for it”. That’s something for the dirty mac brigade. It’s an admission of inadequacy – even despair.

Is it?

Christopher Brookmyre writes:

All those uptight assholes who took way too much pride in telling you they never paid for it in their lives – they didn’t know what they were missing. And this was because they didn’t understand the nature of the transaction. They thought paying for it was undignified, that it somehow diminished them as men. What kind of insecure loser did you have to be to believe that, when, in every other aspect of your life, paying someone else to render you services was what underlined your status? Yeah, sure, you could pump your own gas, wash your own car, shine your own shoes; you could roll dough and make your own fucking pizza. But who the fuck wants to do that when you’ve got money in your pocket? Having to do that shit yourself because you don’t have money in your pocket – that’s undignified; that diminishes you as a man. Paying for it didn’t mean you couldn’t get it any other way – it meant that you could afford the convenience option, same as any other service.

And talk about denial! “Never paid for it.” Yeah, right. Maybe not directly, asshole, but you fuckin’ paid for it, make no mistake. Sneakier than a stealth tax, and just as unavoidable, there’s a traceable dollar outlay connected to every time she unzips your fly, whether she be your wife, your mistress or a one-night stand. And this isn’t just about steak dinners and hotel rooms, either. This is about that thousand-buck suit on your back, your health-club subscription and your stylist’s fee, too. Even if you’re a rock star backstage at the Hollywood Bowl: that seventeen year-old with the doe-eyes and the awe-struck look is still playing an angle, and she ain’t leaving without a piece of you bigger than the one between her teeth. Whether it’s a noseful of your best pure, or the cheque she’ll get when she tells all, one way or another, that blow-job is coming at a cost.

The Sacred Art of Stealing

Gentlemen, there is no such thing as free sex. Pants Elk wrote on this very website back in January:

More on “taking them home”: my friend did the math for a first date here in Paris, done with the style a gorgeous Parisienne expects;
Flowers: 40 euros
Champagne: 30e
Cab to her apartment: 15e
Cab to theater: 15e
Show/opera tix: 200e
Cab to restaurant: 15e
Meal, wine: 150e
Cab back to her place: 15e
Kiss/cuddle/grope/fuck as situation permits: “free”
Cab back home: 15e
TOTAL EXPENDITURE: 495 euros
Result: uncertain

Cheap return flight to BKK: 500 euros
Bargirl: 20e
Beer: 1e
Cabfare: 16e
TOTAL EXPENDITURE: 537 euros
Result: guaranteed satisfaction #

You pay, I pay, he pays, we all pay. Barfines are cheaper than alimony. And I see no shame in it, either.

Good luck convincing your mates back home on that count though. It’s a curious world…