The Altruistic Approach

I know people who live here in Bangkok who’ve never paid a bar-fine. They can’t comprehend why anyone would ever even want to. They’d far prefer to either hook up with a freelancer or try the more old-fashioned technique of pulling a “good girl” from a disco down at Ratchada, RCA or wherever. Or from the internet. Or on the skytrain. Or in a 7-11. Or from a coffee stand. I love this city.

I also love the gogo bars. This confuses some people. Gogo girls will generally want a little more cash than freelancers. Many see this as an unnecessary expense, when “street meat” can be acquired from The Miracle Mile for as little as ฿1000 all night. I see it as an investment.

Today’s the 4th day of 2007. On the evening of the 1st, a gogo girl of my acquaintance called me from her bar on Soi Cowboy asking if I would be visiting her bar that night. I told her I hadn’t planned to. No problem, she said, and paid her own barfine before coming over and staying long enough to get her wages docked for turning up late the following night. Total cost: ฿100 taxi money, which I practically had to force her to accept. Why? Because the first time I met her, I bought her a few lady-drinks and paid her what I thought she deserved. I’ve seen her maybe a dozen times since, and she’s refused to take my money almost every time.

On the night of the 2nd, a mere hour or so after my Cowboy girl left, I was on Sukhumvit soi 4 on my way to sample the Guinness at the new Irish bar, Hanrahan’s – incidentally, it’s very good. I literally bumped into a Nana Plaza gogo girl who I’d been with a few times before as she was buying a t-shirt from a street stall. I offered to pay for the t-shirt. A few hours later she was in my bed, making my toes curl. She left the following evening, refusing to take a single baht, and thanking me again for the t-shirt.

So yeah, as a one-off price, gogo girls are that little bit more expensive. But they’re often orders of magnitude more attractive than the easily available alternatives, and a one-off gesture can lead to weeks or months of frankly astonishingly good value. “Today free, you jai dee”, they tell me. Who am I to argue with them?

Last night I gave my aching body the night off. Tonight I might hit Patpong. Happy new year everybody.