Bringing The Missus

It’s an all-too-common sight, but it still cracks me up every time. I’ll be sat in one of Bangkok’s gogo bars, with a beer in hand, when the curtain opens and a farang couple walk in.

They’ve probably had a romantic overpriced Thai meal somewhere, a few drinks, and decided they “might as well” sample the naughty nightlife. And it all begins so innocently. They’re all grins and smiles, they wai the waitresses and the dancers in healthy measure, and eventually sit down facing the stage. This is when I usually start the stopwatch.

Because within minutes, the bloke is going to be physically drooling at the lovelies on stage, and his lady-friend’s initial good-natured smile is going to droop into some kind of primeval snarl. Outnumbered and outgunned, her sexual universe has been turned inside-out. She probably considers herself quite a catch at home, but is slowly realising that the only men looking at her are openly smirking at her discomfort. White women are invisible in Thailand.

The bloke is eventually dragged out of the bar, usually after just one drink – which he may, if he’s lucky, be permitted to finish. You’ve got to feel for him. A friend of mine visited Thailand with his farang girlfriend a while back, and later confessed that his one abiding memory of the trip was the regret at not having the balls to sneak out of the hotel and hook up with a Thai girl while his girlfriend slept.

Try spotting the couples out and about in Bangkok, and guessing how long they’ve been here. If they look relatively happy, they’ve probably just arrived. After the first day or two though, the woman is generally pulling a face like a slapped arse, and the bloke is staring at every Thai girl that passes by when he thinks the missus isn’t looking, silently wondering whether he could, just possibly, come here alone next time…