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He only went out for some milk A blurb of monstrous proportions - it was only supposed to be a couple of lines and the odd photo.

Bangkok and Hua Hin

THAILAND | Tuesday, 1 May 2007 | Views [13635] | Comments [5]

Me...very tired, very drunk, well that's my excuse.

Me...very tired, very drunk, well that's my excuse.

It's 8am, I've been awake 24 hours and drinking for 15 hours.   I'm looking at a priceless view from a $200 a night room and a Thai girl who sells her time and body for money is pouring her heart out to me...                                                                    .

Lets start at the beginning: 
I arrive in Bangkok by yet another plane journey after leaving Laos, i opt for the Khao San road area.  It's an infamous backpackers mecca. There are more falangs (foreigners - actually spelt Farang) than Thais here and the whole place is an ever changing freak show.  The area contains every conceivable type of 'person': most are travellers like me, but a lot are dead beats and dropouts of society, who can live for months in the surreal bubble of anything goes, that is Khao San.  A dark and dingy warren of alleyways link the main street - do you want your hair braided, to see a Thai boxing match, get a tattoo, or piercing, see a lady or even lady boy or have a massage - dodgy or not while eating Pad Thai and having a fruit juice.  Everything the backpacker could possibly want and a hell of a lot they don't is here.  2 hours of this and I'm exhausted.

The next day i meet Marie, who i met last time i was in Thailand - she teaches English in Bangkok, is good company and has lots of recommendations for my future travel plans.  It's a refreshing and well needed day of chilling, chatting, cinema and shopping (bang goes the budget).  I like Bangkok and would like to spend longer - the next day however i need to meet up with my mate Jamie from England.

Hua Hin is a cross between a golfers paradise and a fat, old falangs idea of heaven.  I seem to attract the type - they're usually looking for a wife.  The town is right next to the beach but doesn't really make the most of it.  It's full of hotels, guesthouse, restaurants and bars...the bars are all full of girls.  Jamie likes this town: good golf, good hotels, cheap prices, free pool, bars full of friendly falangs and lots of girls.  Go to the same bar a couple of nights in a row and soon everybody knows your name...

...So it's not long before they know mine :)

After being in a bar until closing time yet again, we head for the local 'night club' which has live music.  Live music, how i miss it!  Even Thaiglish (Thai English) sung western songs sound good to me - Britney Spears would sound good to me right now.  This bar is dark, full and very, very loud.  I can see why people like it - anyone can go and feel comfortable.  Your black, gay, a fat old falang, a lady boy or a mixed race couple and no one bats an eyelid except to try and attract a potential date.  Your race, colour, religion, looks and size generally don't matter; everybody fits in.  I have to admit this is a refreshing change - i like this club, although being eyed up by 3 lady boys in 2 days i don't like so much. 

When the club closes we head for a Karaoke bar with several girls in tow, including one that Jamie nicknames my wife.  She won't leave me alone, and seems to continually want to drape herself on me.  She speaks virtually no English but has managed to tell me she loves me - it's not funny.  I'm told she likes me as I'm a nice guy!? more like she likes my wallet.  Suemi, another of our 'girlfriends' speaks good English, i get her to make it clear that I'm not interested in my wife.  I have to admit the feel of a girls arms around me after several beers is quite nice.  The horrendous renditions of Thai songs by the drunk locals is not so nice - i take back all i said about live music.  Before i know it, 6am has arrived and I've spent the night chatting to Suemi - we all do the obvious thing at this point and head for the shop to buy beers to drink on Jamie's balcony.

I can't get over the hotel and the rooms - it's ridiculously more expensive than my place and i thought my place was expensive.  I do have a swimming pool in my room though.  The water is dark and brown and comes from the leaking room - it's now been raining non-stop for 30 hours!  Some how my wife has accompanied us - i haven't heard her speak for about 5 hours.  She finds a sofa and goes to sleep.  Jamie slows down long enough to nap on his bed - he's in his drunken element here, he's spent the night laughing, joking, running around with his arms in the air and Liverpool have won - i guess he's happy :)

I continue talking to Suemi - she's 31, has 2 children (11 and 14) but no partner as he left her when the got too expensive.  She has no parents really either - her dad left her not long after birth and her mum when she was young - as she was too expensive to keep.  The blokes leaving the wife and kids seems to be a common story in Thailand.  Her mum came back to her when she was older, but only to try and work her and get money from her.  She seems to love her children more than anything, and does what she does to get money to send to them, and the family that look after them.  She doesn't live with them, she lives in a small box room with 2 mattresses and another girl.  This is all told in a calm matter of fact way; her story effects me visibly far more than her.  This is just the tip of the iceberg of what is her story and the things that have happened to her.  It's a tragic and common story :(

She's not told me this for pity or to get money from me - it's 8am, I've made it clear that I'm happy to buy them a drink, but only to chat and that I'm leaving for a bus very soon.  We've simply got on well and had too much drink.  It's been a great and very interesting couple of eye-opening days.  It's been fantastic to see Jamie and heart wrenching to see Suemi. 

The Thai way is not what I'm used to coming from England, although I've seen it a lot in my time in Asia.  It seems perfectly acceptable and normal to buy girls 'time' - everyone expects it.  You have 2 kids, your young, you need money and falangs will pay.  There really seems to be no problems, socially or individually with their own morals as to how this 'industry' effects them or their society.  A friend i met recently said, if they could get the money a completely legitimate way just as easy would there be an industry, and would they still seemingly not be affected by it.  I don't know the answer to that, i still haven't spent long enough in Asia or with enough locals to know - surprisingly the answer and the psyche of it isn't obvious.

My picture card has gone corrupt - it's the third one on this trip.  Unbelievably I've lost all the photos of our nights out, Jamie, myself and the 'girls' - ironic.

 

Comments

1

nice insight into the "industry"... funny how one-sided things seem until you experience them for yourself... glad to hear you're still corrupting your memory cards - what a nightmare :( . . . Shane: My 'experiences' are a tiny window into the world of Thailands prostitution. I've recently just read "Sex Slaves the trafficking of women in Asia" by Louise Brown. It's a very depressing read. I've picked a few quotes that I think shed light on what I've seen. In order for the customers to believe that there is a choice in the deal, and that there is an element of mutual attraction in addition to the cash, the whole business has to appear open and informal and bags of fun. Western sex tourism is therefore outrageously visible. In northern Thailand prostitution is a career option for many young Thai girls. A study was undertaken in 1990 with the aim of establishing the reason why some Thai families encouraged their girls to become prostitutes. It came up with some depressing conclusions. It found that 60% of families sending daughters to the brothels were not forced to do so because of acute poverty. Instead they were motivated by the desire to own consumer goods like televisions and videos. They have survived abuse and exploitation and have sought to live with as much dignity as their occupation allows them. They are mothers who have sold sex in order for their children to eat, they are poor girls escaping impoverished homes and they are young women who are sold for sex so that their brothers and sisters can have a better chance in life than they themselves were offered. The primary customers of Asia's indentured sex workers and its child prostitutes are overwhelmingly Asian men.

  Tam May 15, 2007 7:52 PM

2

Corrupt memory card my @rse :D . Shane: I don't know what you mean, I didn't do anything I want to hide! I swear it on my wifes life: isn't that right Ting Tong

  Mark May 26, 2007 4:13 AM

3

Good to see you're chilling out. Take care not to catch a cold or worse, Shane. . . Shane: Who me? :-)

  Jan May 28, 2007 11:56 AM

4

just got back from hua-hin for 5th time. Dont give me poor bar girls story, you fell for their bullshit<br>Nam a girl I was with in high season makes 30000 thousand baths to 50000 baths a week. she has big care and house. she tells every farong she has 4 children, husband went with younger woman, divorced, no money, she even gets farongs to send her money every month. so far she has about 20 sending her money. A few other girls I spoke too told me a similar story, dont worry I was taken in and I sent money. Any man that says he was never fooled in thailand by girl is a liar. But I am going back again and I will be taken again. Its a disease.... Shane: You could be right in that i was taken in - but this wasn't the first (or last) girl to give me a sob story, and i'd made my position perfectly clear from the beginning. Somehow i think she was telling me the truth. I certainly didn't, haven't and wouldn't send money. It's a tough one in the case of Thailand, with the tourist trade to be certain who is the victim... It's a disease i can do without, whatever the view point, someone IS a victim in many circumstances and it's a great shame that such a beautiful country is so tarnished, and many girls believe it's their only/best way of making a living.

  philip Dec 11, 2007 3:25 AM

5

Does it ever occur to you that prostitution is only a small part of thailand? And that there are many many people not involved in it? The disease is farang who go straight for these areas and think they have been to thailand. Go 3 blocks away from it to see the real thing!

every farang i know thinks the whole country is like it. It is not true. Just that farang not like to go outside tourist area cause of language barrier, so they get the impression all wrong

thailand has many many things to see

  Sattva Sep 16, 2009 2:28 AM

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