Not all women. Just the ones that StickmanBangkok refers to in his blog. Let me first of all say I am annoyed with myself because I swore I would not write a blog that contradicts anyone else's. I honestly cannot think of a more cynical Karma in life than to spend hours writing the sort of garbage that NotStickmanBangkok writes. Though again, frustratingly, most of his gripes about StickmanBangkok are right even if he does manage to get confused over Thai employment law. Take for instance NotStickmanBangkoks, we'll call him Keith it'll be much easier, poignant remarks about ad banners that are illegally earning money for StickmanBangkok on his website?
StickmanBangkok, we'll call him Paul it'll be a lot easier, is a contract English teacher in Bangkok and he has a work permit and is allowed to earn money. Whilst his permit does not allow him to work as say a taxi driver, neither does it disallow him owning business or making a profit from say, writing a book. He is not allowed to do a job that could be done by a Thai. But Paul's blog is a dot com and I am sure he would let anyone Thai who can write fluently in English to write it for him without pay. But you try and get a Thai to do anything for nothing!!
Keith might not have hit the nail on the head, but at least he tried because for many years Paul was a standard bearer for anti-visa agencies and anti-find love sites, and now you cannot read his blogs for the flashing ad-banners that have blindingly taken over so much that I long ago gave it up because reading his blog is like looking into oncoming headlights. In other words, he sold out.
It was his to sell anyway so why gripe? Well, because Stick was a great resource for newcomers to Thailand and sadly it is now lost. Or at least that was what I thought until I came accidentally across an article written by Paul about Thai bargirls and it changed my opinion. Nothing is lost if it was not there to begin with and this write up comparing online dating women and bargirls is nothing more than an anecdotal 'urban legend'. The article at Stickman Weekly was written in 2009 yet it looks like his research consists of something his mate once told him about a bloke he once knew which Paul then presents as "widely known".
"Getting involved with a bargirl in a serious relationship is a risky move. This is widely known." and "Bargirls meet a lot of men every day and quickly realise that they have many options. This can elevate her self-worth into the stratosphere. As they build up a stable of regular customers, they become adept at bending the truth as they juggle different men. And with money never far from their mind, they can become manipulative in their ways to extract money from men who show an interest. Much time spent in an environment where alcohol consumption is the norm along with irregular sleep patterns mean that over time she might slowly lose her femininity and develop questionable habits, running the full gamut from drug use to sloth."
This doesn't sound like any bargirl I ever met. In fact it sounds exactly like the stereotyping applied by the anti-beerbar movements from 'Stop the Exploitation of Women' to the 'Yellow Shirts'. Whilst the sex tourism industry may be unpalatable it is a necessary evil to Thailand's income. It is also out of necessity that bargirls do it. Screwing a man they met an hour ago would do nothing for any woman's self-worth and they cannot build up a clientele when the customers are only there for two weeks. They might have a boyfriend for one night or fourteen but the likelihood is she will never see him again. They do not meet several men every day. They may try enticing several a day into the bar because that's what they are paid to do but they are not having a relationship with every one of them. And there is nothing unfeminine about a bargirl, try watching one dancing, and whilst there is a drug problem in Thailand it is highly unlikely to be the bargirl you are watching dancing for several reasons. First her Mamasan is there to ensure she stays clean and is good to the customers. All the protagonists will now be saying 'What about the two mamasans who got arrested for drug dealing'. These were not mamasans from clubs in Walking Street or private bars or road shows. Second she has to have monthly blood tests. I have read many times that this is open to abuse by getting friends to go to the hospital for them. I can't say if that happens but I know all the big clubs wield the threat of dismissal like a big stick. Most of the big bars and clubs are owned by falang and they cannot afford to let their establishment get the wrong side of the Police because it would cost a fortune to keep paying them off whilst their customer numbers would plummet.
Paul then goes on to warn westerners about online dating which used to be the domain of university graduates and the wealthy who could afford a computer at home whereas now low class bargirls are using internet cafes to make their own social networking pages. It is true, they are joining dating sites etc. but that doesn't make online dating more dangerous or 'lower class' and in fact the scammers you have to watch out for are Russian. He is right about why westerners go to Thailand for love but suggesting that guys are having to compete for a lady and it is costing dear, is not only barking but highly insulting to Thai women, especially those he refers to as "Low hanging fruit".
I tried a couple of Thai dating sites and found them to be a waste of money and my time. Far from considering all the options of a 'million men' all emailing inflated descriptions of themselves and photos taken several years earlier when they still had hair, I only found an interest in one woman near Chang Mai on sweetsingles.com who I wrote to and sent photos and never heard back from her. Three years later she emailed me her phone number and I called her. Turns out she emailed me in error from her new job. She joined SS out of desperation. With two children, an errant boyfriend, and a poor family background, she had a law degree that wouldn't get her a job and it took her almost 12 months to save what money she could to pay to join SS. She could not raise enough money to travel to the offices to update or get her mail or email and so she never knew about the eight (yes 8) replies to her photo session and profile. And this is the reality of the "Low hanging fruit".
So what about the bargirls? Firstly, they cannot be pigeonholed into types. While nearly all have a history in common in that they had a boyfriend or young husband who has deserted and never gets in touch or sends money for the kids. The children live with their grandparents in a tiny village in Issan up north or to the east and she only sees her offspring for two or three days once or twice a year and sometimes two years. She shares a one room flat for which the rent is more than a village family home, the toilet is a dutch squat, the shower is a garden hose on cold only, and there is no kitchen. She doesn't share the apartment to save money; it is to make it less likely to be burgled. She earns between two and three hundred pounds a month three quarters of which goes back home to mum. This girl works six days a week and is hoping beyond the wildest possibilities that she will one day meet a falang who will take her away from it all just like Pretty Woman, and she has this dream because it happened to her friend she went to school with or to the girl she used to share an apartment with.
Are they manipulative? Some girls have gone to work the bars because of greed and have nothing in common with the above. They want a big house and a fancy car and to a single girl with no family ties bar work is big bucks and a big attraction from the rice farm that pays four pounds a day. But this girl has set herself a goal in life and has no interest in relationships. This is the one to avoid because she has to tell lies to keep your interest as a potential earner, and more lies to prevent her probable Thai boyfriend finding out. She has learned to juggle but has to make excuses and not answer her mobile or switch it off at night and you need to employ some common sense. If you persue it you run the risk of meeting her boyfriend and although he is 5 foot tall and 65 kilos wringing wet if he gets a jealous spat, which is common to Thais, he will quite possibly try to kill you because he cannot compete on prospects. It's not as if there is no more fish in the sea so kick it into touch and move on.
The first Thai girl I had a relationship with was from Udon. Her father was a Police Officer and her mum a Local Government Officer. They had a nice bungalow and she had been sent to high school and college and then a job at the Local Government Office. Her father died young whilst directing traffic at a busy junction next to the Tesco Lotus. She borrowed money from the bank to keep up the mortgage payments while her mother fell apart in despair. Her brother lived in Jomtien (south of Pattaya) but wouldn't help with finances but he did offer to get her a job in Pattaya and she could stay with him. She was a virgin and affluent and was driven to working in a beer bar in Pattaya out of desperation to save what was left of her mother's life. Terrified she scouted the bar for three nights before she could pluck up the courage to pick out her first customer - me. At the hotel when she told me this was her first time I offered her the financial opportunity to back out and go back to Udon. She chose to stay with me and played a massive gamble by giving up her job so I did not have to pay for her services and asked me if I would take her to England. She then went back to Udon and waited for me to sort out her passport and visa to come to Britain and during this time she never once asked me for money for herself except when her mother who once worked as a croupier in Atlanta asked me herself if I could help pay for her sisters funeral to which I duly obliged. This girl knew I was not wealthy but that made no difference to her and she did not try to manipulate or play me off against another potential suitor. Sadly that relationship did not work out and I sent her home but that had nothing to do with where she came from or her background.
Then there are Thai women who need money but went to Pattaya in the hope of finding a falang. My partner's mum had a sister who died prematurely of natural causes leaving a husband and daughter. The daughter who was by now husbandless went back to live with and look after her dad. Three years later her father was killed by a drunk driver in the middle of the night which left my partner's cousin alone and jobless. She asked my partner if she could find her a falang in England and I have too many mates who think my other half is desirable. The idea of one ten years younger and had no children is tempting to any man even if she doesn't speak a word of English. But she cannot wait until next year when we next go over to meet one of my mates. She has succumbed like so many others and gone to Pattaya in the vain hope she will meet a falang. In vain? Yes, because she will be abused by dozens maybe even hundreds of men before she finds the right one. She will be talked about in the village and she has to learn to do things she has never done before. Kissing, anal sex, masturbation, will all be very new to her.
I am one of the lucky ones. I was introduced to my other half by a woman I met in the Embassy in Bangkok. She had met her husband who was English while he was on holiday and she was being interviewed for her spouse visa. We were looking over her shoulder at wedding photos that I now see on their mantelpiece and I said to the lady "He looks like a Black Country bloke", I was only kidding but she replied, "No he is from er" she rustled through the mountain of papers required to get a UK visa and then showed me his address in, as she put it, "Vest Blom Each". I already knew this potential girlfriend I was being introduced to because she was a waitress in my local Thai restaurant. She was recently widowed from a man who was only 44 and she looked it too. Drawn and tired, it was several months before I asked her out on a date and even then was only because it was put to me that I really should. This was a long time ago but she still cannot talk about her husband and one night while telling me some of her life's story she was able to reduce herself to tears because the memories were so painful. Stories of when she was a dancing showgirl in Bangkok and because the club closed very late one night, when she got home, her Thai boyfriend beat her so bad she was hospitalised for three weeks. Of how her second Thai partner made her work while he stayed at home and got drunk and abused the children. Eventually she ran away taking the children to Udon and heading south to falangland. There within a few days she met the man she later married. You see a common theme here?
More importantly, my partner who by no means sets a precedent, is indicative of an Issan farm girl. She is not pursuaded by a mans wealth. She is utterly faithful. She works far too many hours to provide for her family, she does not expect me to do it, and when she gets home at night she cooks dinner for us, and all of my mates seem to have wives with the same hardworking dedicated attitude despite their sometimes questionable curriculum vitae.
Nearly every Thai girl in the UK has at some point in their life worked in a beer bar. Many of them met their husband in a bar. As one of my mates wives said of the Thai community, "They all tell lies about where they come from so why shouldn't I?". She's not kidding, Thai culture is built upon a class system, a system that any from a classless society would not understand, a system that Paul has fallen judgementally into. He is right when he explains that these girls come from very poor backgrounds. But that supposition is far from rocket science. At what point would a rich girl from an influential family think to herself 'I want to be a pole dancer and shag men for money when I grow up?'
My partner told me when we were stood outside her school that all the time she was learning she dreamt of going to England to live. A lady from her village had done so and was the pride of the village when she came to visit and looked so rich and had such a handsome husband. My other half taught herself English because the schools lessons were too brief and in her darkest hours she never gave up hope and you know what? Most Thai girls have the exact same dream no matter what their class or background. The only difference is how you achieve it. That difference is your class.
When Thai women arrive in Britain they have an opportunity to shake off that caste and why shouldn't they? They don't tell everyone they meet "Oh yes, I was a bargirl and short time girlfriend". Not because they are ashamed of what they once were but because they are ashamed of what people think or say about them and Stickman Bangkok presents that cynical snobbery.
Of course some girls use men to achieve their life's ambition and they will be pilloried as the representative article but this is not true. We know a Thai lady who married an Indian man. This goes wholly against the grain of natural desire for a Thai because he is not white. The only reason she went with him was because he is a British Citizen. She has two white boyfriends on the go here in the UK, drives a car with no insurance or driving license, and told my partner that she lived with her Thai boyfriend in Thailand when she met her husband. Another we once knew had an affair so her husband divorced her. She went to live with her boyfriend not realising that her visa renewal would be refused. This represents about 3 or 4% of the Thai women I am familiar with. It is by no means the norm'.
So what about the better class of girl on dating sites? If you like pipe dreams and wasting your hard earned cash then this is for you. Unless you do it properly and go to Thailand and meet these single women but here's a scenario for it: A travel mate and I were in the reception having a drink with my Thai girlfriend and her brother when a tall man with a dodgy leg was having problems explaining to the receptionist that his room was not suitable and he needed to change it. My mate and prospective brother-in-law went over to see if they could help. Once sorted Patrick, a very decent Dutchman with broken English and a serious cigarette habit, came and joined us for relaxing under the punka drinkies. He told us he had a girlfriend in Bang Na who would be joining him later. He didn't mention they had only had contact through a dating agency. He said that she is a good girl and wants separate beds until they are married. Turned out she was a virgin and this was their first meeting. I told him to calm his nerves, have a couple of shorts, and slow down on the cigarettes. Mai arrived with the sweetest smile but was cautious toward Patrick. Mai asked my GF what was wrong with his leg, Pat had forgotten to mention that he had a prosthetic leg. She asked why he smoked so many cigarettes which by now were on a chain, even though she said she didn't like smoking he forgot to mention he was a 40 a day man. And then my mate leant over to me and muttered Patrick had wanted a double room. By 10pm I had to book a room at another hotel for Mai and make sure she came to no harm and my mate had Patrick in a club in Walking Street.
Finding love in Thailand is far easier than in the west. You finding happiness with a Thai partner is far more likely than with a falang woman. At this point I am going to upset a lot of falang women but I want to tell you how it is. Thai women believe a woman's place is in the home, even if she works. If a man wants to watch the football and drink a beer he should be able to and Thai women also think this. Of course they are a pain in the arse and only talk during the program and never the adverts and ask what you think and does my bum look big in this. Well mine does anyway. But that's what women do and is sort of nice even if it does 'make annoy' sometimes. I am telling you truthfully, forget dating sites and social networks and chat rooms, they are nothing more than a fraudster's paradise and always have been because on the web everyone has total anonymity. If your ex-wife left you because you're old, fat, balding, and ugly I can assure you in Thailand you are none of these.
Despite Paul's ridiculous claim about fruit trees it really doesn't matter how high up you reach because life is more like a barrel of apples. You reach in and grab one and it might be good, it might be bad, so take a good look at it before taking a bite. How? You want to know how big her family is and what they do for a living. How much money she sends home every month and how many children she has. And you need to ask yourself are you prepared to take all this family on because no Thai lady comes without baggage. You also have to ask yourself if you care what she used to do for a living and if it bothers you move on.
It is not for me to tell you how to find a decent girl in Thailand but I will tell you this: I could stand in Surawong during any afternoon and ask passing Thai women to have dinner with me. It wouldn't be long before one said yes and winning her affections would be just as easy. That doesn't make her any better person than a bargirl in Pattaya. As Pretty Woman said "That's just geography".