Experiencing life at the extremes

Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
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Where I stayed

Flag of Thailand  ,
Saturday, February 12, 2011

It is after midnight as I start to write this. I've spent the past couple hours sitting at the back of the Moon Bar watching the women work and the tourists play. I AM working tonight. After downing a couple of beers I take a walk towards the beach, the end of the bar strip, and then make my way back to my hotel room running the gauntlet (def. "is a form of physical punishment wherein a man is compelled to run between two rows-a gauntlet-of soldiers who strike him as he passes").

There were no rows of soldiers striking me as I passed, but there was 3 long blocks of beautiful women calling me over to join them for a drink and whatever else might follow in this hedonistic beach resort. Other than the girls on the street attracting people into the bars, there was the go-go dancers up on bar stages shaking their booty in ultra mini skirts and sheer tops pretending to cover up their brassieres. Intertwined within all this alcoholic marketing campaign were the not so subtle prostitutes selling an hour or night of companionship.

My choices were limitless. There were very many young women to chose from that I would have gladly brought back to my room, and I made the choice that I felt most comfortable with. I went back to my hotel room alone to sleep.

Earlier in the evening, Andre and I went out for supper. Andre passed on returning to the Moon Bar still feeling the effects of the alcoholic and female over indulgences of the night before. I returned to the same bar to observe the mating habits of "touristic hedonistic" and "localiss femaliss workiss" (ie. the tourists looking for pleasure and the local women who are making a living the only way they can, by giving the visitors what they think they need).

It is 10PM and I grab a chair at the back of the bar. I order a beer. No mojitos and tequila shots tonight. No flirting with the beautiful young women. I am here tonight to do some research. The male and female employees and bar owner who had seen me the night before all say "Hi" when they see me. They seem to know what their customers are looking for. The women leave me alone except to chat. Later I find out the maybe why of why the women are mostly leaving me alone.

Next to me are three Australian dudes, already pretty juiced up. The gay waiter is "playing" with them, especially one of the dudes who has a large rip in the crotch of his shorts. One of the young women whom I had been chatting with sidles up to one of the dudes. It's not long before his hands are all over her body. She lets him do what he pleases.

Then the gay waiter brings over a shot of something, a tall glass, a straw and a lighter. He heats up the alcohol until it catches on fire then puts the tall glass over the shot glass, once the flame is extinguished they pull off the tall glass, suck up the alcohol with the straw then suck up the alcohol vapors that are in the bottom of the tall glass. This was repeated by all the Aussies and then the gay waiter and the cute waitress. Everybody gags when they inhale the potent fumes.

Over at the bar one of the waitresses has her hands all over a female patron. Male or female the sales tactics are the same. Get a potential customer off the street, onto a bar stool, have them buy a drink, plus one for you, and keep it going for as long as the customer is in the place. If the customer leaves with a waitress, it's a bonus for the pocketbook.

I sat at the back observing many other going ons. Every so often one of the girls would come back to where I was and fix their make-up or just sit down and rest. I would chat with some of them, but one mostly. She's been working here for 5 years, though she's gone away and come back. Hopefully within a couple more months she can finally quit doing what she hates doing and get a job in the tourism industry where she's not demeaning herself. She has the same dream most people have. A big house, a family, someone to love. She's luckier then a lot of these women and others that I've chatted with in town. She doesn't have to support her parents. Most of the wages these women make go to support their family in some small town elsewhere in Thailand.

This woman knows what I do because the night before her friend came over a few times to chat with her. Last night Andre and I stopped in here for what was suppose to be a couple of drinks. As soon as we sit down Sochi sidles up to me. She's wearing a tight blue dress with a zipper all the way down the front. I buy her a drink. She starts massaging my fingers, arms and neck. We start chatting. She's 28, been working here for 8 months. First time in a bar doing what she's doing. I make it clear from the beginning that the night ends once the drinks stop. Tell her my hotel room is a dorm and is shared with someone else. She's glad about that. She's not interested in fighting someone off at the end of the night like she often has to do with the guys who want her to go back to their room.

Sochi and I chat while Andre starts playing this dice game with a male waiter and a couple of the girls. Rounds of drinks are on the line. Andre isn't doing so well. A few rounds of shots of tequila and sambuca go around. Andre now has a girl wrapped around him. After 3 or 4 mojitos and a few tequila shots I call it a night and switch to water. Andre has had a lot more to drink but he says he's use to it.

By midnight we're ready to leave. Andre has decided to bring his girl along. He has to pay for this right. Yesterday morning I meet up with Andre. His girl just left. After we split up at the bar they came back to his room. She started negotiating payment up front. In the morning she wouldn't leave and was asking him a bunch of questions about his length of stay and how much he would pay her to be with him all the time.

This is something I've noticed the past few days here in Patong. Very many male Caucasians have young Thai girls with them at all times. You see them on the beach, in the street walking arm in arm, in the restaurants, and on the scooters. I can only assume that these "couples" first met in a bar. But I know it's not the only way. I walk by the market and a tourist is chatting up a clerk.

I've chatted with the front desk clerk at my hotel. She spends her day at the window of a kiosk at the front of the building selling tours. This is how she gets paid, by commission. She tells me that male tourists constantly harass her to join them. No matter how vehement she is in her answer they do not stop. She tells them to go find the girls who do do that on the street with the bars.

Walking around town a popular store front window is the massage salon. Women gather outside to entice you in with the offer of whatever kind of massage you like. My first night in town as I was walking around a young woman grabs my arm and says come get a massage. Half hour massage, 150 baht ($5.00). With her breasts barely squeezed into her top I was quite sure a massage would not be the primary focus. I decline.

The following morning (2 days ago) I wake up with a very stiff neck and shoulder. The dorm window is open and the fans have been blowing all night. I go have breakfast and try to loosen up some stiff muscles to no avail. It's after 10am when the signs on the massage salons say they are open. But I can't find one that looks legitimate. Finally, walking down one street, when almost a block away I hear some screaming, come for a massage. I cross the street. Place looks somewhat legitimate and the girls aren't half naked. I point to a sign. Neck and shoulder massage.

There was a story to be told about Thailand. I could have seen the small villages and towns and tourist sites off the beaten path, but I believe this was the more important one. The one where Thailand has sold it's soul. The women I've talked to all seem to come from elsewhere because the money is to be made where the tourists are. They get sent here by their parents. It's very sad when a parent blindly pimps out their daughters.

Some women, like the one at the hotel front desk, has taken the difficult route, working long hours and hoping to earn enough commissions to be able to live on and send some money back to her mother. Others, whether good looking or not, have sold their soul to the tourist devil. Providing a service that is requested and after all these years, automatically assumed.

Then there's Sochi. Doing something she doesn't really want to do but she's gorgeous and has the body to get the tourists to pay her for companionship without having to resort to sleeping with them. She's trying to keep a shred of self-respect.

My experience in Thailand is just as important and sad as the one in Cambodia. One was a genocide initiated by an elite and the other is a survival plan of the masses initiated by an overindulgent tourist industry of a hedonistic western society.

I am staying here for a few more days. There's been a change in plans. More later. I hear a beach chair calling my name.

Love to all!

PS. The reason the women at the bar left me alone when I was doing my research was provided by Sochi's friend. There's a code of ethics between the girls. Leave a guy alone if one of the other girls likes him. Even though Sochi wasn't working this evening and wasn't even around, they knew better. I wish more of the world would know how to live an ethical life.
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