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Bangkok 102 (Guys, Girls and rabbits on Viagra)

 

Have you ever wondered what a rabbit is like if it is given Viagra? The easiest way, and the most humane is to take a visit to Bangkok and look at the nightlife. On any given night you will see the most obnoxious group of men this planet has ever had the misfortune to host, all being pampered and petted by a bevy of young nubile ladies, all out to make as fast a buck as they can, then get to the next punter. These young ladies can make any man, regardless of how ugly or old he really is, feel like a stud.

 

Heaven on earth you shout, I did too, and it was, but at what a price.  Gone was any personal pride, self esteem and all my money.  When the money goes, so does the honey.  You start to look around for ways of making an income. Most of the ways you find are either illegal, immoral or both.

 

In Bangkok they say you can take the girl out of the bar, but you canít take the bar out of the girl.  The same also applies to too many of the men.  The Bangkok bar scene is like a drug; the girls get hooked on it, so do the customers.  The only way to break the habit is to go cold turkey. The problem is, you donít realize that you are hooked.

 

Western men who have had to live with emancipated women suddenly find themselves in a world of women who are happy to be feminine, and use their femininity for their own advantage and personal gain. An average bargirl of twenty years old can easily earn one hundred thousand baht per month. Thatís two and a half time what the average western English language teacher earns here, and ten times that of the average civil servant.

 

Most of the girls who enter the flesh trade in Bangkok donít have a good education, which means they donít have a great choice of careers. There is no other occupation open to them that would pay even half what they can earn in a bar, or more accurately out of it, mostly in a dingy short stay hotel room. Couple the money with the opportunity to meet and possibly marry a rich western man creates a very strong pull for a young girl.

 

As the great majority of the girls who work in the bars originate in the farming areas of Northeast Thailand where the standard of living is truly third world; the bright lights and glitter of easy money to help with paying family debts and sibling education is a big pull.  Many of the girls have their own children, many fathered by their own brotherís friends who help themselves when the family has gone to the fields to work, so sending money home is routine.

 

The girls who end up in the most trouble are mostly ones who are the youngest in the family. To them, the sending of money home isnít as important. They start gambling, often losing heavily and having to work harder to pay off their debts to the illegal gambling dens, most of which have police protection. The girls then turn to drugs to keep them active longer in order to earn more money. Life becomes a vicious circle which is very hard to break.

 

Surprisingly AIDS does not seem to be a problem or even a major consideration to many of these girls working in the bars that cater for western men.  All the girls are aware of it, and most will ask their clients to wear protection, but that is as much against pregnancy as AIDS. This is not to say that Aids does not exist, it just seems to not exist in as major a way as you might expect considering the occupation these girls have chosen.

 

Life is cheap in Thailand, but living here can have a higher price than just money. In my chosen career here I get to meet all sorts of people, both Thai and western. Many of the western men I come across are financially unable to return to their own country.  Many like myself would be a stranger in their own country, having lived her for so long.  It is a price I willingly pay. Others are not so fortunate.

 

©  Robert Newman

 

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