How low can you go?

The longer you stay in Thailand, the cheaper you get. It’s just one of those things that happen. When I arrived here four years, eight months and 27 days ago (not that I’m counting), I had zero income but spent money like Imelda Marcos in a shoe shop. Now that I earn a UK-level salary in a developing nation, my wallet gets less action than a Bangladeshi tourist visiting Rainbow 4.

This transformation happens, I believe, because after a while one realises just how little most Thais earn and spend. In a nation where the average monthly salary is about 10,000 baht and where many people work long hours in factories for half that sum, it just seems morally wrong to spend as much as a Thai’s weekly food bill on, for example, a barfine.

The locals are constantly amazed that I splurge 11,000 baht a month to rent an apartment, even though that is much less than many farangs lay out for accommodation that Thais could get for a quarter of the price. They cannot understand why anyone would eat overpriced food in British pubs when good Thai meals can be had for 30 baht. They are bewildered that we even get inside taxis where the driver won’t use the meter. As for tipping the driver, most Thais would rather gargle with rat poison.

Faced with this cultural thriftiness, most expats eventually go native – some more than others. Take Douglas, for example. As a Scotsman, he was already genetically programmed to be as tight as a duck’s arse, but even his friends were surprised when he stopped going to Cheap Charlie’s in Sukhumvit Soi 11 because he reckoned it was “too expensive” after its beer prices rose to 70 baht. He regularly arrives at bars just before happy hour ends to order six beers at the discounted price. He even gets away with this trick at the posh Huntsman pub in the basement of The Landmark.

When I asked him if he was ever embarrassed by being so cheap, he replied: “My money is as good as anyone else’s. If a bar or a girl doesn’t want it, I will spend it elsewhere. These Isaan gogo dancers asking customers for 3,000 or 4,000 baht make me laugh. Most of them had never seen a 1,000-baht note until they came to Bangkok.”

I spent a week in Koh Samui in the company of a man so cheap that he made Douglas seem like the last of the big spenders. Steve was from Wigan in northern England, where they are careful with their brass. It became apparent that he wasn’t the most romantic of souls when he explained his policy towards the Isaan ambassadors populating Lamai’s many bars.

“I have three golden rules – I never pay barfines, I only go short time because I don’t like waking up with them, and I never give them more than 500 baht,” he announced defiantly as we chatted in the Red Fox Bar, one of the few bars in the area without entertainment providers, providing you discount English landlord Alan.

While I have always approved of budget-conscious partying, it struck me that Steve’s hardline approach would ensure him of celibacy in more expensive Bangkok, but perhaps he would have a chance in Samui in low season when even I can have the allure of Brad Pitt as I wander round bars devoid of customers.

Steve decided to demonstrate his bargaining powers at the plaza of 12 bars within spitting distance of the Red Fox on Walking Street. He was soon approached by a Buriram native and, after the usual formalities, he told her his golden rules and asked if she was up for some action.

“If you don’t pay the barfine of 300 baht, I will have to pay it, so I will be getting only 200 baht,” she protested.

“Not my problem,” Steve replied, folding his arms across his chest.

Being a lazy type and not really wanting to walk back to his room for some mattress gymnastics, he then took the negotiations down another level by pointing at the toilet at the vacant next-door bar. “We could go there,” he suggested. “You won’t really be leaving the bar, so I cannot see why you would have to pay the barfine. I will give you 500. It’s up to you whether you pay the barfine.”

Remarkably, she agreed. They marched off to do the deed in the less than romantic setting of a shithouse. About 20 minutes later, they emerged looking rather dishevelled. There was a spontaneous round of applause from the other bargirls.

Steve decided to reward his girl with a drink, but even then there was a catch. “This drink is for me – it’s not a lady-drink,” he shouted to the cashier as he ordered a Spy wine cooler. When he was served, he handed the bottle to the girl, thus saving the 40-baht lady-drink surcharge.

I asked him if everyone from Wigan was so cheap. “We like to get value for money,” he said. “I had a mate come here on holiday once who went with a girl and only gave her 60 baht to fill up her motorbike. And I forgot to tell you – that girl I just went with wanted me to buy a condom for 10 baht, but I made her get it.”

I felt proud to be British.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been edited from its original format due to the fact that the original poster was so cheap he wouldn’t splurge on paragraphs and they had to be added to make the article readable.]

42 thoughts on “How low can you go?

  • March 13, 2010 at 10:01 am
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    I try to avoid cunts like your friends, and maybe even you.. It’s one thing to be cheap or thrifty if your income is low, but altogether much different if you have decent income or financial resources. I don’t get your point either. I spend just as much (or as little depending on how you look at it) as I did when I first got here. Probably more…

    It’s karmic really. Think of money as water and you are the hose. If you pinch off the outgoing, then you pinch off the incoming.

    You felt proud to be British? I’d be embarrassed and ashamed…

  • March 14, 2010 at 12:42 am
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    I can see some of your points. Actually just the one about eating Thai food – cheap and tastes good. I have no issue going to my local food cart and ordering there for dinner for well under 100 baht. But, I have no problem getting into a non metered taxi at 2AM when I am half pissed and want to just get home. In the grand scheme, what is 200 or 300 baht at 2AM to get home?! I’ve lived in several countries and always try to keep the same standard of living as I would at home in the States – if that means a 45,000 baht condo and a 200 baht taxi ride…great.

    But like John Brown said, your friend who wouldnt even buy a girl a bar drink or pay the fine…what a cunt. Why not stay home and masterbate and save the 200 baht?!

  • March 14, 2010 at 3:54 pm
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    Very funny writing.

    I do agree that visiting and living for long periods of time in Asia teaches most Farangs “to do a lot with less”. The first time my plane landed at Saigon’s airport a few years ago, I was looking around while getting into the taxi going to my hotel and I quickly realised that there was no way the US goverment could have won the V. war. These people live on nothing…

    Thailand is the same in many ways, and this is by no means a negative thing.
    I have learned to spend less because I learned, from Thai’s, to want less. I look at the way most westerners live in their countries and I see that there is so much wasted money, energy, food, and natural resources. For me personally, it has been a positive change to learn to spend less and enjoy the simple things in life. But, I also try to help some needy Thai’s when ever possible. There are so many Thai people out there that have nothing, and they ask for nothing… and those are the ones that should be helped…

  • March 14, 2010 at 3:58 pm
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    You are a very entertaining writer.

    I find that as time goes on, and I have come to appreciate how much 20 or 100Bt is to a Thai person, I have become more generous (and poorer)…not cheaper.

    Naturally I have learned to live cheaper in a lot of ways…which stands to reason.
    After a while you get to know the places with good, plentiful food and cheaper prices, various watering holes or clubs that offer money-saving promotions, shopping discount markets etc….everything.

    The semi-despicable characters you described are not the kind of farang I am friends with or want to be associated with, though their larcenous exploits are mildly amusing under your pen.

  • March 15, 2010 at 2:51 am
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    Some Thais splurge on expensive stuff like there is no tomorrow. There are more Thais in Paragon than there are foreigners.

    Where the Thais save is by sharing everything, living 5-6 people in a small 2 bedroom or at least 2 in a studio. Sharing a bottle among 8 people in a club, buying food together, sitting 5 people crammed into a tuk-tuk. Things are remarkably cheap when you always split the bill.

  • March 15, 2010 at 7:36 am
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    500 baht for less than 20 minutes work is probably more than what any of us are getting.

    End of the day, its a free market.

    There is absolutely no obligation for the girl to accept. She could just tell him to F*** OFF!!!

    Now I have know people (fortunately not close friends, or even friends) to be in shouts, and when it was their turn to hit the bar, they were nowhere to be seen. Now that’s a cunt!!!

  • March 15, 2010 at 8:41 am
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    Its not about her… its about the cheap-f–k wanker (I’m talking to you) who’s tempting her to betray the bar business which pays her salary…chiseling the bar which provided not only the girl, but the beer he’s drinking and the atmosphere….and questioning the worth of herself and her company.
    Hope the bar owners find out who he is.
    Guys like this are a menace. They make all of us farang look bad.
    As I say…you can abuse Thai people …laundresses, ladies, waitresses…and they’ll still take care of you…but only for the money. Inside they will know what a grand assbag you are. And you’ll never get their best.
    If you don’t care about that…you may be worse off than even I think.

    In most other prostitution subcultures throughout the world…the pimp…bar or whoever…takes by far the bulk of the money.
    In Thailand the club pay the girls a salary, often feeds and/or houses them, and they take far less money than she does. Say its a 500Bt bar fine…usually she gets 100 or more from that. If you buy a drink the bar pockets the usual retail cost and the extra is for the girl’s tip, for sitting and chat with your pathetic unsightly ass. If she gets the negotiable 1,000 she’s asking…she’s made 1,150Bt…the boss made 400 and sold two beers… If she’s very charming or accommodating she may make much much more….possibly even hit the “farang lottery”….The bar gets the same.
    As bizarre as it sounds the Thai girls have it quite good for those in their profession.

    That said there are many many more girls who do poorly, than who do really well; and “cheap charley” doesn’t go anywhere near the clubs where the successful girls are to be sure.

    500Bt is a fortune if you don’t have 5 Bt.
    At that level its not about choice….but about desperation.
    I’d guess, given a reasonable alternative (income-wise) to prostitution, a very high percentage of Thai girls would prefer not to be in that business.
    My guess is, the girl in the anecdote wasn’t a young beauty by any stretch.

    This is about the farang kunt exploiting someone less fortunate than himself.

  • March 15, 2010 at 8:43 am
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    It was well-written though.
    Its puzzling to see such an intelligent writer take humorous glee in the utterly evil exploits of his acquaintance….or dare I say friend!

  • March 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm
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    John Brown: If you come down from your high horse for a moment, you may realise that my “proud to be British” comment was ironic. You must be American.
    I am not recommending that anyone should emulate the cheapness of Douglas and Steve, but they are extreme examples of how farangs can change here, though I suspect they were cheap before they arrived.
    The first thing that happens, after a few years, is that expats get jaded with the bar scene. I know blokes who used to live in gogo bars who now rarely set foot in Nana or Cowboy. The allure disappears. Think of the money they are saving by not stepping through those magic curtains on a nightly basis.
    Then, as other commenters have expressed very well, expats gradually become more Thai in their choices of accommodation, food, entertainment, etc. It’s more about the transition from tourist to resident than being cheap.

  • March 16, 2010 at 1:02 pm
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    It depends on what sector of Thai society you wanna fit in with –

    If you want to hang out and socialize and date with the illiterate and uneducated then your strategy of paying little is a good one.

    If you aspire to date a girl from the middle classes and up and enjoy company from that sliver of society, then your strategy is a very poor one. Most middle class and up Thais spend much more than you.

    And by the way, 11,000 Bath for an apartment is quite low and puts you squarely in the lower reaches of the Thai class scale.

    So I don`t think there is a right or wrong to this – in life, one pretty much gets what one pays for. If you want more out of life, you pay more. If you want friends and girls from a certain sector of Thai social life, you have to have the appropriate lifestyle.

    But if you don, then you don`t have to. The choice is for each individual to make.

  • March 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm
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    J: You are way off beam if you belive that paying 11,000 baht a month for an apartment puts one in the lower reaches of the Thai class scale. Most low-class Thais struggle to earn that much money in a month. I would guess that most Thais in Bangkok pay less than 5,000 a month for accommodation.
    My condo is a modern complex with four swimming pools and elaborate security. It is not bargirl territory. Most of the apartment residents and owners are very much middle-class Thais with nice cars and decent jobs.
    I know two Thais, both in their mid-30s, who have jobs in banks. Neither could be described as illiterate or uneducated, yet they can only dream of being able to afford an apartment costing 11,000 a month. That is the reality for many middle-class Thais.

  • March 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm
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    Oh, don`t get me wrong, an 11,000/month apartment doesn`t put you in somtam seller territory, but it definitely puts you in the low lower end of the lower middle-class.

    Just telling it how it is, nutter – I`m not gonna get into a War of the Anecdotes with you, but trust me, if you wanna hang with the crowd the fills the clubs on Ekemai, for the most part you ain`t living the lifestyle. Which is totally cool if that`s what you`re in to – to each his own.

  • March 16, 2010 at 2:50 pm
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    J

    “So I don`t think there is a right or wrong to this”

    Perhaps you should rethink that statement.

    Tempting and bribing poor Isan bar girls (or anyone) to betray their loyalties to the people they work for has a lot of right and wrong aspects to it.
    After all the fellow obviously knew the rules, and knew he was bribing her to break the rules…and he demeaned her personally by telling her that her company is worth 200Bt if she chooses to be true to her employer… forcing her to compromise the right and wrong of her actions.
    I find quite a lot of wrong with this scenario.

    If you can’t pay 500Bt to get laid you should go home alone, like the jerk-off loser you are, and not menace people.

  • March 17, 2010 at 11:45 am
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    Kevin – I disagree. Everyone is a fee agent – as long as no coercion was used the girl was free to say no.

    That she didn`t is entirely her problem. But business is business and there is nothing wrong with driving as hard a bargain as the person you are doing business with will accept.

    Every opportunity in life can be viewed as a bribe or a temptation or as an inducement or a lure to do something we shouldn`t be doing, but it is impossible to see any free transaction between two consenting adults as immoral.

  • March 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm
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    J

    I see and agree with your general premise to a point.
    But this was not a typical business free-market situation.
    In the world of business its a negotiation that would never happen.
    He would have had to negotiate for her services with her employer.
    There is such a thing as ethics in business.

    He compromised her. I’m quite sure if she wasn’t broke or desperate she would have told him to f–k-off.
    Like I said 500Bt is a lot of money when you don’t have 5Bt.

    In any event… the guy’s a f–king wanker cheap-charlie arsehole.

  • March 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm
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    J,

    For someone expressing such a risible opinion on Thai class divisions, you seem to be quite confident in the point you’re making.

    The fact is that Thailand barely has a middle class in the sense that westerners would understand it. You may have noticed more occasional red shirts than usual among the hoi polloi on your trip to the fabulous clubs on Ekkamai. That has much to do with the massive income disparity in this country. Your fellow scenesters on Ekkamai road are NOT the middle classes. They are hi-so kids spending daddy’s money, sons and daughters of privilege. If you understood the first thing about this country’s class structure and the layers of it, you would know that.

    If there is a middle class here, then it comprises people in white collar professions, government bureaucrat jobs, that sort of thing. Salaries here can vary substantially, particularly in tenured government jobs, but you would not find many among them who would regard 11k in rent as piddling. I doubt many would find the monthly outlay of the original poster to be within their means.

    I’m just telling you how it is J. If you don’t want to accept that Thailand’s class divisions are starker than they’d appear through your tinted glasses, then that’s fine. It’s up to the individual.

  • March 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm
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    Bob…you are correct in your analysis.

  • March 17, 2010 at 6:36 pm
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    J,
    Let us know when you’re back from La La Land. Any moment now you’ll be waxing lyrical about the superb earning power of “middle class” office workers and the wonderful socially conscious generosity of wealthy Thais. If that’s indeed the case in your experience, I’d sure love to join you in the circles you move in.

    As Bob Cratchett has aptly pointed out, the income disparity in Thailand rivals that in the worst banana republics and kleptocracies. You need to get off the yuppie trail and mingle a bit with some wage earners. Here’s an example: a university-educated young woman I know works for a multinational as an accountant and makes over 30,000 baht a month. That’s an excellent salary that most “middle-class” Thais with her background and education (both respectable by Thai standards) can only dream of. But you won’t catch her splashing out 11,000 baht on monthly rent — not unless a sugar daddy agrees to pitch in.

  • March 17, 2010 at 8:26 pm
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    Of course the Thai people we are talking about here…the bar girls… have salaries ranging from 2,500BT per month to 10,000 for a top go-go dancer…plus their earnings from prostitution.
    While its true some such women earn stratospheric money compared to their “sisters” it is hardly the norm.
    The job requires no education…which is lucky since Thailand educates none of its people…or particularly hard labor.
    There is, BTW, zero work available at home in the countryside.
    As I heard someone say…for them its up to their knees in rice paddy for 50Bt per day….or on their knees in BKK for 500Bt per day.

    Their choices and alternatives are limited, and not very pleasant, especially if they have the misfortune to meet guys like the original writer’s friends.

    I work for wealthy Thai.
    I am perhaps an almost a unique farang, but I know I earn 10x the regular staff salaries and work about 1/10 the hours they do.
    And I live in a 5,000Bt-a-month room….comfortably.

    They live, 3-4 together in a 2,500Bt room.

  • March 18, 2010 at 12:13 am
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    Santa – Agreed. *Most* Thai people are poor. If you wish to mingle with and associate with them, go for it – they can probably hook you up with excellent somtam.

    Bangkok – as one of the Asian Tigers of the 90s – has a quite large middle class, and a smaller elite. If you have any desire to choose your friends from this group, a 5,000 Bath apartment pretty much excludes you.

    What`s the drama? Why do people get so upset and defensive when their class standing – and the precise limitations it puts on their social life – is clearly admitted to?

    Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it to. Whatever. You live in a 5,000 Bath apartment, you ain`t middle class. You`re poor. Deal with it.

    It seems everyone who comes to Thailand simply MUST wrap a veil of absolute and total fantasy over every aspect of their lives – do I make 20,000 Bath a month and live in a 5,00 Bath apartment? Why I`m upper middle class I tell you! I live like a doctor or a lawyer! See in Thailand I`m a success! I get with ugly runty women but they are really he cream of the crop – the Thais just don`t know it!

    I realize everyone comes to Thailand to create a fantasy of themselves – where they matter much more than they ever did back home – but up till now I thought it mostly had to do with the women. Now I see this fantasizing tendency simply overs every aspect of their lives. Pathetic.

  • March 18, 2010 at 4:47 am
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    From the little time I spend in BKK, it seems to me that there are the very few exremely rich and there are the vast very poor. If there is a middle class, it is very small and very ineffective in showing its presence in Thai culture, not yet anyway. Middle class will almost always grow larger in time such as in China…

    But I ‘d like to point out the problem that I see in the original post, as funny as it was, is that the people involved DO HAVE money and they refuse, by choice, to share “a little” of their fortunes with some of the poorest people here….while of course it is a personnel choice, I find it very sad and a very offensive western behavior towards Asian cultures..

    Being careful with money and trying to save money is all well but getting something for nothing is not my way of living, to each his own I guess..

  • March 18, 2010 at 6:16 am
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    J
    “If you wish to mingle with and associate with them, go for it..”

    What the f–k is that supposed to mean?
    I judge people by the kindness and fullness of their heart….not their bank balance.

    Evidently the cheap-charlie, subject of this article, is willing to f–k ’em if he can do it on the cheap, but I’m not sure he wants to “mingle and associate”.

    You just show your ignorance, lack of humanity and perspective by making such sarcastic comments.

    I am not upset about my social standing…and you have no idea how wealthy or poor I am anyway.
    What upsets me is the heartless cheap-f–king wankers who take advantage of people who have nothing….and cause Thai people to generally hold us in scorn.

    Lets put it this way pal. There’s 5 million Thai people who are well enough off….and 60 million without a pot to piss in.

    I understand that you can’t relate to this or even conceive of what its like to be raised in abject inescapable poverty.
    So why don’t you high-class farang would stick with f–king the most beautiful and costly prostitutes and pay them what they’re asking….or f–k your hi-so Thai friends for free (like that’s going to happen).
    Otherwise you’re just the lowest life scumbags in the country.
    Thai girls talk to me about guys like you all the time.
    Be informed know a turd from a good person…and guess what?

  • March 18, 2010 at 8:19 am
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    You guys seriously need to look up some facts about Thailand – try even wikipedia. Thailand has sizeable middle class and a very noticeable wealthy elite in Bangkok. Both are EXTREMELY visible in Bangkok. Bangkok has one of the largest concentrations of Mercedes in the world, and is filled with malls – I suppose all of this is for the poor people. But seriously, look up some facts.

    That`s great that you judge people by kindness and heart fulness, but I don`t. Intelligence, education, strength of character, personal style, wit, and other qualities matter much more to me. You`re very democratic, I`m an elitist. We probably both judge others based on what we perceive to be our own personal assets – kindness is the most important quality only to those who lack any personal distinction.

    Thai people hold farang in *scorn* because the farang who come to Thailand are in many ways the lowest sliver of farang society, not because farang *lack humanity* or can sometimes be *cheap*.

    Thais themselves lack *humanity* towards the poorer members of their own society in a far more vicious and heartless way than any farang could ever be guilty of – surely you know enough about Thai society and culture to at least know that!

    And Thais themselves are hard bargainers and admire that trait in others rather than *scorning* anyone who has it.

    Probably the number one reason Thais hold farang in scorn in Thailand is because the farang who come to Thailand have an absolute lack of self-respect and proper pride in themselves – one of the way this shows most is by caring excessively what Thai people think of you, which too many farang do. I would advise you to care less what Thais think of you and treat yourself with a healthy sense-respect, and Thais won`t *scorn* you.

    Ironically, someone who is a tough bargainer and is *inhumane* is much more likely to earn the respect of Thais than *softies* and sentimentalists who care too much how Thais view them like you, although neither type is admirable, and I cannot understand why anyone would really care what Thais think of them.

    The trashy Thai girls you talk to would not be telling you anything about me, because I would never speak to the sorts of girls who you associate with. And whatever sob stories these girls are telling you to manipulate a naive softie like you out of his money – afterwards holding you up to bucketfuls of *scorn* behind your back at how easily you allow yourself to be taken advantage of – you should try to grow some balls and perhaps a few brain cells to avoid being fleeced by illiterate Third World peasants.

  • March 18, 2010 at 11:48 am
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    J, nice to hear from you. So how’s the weather in La La Land? Once you’re back, get off your high horse and take a hard look around. You might be in for a surprise. Then again, probably you’re better off not letting facts interfere with your prejudices lest you injure your exalted sense of your own status and importance.

    I have to tell you, though, it’s nice to have a chap boasting of his insider knowledge of Thai society recommend Wikipedia as a source. Why don’t you just go straight to The Nation and The Bangkok Post for an honest and fair appraisal of things in the Kingdom?

    I’m not familiar with your financial status, but let’s just hope it’s not reflective of your lamentable lack of deductive reasoning. I wish I lived in a 5,000 baht apartment as per your assumption. I happen to spend several times that much for a place within spitting distance of Siam Paragon, where I end up every single day. I’ve never had a girlfriend from Isaan and doesn’t seem to have developed a taste for somtam. Does all that make me agreeably “hi-so” in your estimation?

    Then again, I can never be your equal and had better know my place as a foreign deadbeat.

  • March 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm
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    J

    Why a person like you would want to live in Thailand is beyond me.
    What is it that attracts you here?
    The hot weather?
    The BKK traffic?
    No sump-tum for you.
    It’s a cinch you don’t like the people.
    Oh maybe its the elitist military junta?
    Wanna be accepted by them?
    Ain’t gonna happen!

    So why not try North Korea?
    I’ll bet you’d be a hi-so there.
    The weather’s temperate.
    No traffic jams.
    No social justice or welfare.
    No taxes.
    Perfect!
    I’ll bet you could beat your dollar-a-week servants to death in that place and probably get a medal for it.

    I believe in democracy and social justice…like they do in the country you fled.
    You are right about one thing. The hi-so Thais do exploit and abuse the lower caste people….and drive lots of Mercedes.
    I pride myself on not being like them….and you.

    I pity the Thai people who come in contact with you.

  • March 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm
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    Ah, a string of insults without any particular relevance and a heavy dose of sarcasm. Much better. Now you have taken the discussion to its proper resting place and where it should have been all along – why didn`t you just dispense with the pitiful attempt at shoring up your fantasies with easily disproven anecdote and painfully strained argument, and instead just treated us immediately to the full blast of your resentment and anger at my daring to apply a tiny little pinprick to the hot air filled baloon you`ve been living in while in Thailnad?

    How much better for both of us had you just gotten immediately to the point instead of dancing around as if you actually had something to say – now there, that was therapeutic, wasn`t it?

    Now you can return to the warm, snuggly comfort of your illusions and I to the hard comforts of my truths.

  • March 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm
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    Kevin – I live in Thailand because it is good fun – and do you know why it is such good fun? Because the people here are just like me and unlike YOU! I fled my own country to get away from people like you, of which Thailand is blessedly free for the most part.

    You are living in a country of people who – in your sense of the term, not mine – *worse* than I will ever be, and you are blisfully ignorant of the fact. Ah, the blessedness of little lambs! Just take care you don`t get eaten by the Thai wolf, a fate I see in your future.

  • March 18, 2010 at 1:37 pm
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    J
    “*worse* than I will ever be”

    What’s troubling is your tendency and ambition to be just like them.
    I can’t change the world but I can try to affect the people I come in contact with in a positive way (as I suppose I am doing talking with you).

    There’s nothing angry or sarcastic about my post. Its a dose of reality.
    What you like about Thailand is that you feel Thai people are basically sub-human and deserving of their born-to low-caste fate, and you enjoy that. It makes you feel Aryan and elite. Good luck to you.

    You don’t talk to poor Isan/people.
    And Thai hi-so don’t talk to you.

    I can’t imagine what “fun” is to you.

    Anyway you are obviously not the guy who f–ked the bar girl in the story. Those are the people I object most to. You don’t have anything to do with those kind of Thai people.
    I do think that though you are obviously an intelligent guy you are a bit shallow, heartless and a somewhat pathetic person…but that’s your business. I wish you many happy personal relationships.
    Abusing and exploiting others is what I object to.
    And I presume you don’t do that.
    Cheers

  • March 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm
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    “Now you have taken the discussion to its proper resting place and where it should have been all along – why didn`t you just dispense with the pitiful attempt at shoring up your fantasies with easily disproven anecdote and painfully strained argument, and instead just treated us immediately to the full blast of your resentment and anger at my daring to apply a tiny little pinprick to the hot air filled baloon you`ve been living in while in Thailnad?” etc. etc.

    J, I don’t know what stimulant you’re on, but you need to go easy on it. Apparently you can dish it out, but can’t take it eh. That and your petty snobbery bespeak a fine character.

  • March 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm
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    Kevin – the sarcasm bit was to the Santa fellow. You ended our little dialogue well, though. I appreciate that.

    Santa – Gotten all the bile out of your system now? Good, good. I am sure you feel better now.

  • March 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm
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    J

    “easily disproven anecdote”

    What anecdote was that?
    I didn’t post any anecdote.

  • March 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm
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    Yes, J, feeling relieved now. Having said that, don’t go all obscure and ambiguous on me with “easily disproven anecdote” and “painfully strained argument.” Go ahead disprove the anecdote and unravel the argument.

  • March 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm
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    Interesting, I never knew Troll was spelled with a J.

  • March 18, 2010 at 8:41 pm
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    J – “but trust me, if you wanna hang with the crowd the fills the clubs on Ekemai, for the most part you ain`t living the lifestyle.”

    J, if an Ekkamai/Thong Lo party girl wants to sleep with a white guy, trust me, it does not matter a fuck where it happens, as long as it happens.

    I’ve dated and nailed a host of girls who hang out at the likes of RCA, Narz, Jet, Groove, Nung Len, Funky Villa, Demo et al, and do you wanna have a guess where I did it? In my 5,000 baht a month place in the heart of the On Nut ghetto

  • March 19, 2010 at 4:43 am
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    I’ve often been asked, by guys that I work with, “why do you live in Thailand?” My standard reply, a while back, used to be that the cost of living is cheaper. Having just had four months off work, the only conclusion that I can come to is that it’s as cheap, or as expensive, as you want to make it. I managed to keep the spending down to 200K baht a month which, in hindsight, was probably doing alright considering the lifestyle I was leading; the 21 year old I bar fined for two weeks out of Rock Hard, in Patong, turned out to be an enjoyable, but expensive bit of recreation. The parting shot, from the boys in brown, on my last night in Bangers had me seriously considering relocating to another part of the world. Took a bird up to Sirrocco for a couple of drinks and, on the way home, hit a road block manned by those wonderful servants of Thailand. She was driving and, after being stopped, was asked to blow in the tube. We were informed she was over the limit and a trip to the local police station (Sathorn) was in order. On arrival we were informed it was either 20K Baht or she spends 48 hours in the lock up. What do you do? Pay up of course because there isn’t any other choice; Thai birds with a big rack attract a fair bit attention in a lock up. Why do I live in Thailand? Apart from the obvious it’s probably for tax avoidance reasons more than anything else now.

  • March 19, 2010 at 7:13 am
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    Ekamai isn’t hiso or even upper middle class. Most girls are just ordinary office girls, who maybe make 10,15,20K at most. Now if your girl drives a beamer or porsche then we can talk about these famed upper echelons.

    What the hell does it matter anyway?

    And a 5,000 baht apartment IS in the low end. Granted, some girls, like bar girls, live even cheaper in dumps for around 3,000 baht.

  • March 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm
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    FYI;

    from the Web;

    “Class Consciousness
    Of the categories or strata discernible in Thai society, only one–the royal family and the hereditary nobility–constituted a self-conscious group. It was not clear that class consciousness had developed among the power elites or upper middle-level bureaucrats by the 1980s, in spite of their shared views and aspirations. Nevertheless, as social mobility diminished, which it had begun to do in the early 1980s, and as each category or section increasingly generated its own replacements, distinct status groups might emerge. Outwardly there were many indications of a conscious middle class, consumer-oriented, cosmopolitan way of life. For example, golf, tennis, delicatessens, fast-food restaurants, boutiques, and shopping malls were very popular among the Thai residents of Bangkok in the late 1980s.”

    Also from the Web:

    “Elitism is the belief or attitude that those individuals who are considered members of the elite — a select group of people with, intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most weight or those who view their own views as so; whose views and/or actions are most likely to be constructive to society as a whole; or whose extraordinary skills, abilities or wisdom render them especially fit to govern.”

  • March 23, 2010 at 2:07 am
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    If this is real, this is about the funniest thing I’ve read.

    I would love to watch the friend in person. He is amazing.

  • March 24, 2010 at 10:51 am
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    Hello all. I am a rather well paid DJ and producer who has made a fortune in Europe doing pop rap and techno. Why do I go to Thailand on a regular basis? Because it’s fun. Probably the same reason you arguing twits go there. The women are HOT, the food is good and it is not as expensive as NY or London or Los Angeles.

    The Thai women (from all walks of life) treat a man better than any Oxford Englishwoman or NYC video/club chick or Los Angeles well educated but struggling actress could ever aspire to. Maybe it’s the Bhuddism, but they seem to just accept thier lot and do the best at whatever amount of silver fate has tossed them. I know highly educated Thai women who make a good salary who HATE bargirls solely for the same reason that the investment banker hates the drug dealer (or the Rap DJ – lol) because the latter makes as much or more than they do if they are good at thier trade. This totally disproves the illusion that being a Hi-So well educated stiff a-hole makes you a better earner. Look at the facts: 1-Bill Gates dropped out of college but is richer than most ROYALS. 2-Curtis (a guy I used to buy 5 dollar green bags from in NY) is worth over 400mil right now and is not college educated. 3-Nok, a Thai bar girl and budding porn star I know takes more trips to Hollywood than any of us (even ME! and I live in LA) makes about 10,000 US Dollars a month (yeah 300,ooo baht) and has almost zero education because she is a stunner with amazing carnal talents.

    So let us stop insulting each other and embrace the fact that our egos feel much better in “The Land of Smiles”. Beautiful women who can make you scream and cry at the same time (guess how)who don’t nag will do that to you. So what many of them are gold diggers. Most of our women are too. Here it is cut and dry with no bullcrap games (unless you are a fool). You provide support for the family back home, you get “the business”(for those non versed in slang, that means the full service VIP treatment).

    If you lie to yourself and say you fit in or are equal in to a Thai any way, you are lying to yourself. Thais love The King, Bhudda, other Thais, thier family, thier money (or yours), and maybe us farang (and farang dam) fit in somewhere after that. Enjoy your stay but keep yourself grounded in reality. And for Christ’s sake, stop pissing at one another! If they start robbing farang in masse tonight, each other might be all we have to make it out of here (I’m exaggerating, but I’m saying). Until then enjoy the smiles and the food and the fun and if you see me DJing where you happen to be (I’ll have on a Tshirt that either says “farang dam” or “some black guy”) let me buy you a drink.

    JJ

  • March 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm
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    I know a Thai girl in Melbourne who haggles with the checkout chick at Woolworths!

    “That will be $47.25, please”
    “I give you 35 dollar I take everything ok na?”

    It’s in their blood. They can’t help it. And I bet On Nutter’s friend gets plenty of respect from the locals as a result.

  • March 25, 2010 at 2:20 pm
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    Jay Double.
    You said it all…exactly..brilliant…. except you might have added….
    Be mindful that you don’t act like an ass-bag towards other people and you’ll enjoy your life a whole lot more.

  • October 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm
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    The author is on par with most professionally gifted writers. Thanks. I’m langouring in my home office in chilly Toronto and snacking on a Heineken and mirth rolls over me. For those thickwits who missed the quip, the “I felt proud to be British” was an ironic comment delivered with the dryness of Canada Club ginger ale (product placment anyone?). Side-splitting.

    What the wankers missed I got, and I’m better for it. The DJ above has it right, as have many of you, and in the end the prick from good old England who drove his mental meat for 500bt missed the entire oeuvre of the egg-chasing environment.

    I’ve seen it dozens of times. I’ve personally had, due likely to my stunning looks and cheerful playfulness, offers of ‘no pay’ dozens of times. In the end, the sun rising solely for the purpose of propigating another lurid hangover, the fair, just, and privileged economical thing to do is to wack her with cash. Send her off with taxi money to buy her speedy return to that cave where she sleeps, bathes, and goes out to repeat. She’s an automatic fucker, because that’s her gig, and we sage and kind make it bearable, and those like the dink from Wigan make it tough.

    None of us know until we’ve been in her high heels the pressures of such work. Sure I banged a heavy and hungry knockout in Uni for a few bucks, but hell if I had to stand up and say yes each night I think my sanity would wither and wallow and perhaps go to some foreign spot for a vacation. Possibly permanently.

    Yes the free market allows for negotiation, but I’d never want to be on my death bed contemplating the egregious behaviours of past niggardly moments. I’ve known fuckers in Angeles to barfine and ‘tip’ 300 pesos the next day. Where in hell does one shack up for the night, squint at a painful sunrise, rip one more piece of ass off, and get away with less than breakfast at Timmy’s diner in Brooklyn?

    There was this time, when clocks stood still, where I ended up in the joint bed of three bargirls on the isle of Samui. I slept, they played cards. Wait, I snored like the alcoholic piss tank I had been that night. I was fresh off the plane. At 4am someone slid naked into bed, revived me from the catatonic netherworld I had sunk in, and proceeded to wake every nerve in my body up. When I erupted, the curtains shifted, the room trembled, and someone won 200 baht in the next room. I passed out almost immediately. Only to be woken again one hour later. It was only betwixt the dripping thighs, too far up to come down, that I saw the distinct physical differences between her and the previous (oh for italics at this moment!) lady. Not to be content, #1 returned soon after and took second helpings in the manner of a boarding house reach.

    When finally sobriety had hold of me at a smidgeon before noon, I ruefully took both ladies to lunch, and PAID them, to their surprise. 4000 baht I did. “That was just fun,” they protested, but in Thailand one wants to be alive, not smug and dead. A week later I saw that indeed they’d enjoyed and meant every word, but in the trenches of potential insult, my gesture was neither insulting nor unwise. We may be poor and struggling elsewhere, but in Manila, Jakarta and Phuket, in places we’ve gone to come, come to get off, and reside in the laps of lappings and luxuries, the tight wads of Wigan do nothing but make life greyer than it needs to be.

    It’s not what we pay, or if we do, it’s the woman we’re with. And until we mutually get to know each other, establishing price is wise, but nigglingly debating the last peso, the last rupiah, the final at baht, well, that doesn’t bode well for what might be a spectacular home run. You can’t hit for six if you’ve but a toothpick in your hands, and with a sliver of dosh the night’s likely not going to strike out on its spontaneous own.

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