Stick Mark II  6/1/2008

Things You Didn't Know About Thai Women, The Bad Stuff

We're immediately drawn to their petite, slender figures, their long, shiny dark hair and their oh so soft delicate feminine features.  The clichéd golden tanned skin and large almond eyes get us every time.  And the non-confrontational attitude is a breath of fresh air compared to the combative, increasingly masculine-like women we've slowly become used to in the West.

There are few Western guys who can resist the initial allure of Thai women.  Thailand is justifiably famous for its women, and there are very good reasons why there are books on the shelves with titles like "Thailand, Land Of Beautiful Women".

But sometimes things have to be put in perspective.  While they kick their Western sisters' backsides in the looks department, Thai women are not perfect creatures and are not without their issues.  Thai women have a few issues that even the blind couldn't overlook.

The issues Western men have with Thai women are often written about on this site which has become a repository for real-life stories about Thai women and Western men relationships.

The average Stickman reader is well aware of the often talked about issues, or downsides, of getting involved with a Thai woman.  There's the sin sot (the dowry or bride price), the fact that a Western hubby will seldom rate higher than about number four in the hierarchy (below her parents, children and other siblings) and don't even get us started in the propensity of not an insignificant percentage of local women to refrain from battening down the hatches tightly.  Oh no, they remain remain open and if a suitor is strong enough to enter her palace, she may well consider abandoning her current situation – irrespective of how far advanced the relationship is – and upgrade.  We could talk about the reckless abandonment with which revenge is sought and the concept of mutilating a philandering partner's genitals, the Pandora's box that Miss Udon opened last year...but then I think we have done that one to death already.

But there are a few more issues, or should I say complications, with Thai women, that Western guys ought to be aware of.

What follows are a few of these issues, things you may or may not have experienced, but many which I bet you never expected.  If you have experienced them, you might have wondered if they were specific to your relationship or not.

Inevitably generalisations must be made and when writing such an article it is impossible to avoid the vagaries of generalisations.  Let's just say that many of the traits and issues covered are not uncommon in Thai women, and leave it at that.  If neither your Thai wife nor any of your girlfriends has ever exhibited any, good for you.  It should be said that most of these issues transcend class.

Let's get started!

There's often an inverse correlation between how much money a Thai woman has and how much they eat.  Yep, this sounds kind of strange, so bear with me.  Thai women love eating out and with Bangkok home to so many great restaurants, many of which are very reasonably priced, dates and days out often revolve around what will be eaten and where.  But what you often find is that as much as they like eating, many women will only ever eat a small amount.  Of course there are some Thai women who eat like a horse, but many of the hi-so girls as well as no shortage from the middle class would like to feed their faces at the trough - but are much more concerned about staying slim.  What is incredibly annoying is that while they might not eat much, some are not shy to order many plates of food, and then just pick away at them, never afraid to announce a dish as mai aroi and push it away as if it was a soi dog's turd sitting on the table.  It's sheer avariciousness!  Yep, some girls order enough to feed a family even though there is only the two of you.

How do you deal with this?  It takes a while to get to know a woman and her eating habits, but I think it is appropriate to ask a woman who is ordering dish after dish whether she intends to eat it all.  That usually makes her reconsider.  Of course, you'd never want to say something like that on a first date!

Moving on, many a Thai woman, especially those involved with farang men, sees their man as almost a "personal entertainment centre".  She will often ask such questions as "Where are you taking me today?" or "What shopping centre / cinema / restaurant will we visit today?"  There is an expectation that you will take her out and wine her and dine her and entertain her.  She expects to be the centre of your world 24/7.  This is all very well in the early days of a relationship but if you're employed in Bangkok, have something of a regular day to day job and your own life, then this can get a bit much.  You are very much expected to entertain her regularly and bring sanuk into her life.  The idea of actually taking a bit of time out, to relax, might raise her eyebrows.  This is very much more an issue with the middle and upper classes.  Without wanting to generalise too much, some country folks are rather fond of frequent naps!

Closely tied to this is what can only be described as the pain of boredom that most Thais feel.  Boredom to Thais is truly a painful experience and while many country people may happily lounge around in the oppressive heat with little or nothing to do for days and days on end, city folks are altogether a different breed.  It is made all the worse by the fact that we, that is you and I, farang, are all rich in the Thais' eyes.  Being bored is bad enough but if you have money and are bored at the same time, that's a crime!  Thais just don't like the idea of being bored, especially knowing (or believing) that there are plenty of pennies in the jar which could be used to alleviate the boredom and have fun.

But then a good part of doing things for Thais is not always about fun, but about gaining face.  A Thai lady friend and I were once invited to a friend's place for dinner where he served up crayfish that had just arrived in Thailand that very day.  For her, the meal was enjoyable, but when she realised that these crayfish were rather pricey and considered to be "hi-so food" then it became her mission to inform all and sundry about it.  Literally for months she would tell everyone we met how she had had crayfish.  It all got a bit much.  As silly as it sounds, many Thai women are more concerned about doing things so that they can later boast to their friends about what they have done.  Observe Thai females in an office environment on Monday mornings as they often try and outdo each other with who had the best weekend.

And doing those things or visiting those places, very much the accrual of bragging rights, only needs to be a small part of the process.  A case in point is travel.  Thais will travel forever and a day to see / do something.  The journey might be uncomfortable, difficult or expensive - but that is irrelevant.  They might get up at the crack of dawn and spend many hours to reach their destination.  Once there they will eat, take some photos, spend perhaps as little as an hour before heading home, reaching their barn late at night.  Witness the pick up trucks which come down from Isaan to Jomtien for the day.  Some of the party just sit and picnic on the fringe of the beach and never even make it down on to the sand or even get their toes wet in the surf.  It doesn't matter.  They made it to their destination and they had their photo taken there.  That's what counts!  For a foreigner on such a trip it can be a long, painful journey climaxing in huge frustration as a lovely spot is reached, only to be departed from in no time at all.

I am reluctant to take journeys with Thais I don't know as this is so often how it pans out.  I always check the schedule beforehand and ask a number of questions to determine whether making the journey will even be worthwhile.  Of course, such questioning marks me as seriously mai sanuk!

Of course there are a few more downsides with Thai women, issues you're much less likely to encounter with Western women.  Many fall for Western guys very fast indeed, just the fact that you're a Westerner is often enough to score a really fabulous lady as your girlfriend.  While the two of you are, in your mind, still in the courting process, she has already come up with names for your children.  This can make extricating yourself from a relationship very difficult indeed.  Of course the stereotypical good Thai woman will move slowly in a relationship, but such women are harder to find by these days.

The non-confrontational nature of many Thai women and the way they are brought up to behave all prim and proper means some have little in the way of personality.  Call me harsh, but many are in fact downright boring.  Some guys claim that they like this, but I have yet to find a guy who has been married to such a lady for a few years who now doesn't wish his Mrs. had a bit more attitude.  Interestingly enough the bargirls and girls from poorer backgrounds tend to be much better in this respect because they DO have attitude, they often say what they think and they are more fun-loving and pleasure-seeking.

I am surprised that more guys don't raise the fact that many speak English to a very poor level.  Of course you cannot blame them for it is not their native tongue but a poor level of English is a barrier to developing relationships and solving the inevitable inter-cultural issues that arise.  This is made all the more difficult by the fact that most guys with Thai wives don't speak Thai that well.  To further complicate matters, Thai is a much less precise language than English and having a relationship with Thai as the language used embodies all of the concepts of Thainess, some of which make Western guys uneasy.  Try arguing against the concept of the sin sot if you feel so inclined in the Thai language for instance.  Difficult.  Much easier to do it in English.

I have always felt that one of the best things you could do for a local women is enroll her in a good language school for a considerable period.  The benefits to her in speaking English to a high level are significant.

Of course many of the phenomenon mentioned are prevalent with Western women and women from other countries too, but my feeling is that they are more prevalent with Thai women.

Thai women have a huge amount going for them and these issues should not be looked at as reasons to avoid Thai women.  Oh no, they should merely be considered advance notice of what you can expect.

On the other hand, these poor Thai women must have a list at least as long about the strange way we Westerners go about our lives – and I bet they could list many things about us which bother them just as much!

But for sure, Thai women are hard to beat.  Despite the downsides, Thai women have plenty going for them.
 

Where was this picture taken?


 

Last week's picture was taken of a temple with the Golden Mount in the background.  The first person to email me with the correct location of the picture wins a 500 baht credit at Oh My Cod, the British Fish And Chips restaurant and the second wins a free jug of margarita, valued at 840 baht from Charley Brown's, a well-established, popular restaurant, offering authentic Tex-Mex Cuisine and delicious margaritas.  Charley Brown's is located in the small sub-soi off Sukhumvit Soi 11.

FROM STICK MARK II'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick Mark II.)  Preference may be given to emails which refer to the previous week's column.

EMAIL OF THE WEEK - The charming tourist police.

Yes, the tourist police are twats.  I recently got into a taxi and asked him to go to the airport as quickly as possible (I was late).  He promptly went (against my directions) the slowest possible way.  When we finally arrived the meter was 350 baht.  Normally the taxi charge for the airport from my house is less than 250.  I had 3 hundred baht notes, a 5 hundred and a few thousands.  He said he had absolutely no change.  With no time to argue I had to give him the 5 hundred.  While in the immigration queue I called the tourist police to complain about the taxi (I gave them the number) and the unreasonable route he took on my way to the airport but they simply said "You stupid, you should have change."

Is Thailand still cheap?

I am responding a little belatedly to the complaints of the drop in the dollar.  Ok, here I go with "When I first came to Thailand, the baht was..."  Well, when I first came here, the baht was 25 and you know what that meant as to purchasing power?  THINGS WERE STILL CHEAP!  I realize prices have gone up for hotels, goods and services, women, but still bargains in all areas can be found.  So if the baht goes to 25, do like one contributor suggested, eat out one less night and drink one fewer beer at the weekend.  And this country will still be one of the best bargains in Asia.

Pattaya the Blackpool of Thailand?

I spent a couple of days in Pattaya.  What's happened to that place?  While there I saw four farang fights.  It just seems like there's gangs of lads everywhere looking for trouble and getting slaughtered on the Chang.  It is not the same Pattaya as when I first went a couple of years ago.  Maybe it's me getting boring, but I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there.  Seems like Pattaya is turning into a stag do Blackpool.

it's all down hill the moment they wai the bar staff!

It is a funny sight to see the dek serve being waiied as she leads a couple of farang newbies to their seats.  The next thing is they'll be buying drinks for her, her friend, and her friend's friends!  Then the gogo dancer(s) will descend upon them and order a few more drinks.  Of course her "sister" just happens to work in the same bar ever since their Dad was in that bad motorcycle accident.  They don't really like working in a bar and only do it until their Dad gets well.  They don't go with customers but since the newbie asked they go with them because they have a good heart, not like Thai man.  Now, roughly 5,000 baht lighter, they depart the bar and have dinner.  Then back to the hotel for a long time session that gets cut short when an "emergency" comes up and she has to leave still asking for her 4,000 baht LT fee!


The best Thai dating experience

The imaginary pregnancy, oh so common.

I met a bargirl in Soi Eric, Patong beach.  I spent a week with her and have kept in contact, just hellos and how are you, that type of stuff.  When I was with her she seemed very honest and told me of an English boyfriend and of some other clients that she sees.  Well that was at the end of September and she has contacted me to tell me she is pregnant with my child which was a shock as I used a condom.  First she told me it was either mine or Tomi's.  I asked her for his details so I could contact him but she refused.  Then she told me that she had been to the hospital and that all the dates work out so that the baby is mine.  Shortly after she tells me that she is moving to Paris were he lives and is going to have the baby there under the condition that I lose all contact with her.  I told her that she can't do this.  Well she has now told me that this Tomi fella was made up because she was worried because I already have a son with an ex-partner and that she didn't want to upset him.  She has not asked for money yet but I have offered her help if she needs it but she doesn't keep in contact with me as much as you think she would under the circumstances.  She has asked me to go out and see her but she doesn't give me the information I need when I ask her for it.  She seemed such a nice girl as I'm sure they all are and I'm not sure someone can lie all that time but I do know that if someone can lie long enough they can believe it themselves.

Stiff price increases with no accompanying benefits.

I feel lucky in that I have lived in Pattaya for 5 years and have a great life here.  In my spare time, I enjoy playing a bit of pool at Megabreak in Pattaya.  They've had some promotions for quite a while which includes a flat monthly rate of 2,900 baht for unlimited pool before 8 PM at night.  They recently reduced those hours to end at 6 PM.  The deal I choose to take advantage of is their afternoon rates for a single player of just 120 baht an hour.  (It's 240 baht for two people).  It's a good way to get in some serious practice without worrying about actually competing in a game.  I was playing there 4 - 5 afternoons a week.  I went in last Thursday and was told that the hourly rate had been increased to 180 baht, effective immediately.  The day before I had paid 120 baht.  I asked why they were doing this as nothing had changed, been replaced, added to, no improvements - nothing.  The employees told me that there was a new partner recently added.  They chose to raise the rates in order to be able to give each partner a bit more money each month.  This is something that really rubs me the wrong way.  If the cost of doing business goes up (power, licenses, ice, whatever) and it's justifiable, I have no choice but to pay the increased price.  But when there is no other reason than plain greed, that is where I draw the line.  I'll be spending the next few weekday afternoon hours investigating new locations to play at.  While I believe that Megabreak has the best tables and a very good staff, I just resent the unfair 50% increase in those rates.  It's the huge percentage increase that bothers me, not the $1.80 USD.  I do hope this warning will serve to alert others to this type of business practice.  I don't reward bad behaviour and hope others will adopt this same position here - not only at Megabreak, but at any business where prices increase and there is no accompanying benefit for the consumer!

First we heard that Mercury in Nana had closed and gone with speculation that the Nana Plaza rent increases which kicked in on the 1st of the month were to blame (that's no doubt why many bars have put drinks prices up, see later).  My immediate reaction to Mercury's closure was that it was a shame.  OK, it was a bit of a rat hole of a bar with poor lighting, uncomfortable seating and a shoddy sound system but they did have 90 baht Beer Lao all night, every night - and that is a Stick-friendly deal.  But the rumours of closure were wrong and the bar was in fact taken over by a new owner who re-opened it the very next day.  I went to check it out on Friday night but the music was so incredibly loud that it actually hurt.  This wasn't loud - it was way beyond that to the point of being offensive.  Needless to say we left before we ordered.  An absolutely dreadful way to start the management of a bar with a DJ trying to get into the Guinness Book Of Records with the loudest bar in Bangkok.

The rumours of bars and nightspots in Phuket being closed for 15 days aren't true.  The bars are supposed to 'slow down the entertainment' and not 'openly show merriment', all part of showing respect for the sister of the King who passed away earlier this week.  Evidently, what this means is that music cannot be played loudly and no-one is supposed to dance.  Reports from revellers in Phuket have it that the bars are all open and the music gets louder as the night goes on.  I don't quite know what the gogo girls are doing, but then Phuket is more about beer bars than gogos.  The police stopped some of the daytime bars from playing music although whether they will continue to crack down on them, who knows?  This is Thailand and nothing is written in stone.  The bottom line is that you should not be put off visiting Phuket as it is largely business as usual.

The Duke Pub on Silom is having a big 1 year anniversary bash on January 12th with free snacks, super drink specials and live music.  The owners have made a few enhancements to roll in the new year.

Catz A Gogo (Soi 16, Walking Street, Pattaya) will be hosting a mega party to celebrate the nuptials of Danny and Sai this coming Thursday, 10th January.  The newlyweds are doing it in style with some great food laid on including a 10 kg turkey, a 5 kg home-cooked ham, sausages, tandoori chicken and loads more.  There'll also be plenty of Thai food with some specially prepared Isaan dishes so your better half will be happy too - if you decide to take her that is!  So if you are in the area it might be a good idea to drop by and enjoy the festivities - especially so if you are hungry.  Damn, I would love to make it but mid week in Pattaya doesn't work for me.

They haven't quite reached Angelwitch levels yet, but prices are on the up in Nana Plaza.  The Rainbow bars, the Hollywood bars, the Mandarin bars and gogo bars in the Crown Group all now charge 135 baht for a standard beer with those bars offering the fancy, imported stuff, charging more.

Mandarin Table Top is refusing entry to Arabs.  When asked, the staff confirm that Arabs and Indians are not allowed into the bar.  No reason is given although the rumour mill has it that it is something to do with spontaneous combustion.  If you even look a little like you are ethnically Indian or Arab, you might want to avoid this bar as Thais are not great at guessing nationality.

And Mandarin is again in the news for the wrong reasons, this time the "upstairs" Mandarin bar, the one you climb the stairs to get into and the one with two dance floors, the top of which has a glass floor.  A large group of expats, regular customers of the place and big spenders, visited on New Year's Eve.  There was some disagreement on one bill for one drink.  It is claimed that the customer had paid it but one of the mamasans insisted that he hadn't.  The guy made it to the little boys' room where he was set upon by the goons who linger in Nana's shadows who hauled him outside where he took a pounding and was said to have been badly beaten up.  Reports have it that there was blood everywhere.  This simply re-enforces what I have said before - those goons in the shadows LOVE the chance to have a go at a farang - and to make matters worse, many of them can actually handle themselves.  This is yet another sad indictment for Nana.

And just to really get offside with customers, both of the Mandarin bars have trashed their happy hour.  It used to run until 9:30 PM with most standard drinks a reasonable 90 baht.  Not anymore!  It's gone!  The cheapest alcoholic drinks in the Mandarin bars now start at 135 baht - and prices go up from there.  It used to be a great start to start the night.  Not any more.

It's a shame to see that happy hours at Nana are much less common than Cowboy.  Take Coyote in Cowboy for instance.  All standard beers and spirits are just 60 baht until 9 PM.

But it's not all bargain hunter friendly at Cowboy.  The soi's busiest and arguably best bar, Baccarra, sees alcoholic drinks starting at 140 baht.  But at least you get value for money with some of the prettiest girls in the soi dancing in a very well laid out bar (the best designed / laid-out gogo in Bangkok, methinks) with an excellent sound system AND a great playlist.  They could do with a touch of Angelwitch though because their shows, while trying to emulate Angelwitch, just aren't up to Angelwitch's standard.

But be careful if you have a lot to drink upstairs in Baccarra.  That narrow stairwell connecting upstairs from downstairs provides a real sobriety test.  I can't imagine how many punters have taken a fall.  Only 5 drinks into the evening and the Stick almost came a cropper!

If you're checking out the happenings in Hollywood Carousel in Nana which has been getting a lot of positive press lately, note that it gets good from around 10:30 PM onwards.  Earlier in the night it's not quite the same.

For Beer Lao lovers, I am informed that there is a bar on Sukhumvit Soi 8 called 4 U Bar where you can find 50 baht Beer Lao all day long.  I intend to check it out.

On New Year's Eve at least a couple of bars chose to limit the time the girls were allowed to vacate the premises for.  Only short time liaisons were allowed and the girls were compelled to return to the bar.  (They were probably told to be snappy while away from the bar too!)  This was the bars' way of ensuring they had girls on deck all night long, as opposed to actually hiking the barfine.  I've never heard of this before but it was said to be effective.

It seems that Udon might have some new competition as the farang centre of Isaan.  In the past year, six new farang bars / pubs have opened up in downtown Korat, most by Brits.  For some reason, there has been quite an influx of Brits moving to Korat and these new bars are said to be packed with them.  Many of them are young lads in their 20s.  What are they doing there?  One would have to guess that they are teaching because there really isn't that much in the way of work for Westerners in Korat.  Not to stereotype, many are loud, alcoholic, obnoxious hooligans.  Their daily activities seem to consist of drinking, smoking, playing snooker, and talking about football.  What a delight they are.

And still in Korat, the SEA Games were described by some Western residents as a total disgrace to the city.  Corruption yielded its ugly head and was quite clear in the appearance of Korat's newly built stadium which in some ways resembled Suwannaphum Airport!  The electrical lines weren't finished and the toilets weren't completed - and were filthy.  This was a chance to put Korat on the map.  Instead, greed made the city look bad.  Yeah, they're on the map now, as a place to never hold the SEA games again.  What a shame.

It has been mooted that the Thai thought police no longer blocking many websites could be part of the reason for the increase in speed of the Internet from Thailand.  Many sites that could previously only be accessed via proxy servers can now be accessed directly.  This may well have created a bottleneck as every page request made inside of Thailand would have been centrally filtered.  Whatever the case, transfer rates are up.

Did anyone see in the New Year at Mezzaluna atop State Tower?  That had to be the most expensive spot in town at 21,900 baht ++ per head (or including taxes and service, 25,623 baht per person).  That is more than OUCH level!  I would be really curious as to what one actually got for that astronomical amount.  And here I was, thinking anything more than about 3,000 baht for dinner for two was pricey!

Unfortunately the notorious Patpong upstairs bar rip offs continue to this day.  A reader and his girlfriend were visiting the area for the first time and had been told to see a 'show', so whilst visiting the market a guy came up to them and asked them if they would like to see a show.  They were told that the show was free and that it was happy hour.  They went upstairs and once in the bar they saw girls dancing on the stage.  They were quickly joined by about 10 girls and asked if they wanted drinks.  They ordered one drink each but the next thing they knew they had their drinks, the girls had colas and they were told to pay a bill of 2,700 baht!  They refused but when they got up they were pushed back into their seats and told to pay.  They attempted to negotiate but there was no hope.  To make matters worse, when they went outside looking for the tourist police to make a complaint the boys in brown were nowhere to be found.  If you are not a local or accompanied by a local who knows the ropes, be careful of the upstairs bars in the Pong.  Those bars which are part of the King's Group are fine, such as Queen's Castle II, but many are rip offs.  Beware.

I can confirm that "Voice", the friendly welcome guy with the distinctive, raspy voice who used to work outside Hollywood but can now be found outside Fantasia, spent time under the managerial excellence of the gogo guru himself, Dave The Rave.  "Hello, sex lady inside, take care your wife!" is his distinctive call to passers by.  Why the hell does he *always* say "take care your wife?"  Did you teach him that, Dave?

Renowned local author Christopher Moore is running a contest with the winner getting a free copy of the special limited edition of "A Killing Smile".  Also everyone who enters will receive free copy of the paperback edition of "The Big Weird"To enter the contest is easy.  Simply take a photo or short video inside your favourite bookstore with someone holding a copy of "The Risk of Infidelity Index" and email it to Chris.  Be sure to include details of the name of the bookstore, its address, and your name and address so he can send off a copy of "The Big Weird".  Check out his blog for more!


When I first came to Bangkok one of the things I noticed was the lack of graffiti in most central and downtown areas.  But this week when I walked through Siam Square I saw graffiti everywhere.  In fact all over Bangkok you see graffiti these days.  A shame, as it was one scourge that was pleasantly missing.

Paiboon Publishing has published a very interesting new title, "Thai Law For Foreigners" - The Thai Legal System Easily Explained by Benjawan Poomsan Becker and Roengsak Thongkaew.  It introduces the development of Thai law and the structure of Thai government and the Thai court system and explains legal procedures in Thailand for both criminal and civil matters, how to choose a lawyer, Thai lawyers' ethics and how to work with lawyers and interpreters.  It answers questions on family and personal matters such as Thai citizenship, engagement and dowry, prenuptial agreement, wedding ceremony, making a will, and divorce procedures.  It also gives information on living and working in Thailand such as renting a house, working with Thai employees, knowing your rights if you're arrested, things to be aware of and much more.  Basically, it contains lots of really useful information!  It is written in plain language for common people to understand in both English and Thai.  You can find out more about it here.  Paiboon Publishing also has some very interesting titles on the way including one which I will definitely pick up - Speak Like a Thai Volume 5 "North-Eastern Dialect".  Time to brush up on my Isaan!

One of the common conversations which comes up amongst longer term employed residents is people's respective retirement plans.  It's sad that many seem to have joined "the Bangkok retirement plan".  In simple English, this means they're waiting for their parents or other older, wealthy relatives to die - and they are not shy to tell everyone that (except, presumably, those they are waiting to depart).  I had never heard of such a thing until I came to Bangkok.  You really do have to wonder.  For some it is not just their retirement plan, it is like they are almost wishing it to happen soon.  As warped as it may sound, I see this as one of the indirect, evil spin offs of the bar scene.  Yes, the guys who prescribe to "the Bangkok retirement plan" and are waiting like sharks for it to happen tend to be guys who have poor paying jobs and spend a good chunk of their time in the naughty bars.  Sad.

Quote of the week comes from a long term reader "I don't consider them prostitutes - they're more like professional girlfriends and I would take them over an American girl anyway".  Said to me while we enjoyed a beer together in Angelwitch.

This article attempts to explain why Thai girls are cuter than farang girls.

The US dollar has taken a huge hit over the past two years, but this article suggests the pound Sterling may be the next major currency to plummet in value.  All you Brits who've been giving the Americans grief in recent times may have spoken too soon...

Here's an article from The Sydney Morning Herald on Phuket going upmarket.

Ask Mrs.  Stick

Mrs.  Stick returns after a lengthy sojourn to help you with your relationship and culture questions and the things that baffle you about life in Thailand.  She accepts questions on matters of the heart or cultural misunderstandings.  Her answers are entirely her own without any influence or editing by me.  She looks forward to reading and answering your questions, so please give her a big welcome by sending in some thought-provoking things.

Question 1:  A Thai male friend told me recently that one should never bring an inexpensive gift to a Thai woman.  For instance, if she likes chocolate, stopping at 7 Eleven and purchasing her favourite candy bar would be in bad taste and one would be better off buying expensive Swiss chocolate at a specialty store.  In western culture noticing that she loves a Snickers bar and therefore buying one for her on the way to pick her up for a date would be a considerate gesture.  What do you  think?

Mrs. Stick says:  I think it's irrelevant to the nationality of the woman you are dating with.  It more depends on properness.  If you start dating a woman, you want her to feel good about you and also good about herself.  Bringing her a cheap gift could be insulting for her, or it could appear to her that you are tasteless (believe me it is not a nice impression).  But if you have dated a woman for some time and you start to know about each other, then you will know what would be a proper gift for your lady.  Remember there are no certain rules applied especially to ladies ;-)

Question 2:  I have a girlfriend in Thailand.  It was a long courtship filled with rocky times, but finally we are together and happy.  About 4 months ago during one of the rockier times she broke up with me and went back to her ex-boyfriend mostly because she did not believe I would really come to Thailand.  I was upset at the time and wrote the final email which would ensure she would feel the same level of hurt as I felt and we could part company forever.  I had an accomplice in the writing of the email (another Thai girl) who encouraged me to ramp up the language and make it sting even more.  Once the email was drafted I read it and felt like I was making a huge mistake so I just deleted it and eventually me and my girlfriend got back together.  Well a few days ago this accomplice (who I don't talk to anymore) sent that email to my girlfriend out of the blue.  Now my girlfriend won't talk to me and even though she acknowledges that this other girl just sent the email to hurt her she says after reading the words she cannot bear to be around me anymore.  Is there anything I can say or do to help her get over this and forgive me?

Mrs. Stick says:  What a nasty person your accomplice is, and what would she achieve by doing that?  Anyway I just hope you did not have any complications with her while you were trying to draft the letter.  I would say you will have to deal with it, take your time and make a constant effort.  Let her know that it wasn't your idea and you did not agree with the first nasty draft.  I would say it will take time.  Again I see this quite challenging if you would let someone else ruin your relationship by her wicked purpose.  If you let that happen, I think you lose more than your girlfriend.  Good luck.

Question 3:  A few months ago I met online a 29-year-old girl from Rachaburi province.  We've been getting on very well with each other online and now she's suggesting that I travel to Thailand to meet her which I'd like to do.  However she recently told me something about herself which is worrying me a little.  She mentioned that when she's away from the family home she has to phone either of her parents at least once every two hours to tell them where she is and what she's doing - even when she's at work!  Is this normal for a 29-year-old Thai girl who lives with her parents?  Do Thai parents remain so protective for so long?

Mrs. Stick says:  No, I think it is just her being childish. But I'm not surprised because either some Thai parents try to over-protect their children or the children themselves do not learn how to behave as adults.  Or maybe it's just her way of letting you know that she's a good girl and in her parents' eyes all the times.  It is your job to find out which case it would be.

Have you noticed that there seems to be a trend of increased crime, violence and general problems in Thailand?  Read any of the major news sources and you'll get the impression that crime is on the increase. I thought about it this week, trying to work out if it is a seasonal thing, or if it in fact there has been no increase and incidents are reported more these days.  But no, I don't believe that and I think that there has been a real increase in general social problems which has resulted in increased crime.  Whatever the reasons for it, it isn't good, and it makes one think a little more carefully about their personal safety here in Bangkok.  The city is still relatively safe in the central areas, but do have your wits about you!

And just as this column was to go online come reports that up north a Thai man, said to be a policeman, drew a gun, put it into a farang tourist's mouth and pulled the trigger.  Apparently they had been involved in an argument.  Another farang is slain in Thailand... 


Yours,

Stick Mark II

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Stick Mark II can be contacted at: stickmanbangkok@gmail.com.