Stickman Weekly 10/8/2008
The Bargirls Ten Commandments, 2008 Update
It is the most copied part of this website and has appeared on at least 100 other websites, forums and newsgroups over the years - and almost never attributed to me. Even The Bangkok Post copied but at least Bernard Trink was gracious enough to acknowledge that it was indeed my handiwork. I am talking about the Bargirls' Ten Commandments that I wrote way back in 2001 in this weekly column (scroll to the bottom).
The bar industry has changed, indeed the whole world has undergone dramatic change, and those commandments, while still relevant, are in some ways, a little out of date. I therefore present to you the new list of bargirls' ten commandments. Whether these are written as tongue and cheek, or they are genuine, you'll just have to decide for yourself...
The Bargirls Ten Commandments, 2008
1. Determine if the buffalo lives and / or works in Thailand. If he does, attempt to seal the deal quickly. There is very little chance that we will be able to put our hands in his wallet other than for this one off transaction. He knows too much and will be a hard target. He might even have good contacts if we trick him, deceive him or steal from him so unless he is exceptionally handsome and / or rich, try and get him to go short time and then return to the bar to fiund a tourist. Tourists are the more profitable customers when they go back to their country than one off customers - who are also more work! Further, if he has a cheap necktie, scuffed and unpolished cheap leather shoes, is wearing white socks with business trousers and leather shoes or simply seems reluctant to buy you a drink, ask him if he is an English teacher. If he is, forget giving him the respect we give to Thai ajarns and move on to the next customer. English teachers earn in a month what we earn in a week so there are no exceptions!
2. Give your phone number and email address to every customer (except English teachers because they will call and email you incessantly looking for free boom boom). Even the buffalo who smells bad, the buffalo with the hairy back and the buffalo who refused to shower should be given your contact details. Encourage him to contact you when he returns to his country. When he does, the internet cafe manager can write you an email explaining why he should send you some money - sick buffalo, ill parent or sibling, tsunami etc. And don't worry, you're not lying so this is not bad karma. All of these things happen, they just may not be happening right now. If he is Khun Jai Dee he will send 20,000 baht or more. Mr. Keeneow will send less and lie about the US dollar being weak. It's not. It's still green like before. We have seen it and it hasn't changed. Liars! Never give up. Email him every month. If after 6 months he has not sent you money, tell him it is your birthday in a few days. They all fall for that but it is usually something miserable like 5,000 baht. Cheap bastards.
3. Always tell the buffaloes that Thai men are no good. "Thai man no good" should be said to every customer. They hear it enough and they believe it. If the buffalo ever sees you with your pua (husband, coarse Thai) dropping you off to work on his motorbike or eating noodle soup after you have done a short time, just say it is your brother.
4. If you're aged under 25 then get you hair dyed blonde, orange or other bright colour and apply for a job at a bar popular with Japanese. Baccarra in Soi Cowboy and Rainbow 2 and Rainbow 4 in Nana Plaza are good choices. The Japanese customers are the best because of the rule of 4s (4 inches, 4 minutes, 4,000 baht). But remember that you have to make as much as you can from them now because they are different to the buffaloes and seldom send money when they go home. Anyway, their English sucks, yeah it is even worse than ours, so don't bother giving them any contact details.
5. There are many bad men who try to stop us making money from the buffalo. They have names like Vincent Calvino and they tell our buffalo where we go and what we do. Be careful of the man who asks many questions, buys lots of drinks but does not barfine us. He is the devil. Also, be careful of men who take your photo with digital cameras. They put it in the internet and now everyone can see us. If a buffalo is sending you money and he sees your photo on the internet then maybe he will stop!
6. The buffaloes roo mark (know too much) these days. Thai language schools are becoming as ubiquitous as 7 Eleven stores and even some guys who come for a holiday speak decent Thai. They are devious, these foreign buffaloes, and they listen to what we are saying and pretend they do not understand. How dare they?! When we talk together use Lao or Khmer dialects because the buffalo are always looking to trick us, the devils. But be careful, some of them even understand those dialects. The buffaloes get trickier all the time.
7. If you meet a rich, generous buffalo, invite him to your village. Make sure the whole village knows that there will be a welcome dinner when he arrives and everyone is invited. He will pay. Make sure you negotiate a 10% commission with the restaurant before you go. Don't let him stay in a hotel but in the family house. Let him see and feel what a traditional Thai home feels like. He will take pity on us and if we play it right, he will offer to build us a new house. Send your pua to a neighbour's house for a few days but if they will not take him, introduce him as your brother. If you already have a house built by one buffalo, go to an aunty or uncle's house and introduce them as your family. The same rules apply. If you are good, you might get two houses or more...!
8. Locate all of the offices for Western Union and Moneygram. Collect their free leaflets and give to the buffalo so they know how to send us money. Open different bank accounts and always have one bank account book with you at all times with a balance under 1,000 baht. Update it frequently so it looks like it is your main account. The book for the account that has most of your money must be hidden and the buffalo must never ever see it. We know the buffalo aren't aren't clever so we have to make it easy for them.
9. Join "the 3 AM Club". Every bar has a 3 AM club which comprises a bunch of the younger girls in the bar. Befriend them and make sure that you have their phone number stored in your phone. If they have gone with a customer, call them at 3 AM and tell them where you are. When the phone rings they will be with a buffalo and can make an excuse to leave. "My friend lost key for loom." "Mother come from province to visit me." "Baby is sick and must go to barn nok to take care." They will come and meet you and you can now go and play cards for the money you made tonight, or go as a group and a hire a nice hard-bodied Thai boy for the night, or if you have a boyfriend or husband, go to him. Don't worry about the buffalo you're with in the hotel loom. Whatever was agreed earlier with the buffalo doesn't matter. Tell him you must go and that you will collect money for long time service. If he protests, start screaming and yelling at him. Threaten to smash his laptop or camera. Tell him you will go to the police. If there is a balcony, threaten to jump off. Only a few minutes yelling and screaming is the difference between 1,500 and 3,000 baht.
10. Have two mobile phones and make sure one is an older, cheap model. Make sure the buffalo only sees the cheap one. If he forces you to go long time, give him the morning sessions of his life and then take him straight to MBK. After you have eaten (order as much as you can and take the bulk home to eat that evening), take him to level 4 where all of the mobile phone vendors are. Find the newest most expensive phone you can and stare at it. Make sure he sees some tears in your eyes and don't leave until he buys it for you. If he resists, start crying. The buffaloes do anything when we cry. If he buys mobile phone, stay with him and a few days later take him to a gold shop. Repeat the steps until he buys the gold. Take both to the pawn shop and sell them as soon as he leaves.
Where was this picture taken?
Last week's picture was taken from the Ploenchit BTS station, looking towards the expressway just east, where Ploenchit meets Sukhumvit Road. 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. The second person to get it right wins a free jug of margarita, valued at 840 baht from Charley Brown's, a popular Tex-Mex restaurant, offering authentic cuisine and delicious margaritas. Charley Brown's is located in the small sub-soi off Sukhumvit Soi 11.
Terms and conditions: The Oh My Cod prize MUST be claimed within 14 days. The Charley Brown's prize MUST be claimed within 7 days. For the Love Entrepreneurs prize, you must be able to provide a postal address in Thailand. Prizes are not transferable. Prize winners cannot claim more than one prize per month.
FROM STICK'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick.) Preference may be given to emails which refer to the previous week's column.
EMAIL OF THE WEEK - Anyone for a condo?
My sister-in-law's husband is involved in real estate in Pattaya, as are many farangs living in Pattaya it seems. He took me on a tour of some recent condo projects. What about View Talay #6 on Beach Road. What happened to the value of the north-facing condos that now face the block wall and parking structure of the new shopping center? Isn't it interesting that the building is set far back from the actual beach? Far enough that a second building could "easily" be built in front of the current building. What happens to the value of a "sea view" condo that loses its sea view? We also visited a new project on Pratumnak Hill. Condos started at 2 million. After all units were sold, ground was broken on a new project that will tower above the existing condos, wiping out city and sea views. I would hate to be one of the sods that is seeing a sea view and the value of their condo vanish before their eyes.
The Nana vs. Cowboy debate.
Given you have made more comment on the relative merits of NEP and SC, I thought I'd raise a point. I wonder whether you, like my good self, have developed what the French call an idée fixee about NEP. I have done so, only in reverse. For whatever reason, probably a bad night or two long ago, I always tend to take on a negative vibe when I'm at SC, being quick to see the negatives, the rip-offs, the clichés, the attitudes of some girls etc. By contrast I have none of that at NEP, and always seem to find an agreeable lass for the evening. It's purely psychological I know, but that doesn't make it any easier to change. I wonder whether you've done the same. On a purely practical point of view - for someone who likes to, err, shop around, NEP is a vastly superior location. Why? NEP's cleverly designed and placed staircases mean it is possible to get to just about any bar without having to walk past one where you think someone might be keeping an eye out for you. Short of doing a massive lap around Sukhumvit to switch from one end of the road to the other, you can't do the same at SC.
Mobile phone jammers in the bars?
I can’t say for sure but I would guess that the gogo bar has a device there to block cell phone signals for the express purpose of preventing their use inside the bar. Think about a gogo bar full of patrons using their mobiles. Which ones are actually conversing with another party and which ones are taking pictures of the dancers? With a signal blocker when staff spot anyone using their mobile they know they are up to no good and probably sneaking some naughty photos. I can only imagine the repercussions for someone caught taking photos in some of the topless places in BKK. All of this is strictly a guess on my part but I know for sure some of the “tittie bars” in the USA use cell phone blockers to expressly prohibit what I mentioned above. Every time I leave Christie’s Gentlemen’s Club in Greensboro, North Carolina, I have missed calls on my phone that occurred while I was having a few cold brews and an ogle at the lasses.
The best Thai dating experience
Is your lady at home in Kalasin?!
I'm a retired American living in Kalasin for the last few years. I'm single and I don't have a Thai girlfriend even though I could have one if I so desired. I'm writing in regards to sponsorship. Since living in Kalasin I have met and seen I believe most of the other foreigners that live here full time or part time. There are also the foreigners that come here for only a month or so to visit their girlfriends. You're right about not sending any of these girls money. I have not seen one of these girls being faithful. Girl #1 is receiving money from two gentlemen, one is a German and the other is from Holland. Girl #2 is receiving money from only one man from Holland, but she has a Thai boyfriend that gets part of it. I could go on and on and these are just two of the girls who live here. I don't know any who are faithful. The only women I see who are faithful are those whose husbands live here full time. There is even an American that does not live here. He married a lady and he lives in Chicago and sends her money every month to support her and hell, she hangs out at the Rim Poa Hotel disco three nights a week and has many Thai boyfriends. He even bought her a new car and built her a nice home. The problem is that every foreigner thinks that his wife or girlfriend is different from the others. But they aren't! Not one of them. Every one of these ladies used to work in Pattaya and they all know each other. I don't feel sorry for any of these guys. They have so much money they don't know what to do with it, but to gamble it all away on false hopes, promises and lies. I could tell them and even show them pictures of their girlfriends and wives in action but you know they would not believe it!
An awkward situation.
I picked up a girl on Sukhumvit late last night who said she works at a Cowboy bar. We agreed on a short time price of 1,500. I took her to my hotel, did the deed and gave her the money. She then laid down next to me and decided to stay. Later the next morning I got horny and did the business again. She hung around until 5 PM and then said I owed her another 3,000 baht. I told her we had agreed on short time and that I had paid her last night so she had been free to go but that she had decided to stay. I did not ask her to stay, nor did I prefer it because I sleep better by myself. Everything was seemingly friendly until she took off one of her heels and said she was going to get me if I didn't give her more money. I acted very coolly and got dressed as I did not want a fight without clothes on. I then told her to get out and that because she threatened me with her shoe she would be getting nothing. She threatened to get even with me in the future. I probably would have been jilted into giving her a little more but the shoe threat pissed me off.
If she is not good enough for other Thais, is she good enough for you?
An excellent point was made by Mrs. Stick in the July 27 column, in regards to a guy bringing his bargirl girlfriend along on a trip with several of his friends and their middle class Thai wives. Ms. Stick didn't pull any punches in explaining that any decent Thai woman would never associate with ladies in the bargirl profession. If respectable Thais won't associate with certain Thais, isn't that a huge red flag warning to gullible farangs? Maybe we farangs need to reread her response and remember what the "relationship" is all about. Can you say "money"?
The usually quiet Queen's Park Plaza was the scene of massive free for all brawl on Monday night after a fight broke out in the new Sport 20-2 bar. The culprits appear to have been a farang / Thai couple who run a nearby establishment. The farang of the couple took offence to a comment by another customer and attacked him. When the owner Neil and manager Scott went to break up the fight they were attacked by the farang's other half, a Thai bird. A glass table was broken and Neil closed the bar. Unfortunately the fight then moved to several other bars with any attempt at stopping the fight being frustrated as the couple attacked anybody who suggested they cool it! The Thai bird displayed the fighting skills of Thai womanhood to some affect and laid low several Thai men who came into to break the party up! Finally the local plod arrived. A policeman approached the farang to stop fighting and was knocked to the ground, resulting in the plod drawing his gun. The Brit tried to knock the gun away and was hit with a security torch which did a certain amount of damage and allowed the plod to handcuff him and take him away. Unexplainably he was soon released. His Mrs. ended up in hospital and there she remained for a day as the many cuts sustained when the table broke plus other injuries were sorted. The general view of those in Soi 22 and Queen's Park Plaza is that the sooner this guy has gone, the better.
In fact the Queen's Park Plaza in soi 22 seems to have major problems with entertainment in the bars consisting not of music, but of a TV tuned to local programming - and the staff all sitting around engrossed in soap operas! Asking the staff to put on music won't do much good as you will be told that they are scared of being fined 50,000 baht. "Music licence inspectors" have been making regular checks and any bar without a music licence is being fined this amount. No wonder the bars were empty. Who wants to sit there watching Thai TV with a bunch of girls who are focused on a TV screen. Customers report being made to feel like unwelcome company! This has caused business to be so bad that on Sunday one bar took no money at all and on Monday reached the grand total of 230 baht!
Butterfly Bar in Queen's Park Plaza is under new ownership and they have some nice, non-pushy staff and the best pool tables in the area.
The infamous Anton didn't last long on soi 33 and has been fired from The Green Parrot. Once again his whereabouts is unknown.
Desperate times have forced desperate measures with Nana Disco reducing the entry price from 400 baht to 200 baht from Sunday to Thursday. Friday and Saturday remain 400 baht. If you're really cheap, entry is free before 10 PM which also coincides with the happy hour, 2 for 1 drinks. You can go in early, get a stamp on your hand and return later, entry free.
There is a massive underage problem in at least two bars in Soi Cowboy. While there was a supposed crackdown on underage girls there recently, the bars knew in advance with at least one bar telling girls to hide upstairs and another telling the underage girls not to come in to work for a couple of days. Things are so out of hand now that there is one bar with three 14 year old girls working there. Remember, the law is clear. If she is under 18 in such an establishment, you're in DEEP SHIT. What is most perturbing is that while this bar attracts its fair share of Japanese (for the record, it is NOT Baccarra), it is Westerners who are said to favour the younger girls. This long running bar shocks me and I bet it won't be long before someone has a major problem. Gents, it is time to ask the lady for ID to check that she is of legal age because if she isn't of legal age, in a worst case scenario, your life could be as good as over. I can't imagine how any guy could be interested in a lady so young. Frankly, it would be like eating an uncooked pieced of meat.
The Sports Academy reopened on Friday night.
More has come to life about the attempted beating of a Walking Street bar personality. My initial report included that he was beaten up badly but it seems that was a case of Chinese whispers. As the gent's identity has been published in a number of spots I will now add that Ken of Living Dolls Showcase was attacked by three Thai youths who it would appear were slipped a few baht to mess Ken up. Now Ken is not a small fellow by any stretch of the imagination and after taking a few blows he claims that he managed to get to his feet and took off after them. Strange that given he spent time in hospital...
A professional photo shoot took place outside of Midnite bar this week with pro lighting, medium format cameras and some Thai stars. Exactly what it was for I don't know. What was not lost on me was that the Thais did not like me asking questions about what was going on. Weird.
I have given Nana Plaza serious grief in the column recently, suggesting it is not the fun bar area it once was. But in fairness to Nana Plaza, business there is better than Patpong. Patpong used to always do well from the tourist trade but with a downturn in tourists and most locals hardly in favour of Patpong, Bangkok's original farang gogo bar area is really hurting.
Down Pattaya way the rumour mill has it that Ivan, former head honcho of X Zone is looking at getting back into the gogo bar game. Ivan sold out a few months back and while I personally was not a fan of X Zone, it had quite a following. Ivan is said to be working on something "big".
The Aussie-run Roo Bar on Pattaya's Walking Street is doing its bit for the world and showing the ultimate respect to Islam. Truth be told, most bars should have such signs, which demonstrate a clear respect for the Islamic religion. Looking at some the grizzled truckies sitting around Roo bar, I don't doubt the message is rigidly enforced. The problem is, the moron who erected this sign mistook all Arabs for being Islamic, which they are not. There *are* Christian Arabs for example.
As an enthusiastic consumer of English breakfasts, I was amused to observe the attempts of The Tavern in Sukhumvit Soi 4 to get ahead of the fierce breakfast competition in that area. American owner Scott was persuaded by an English customer to invest in authentic British sausages, back bacon, black pudding and fried bread for a big breakfast that would have the authentic taste of home. It also includes three eggs, tomatoes, baked beans, sautéed mushrooms and unlimited coffee or a pot of tea. What tickled me was that I saw the customer giving training to the Thai cooks in basting fried eggs and in ensuring the fat is at the right temperature for the fried bread to be crisp and not soggy. The big breakfast is not cheap at 310 baht but I can vouch for its quality. There are smaller and cheaper breakfast options on the menu. Perhaps they were stung into action by the nearby Big Mango Bar launching its breakfast muffin?
When you're drinking in the Big Mango make sure one of the girls brings you over a plate of their delicious popcorn. It's tasty and it's free.
Put the Jester's Charity Drive in your diary. You can bid online and I'm told Four Winds in Thailand is offering free delivery to anywhere in the world so that bids can be accepted from anywhere in the world... There is some amazing football stuff including a signed Arsenal ball and a signed Manchester City shirt. I wonder if the club's owner signed it?! The website is here.
One of my favourite Pattaya haunts, Secrets, turns 2 years old in September and one huge party is being planned. I'll be making the trip down especially for it. Yep, I think it will be that good.
There's a nasty sight near the gay dominated section of Jomtien Beach as you make your way to the straight area. There is a rather sickly looking Thai man begging with a sign in English which says I HAVE HIV AIDS, PLEASE HELP ME WITH MONEY, and as you walk past him he coughs and splutters. Not very nice if he really does have advanced HIV and splutters his vermin all over you!
Following on from the piece in last week's column about the fabulous performer who was part comedian / part singer / 100% entertainer, I can confirm that it is Lee Shamrock. Lee informs me that he performs at The Dubliner every Tuesday and Friday at 9:30 PM. Like I said last week, this guy is well worth going out of your way to see.
In the last two weeks I have been called by three different shysters from Bangkok phone numbers, each of whom was claiming to be some sort of financial whiz kid who wished to manage my finances. Three different shysters, all asking leading questions, all claiming to represent flash sounding firms with names like "First Choice Premium Capital" etc. and all three were clearly young Brits, based on their accent. How the hell did they get my name and mobile number? Does anyone actually accept their invitation to make an appointment? I have no idea who they are, but when someone cold calls you in a foreign country, makes a dreadful attempt to sound smooth and confident and offers to manage your wealth (didn't know that I had any) then you know something is up. Do as I did and tell them where to stick their invitation.
I note that the Times Square Building, that is the office building connected to the Asoke skytrain station by a "skywalk", seems to be becoming something of a hub for Thai language schools. There are at least five different Thai language schools in that building which provides a great opportunity for prospective customers to check out and compare different schools all in one outing. Some of these language institutes use quite different methodology and offer all sorts of different pricing and promotions, such as providing you with the relevant documentation to get an education visa and be able to stay in the country long term. Take your time to ask lots of questions and choose the school that is best for you. Of course, there are a number of schools in other parts of Bangkok including Union Language School - which is where I studied many moons ago. Union can be found on Phyathai Road.
And on the subject of learning the local lingo, the proliferation of Thai language mills continues with Thai Language Hut the newest kid on the block. A Brit has started it up with his Thai teacher on Sukhumvit 43. ThaiLanguageHut is presently a very modest affair offering 1 to 1 teaching only. They plan to transfer the school to larger premises next year at which point they will look at scheduled classes.
Sometimes you just cannot help but laugh at some of the nonsense that goes on here. I have long been against the idea of buying a condo in Thailand off the plans and the latest reports coming out of what was supposedly to be one of Bangkok's top end developments re-enforces my feelings. The huge upscale monstrosity in prime Sukhumvit is already a year or so behind schedule and frankly, I have doubts whether it will be finished at all, with the latest reports having it that the building is being stripped of anything of value from midnight onwards, late at night. No, not a bunch of street scavengers, but trucks in an organised fashion every night! Oh dear!
Are you looking to join a pub quiz team? A team is looking for someone who is particularly good at music questions. Make some new friends and have fun at the same time. If interested, email me and I will forward your email to the captain of the team.
You've got to love Bumrungrad, supposedly Thailand's best hospital. They have a system in place where if you arrive for an appointment and the doctor is running xx minutes late you are given a voucher to eat at the branch of McDonald's located within the hospital. Maybe now you understand why I prefer BNH Hospital to the "the Bum".
What's going on at The Nation? A third of their farang editors have been slashed from the team and rumour has it that what was once considered Thailand's best English language newspaper is in very dire financial straits. Rumour also has it that since the change of format much of the readership has moved across to the excellent NotTheNation.com.
The US dollar has been creeping against the baht in recent weeks much to the delight of the many American retirees in Thailand. But New Zealanders and Australians are much less happy, their respective dollars having taken a hammering, each down several percent over the past two weeks against the baht.
The fake monks issue is becoming clearer. They are not impersonating Thai monks. They are Chinese and their robes are those of Chinese monks meaning tailored tunics rather than simple saffron cloth. A group of ten was arrested in Taiwan last week. Thai law prohibits imitation of a Thai monk. These guys are not doing that. They are miscreants and fraudsters for sure, but as far as Thai law goes, they are not imitating the local monks per se. A reader who speaks fluent Mandarin reports that the look on one of their faces at Soi Cowboy when he told him to go to hell and do unmentionable things to his mother was priceless.
In some ways the Dirty Doctor is to be congratulated for his crusade and efforts to rid the streets of the thieving monks. It is noble and his intentions are well meant. I however did start to get very nervous when he sent me this picture which shows a second tunic he ripped off a monk in Soi Cowboy on Thursday night this week. That's a second monk he has disrobed in public, a second monk he has humiliated and most importantly, another fraudster who is not making money. I have put it to him that he is now in danger but he doesn't seem to be listening, so I will repeat it here in the hope that it might have more effect. Dirty Doctor, I think you need to understand that this is Asia and NOT America. When you do something which prevents someone from making money, irrespective of how they are making that money, problems can follow. I admire the effort that you have made, but you're putting yourself in danger. You are now so well known amongst these monks that I imagine that there is every chance they could be plotting to get you. You have damaged their ability to make money and they could respond. How? Well, in Asia that usually means not just preventing you from hurting them any more, but also seeking revenge. They would not stop at a beating. Ten fake monks with knives is not outside the realms of possibility. Let's also consider that the authorities know about these guys but choose not to do anything about it. Why that is the case should be fairly obvious... I urge you to back off. In fact I would even keep a low profile for a while. I think it is so dangerous now that, for example, there is *no way* I would walk near you in a public place for fear of being caught up in it myself. Know when it is time to back off and take a break. The downside is too great.
Quote of the week comes from a bargirl. "I have been home taking care of sick buffalo but money finish now so I come Bangkok to find buffalo to take care of me”.
Thailand banned a computer game this week.
It's official! The TAT admits that tourism in Thailand is way down, with tourism in Pattaya down 30%!
This piece from The Nation this week, including this quote "recent survey of Thai high-school students showed that 81% of them were of the opinion that if one becomes too honest, one risks being taken advantage of", is scary.
Ask Mrs. Stick
Mrs. Stick is happy to answer any questions regarding inter-racial relationships as well as cultural peculiarities that may be confusing or baffling you.
Question 1: I have just had a discussion with a Thai regarding what would be the logical conclusion over a neighbourly dispute. He informed me that the Thai way is to accept whatever happens around you and your environment until it becomes too much. When this point is reached the only recourse is violence. There are no in-between steps or stages. What instances do you know of personally or that you might have heard about, whereby disputes were settled amicably without having to resort to violence? How was it possible for one party to compromise without losing face? Have you heard of any local authority not only passing down a judgment but much more importantly enacting and enforcing it? With no effectual body to settle disputes I have come to the conclusion that Thailand must be one of the most violent countries to live in.
Mrs. Stick says: Actually I do not know of many disputes settled with violence. What normally happens is that a few people will give small signs to someone to tell them to stop doing something or to change their ways. If that doesn't work then a senior and respected or powerful person is brought in to fix the problem. I know that violence is sometimes used but I think it is not so common.
Question 2: Have you ever heard of a case whereby a Thai man has had his sin sot returned over his errant wife, and if so what were the circumstances? If not do you feel there are any grounds for seeking the return of a sin sot? And if so how would one possible go about such a task, outside of using a lawyer and through the courts?
Mrs. Stick says: No.
Mr. Stick says: Let me add a little bit here. In the countryside there is "an understanding" that if after the presentation of the sin sot (but before the actual marriage ceremony) the woman is "naughty" with someone else then the sin sot should be returned TIMES TWO. As far as the law goes, it is written into law that in the case of divorce, a man can NOT seek the return of any items of kong mun (meaning total sin sot - any money, ring, gold, jewellery or other valuables given) irrespective of what happens. If a week after marriage she leaps into bed with another man then she is not obligated by law to return anything. She would be viewed by all and sundry as a very bad woman and her family's reputation may well suffer and for many Thais that would be worse than the money involved.
The dirty doctor affair which I have covered over the past few weeks makes for an interesting case study. However I don't think we can close the page on it for a few weeks. Will the monks strike back? Will there be some comeback? I re-iterate what I said earlier in the column regarding that whole affair. It really is not a good idea to stick your nose into other people's affairs here - if you do, make sure you are very discrete. The Asian way is to sit on things, perhaps for quite some time, maybe even years, before revenge is sought. Deferred for a time, but never forgotten...
Your Bangkok commentator,
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