Cultural Confusion - Mike's Story
My name is Mike. I am 24 years old and live and work in Sweden. I
recently had a close call with a Thai prostitute and almost made the
biggest mistake of my life.
I was born into a middle class family in Sweden. Although we were
quite well off my parents instilled in me the need to take care
of myself. When I went to university they made me take out a student
loan because they said I should learn to be responsible for my own
affairs. They did help out though when things got a bit tough financially.
I finally graduated with a BCom majoring in computer science. I
got a great job almost immediately as a systems engineer for a large
computer company. The starting salary was excellent and for the
first time in my life I found out what it was like to have money
I had been working for just 11 months when Jan a good friend of
mine suggested a holiday in Asia. He had heard stories about beautiful
beaches, cheap living and wild women. While I’d never thought
about visiting Asia I warmed rapidly to the idea. Before I knew
it we were sitting on a plane and on our way to Bangkok.
What an unbelievable place. Stinking hot, crazy traffic and sex
starved girls everywhere. I couldn't walk down the street without
some honey propositioning me. Jan took me to a place called Nana
Plaza which is full of Go Go bars – incredible. There must
be a thousand girls in this one place and most of them were dancing
naked. To be honest I went a little crazy.
In the first three days I slept with 12 women. Now I’m not
boasting and anybody can do this in Bangkok. I noticed that most
of the guys in these bars were a lot older than me and I found I
could quite often get a girl to go with me for free. I guess I’m
reasonably good looking and quite fit, so I seemed to be in big
demand. I always had to pay a bar fine but 500 baht wasn’t
too much of a strain. I like to think I don’t have to pay
for it and was pleased when the girls wanted to stay with me because
they liked me and not because I was flashing a big wad of cash in
On the fourth day we headed down to Pattaya, a beach resort just
south of Bangkok. This place seemed to have even more girls than
Bangkok if that’s possible. I was ready by now to slow the
pace down a little. To be honest I was close to exhaustion and a
bit of relaxing on the beach seemed like a great idea. That night
we went bar hopping and I met Noi. What a sweet heart.
She was just 21 and we seemed to click right away. I paid her bar
fine which was a ridiculous 200 baht. As I really liked her I decided
to give her a treat and took her to one of the most expensive restaurants
in Pattaya and then out dancing. We had a ball and although communication
was a bit difficult, with the aid of my trusty phrase book we managed
to get by. The next day I decided to keep Noi with me for the rest
of my time in Pattaya, so I paid her barfine for the next six days.
Things just got better and better. The sex was great and Noi just
couldn’t do enough to make me happy. She even took all my
clothes home to wash and iron them. We visited all the touristy
places and went bar hopping every night. Jan had a different girl
every night and said I was stupid to stick with Noi. I did manage
to sneak off to a couple of massage places during the day but was
more than happy to stick with Noi each night.
I didn’t want to give Noi any money as it seemed to me it
would make our relationship tacky so instead I took her shopping.
I got her new clothes and some stuffed toys and a gold chain. She
really loved that gold chain.
By the fifth day I had really developed an infatuation with Noi
and started talking about the future. I’ve never met anyone
like her and was thinking out loud how great it would be if she
could come to Sweden and stay with me. Somehow this idle talk turned
into a plan and Noi was really keen. We started talking about passports
and visa’s. I knew I’d have to go home first and get
everything organized. I suggested Noi stop working as a prostitute
because the thought of her with some of the fat ugly guys you see
in Pattaya really made me feel ill.
I talked to the mamasan at Noi’s bar and she said Noi could
work as a bartender and get a regular monthly salary if she liked.
I could tell Noi really liked the idea, as she obviously hated selling
herself. Our last night together was spectacular and the next day
as the taxi whisked us back to Bangkok I felt really sad to be leaving.
Jan said I was crazy and pussy whipped and I guess he was right
but I just couldn’t see it that way.
We had two more days of carousing in Bangkok before we headed back
to Sweden and normality. Back home it all seemed like some weird
dream. Was I really going to bring a Thai prostitute into my home?
Explaining that to my parents was not going to be easy so I decided
to keep it just between Jan and I for the time being.
A visit to the immigration service confirmed that getting a three-month
visa for Noi would be no problem. Although my job was quite well
paid it was going to take a few months to save up enough for me
to return to Thailand and pay for Noi’s trip back to Sweden.
For three months I saved every spare penny. Going out with local
girls was boring after the wild times in Thailand so I was happy
to stay home and count the days until I could return to Noi. I phoned
her every week but it was quite difficult to understand her on the
phone. Sometimes when I rang, she wasn’t in the bar. It made
me wonder if she was still on the game but I felt sure she was remaining
true to me.
Jan gave me a copy of a book he brought in Thailand called Hello
My Big Big Honey. It was all about how Thai bar girls ripped of
stupid foreigners. Some girls have three or four boyfriends sending
them money while they still work as prostitutes. It did make me
think, but as Noi had never asked me for money, apart from 3000
baht for her passport, I felt sure she was different from the girls
in the book.
Finally the day arrived for my return to Thailand. I couldn’t
resist spending a couple of days in Bangkok before heading down
to Pattaya to hook up with Noi. Nana Plaza was still rocking.
The smile on Noi’s face when I walked into her bar made all
the saving and scrimping worthwhile. We picked up right where we
left off and things were great. I asked Noi to quit her job so I
wouldn’t have to pay a bar fine everyday. It seemed really
tacky somehow and I couldn’t see why I should make her boss
That night after a great session, Noi told me she wanted me to
visit her family in Isaan. I wasn’t really that keen as I’d
sort of planned a week of fun in Pattaya before heading for home.
Noi was quite insistent though and I thought it would be an interesting
experience so I agreed.
When I saw the bus that was going to transport us to the boondocks
I knew I’d made a mistake. Tiny uncomfortable seats, no air
conditioning and absolutely packed. Twelve hours of hell. Once we
were North of Bangkok the only food available was disgusting and
it was so hot I felt sick for most of the trip.
Finally we arrived in Noi’s village. Talk about primitive!
The house we were to stay in was basically four walls a floor and
a roof through which you could see the stars. No furniture and the
toilet was a hole in the ground. The only shower was a huge bucket
of water with a scoop for throwing the water over yourself.
It appeared that the whole village had turned out to greet us and
I had to spend a small fortune buying everyone beer and whiskey.
People kept appearing from every nook and cranny and all had to
be supplied with booze at my expense. It was actually quite a fun
party but I spent too much money. Then when I was actually feeling
quite merry, Noi dropped her little bombshell. Apparently it is
a no no for unmarried people to sleep together in the village so
I got to share a room with a bunch of unmarried guys. No nooky for
me that night. No beds either just a mat on the floor.
I woke up the next morning feeling like shit. After breakfast of
watery rice (yuk) a cousin or uncle of Noi wanted to speak with
me. His English was quite good, as he had spent some time in Bangkok
working for an English company.
After a bit of small talk he got straight to the point. How much
was I going to pay for Noi? I couldn’t believe it. He was
actually trying to sell her to me. He had a hard luck story of how
Noi’s mother was in financial strife and I was to be the great
white savior who would bale her out of the financial poo. What a
shock! I told him there was no way I was paying anything for Noi.
She loved me and I loved her, not her mother – end of story.
Uncle was not happy and said I didn’t understand Thai customs.
I understood all right! Everyone in the village was intending to
part me from as much of my money as they possibly could. Maybe they
thought I was stupid but there was no way I was falling for this
Somehow everything seemed to click into place and I felt like I’d
been manipulated into this bizarre situation. All I wanted to do
was get away from this hell hole as fast as possible. I found Noi
and told her what had happened. She only looked surprised when I
said I wasn’t falling for it. What’s more I was going
back to Bangkok today and she could come with me or forget the whole
Well Noi was quite upset and the family were looking at me like
I was a mass murderer or something. After a few tears Noi agreed
to return with me to Bangkok. For the nine hour bus ride she hardly
said a word. She was obviously sulking because I hadn’t coughed
up a vast sum of cash for her family. She kept giving me dirty looks
and then crying quietly to herself. The more I thought about it
the more sure I became that it was all a set up. Fleece the farang
is the name of the game. I probably wasn’t the first but at
least I hadn’t fallen for it.
After we checked into the hotel I had to get some time alone so
I told Noi I was going off to think about things and maybe she should
do the same. Somehow I found my way back to Nana Plaza and ended
up drinking too much and taking one of the Go Go girls to a short-time
hotel right in the Plaza.
As I walked back to the hotel I realized I’d just about made
a terrible mistake with Noi. She was a prostitute and her only intention
was to make money. She considered me to be like an ATM. Push the
right buttons and money comes out. I was fairly sure she had been
sleeping with other guys while I was back in Sweden as well. Obviously
the whole thing was a disaster and I had to straighten it out. When
I got back to the room we had a huge fight. I accused her of sleeping
with other guys and trying to rip me off as well. She didn’t
deny it so I guess it was true. She spent the rest of the night
in the bathroom. She said she couldn’t sleep with me anymore.
I guess she’d figured out that my money was staying firmly
in my pocket.
In the morning I gave her the money to return to Pattaya and we
said out strained good byes.
I still had a few days left in Thailand so I made the most of it.
This is one wild country and as long as you don’t let your
heart get in the way of your brain, its heaps of fun.
I know I’ll be back in Thailand again but I’ll never
fall for another Thai girl.