I've been thinking a lot about the bar women I met in Pattaya this summer. I came by the bar they were working by accident, but somehow I ended up staying for hours and hours, talking with them and exchanging stories.
I told them about growing up in Denmark, never feeling at home anywhere. I love Thailand, and when I think and dream, I do it in Isaan. But sometimes I feel like an outsider, because people look at me differently, when they find out I was raised in a country they haven't even heard of, far far away. A white country.
And they told me their stories and why and how they ended up in Pattaya.
I ended up talking a lot with one of the girls, Kiew - because we're both from Chaiyaphum. She looked pretty sad. But whenever a customer came over, she instantly cheered up, laughing and smiling.
At one point, I was being pretty blunt. I asked her how it was, to sleep with a man for money. I wanted to hear it from her point of view. Kiew told me she came to Pattaya, in hope of finding a good white man who could marry her and take her with him to a European country, in order to start a new life without poverty. Problem is, the men who come to Pattaya, aren't exactly looking for wives. And the few who does, are surrounded by tons of bar girls with the exact same dream as Kiew. So the competition for a white man in Pattaya is tough as hell.
The sad thing about it? Almost all of the bar girls in Pattaya are from Isaan. Home sweet home. Life in Isaan is tough. It's the poorest region of Thailand and there's so many young men and women from Isaan, traveling to either Bangkok or Pattaya, in hope of finding a job (you can't really be anything else than a farmer in Isaan), just to come back a few years later, more confused than ever.
It's depressing how many Isaan girls who head off to the big cities, thinking they can get work as a maid or a cleaning lady, just to end up as prostitutes. I'm not judging them or anything, it's just sad. But I guess that makes me appreciate what my mom did more than anything right now. If she didn't marry Lars, then I might have been a girl like Kiew right now.
It's sort of interesting to see how different people of various backgrounds see it. Most Western women I've met, talk about the Thai women as helpless poor mail order brides or bar girls with no self respect. But in Thailand, it has nothing to do with a lack of self respect at all. It's about surviving and earning money to send back to the parents in the village. If you want a good life, then you gotta fight for it. That's just how it is.
Anyway. I find it weird when people assume my mom is a helpless mail order bride. She's one of the bravest women I know. She changed her own life, mine and our entire family's life by coming to a foreign country to marry a man she didn't know. She didn't do it because she was forced to it, but because she was determined to see me grow up with all the opportunities she never had.
So to all you haters. Holla at me when you've tried being in my situation. And by that, I mean being so poor that dinner sometimes consisted of insects and hand caught crabs from the rice fields. Then I might take your respond serious.
Anyway. It was nice hanging out in Pattaya with Mathias. We met some pretty cool and random people and had a good time sailing a bit, getting drunk every night and what not. But it bothered me a lot that he complained over the hotel we lived in because of the other guests. Bitch plu-eash! We stayed their for free (thanks to my moms awesome connections) and it was 2 minutes from the sea! How can you complain about that?! Listening to him whining made me want to exclaim something a la ''omg lulz go find another hotel with a huge ass pool where you can stay for free then''.
Other than that, it was great times. I liked being in Pattaya with Mathias. We walked around exploring the city day and night, drank whiskey while swimming in the pool when it got dark and talked about this and that in the hotel room.
|Kiew and a costumer|
|Kiew and the annoying customer|
|Kiew and the customer again|
|One of the bar girls with a farang man.|
|Mathias looking awkwardly terrified.|
|Kiew and her best friend|
|A street vendor|
|At the beach. Which I'm sure you couldn't figure out.|
|An Isaan street vendor in the middle of making nam tok|
|A man trying to sell me underwear|
|A protective big brother|
|On our way to an island|
|An abnormally long line of waiting tourists.|
|Farang having fun|
|Water, air, city.|
|Taking a photo of Mathias taking a photo.|
|Seasick Japanese chicks|
|Passing a fancy fishing boat.|
|At the beach|
|A tired hooker and her sister.|
|An Isaan woman making me yam dtahle!|
|Mathias and some metal dudes we met at a metal/hard rock bar.|
|Mee Suk :)|
|A man and his dog, chillin|
|AWWWWW <333333 X 50000|
|Some girls promoting a store. 3 woman and a ladyboy.|
|A Pattaya street.|
|Hah, she's in heels!|
|Amulet man. Because surely 1 amulet isn't enough.|
|A little girl and a stripper pole...|
|Cute and disturbing.|
|Happy ladyboys & sunset|
|Man or woman?|
|It's a trap|
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