Recent events (read: underboob selfies!) here in Thailand sparked another discussion regarding the sex scene here. The government tries to ban so called ‘underboob selfies’ – something described as an ‘internet trend’ that hasn’t even been picked up here in Thailand, until the junta prohibited it. This is kind of funny since Thailand is, as we all know, somehow famous for sex tourism and its paid happy ending services.
I was thinking for a while to write an article about the hypocrisy that is present here in terms of sex and prostitution but Saksith Saiyasombut , as always, did an incredibly good job in pointing that out. So I figured I had to take a different angle on that. While I was thinking how to approach this topic (without having to be afraid of getting my ‘attitude adjusted’) a situation presented itself and basically forced itself upon me (almost literally even).
What happened? Well I was…
Sitting across some prostitutes at McDonalds
Yes. Really. How do I know? Let me set the stage: It was around 9 pm, I was sitting at this table at McDonalds where you can plug in your electronic device to charge. I plugged in my McBook and started to write on some other articles when I noticed
some quite big breasts an interestingly styled (her body wasn’t covered by a lot of cotton, or actually by a lot of leather for that matter) person sitting down across of me, also using McD electricity.
Obviously wearing something seductive doesn’t make you a prostitute! Short time later though her (his?) friends would join and start talking. This was when it got interesting. And no, I didn’t do eavesdropping – they talked quite loudly and didn’t try to hide anything. Good for us here ;-)
Scene 1. Entrance P1 (P = Protagonist, not what you were thinking!):
Super tight dress that shows lots of cleavage. LOTS of cleavage. Hence the double check upwards towards the face, the hands and the voice seems to confirm what a huge bustline in Thailand suggests. Ladyboy. She grabbed a water and then started to text on her phone before starting a first, brief, video call. She was waving at the camera, blowing a few kisses and talking in a high pitched voice with the person on the other end. In broken English. She would say she would come to see him (I simply assume) in his hotel if he tells her the address and room number. And yes, she is sure she is a girl. Apparently the guy on the other end also had some doubts when seeing her on camera. They then said they would meet later and she continued chatting on her phone.
Scene 2. Entrance P2 + P3
Soon after said encounter above two friends of P1 entered the scene. Sitting right next to her. P2 was an obvious ladyboy. Bit overweight and not that feminine. P3 looked very small and girly. They started to share some food and talked, as far as I could understand, about their night so far. All of them kept chatting on their phones and P1 asked the others quite often to help her understand her incoming messages and what to respond. Job sharing so to say. This means that the guy thought he was chatting with P1 but actually P2 or P3 answered. Kind of interesting to see how little connection all three Ps developed towards their potential clients. But that is probably how it works. Just a job.
Scene 3. Negotiations
The 3 P would continue chatting with each other in real life while also keeping focus on their smartphones. P1 seemed to be the most busy that evening while having video chats once in a while. During one of those chats something like a negotiation took place. Her words were something like ‘we can do what we talked about on chat. The price you see there’. The customer seemed to suggest or ask something else that P1 did not quite understood. Therefore she had to ask P2 who briefly translated it so that the negotiations could continue. She said she would send it to the customer per message. The customer then again asked if P1 really is a girl and P1 replied that she already sent him a picture of her ID but she also carries her (obviously fake) ID so he can check it in person as well.
Scenes like that repeated themselves quite a few times within the duration of almost one hour.
Scene 4. Exit. Back to work.
After some more chatting and skyping (or probably video call via LINE) P1 engaged in a more intense chat (the typing got faster and the questions regarding some words towards P2 became more frequent). Around 10.15 she then received a message that apparently gave her the green light and instructions on where to meet. She showed it to P2 and P3, drank the rest of her water, smiled and then disappeared into the illuminated Bangkok night to bring happiness back to
the some people.
Just to make sure: I’m not criticizing his or her job. Not even that he/she was cheating when saying he/she was a 100% girl. Whatever. It’s just amazing to see how those things happen at McDonald’s in a public space and nobody could care less whilst taking somewhat seductive pictures is getting all the blame.
How about actually doing something against prostitution (and not just banning it and then closing all eyes and ears to not see it happening)? That’s obviously not easy since Thailand, some places more than others, relies on sex as a stream of revenue. But then please stop focusing and bullshitting around when it comes to minor topics such as underboob selfies.
As so often in Thailand though this shows perfectly how things are being handled more often than not. Focus on some minor, unimportant, issues while losing focus of the bigger picture.
[cover pic via college humor]