Sup kids, it’s that time of the week for frowing……..back, that is. Cuz it’s Friday. This oldie but moldy hails from—I think it was February of last year. First published on BKKNites.com, it set the stage for the rest of the Top 10 lists. It covers my favorite topic: the RLD. Let’s get to it…
“For the foreseeable future, I will try to submit a regular installment of Seven’s 10 Top 10, which are 10 lists of top 10 do’s and don’ts covering various aspects of life in Thailand. Some of it you may find obvious. Certainly, the less time you’ve been in-country the more helpful these lists will be. So without further ado, here’s list one: Rules for Red-lights.
If you’re an expat or have been to a RLD more than a few times, you’ll already know everything on this list. But if you’re a novice, or if you have friends coming for the first time and are trying to brainstorm what to tell them, this list might be useful:
- Never leave before the rotation. If you walk into a gogo and none of the girls onstage look appealing, don’t turn around and walk out. In a few minutes, that crop of ladies will exit and be replaced with a completely new set. In fact there’s usually an A team comprised of the best of their bunch, and a B team which isn’t as alluring. If you walk in while the B team is on, you won’t be seeing the top girls. I can’t count how many times a group of yahoos has peeked in, glanced at the dancers nearest the door, and run off without looking back. Stupid. Be patient, wait for the rotation.
- Never be mean or rude. This should go without saying, but some people aren’t savvy enough to do this from the get-go. In the West, frowning and complaining often earn you extra stuff as the proprietor bends over backwards to please you, the customer. But such behavior has the opposite effect in Thailand. Frowning is frowned upon, and moaning is even worse. If you’re unhappy, smile and pay your bill, then leave and never come back. Or, you can turn that frown upside down, be thankful you’re in paradise, and allow yourself to have a good time. Thais respond much more favorably to someone who is amiable.
- Respect the girls. You have every right to think of the girls as pieces of meat if you so choose, but they don’t see themselves that way, so don’t treat them that way. They’re not slaves, or a commodity you’re purchasing. They’re human beings, just like you. In fact, they’re probably better humans than you. And they don’t have to talk to you or sleep with you if they don’t want to. Your chances, while already really good, will improve if you’re respectful and kind. I’ve seen dozens of dimwitted tourists screw up what should’ve been a sure thing simply by being unkind.
- Don’t climb on stage. We get it, you’re on holiday—probably the best one you’ve ever had—and you just want to cut loose. It’s your one chance to do it—to get up on stage and dance like a jackass while surrounded by beautiful young scantily-clad women. But we regulars have already seen this stunt 3 times this week, so it’s not new or unique. And full disclosure, you’re ugly and you’re ruining everyone else’s night by being an eyesore. And even though the girls are cheering you on, deep down they hate you because you’re insulting them. I mean, do Thai girls go to your place of employment, grab the mop out of your hands and start cleaning the restroom floors while you stand there watching? No. So don’t do it to them. FYI this goes for males and females. If I wanted to see a fat, drunk farang woman bouncing her belly around the stage, I wouldn’t have moved half way around the world. So to sum up: you’re disgusting, and no one wants to see you swinging on a pole. Leave that to the hotties everyone came there to see.
- Tip the servers and the girls. OK, so you’re a cheap a**hole. If you’re not American, you may think that by right of birth you shouldn’t have to tip. And in most cases, you’d be right. But in a gogo, if you don’t tip, you’re painting an invisible sign on your back that says “I’m a huge d***head.” Wouldn’t you rather have an invisible sign that says “This guy is awesome”? People who tip get better service across the board. This is a no-brainer. So if you find yourself sitting alone at bar after bar with no attention from staff or girls, it could be because you’re guilty of one or more of numbers 2 through 5.
- Start early, finish early. Most gogos open around 8:00. For the first hour or two, they’re nearly empty. Girls are fresh, energized, and worried about making drink quotas, so they’re more attentive. There’s also a better chance that the girl you like—especially if she’s on the prettier side—hasn’t already been barfined and banged. Now some expats disagree with me here. My friend Kee Mao Moo prefers to head out at midnight because that’s when the freelancers are about, and most every girl in the RLD is three sheets to the wind. He sees them as easier catches in that state, and he has a point. They also tend to make bad decisions later in the evening, which could be good or bad for you. But if you’re like me and you’d rather chat someone up who’s more lucid and unspoiled, earlier is better. Though having said that, I have witnessed some crazy happenings in the later hours that proved very entertaining.
- Don’t try to impress anybody. Nobody cares who you are, least of all the girls. No one cares if you’re really handsome or rich (be honest, you’re probably only rich on your holiday and when the week is over you’re going back to work at ASDA) or well-hung. In fact, the girls prefer an old, out-of-shape dweeb with a small pecker, because it won’t hurt their naughty parts and he’ll be done in under 5 minutes for the same price as a long, painful pounding from a handsome narcissist. In short, if you try to look cool or make any effort to impress anybody through any means, you’ll just come off as a douchebag.
- Don’t get friendly. With other foreigners, I mean. On behalf of all regulars, lemme break the news to you: we don’t care what you have to say, we’re not interested in knowing you, we don’t need a wingman, your origin story is only cool in your imagination, and everything that comes out of your mouth is ridiculous. The magical tropical Eat-Pray-Love experience you’re having is something most of us had a decade ago, so you’re not discovering anything new. You are the Magellan of retards.
- Don’t get possessive. If you’ve found a girl you like, and you’ve bought her a drink, and she finishes that drink, and you don’t spring for another one, she’s going to move on to another customer. That’s how it works, it’s a business. If you barfined a girl the previous night and then go back to her bar the next day, she’ll likely be happy to see you, but she’s not going to ignore everyone else just because you came to grace her with your presence. In fact, be prepared to watch her leave with a different customer. It ain’t love, so you’ll do well to not get your emotions involved with anyone you meet in the gogo.
- Don’t stay in one place too long. Unless you’re there with friends, or to meet friends, or you know the owner, or you’ve stupidly fallen in love, it’s not prudent to spend the whole night in one gogo. Get off your fat keester and see what else there is to see. You might find a bar or a girl you like better. And every establishment has at least one girl you will like. Guaranteed. If you stick around one place too long, you run the risk of wearing out your welcome. Those girls will be back there tomorrow, so it’s not like you’ll never see them again. Except the rare occasion when you meet them the night before they schlep back to Udon to take care of their mom (looking at you, Aom from Glamour!). At any rate, variety is the spice of life, so the saying goes, so don’t put all your chicks in one basket—or in this case, gogo bar. Get out there and explore. There’s always something new and beautiful around the next corner.”
….Hmmm, seems I’ve failed to paste the conclusion, if there was one, from the original post. Well here’s what I have to add after more than a year:
Revisiting number 6, I’ve been staying out later lately, and I gotta say, the red-light is more fun later at night. The reasons for this are, 1—I’m no longer focused on finding a barfine, and 2—given that everyone in Patpong knows me, they’re friendlier after having had a few drinks. Sober girls are careful not to overstep bounds in the event a coworker has a claim on me, but late in the evening, in dark corners, drunk girls with tunnel vision are less……inhibited.
A word about number 9: I was surprised at what I wrote all those many months ago. It’s true, chances are pretty good your girl won’t get attached to you, but the fact is, you never know. If you go back to her gogo the next day, and she might well leap into your arms from the stage. I’ve seen it, so I can’t discount it. I suppose it depends on how “good” you were to her the night before, wink wink.
And as for 10—not staying in one gogo for too long—I confess I used to spend the whole night in a single gogo, back in the day. But that was when The Strip ruled all gogos, and I could have pizza delivered, half a dozen girls hanging on me, and a handful of free drinks from the manager. No reason to go elsewhere in that case. But sadly, The Strip is gone now, and so far no gogo has stepped up its game to take the crown. And the glorious girls of The Strip have now spread out over Bada Bing, Black Pagoda, Pink Panther, and Superstar. So bar-hopping is the only option.
And that wraps it up for this week’s frowback. Swing by on Sunday for the weekly. It’s a look into the Pong’s new venue: Candle Light Studio. That’s right, the red-light has an art gallery. See you Sunday, bros.