They do what with their what???? WTF???

Trip Start Oct 31, 2012
Trip End Dec 12, 2012

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Saturday, December 8, 2012

The top priority for today is return to the tailors I used the last time I was here and have a few pieces of clothing made. When I arrived, I see one of the owners seated outside the shop sleeping, I don't disturb him, look at the bolts of cloth, but don’t see anything to my liking, so leave.  All the while the guy never knew I was there.  Disappointed, I move on to the second item of my list, which is to set up a few day trips outside of Bangkok.  So I use the rest of the morning working out the logistics of these trips – okay, the afternoon, as I slept in, and didn’t get up until late, but I don’t have a schedule. 

When you walk the streets of Bangkok, especially in the tourist areas, it seems like just about every other business establishment is a massage parlor, with the other half being girlie bars.  As a male – regardless of whether you are by yourself, with a female companion or, worse yet, with a group of guys – you can barely take a step down the street without everyone coming up to you offering you whatever your heart, or groin, desires: women, men, girls, boys, and the pimps are very aggressive.  I have seen them approach guys who are in the company of wives or girlfriends, yet the pimps still offer them up their desires, which seem to confuse the men, as many would probably make a different choice if these women weren’t with them.  On my last visit, I saw a group of young guys involved in a bidding war between two pimps as to who could offer them the cheapest price for a bunch of girls.  Porn used to be sold up and down Silom Street, one of the main streets in one of the more popular tourist areas, with locals being the main purchasers, but they are no longer present, which surprises me, as they were always busy with people buying.  What seems to have replaced the porn is tables of men’s "designer label" underwear, with locals and foreigners going through the stacks set out on tables, looking for their preferred sizes and colors, the sales are brisk.  (I notice over the next few days that bras are a popular item with locals and foreigners as well, but at the bus terminals, where tables and tables of them are laid out, and women are buying like crazy.)  The usual souvenir tee-shirts and crafts come in a very distant second in sales in both places.    

The makeshift food stalls are still here, where people set up their own little restaurants on the street with plastic chairs and tables, while they prepare meals right there in makeshift "kitchens."  This makes the already hot, steamy Bangkok even worse, as the fires from these establishments and the exhaust from the traffic in such close quarters make the already hot days and nights sometimes unbearable. 

The one thing that I did notice is the increase in number of Pat Pong bars.  They’re given the name Pat Pong because they are located on Pat Pong Street, which intersects with Silom.  These bars don’t just offer up girls, all of who look about 12 –14 years of age, and hang out in the front of the bars in skimpy clothing to entice customers, but to showcase these girls with unusual talents. 

To be rather explicit, a Pat Pong show used to consist of a girl onstage who would insert one or several ping pong balls into her vagina, then shoot them across the room using only the muscles of her groin area.  The first time I was in Bangkok, the shows wouldn’t start until about 2 am, and mainly attracted tourists in their 20s, who would stop by after attending bars and nightclubs. People would rave about them, and encourage others to see them for the spectacle, which I found not to be something I wanted to see.  (Whereas several years ago, they didn't seem to open up until around 2 am, to catch people after the bars and nightclubs close, they now start their shows in the evening.)  Since you’ve got to reinvent yourself to get returning visitors and attract new ones, the girls developed a twist to this talent: inserting darts into their vaginas, stand before a dart board, then shoot them.  Now, when you walk down the street, you are constantly approached by promoters of such clubs showing you a list of what is on the program, which now consists of 20 different acts!.    

The ping pong balls and darts are still performed, and are the first two acts on everyone’s list, kind of like getting the audience warmed up, then they move onto other things, like chopsticks, live fish, fire, knives and about ten other things that I either can’t remember or want to block out of my memory.  The second to last act always involves two girls having sex with one another on stage, and the last act involves a man and a woman getting it on for the audience.  (I understand these male/female sex shows are very popular in the Philippines, where they convert the cock fight arenas into venues for such performances, and are said to be quite popular.)

All pat pong clubs offer up the same program, and they will let you attend for five minutes for free to determine if you want to stay for the whole performance.  Even when I told them I wasn’t interested, they’d still follow me down the street, giving me the hard sell, and I had so many programs thrown in my face, that it was diffiuclt to see the street. 

If it’s not sad enough about the exploitation of the girls, then the fact that there is a very popular night market for tourists that runs in front of these bars is also disturbing, especially since most of the people attending the night market when I passed by were there with their young children.  (If you weren’t aware of such shows, you’d soon find out once you made your way a bit into the marketplace.)  The promoters had no problems approaching the men who were at the marketplace with their families, offering up a table, and even showing them pictures of the girls who would be performing while the children were present.  Competition amongst these clubs for customers is fierce!   

Just as sad is the role of the government in all this.  While they claim they are against sexual abuse and adults having sex with minors, they turn a blind eye to what is really happening, and so openly!  I guess they figure that if money is to be made (via club ownership or bribes), and it doesn’t involve their own children, then who cares.  Plus there is always a supply of new girls just waiting to take over when the other girls don’t cooperate or get too old to continue in the business.   

As long as you are in the tourist areas of Bangkok, there is no way to avoid any of this.  And if you don’t believe me that these clubs exist, just do a search on YouTube, where I understand there are videos posted of such performances.  This is the one side of Bangkok that is very disturbing, but brings in lots of money from foreign tourists.

I try to stay away from these areas, but to get to restaurants, the metro system, the ATMs, and other useful and needed things, you can’t help but go past them, or at least be able to avoid the pimps and club promoters of such clubs and activities, as they can sniff out a tourist so easily.  . 
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