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Bangkok – Happiness personified but are we allowed to enjoy ourselves like this?

by Kim

Now this may be a slightly strange title and article to find in such a blog but yesterday evening I was heartened to see so many people looking so happy. Now Thais always tend to look happy and their faces quickly open into the warmest and most convivial of smiles but in Western cultures showing your euphoria publicly may sometimes be frowned upon.

Thailand and especially Bangkok is often portrayed in the media as a totally promiscuous city with go-go bars and dubious massage parlours dominating the scene. Let me assure you that it is not so! Yes, there are 3 ‘entertainment’ areas that are similar to the Red Light districts in many cities but the emphasis is on entertainment, fun and yes, promiscuousness!

There are men who come to Thailand only for beer and sex. These are the rather obnoxious sex-pats who dominate the seedy bars often from early morning onwards. There are also many men who come to Thailand looking for a soulmate either for a few days or increasingly for life long relationships. Again, in Western cultures, if one is unfortunate to lose one’s partner through bereavement or divorce, there are fewer opportunities to find either company or possible long term relationships. Many men come to Thailand having heard that the attitude of Thai women is very different from their cultures, they are warm, happy and open to potential relationships.

Let me also try to decipher the type of lady that I am talking about. Bangkok attracts women from all around the country as the earning potential in all jobs is higher than in the rural provincial areas. Even University graduates have to work extremely hard to earn a very low salary. They are expected to look smart in their place of employment and most spend hours each day commuting to and from their homes. In come foreigners who find Thailand generally much cheaper and are interested in meeting Thai ladies. There are a variety of good Dating sites for Thailand and the highest rated is Thai Friendly. So prior to arrival in Thailand contact has been made, friendship established and both parties eagerly looking forward to meeting the other.

However, in my intention to lay the foundations for this article, I digress!

I love to observe people and I also love to see people having fun. Last night from my vantage point in a particular popular bar with live music I watched several gentlemen of ‘high mileage’ having the time of their lives, dancing and singing as if reliving their youth. And why not! Each was accompanied by a lady who were equally enjoying themselves and the looks and warmth were genuine. So who are these guys and girls?

As mentioned, many men come to Thailand, tired by the confining structures of their cultures. In Thailand no-one frowns on a younger lady with an older guy. Most of these guys have probably not danced in years (it certainly looked like it!) but the combination of a lively bar, alcohol flowing, a great band and attentive company, they showed that there is life in the old dogs yet! And who are the ladies? Many Feminists may label them as Prostitutes. This they are most certainly not! Hardworking girls from offices, banks, shops etc who speak English and want to meet people outside their culture. Let’s be honest, some money will change hands but not for the actual act, rather as support in a way of saying thanks for some wonderfully, happy times or days. Don’t forget that these ladies will send back at least half of their salaries to their families to support parents and younger siblings.

I don’t want to stir a bag of worms here and I appreciate that I am probably on thin ice. I agree this is no way for a happily married man to act, however a single, divorced or bereaved guy can enjoy some happiness, why not!

Just trying to correct a bit of a myth here. Age does not matter and let’s face it we know all the words to many of the songs being played as we grew up with them and have heard the lyrics so many times.

Where was I last night? At Hilary 2 located on Sukhumvit Soi 4. It’s a great bar, good and efficient service, excellent and friendly security and with superb bands. Last night it was the Elizabeth Band who were beating out modern hits and many of our favourites (we know all the words right!). Their singers are powerful and be sure to watch out for the lead guitarist who personifies indifference whilst playing each tune flawlessly with not one note of music in front of him.

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