Anatomy of a Foreign Suicide

The word “Farang” I recently learned by accident, came to Thailand via India, where it was a corruption of the Turkish word “Ferengi,” for “Frank” their catch-all term for Western Europeans.

I have no idea why Star Tek used the term.

Their budget for Prada would bankrupt you in an instant. Japanese hostesses would never get out of their racket of keeping a number of simultaneous patrons for anyone short of ridiculously rich.

How fortunate we are that we have less temptations in life.

Man, I HATE it when that happens.

Whereas when I was in Batu Ferringhi in Malaysia, my guidebook told me that “Ferringhi” was Malay for “Portuguese”, and was the root of the word “Farang”.

I see the same thing with some of the people I travel through Dubai with on a regular basis. Dubai can pass for a typical western city at first glance for the uninitiated, but the guys I travel with have been doing this for at least as long as I do.
One of the guys got fined and thrown into jail for acting the ass in public. The little indian guy in his jail cell with him had regular visits by the police who beat him with sticks. They wouldn’t let my friend go until he had paid the fine, and because his credit cards were maxed out, he didn’t have the money with him. He was waiting for the cops to start in on him. But, he got on the phone back to the hotel and managed to find enough people to lend him money to cover the fine. Needless to say he now drinks in moderation.
I’ve never figured out why people can’t wait until they get home to feed their alcoholism rather than indulging it while in transit through a foreign country. It makes no sense.

Btw, I glanced briefly at the Thitma site. How is this any different than any other guy spending money recklessly on some bimbo back home? At least she was hot. I’m wondering with all the pictures if he is upset or, in a way, just bragging?

One of the things I loved about Hong Kong/Macau is that you and the girl got in the shower together before any activities started and had a good scrub down (which was half the fun, incidentally!). No chance of drugged nipples there!

Having spent at least an hour this morning reading that whole damn thing, I think I can safely say that nobody in their right mind would brag about being financially and romantically cheated time after time after time and taking the girl back every single time. It’s amazingly pathetic, and you kind of get the impression that he’d take her back again if he could. I wouldn’t be surprised if the only reason that relationship ended for good was that, no matter how unscrupulous the girl was, she started feeling so humiliated for him that she couldn’t stand it anymore.

So, suppose Igo to Bangkok, can I meet up with a comely bar girl, take her out for a few dates, travel to the beach, have some fun? Without of course, getting romantically involved and killing myself?

In Thai, “French” is farangset, and in school many Thais are taught – or at least used to be – that that is the origin of *farang * for any white Westerner, because the first white people here were the French. Unfortunately, the Portuguese predated the French in Siam by at least 100 years. The Dutch came along before the French, too, maybe.

The story I find the most plausible is related in the excellent The Penguin History of the World, by JM Roberts. The explanation dates all the way back to Charlemagne. He was proclaimed emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on Christmas Day, AD 800, and thus of all Christians. Well, not quite, said the Greek Orthodox followers. They were highly amused that some Frank could be so uppity. Before long, the Greeks were calling any Western European a Frank. The word Frank then made it to China overland via the Silk Road, where it became corrupted to *folangki * and used for any European. Then the Portuguese showed up off the coast of Canton, China, in 1517, scaring the bejesus out of the Chinese by firing a cannon in what was intended to be a salute. So the *folangki * tag then stuck to them. China was already active all around this area, and *folangki * turned into several words in the region, including *ferringhi * in Malaya and *farang * in Siam.

Yes. It does happen.

I think he’s upset. Fits the profile. But you’re right, she IS hot! Just looking at the photos makes ME want to send her some cash.

How about making the conscious decision not to pay for sex? Is that too wild a concept?

Well, there IS always that.

But then, sometimes that actually costs the guy more. One friend went out on a friendly date with a lady pharmacist. She was determined to get a farang boyfriend and tried to go home with him at the end of the date. Really aggressive. He could see this was going to be nothing but trouble and so refused to let her into his apartment. Other girls will take you on shopping sprees. The free girls are often not very free, and as such a lot of the guys here subscribe to the Charlie Sheen school of prostitution: They don’t pay the girls for sex, they pay them to leave in the morning.
EDIT: Just thought I’d mention I DO know lots of guys in regular relationships with perfectly normal Thai girls.

Thais are - in my experience - also extraordinarily friendly, generous and NICE people. Therefore, you can’t imagine this person who has been so NICE to you in this friendly generous culture is going to take you.

The only thing I can come up with is that he likes being treated like a dishrag.

You’re going to pay one way or the other. You can go to Baskin Robbins and pay for the same cone time after time, or you can sample all the flavours in many different combinations for the same amount of time and money.

Too many people equate sex with love or a relationship. A working girl is paid to make you feel good. Frankly, you wouldn’t pay her otherwise. To think that love has developed just because you’ve thrown her a ‘bone’ is ludicrous. But many people approach their long term relationships the same way.

Amen! But, just enough to ensure she’ll leave in the morning, right? :wink:

It seems to be the perception in the U.K. that Thailand is as safe as Spain because so many Brits are out there now.

You are now getting lots of people who’d normally book a safe package holiday in traditional tourist countries thinking it much the same just as now backpacking has taken off numbers wise many very naive people think of it as a cheap but safe alternative to the more usual holidays.
With the depressing result that there seems to be a steady number of Farang rapes and murders yearly.
I’m pretty certain that a fair amount of the rapes are not reported to the police out of shame or the victims minimal efforts to watch out for themselves.

My brother has lived in Pattaya for many years and advised me of some of the "assisted"suicides helped by other British businessmen plus a very good earthing in the potential threats out there.
Much of the seriously useful information that he gave me I have never ever seen in any Roughguide or Lonely Planet.

It is a measure of the complacency of many Brits that when I attempted to offer some advice to a bloke who was going there shortly ,he cut me off as it wouldn’t be needed.
This from a bloke who was under the impression that the Falkland islands were somewher near Scotland.

I have travelled throughout Thailand on my own often on country buses and have only had one potential negative experience when in the early hours in a very quiet part of Pattaya a passing moped offered to act as an impromptu taxi for me.

After a little while the guy decided that he was going to take the moped and me off of the road and down a dark alley that wasn’t actually on my route presumably to combine my ride with a little bit of sightseeing as an added bonus but sitting behind him as I was Igently tightend my grip around his throat and told him that I knew the way and he then on behaved himself until my destination,but I’m ashamed to say that he managed to short change me only by a few Baht as he did a race pullaway.

Fascinating stuff.

Sam , I’m curious about something. A while back I caught a Henry Rollins spoken-word performance about his trip to Thailand. He related a story about how he left his hotel to catch a cab. He wanted to go to the zoo, but the drivers only wanted to take him to a “love house”–apparently some sort of brothel for which they actually had catalogs with pictures of the girls. How much of that is true and how much is embellishment? Are the cabbies really that aggressive? I mean, here in Vegas, if you want to go to a strip joint, drivers will try to steer you to one of two in particular, but if you don’t, they won’t press the issue.

Just wondering.

So how DO they get past all the touts and bargirls and find a ‘normal Thai girl’? I presume the usual: go there, work, meet locals and other foreigners, build social networks, maybe meet someone later on? Does regular Thai social life take place in bars, the way it does at local pubs in England? (Note: this is NOT necessarily true of Canada.)

Too bad, I had a good line for this but it would be too insulting to Thais.

In my experience (And I´ve taken hundreds of taxis in the past year and a half) that is extremely rare; in fact I can only recall one instance of a semi pushy driver offering me anything, from a ride to a brothel to a condo in Pattaya, I found it quite amusing. However the guy took me straight to where I wanted to go.
You are more prone to run into that kind of situation while taking a Tuk Tuk in central and/or tourist areas; in a case like that was the only time I had to refuse to go with a driver, the guy insisted on taking me to a tailor.
In any case I don´t recommend taking Tuk Tuks altogether, it´s usually more expensive than a taxi, you end up in the heat choking on the exhaust of the cars around you and if you are more than 1.75 in height your head will be stuck up the roof so you´ll only see the ground on the sides. Just do it once for the experience and in case you can´t find a taxi at all.

Having said that, the more you look like a tourist the more probable it is to be taken for a ride around town, the first time I took a taxi to go to work it cost me over 400 baht (a little over 11 dollars) for an hour long ride, after I learned how to say the adress I wanted to go, instead of handing out a paper with it written on, the average cost was 100 baht and half the time. Now if some driver seems to be the kind that would do pull that kind of stunt I make sure to let him know that I´m not a clueless tourist… and at least half that statement is true!. :smiley:

I work with lots of very nice, decent Thai girls, I also meet plenty of my GF friends, so I can tell you that it´s not a rare breed; the problem, I think, is with foreigners that come over here basically looking for whores… and that´s what they get, and later complain about their morals. Well, duh!. If you go looking for a girl in the shoddiest parts of any country chances are that you´ll find plenty of bad girls.
Just hanging around is enough to meet women, I´m not movie star stuff but I get hit all the time, by girls and guys. :dubious: Just last week for example i went to buy some electronics equipment and the guy at the shop wrote (in Thai) something on the package I bought that, while I couldn´t translate entirely, it was enough to bring a little blush to this straight bloke face. :smiley: And then, last time I went out to dinner with some people, a girl at the table was throwing me lines constantly, and that with my GF right by my side.
Yep, Thai girls are verrrrry friendly.

Yes, and Thailand has received a lot of bad publicity in the British press lately, because of some high-profile murders. Canada, too. But Thailand does remain safe overall. The rapes and murders are small proportionate to the numbers of visitors. In fact, the percentage may actually be down and reporting up, so it only seems as if Thailand may be more dangerous. In the old days, there was much less reporting.

Ain’t that the truth. Still, Thailand as a whole really is quite safe. As I said before, it’s this feeling of relative safety that persuades people inadvertently to let down their guard. Then the sharks get in, and Pattaya has more than its fair share of sharks.

I bet they loved him in Pattaya. I shall look forward to his blog about how he was cheated. A lot of guys seem to check their brains in at the airport upon arrival, but it sounds as if your friend had none to check. :smiley:

The Pattaya baht buses are notorious for stuff like this. I hate Pattaya and never ever go there. I’ve been there only twice, the second time being 14 years ago.

Completely true. There ARE legitimate massage places, but then there are plenty of massage places that are really brothels. And many if not most do have a catalogued collection of the girls’ photos. The standard procedure is for the “fishbowl”, where they all sit there staring at television while waiting to be selected (if you’re unlucky enough to have interrupted some girl’s favorite mindless soap opera, you’re experience might be not quite as pleasant as you’d hoped for), but you can look through the catalogue, too, and book someone for later who may not be there at the time.

Not all taxi drivers are that aggressive, but some are, especially if you are a single farang male and obviously a tourist. They receive a commission from whatever establishment they take you to, and that commission is passed on to you the customer by the establishment despite what the driver or establishment may say to the contrary. (So those who indulge and take taxis will often tell the taxi to take them to a hotel or other place of business nearby.) But not all taxi drivers are that aggressive, and a firm “No, thank you” almost always does the trick. (But if your “No” is not that firm, and they smell money, they may persist.)