Without getting into it too much, you want to watch yourself around the ladyboys of Thailand…
They can be an unruly bunch. And greedy. The one time I was a victim of crime in Thailand was the result of a ladyboy pick-pocketing. It was particularly disappointing as I’d let off a so-called “Lucky Balloon” lantern thing on Patong beach just hours earlier…
It was a rookie mistake — staggering down Bangla Road drunk at 2 in the morning is kind of asking, nay begging, for trouble.
But still, even if you’re not a sex tourist – and I want to state for the record –
I AM NOT A SEX TOURIST*
– Soi Bangla is quite something to behold. It’s bawdy sure. Choc-a-bloc with go go bars. Sleaze oozes from its every crevice… and if that doesn’t at least make you curious to see it, then I don’t understand you.
To make a long story short; on that fateful night I got drunk, squared off with bar girls over a few rounds of Connect Four, Jenga and that hammer game I think is rigged, then lurched out the door on my merry way.
Then out of nowhere this katoey (Thai word for Ladyboy) accosts me and starts demanding I go with ‘her.’ “No thanks,” I replied, attempting to push past him/her/it and be on my way. “Why naaaaat? Why you naat go wit me? My place just over dere!”
“Because I like women, you know, real ladies?”
“I don’t think so.”
Again I tried to get away but shis hands were everywhere at once holding me back. It was like being frisked by Shiva, only I think she was closer to a real woman.
Just as I’d pulled off one hand, another grabbed me somewhere else and I had to pry that one off.
“Quit it! Get your freakin’ hands off me!”
Eventually this randy cosmetic science experiment appeared to give up and said “Oookaaaaayyyy….” receding into the darkness. “Good riddence,” I muttered to myself and stumbled off. I’d walked about eight paces before noticing my wallet had been lifted, along with the 2000 odd baht inside (’bout $70US), my drivers license and bank card.
I looked back but there was no chance I’d find shim, so I set about cancelling the cards and all that fun stuff. I’ve been around Phuket quite a bit since then and been the victim of crime not a once. Most of the long term ex-pats running guesthouses and small businesses here will tell you theft generally occurs by stealth, usually with the tourist doing something moronic like locking their door but leaving the window right next to it wide open …or stumbling around drunk in the red light district at two in the morning.
Tourists in Phuket have a bad rep for leaving their brains at the airport – don’t be one of them. You’re usually less likely to be a victim of crime here than in your own country according to some, but you’re far more likely to become a victim of your own stupidity.
By the way, if you’re wondering where the ‘tramp’ part fits into the title of this blog post;
1. I could be considered somewhat of a tramp, if I cleaned myself up a bit.
2. I like a good play of words as much as I like a bad play on words, eg a lot. Lady and the Tramp was a 1955 Disney cartoon which I thought was an 80’s cartoon until I looked it up on IMDB.
There’s this bit in it with a couple of Siamese cats that many people consider quite racist, so I played it to a Thai lady to test its offensive nature. She just laughed and said “Cat is funny,” so I guess it can’t be that bad.
You can see the clip by clicking on this blue text.
Ain’t hyperlinking awesome?
*I’m just here in Phuket working on my tan, and with my pasty complexion it takes a while.