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Faced with prostitution and "ladyboys"

It's weird!

30 °C

Alright, as most of you know, Thailand has a thriving industry of prostitution. I knew that coming in, and so far had only scarcely seen obvious cases (i.e. old fat discusting white guy with young Thai girl). I must make something clear: I haven't seen any child prostitution so far and I kinda hope I never see it. It's unfortunately also a very thriving industry (although illegal) here.
What I've seen is more like an escort service...but it's still discusting, old, repulsive men with more or less young girls...I was talking about it with a few people at the Sanctuary and, someone made a point that it was a job like any other, and that if there was a market for it, why not...Well, my opinion is, it may be ok if it's between consenting people, but as long as it doesn't involve organized networks that "enslave" women in the "trade" (which we don't know if there is or not, but I wouldn't exactly be surprised).

So anyway, being on the island of Ko Samui (the most touristic area of Thailand after Phuket) I'm surrounded by these "couples", and I must admit that I have a bit of a hard time with it. I'm staying in one of the cheapest resorts around (there are only 10 bungalows), but 3 to my left are occupied with old (and really gross) German men (at least in their 60ies) with Thai women. These women are a bit older (probably late 30ies), so there is a slight chance that these are legitimate relationships (they do exist!! -I have a friend who's mother is Thai and father English - and were together for a long time - anyway!), but...I doubt it. The other 2-3 bungalows to my right are occupied by Thai people, mostly girls - who definitely work around here, but I don't know what they do.

While walking around yesterday, I stopped at a bakery run by an english guy and we talked a bit. He told me that the bars (there a little strip on the road going to my, and others, resort) were run by ladyboys. Ladyboys are guys that dress up as women. It's actually quite accepted here. A lot more than in Canada. Some of them are really good (I went to a restaurant last week where all the waitresses where men - I didn't notice until one talked to me - man voice, girl body/outfit!hehehe).

Alright, whatever! There was a live concert at one of these bars and I felt the need for some socialising, so I decided to go. The band was made of Thai guys who sang Nirvana, Red Hot Chlli pepper, Bob Marley. Just when I started to wonder if we'd get Thai music (I'm curious to hear some), this white guy made a request to go on stage and he started talking in Thai and sang a song in THAI!!! hehehe He ended-up signing 5 songs, all in Thai!!! It was so funny to have Thais sing in english (the words were not alwways right, sometimes...often it was more a sound that kinda sounded like the word! hehehe, so funny! It reminded me of people in Qc who don't speak english and sing along english songs. They don't always know or understand the words, but fill in with sounds that kinda sound right! HAHAHA! I'm guilty of it too when I was a kid! hehehe) It's funny that it took a white guy to sing Thai pop music! The girls at the bar, all Thais, loved it!

Anyway, this brings me back to the fact that this place was a clear pick up place for "a girl" (I don't know if they were actual girls or ladyboys, but they looked convincing to me). I was the only white women (almost, aside for 2 other tourists who stayed 1 song), amongst Thai girls and white guys...

I just read in a newspaper (Samui is sooo touristy that their newspaper is in both languages) and there was a news that they had arrested a gang of ladyboys...I wonder if they are the equivalent of our pimps/biker gangs in Canada...

Well, on this "not so cheery" note, I leave you for now. I'm going back to Ko Pagan tomorrow until approx April 7-8 then leaving the south to Bangkok, then Laos and Cambodia. I'll post pics while in Ko Paghan.

Posted by Mistrale 00:25 Archived in Thailand

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