There is a grotesque paradigm I am beginning to see all over Thailand; amongst the Buddhist temples, cafés, tuk tuks, street food stalls, western food joints, and drunk tourists that are everyday imagery — throngs of old farts with a gluttonous hunger for young Thai girls are bubbling up everywhere from some putrid cesspool.
It was in a back alley of Chiang Mai that I observed a stark example of this.
I had just gotten my first hair cut in a year at a Thai salon; a small place tucked under a Jenga-like stack of apartments that threatened to topple at any moment. But there were Thai people in this crevice cuttery, and one thing I’ve learner is to trust where the Thais go (for the most part).
The trim up to my ever growing mop top was accompanied by a thirty minute head scrub and massage, something I would have totally paid the 150 baht cost for alone. With a “Kap Kun Krap!” I was back out into the world feeling freshersized.
But soon I’d feel dirty.
I spotted a heard of seals now flapping about in a nearby café. On my way to get the haircut I had passed by this café; it was quiet with a nice glass table on the porch, wooden chairs with floral tooshie pillows, and “Nous parlons français” under the “Welcome” sign. Empty and inviting.
Now, this café was a rock that flubbery animals of people had staked there claim.
Rotund older white male (70?), grey hair, hotdog fingers, greasy red cheeks, stained shirt struggling to contain his belly button’s peekaboo, flopped back in chair like lazy seal — Young Thai girl (18-22?), floral dress (non revealing) sits perched on his knee and smiles as the other fat seals, “ARF” back and forth, about things that would make a pervert blush, their gullets jiggling all the way.
The shop owners and employees stand in the background politely with a smile and nod and laugh when the seals laugh. The greasy seal with the young Thai girl on his knee caresses her leg and looks at her like she is a baby back rib buffet. Finger lickin’ good.
“Are you comfy on daddy’s lap?” He managed to grumble out of his pie-hole at the Thai girl, sounding winded by the energy it took to spout the sentence that piece of shit probably waited 40 perverted years to say.
An eruption of gullet-jiggling laughter by all of the seals followed.
By then I had passed by, given one look back in disbelief, and walked back to my hostel to rinse the filth off with a cold shower.
“All because our currency is superior than theirs” a Scotsman from the hostel I was staying at stated in dismay.
We had just passed by a lamppost in the Chiang Mai night market with a sticker that read, “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” which reminded me of that mornings events.
Real men don’t buy girls. Filthy animals do. And buying may not even involve money; status, power, and country of origin are seen used by these aging disgraces for human beings to pull in young Thais.
Except this is nothing new. A few people on my Facebook post that summarized this observation stated, “Nothing new. I remember it in the 80’s – the girl is probably younger than you think.”
Maybe my observation was me being naive and hopeful that she was not younger than that. But it isn’t anything new — this pedophiliac tourism where men come to southeast Asian countries and poach underage girls from family run establishments like bars or cafés; the families don’t do anything to disrupt business so they allow this groping to happen.
Why? Because they can get away with it. Because some people deep down are despicable human beings that, when given the opportunity to do something vile they never would at home, take it.