Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sex Sells -- Just Don't Try Selling It Here!

In most countries some don'ts are a given. Don't kill. Don't steal. Don't bear false witness or bad mouth the government, the king, or the queen. And whatever you do, don't sell yourself to the highest bidder in commercial spaces!

In most of the major tourist traps of Thailand, though, it seems anything goes -- especially love for sale! In Chang Bar, a straight watering hole in Krabi's Centre Point entertainment complex, however, the limits of sexual liberation were firmly set: "No Prostitute in the bar"! I don't know where the proprietors stood on government hookery (and incidentally, Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" was playing when I walked in, at 10.45pm on a Saturday night), but they weren't going to stand for their patrons indulging in any foul play for pay.

Looking and laughing at the printed "No Prostitute" policy, I was reminded of the spa on Silom Road in Bangkok where the owners felt the need to list sex among the the things that one couldn't do on the premises (eat, drink alcohol, smoke, talk loudly on your mobile phone). Only in a country where it was a given that you could have your sex and sell it, too, just about anywhere, would you actually get signs like these.

As I stood by the bar at 10.49, chugging a Chang beer and wondering if I would make it to 11, Roan, a cute 27-year-old tourist guide and self-confessed (much later on) "stage 5 cuddler" from Adelaide, Australia, who was at Chang with his tour group of 35 fellow twentysomethings, approached me with a smile and a firm handshake. Two teaspoonfuls of sugar and coffee beans followed by two shots (his treat) later, the guy who was paid by the bar to photograph revelers was begging Roan and me to kiss for the camera.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Krabi, do as you're told. Who needs prostitutes when you've got that to keep you up past midnight?
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