Bangkok, Where Everyone is your Friend

Except for the 250lb ladyboy with enough makeup to provide ample coverage for at least 30 Thai girls.
Everyone on the street approaches you with the same ‘oh hello my friend’, ‘where you from my friend?’ or ‘where you go my friend?’ Such genuine interest in your endeavors – yeah right…
It is unfortunate that the majority of people see you as just a quick way to make a buck. The innate kindness of the Thai people has been misguided by rampant tourisim and rising poverty. Really though it isn’t that hard to understand when you take into account the average American’s income is more than 7 times that of the average Thai ($30,000 vs $4,000.)
Going back to the ladyboy, I was walking down the street when I was approached by an old lady with bags of corn in hand. She put one bag in my and pointed to the pigeons at her feet. ‘Free corn’ ‘throw for birds’ she says, ‘give you good luck’ ‘throw 3 bags’ she says. I know this game, as soon as I throw the corn she’ll be all over me for an outrageous fee. I try to hand the bag back to her, but as the bag leaves my right hand she empties another into my left.  What am I to do but throw the corn to the teeming mass of carrions at my feet?  Quicker than I can react she empties another two bags into my vacant hands. As soon as the last kernel hits the ground I’m ambushed by her cronnies, one of them being the aforementioned massive lady boy. The lady demands 50 baht, but the fat one immediately ups it to 150, they must take me as an easy target. As fucked is their game I won’t leave them completely empty handed, I guess that’s just how nice of a guy I am. I shove 3 baht into her hand and walk away while enduring a barrage of what I assume were Thai insults. Fuck her.
In Bangkok everyone who approaches you with seemingly genuine interest is just trying to grift you. The tuk-tuk driver says he’ll take you anywhere for 30 baht, but what he doesn’t say is that along the way he’ll take you to his cousin’s suit shop. And his sister’s jewlery shop after that and then a ‘gem outlet’ after that. The game is laughable, but it must be working as I see tuk-tuks full of farangs everywhere I go. Poor naive bastards.

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