After months of back and forth I finally managed to convince my mate Budget Bobby to share some of his wisdom on saving cash whilst out whoring and touring with the readers of Stickboy Bangkok.
To kick off his new fortnightly column, Budget Bobby shares a few golden rules for naughty boys out partying and looking to pull in chrome pole palaces without breaking the bank.
We’ve all met him: Cheap Charlie. He’s the one having a sandwich and a Chang from 7-Eleven while sitting outside the Soi 7 Beergarten or on Pattaya’s Beach Road trying to reel in birds for a 500-baht short-time. That’s not me.
But I’m also not that guy wearing the tie in a go-go bar, tossing 1,000 baht in ping-pong balls from the second floor, buying 250-baht tequila shots, paying 3,000 baht barfines and 5,000-baht long times.
Perhaps it’s simply because I’ve been here too long. Or perhaps because Goldman and Sachs derailed my gravy train a few years ago. But these days, I find Thailand’s naughty nightlife scene unjustifiably expensive. I’m not cheap: I simply demand value for my money.
So you can call me Budget Bobby if you like. I know what I am willing to pay and have strong beliefs about what things should cost. And I’ve found ways to stick to that plan and places where I can do so. They’re not for everyone, but if you’re willing to make a few compromises, I know how you can drink and carouse like you did in 2005.
But no matter where you go, there are a few rules to follow.
If Draft Beer Is An Option, Take It
Draft is a rarity in Bangkok, but in Pattaya, this rule is a given. Any bar that doesn’t offer draft beer goes out of business quickly. There’s a reason for that: Bottled beer is expensive. Draft is not. Sure, you may be drinking Chang, but you also can drink twice as many as your Heineken-swilling mates.
No Tequila Shots
The tequila shot has ruined the lady-drink system. LDs are what you buy to have a dancing dolly come sit and spend time with you. Tequila shots were created by bar bosses to maximize revenue at the expense of atmosphere. It resulted in the birth of hit-and-run drink whore. One shot and they’re gone or, worse, one slammer and they demand another before you’ve downed a third of the your Chang draft.
It may be hard to believe, you’ll find surprisingly little resistance to a No Tequila policy. When the subject of a lady drink comes up, simply ask what she wants. When she says tequila, say no, Their next suggestion will be orange juice or Coke. Suggest Sangsom Coke if you want them a bit liquored up.
The No Tequila rule is an effective way to quickly weed out the bloodsuckers. If she argues, she’s not worth your time or baht.
Watch The Clock
Speaking of lady drinks, the biggest rookie mistake is to buy one and, after the girl takes one sip, she gives you the “I go dance”. In Bangkok, girls work in sets. In Pattaya, she’ll return to the stage after the girl in line in front of her did. Pay attention.
Don’t buy lady drinks 15 minutes into a shift. That’s a wasted buy, unless you know she will return to you after 20 minutes. Likewise, be careful buying one minute into a set. She might be begging for a second drink before heading back to stage, one that will be left behind after one sip when “I go dance”.
Earn Your Tips
You give tips to waitresses for service. Same for bargirls. You give away nothing for free. If they want a tip, then they have to give up something for it. What that is depends on the bar you are in and your own personal morals. But if you’re in Crazy House, you don’t hand over a pink note to have her stand two feet from you fully clothed. You want me to give you something, you give me something. Tit for tat, so to speak.
Prices Are Relative
Bargirls think one price fits all and there’s one system for everyone. Short times cost this. Long times cost that. And it’s the same for the 18-year-old nymph or the 35-year-old boiler. This is the understanding of economics that comes from a ninth-grade education. You should know better.
There’s nothing wrong with taking an older, more “shapely” woman. But the opening bid for a long-time session begins at 1,000-1,500 baht. Young hotties earn more.
And if your former hottie has put on 10-plus kilos in the last year, you cut her rate. There’s less demand for her now, so you can pay less.
You’re Not The Drink Fairy
If you like a girl, buy her a drink. That does not mean you have to buy a drink for her friend, her “sister” and especially not the mamasan. Just ask her, you want me to spend money on you, or your friends. Greed always wins out.
Ditch The Double-Team
A corollary to the Drink Fairy rule is avoid getting double-teamed. Many times a cute girl will team up with her ugly mate and circle the bar like vultures, seeking to get one poor sucker to buy two drinks instead of one. Don’t be that sucker. Either tell the hot one you only want her, or just give them a dismissive wave as they approach in vain hope they learn.
Two Bins, Please
Not all rules deal with drink-sucking girls. Drink-sucking “mates” are an even greater problem, because (unless you’re “really” close), you’re not taking them home for a roll and a romp. Lazy Bangkok bar staff almost universally give one bill for a group of two or 20. This can lead to getting stuck paying for Coronas from some smiling Yank with his baseball cap on backward who you barely know, or, worse, lady drinks for his toothless tart companion. Avoid the awkwardness. Get separate bins every time.
Taxi Fares And Fairs
Never take a Bangkok taxi that won’t use the meter. Got a smartphone? Report anyone that tries to shill you.
At the same time, don’t be adding taxi fares on top of your new teerak’s service charge. Sure fire way to avoid back-talk: Include small bills in the her payment.
Send your comments, questions or tips to Budget Bobby here: BudgetBobbyTH@gmail.com