I paid scant attention to the woman coming up the steps. Even in the middle of the night, people are always coming and going in this part of the city (Sukhumvit Road, near Nana Station). As she went by, she playfully tapped me on the back. Continuing to the far side of the overpass, she paused, seemed to make up her mind about something, then began walking back my way.
Her name was Naan and it was hard to tell what she was up to. For one thing, she wasn’t wearing a short skirt or stiletto high heels, which are standard attire for many of the women strolling about at that hour. This made it hard to discern her figure, which from the glances I could steal appeared nondescript. Her short hair was finger-combed to one side and she appeared quite comfortable in a light lavender top, worn jeans and moccasins. Almost looked like she could do a granola commercial.
When it’s coming up on 3:30 in the morning, casual chitchat becomes arduous. I therefore wasted little time in discovering she was offering to give me a massage for the ridiculously cheap price of one hundred and twenty baht ($3.60). I couldn’t bring myself to take advantage of this and told her I’d instead pay five hundred baht, similar to what is charged at the ubiquitous massage parlors here. Why? Well, I liked the way she had found the courage to walk up and talk to me and felt she deserved the going rate.
I brought her back to my apartment and to my delight, received one of the best massages of my time here in Bangkok. When she left, sans any hanky-panky, I gave her a one hundred baht tip and a hug. I also got her phone number — something I often neglect to do — and later texted her a thank you, though this didn’t earn me a reply.
In fact, getting any response out of her proved to be a problem. Over the following week, I twice sent an SMS asking if she was “working”. The first time I heard nothing and on the second occasion, after waiting an hour, decided I’d had enough and deleted her from my cell phone.
It wasn’t fifteen minutes later that I got a return text from Naan, asking me what time I’d like to have her over. I deliberated on this for a bit, then elected not to reply. When trying to get to know a woman from another culture, it’s important they respond to my messages and calls within a reasonable time frame. To be halfway punctual. Naan had not shown herself to be that kind of person.
That really should have been the end of things, at least for that particular go-around. But no, Naan soon called and quickly hung up. I did nothing. Another fifteen to twenty minutes went by, then a text arrived: “I sorry.” Obviously she wanted to see me again, and in the past I might have been moved to answer. But I have discovered that my initial impressions of these women off the streets are more often than not correct, and in this case I needed to be moving on. It wasn’t like I was breaking off a relationship, or so I thought.
Two days later, I received what I hope is the final round of fun in the form of two more messages. The first was a simple afternoon hello which I ignored. The second came four hours later and read: “f*ck you ha, ha, ha.” I’ve never been treated to the “f” word from a Thai lady before — it is considered incredibly rude here and when combined with the absurdly cheap massage price she initially quoted, makes me wonder if perhaps I was one of her first-ever customers. Or, there might be some deeper, darker issues at play. In either case, I’m glad I didn’t get further involved, possibly ending up in a starring role in some Thai version of Fatal Attraction.