Farang Inbox

Farang Inbox

Every New Year, thousands of youths from around the world flock to Thailand to attend the notorious Full Moon Party. Joining the migration, Max Callister-Baker experienced two weeks of massages, exceptional dart blowing and pissing out the side of tuk-tuks.

“Why are there blue stains across the front of your shorts?” is never a question a son wants to hear from his mum as she begins collecting his clothes for the laundry. In fact, when a mum asks a question that combines certain key words like “pants,” “stains” and a particular colour, a son will always feel dread. For me, it was blue stains – although I guess there could be more awkward colours. As I thought about the stains, a collection of words and fragmented flashbacks came to mind and then everything made sense. Well, as much as two weeks in Thailand could make sense, anyway.

27 . 12 . 2013

Max (Email): Everything is going well, miss you. Having breakfast at our hotel then might use the pool then explore around! So so many young white people of different places! What is the name of the shuttle I used BTW? It was a great service.

But a “great service” wasn’t the reason I needed the shuttle’s name. The real reason would send Mum panicking. I had already left my phone in the back of the shuttle and, at that point, I had no way to synchronise my travel plans with my mates for the flight the next day. This forced me to give the closest payphone a shot, but holy hell! Trying to operate those bad boys was like trying to perform heart surgery on the Terminator. I was shoving coins in every slot, but it must have thought I was its baby penguin because it just kept regurgitating them back into me. This went on for the next ten minutes. Only then did I notice the line behind me. To save myself embarrassment, I spent the last minute on the payphone faking a conversation to what could have been a Japanese fax machine. Two hours later, the shuttle driver had dropped the phone to reception.

03 . 01 . 2014

Max (Text): Love you guys & miss you. I had a Thai massage - so many funny moments. The food is great and we’re having great times. Going on elephants tomorrow followed by kayaking. Might try eat a fried scorpion. Also ... I watched the Thai ping pong show where women do things - SO many things.

It was 11:30 pm when the Thai stripper walked around the edge of the stage holding a board that asked for no photos or videos to be taken. Let the Ping-Pong games begin! Looking around, you would expect that the audience at a notorious Thai Ping-Pong show would be composed of horny, old, bald men, but at least half of the crowd were young tourist women. My two friends, through their aggressive bargaining, had landed us seats directly in front of the stage, which would later backfire on one of them. The first performer came on stage stark naked. She didn’t seem to be holding anything – anything in her hands, that is. To explain what happened next is not easy. If you’ve ever seen or known of that trick where clowns pull out an endless colourful ribbon from their mouths or a hat, it was like that – except out of the performer’s vagina. As she continued pulling she gave the end to one of the male audience members and started a game of tug of war with the ribbon. From that point on, the show only got weirder. The next performer brought out an empty goldfish bowl. Jaws dropped. She had the goldfish all right; it was just in the same area as the previous performer’s ribbon. But as she squatted down to drop (release? shoot? who knows the word) the traumatised creature back into the bowl, it turned out that she wasn’t done with the single one. To put it in terms of a cliché; it wasn’t a small fish in a big bowl, but many, many fish all plopped back into a small bowl.

The third performer – again, completely naked – walked around the audience handing (yes, with her hands) balloons out to a dozen or so people, with my friends and I each receiving one. A handful of performers then emerged on stage with a blow dart in each of their hands. Just kidding – the blow darts were in the same place as the goldfish and the ribbon. The performers got down on all fours with their backs to the ground and moved to different edges of the stage. They then proceeded, with admirably good accuracy, to shoot the balloons out of each audience member’s hand. My friends and I tried to make it particularly challenging by holding all three of our balloons behind the others in a line. But their vaginas were steady and there was no disappointment as all three balloons popped in a single firing round. They must be real killers in the bedroom – misbehaving partners wouldn’t last long with these women.

For the final (and most memorable) act, a performer brought out frozen beers. She went around the edges of the stage testing to see if there was anyone with the strength to twist open the bottles – which no one could. This was the adult version of pulling King Arthur’s sword out of the rock. The performer got on all fours in front of my friend, put the bottle head up her vagina, and popped the cap open. And when I say popped it open, I mean it sprayed a combination of beer and vaginal fluids all over the face of my friend who sat in front of her. It was the first facial he had ever received. I didn’t rub it in by asking if he spat or swallowed.

The rest of the night was a blur of bars, beer, shisha and laughter. It ended with us racing back home in a tuk-tuk as it poured down with rain, my friend holding me in a brace position while I leaned out the side of it to take a very satisfying piss.

05 . 01 . 2014

Max (Email): Hey dad, hypothetically speaking, if you met a girl in another country who you really liked, and she wanted to come back with you, how would that work? Not that I would do anything like that. LOL. But how long could her visit last? Would it be hard for her to get a job? Again, I’m just curious.

As my friends were waiting for the toilet at the zoo, I stood outside exchanging funny faces with a cute Thai woman who stood behind one of the zoo’s stalls. Suddenly, she beckoned me over. I wasn’t particularly interested in buying anything, but she had no intention to sell. Instead she began asking me questions – what my name was, where I was from. I soon learned her nickname was Ohh. This was a tad confusing because I have the habit of saying “oh” in the way other people might use “um.” Before my friends returned it was time to say goodbye. Ohh asked for my contact details, namely my Facebook. Later that evening, while chatting to her on Facebook, I discovered Ohh had a peculiar way of exchanging messages. Although she could write in English, most of the time she preferred to express herself through single smiley faces and cat stickers. I’d ask what she’d been up to and she’d reply with a picture of a cat eating McDonald’s. One night my mate and I stayed up drinking. We got into one of those crazy conversations where you make elaborate future plans. This time we decided that I should bring Ohh home. We went on my Facebook to talk to Ohh and make it a reality. In the morning, I read through the messages. The conversation had gotten pretty deep. I’d promised Ohh that she would be in New Zealand by the end of February, she would move into the flat with me, and “of course my flatmates wouldn’t mind!” By the end of the cringe-worthy exchange, I had wooed Ohh.

It might sound crazy, but retrospectively I learned how common my experience with Ohh was, except in other cases people actually did marry the women they met in Thailand. Some of these stories end happily. Many Thai women are looking to find a way out of their financial struggle, so having the choice to start a new life with new opportunities by marrying a Westerner is an opportunity many are willing to devote themselves to. However, as expected, there are also those Thai women who are aware of this process and exploit it in an array of economically impressive ways: the women known as “bar girls.” As their name suggests, these women typically hang around bars in Thailand and look out to start relationships with
“farangs” (Westerners).

Typically in this process, a hooked Western man leaves Thailand convinced he is in love, so he sends his “girlfriend” money to join him in his home country. The girlfriend agrees, but then, at the last moment, something will stop her from leaving Thailand: her mother is sick, or it turns out she is pregnant with their kid. So the bar girl asks for more money. Then, once the bar girl feels she has squeezed as much money as possible from her foreign boyfriend, she will shut down all contact with him in an instant. This scenario sounds obvious and it seems like this type of woman would be easy to distinguish, but it would be a serious mistake to underestimate the level of deceit some of these bar girls are capable of. A blog called Stickman’s Guide to Bangkok has a section where people submit their own experiences. One submission tells the story of how one bar girl faked her job and set up her own fake birthday for her “victim.” When he hacked her email account, he discovered she was playing at least a dozen other guys and half had asked her when their baby was due.

09 . 01 . 2014

Max (Text): Having a great last week in Bangkok, can’t wait to get home!

Having just finished a busy day in Bangkok, I felt that a massage was in order but my friends wanted to relax in their room. Up to that point, there was a joke that I had constantly drawn the short straw with always having dudes do my massage, so I made my own plans for the evening along with some people I had met at a bar to find a place – somewhere I was sure the workers would be female. The sign read “Playboy Massages.” I went in. As I clambered up the steep staircase, however, I had the sudden urge to go toilet. After letting out what my mates would describe as a “shit grenade,” I reached for the toilet paper – only to find out there was none there. For a moment I considered remaining there for the next hour, thinking of an elaborate story about how wonderful my massage was, but I knew that was simply not feasible. Furthermore, since the massage workers’ English was at a minimal standard, the only option would be through a game of charades. I wasn’t keen to act out “my asshole.” Then, somehow, the situation further deteriorated when once again I had been given a male masseur. Feeling very alone, things got uncomfortably intimate as I was taken down the end of a dark corridor into a private room. As I lay face down on the mattress, which was as stiff and as uncomfortable as a sandbag, the masseur turned on the air conditioning and had brought incense in – all of which I hoped was part of the routine and not due to any potential lingering smell. As the last moments of the massage were ending, I heard another person’s voice erupt from the next room, repeatedly saying, “No, no, no, thank you!” I hoped, for her sake, it was only an extra towel she was being offered.

Vaguely refreshed, I walked down the stairs and noticed two other people in the common room, fervently discussing something in hushed tones. I was struck by the diversity of our facial expressions, and approached them to chat. We decided to head out for dinner together, so hurriedly paid and left to piece together what happened. One of the guys in the group had a male masseur as well, but at the end of his massage, when he thought he was coming back to bring him a towel, the masseur came back needing one himself. He quickly refused and remained somewhat traumatised for the rest of the evening. The other guy, however, had a completely different story. He had received a female masseuse, and at the end of his massage she offered him a “happy ending.” Let’s just say it didn’t involve being read a bedtime story about The Little Mermaid. I realised my “squishy” moment on the toilet had saved me after all; it gave me a natural chastity belt.


I slumped over the couch, exhausted and happy to be back home. I was reunited with my family and they had enjoyed my largely edited version of my trip to Thailand (except several awkward photos that had somehow slipped into the slideshow I showed them). About to fall into a comfortable afternoon nap, Mum’s voice boomed throughout the house: “Come here, Max!” What did I forget? I knew that at the very worst I had accidentally gained three towels. I walked to Mum who stood over my suitcase. She held out my trousers. “What?” I asked, confused - and that’s when I saw the blue stains covering them. I laughed when I realised what they were from. The night I got those stains we had spent the evening in the red-light district in Phuket. It had been incredible, but for all the reasons I’m not comfortable telling my mum about – particularly the part where a giggly Thai stripper (with blue makeup over her body) made her way to my lap. I had justified it in my mind that she was coming over to be read a bedtime story and that was all. A good story did happen, just without any book.
This article first appeared in Issue 1, 2014.
Posted 6:57pm Sunday 23rd February 2014 by Max Callister-Baker.