All about 'Apple'
After a short walk we
reach Soi San Sabai, a street opposite Bangla Road where most of the
Bangla Road crowd park their motorbikes and go eating in nearby
restaurants. Apple explains to me that she has worked in Patong for 3
As the first of a family of three children, like every Thai
family, Mint has to take care off them. In a Thai culture, the eldest and
especially a girl, has to respect this or lose face.
Like most Phuket
Bar girls, she lives in a shared flat with other girls, near the 3rd
road. After she pays for her room, she sends her remaining money every
week to her family. She has a tattoo at the bottom off her back, a
butterfly, and a fish with some roses on her leg. Many off these girls
doing this for luck and beauty, many of their parents disapprove.
Many Phuket bar girls like to talk to farang (foreign) men about
their lives, often with lies but always with a smile. At 18 years old,
Apple started working at a small bar on the corner of the main street in
Kata, in south Phuket. The owner was her aunt. After one year she
started to scale up and go working in a lady bar near Otop market,
another area for Patong bar girls.
There she met a hard working
Australian man who fell in love with her. The Australian sends her some
money every month via Western Union, with a promise to marry her in a
few months. Then she has to leave the bar for a while, and travel to
Australia for two weeks, but the easy money addiction resides in her.
You can take the girl out of the bar but you cannot take the bar out of the girl (an often repeated mantra, but usually true) so she’s still working in the industry for the time being. She knows that she is young and sexy and she thinks that she has to do it now before it’s too late.
I spent a few days with Apple, normally I have to pay a fee for her absence from the bar each day but sometimes the ‘mamasan’ (the boss from a lady girl) can let her go for free.
Many Phuket bar girls don't go outside of the Patong area much, some don’t own a motorbike or don’t get time to travel around, others get hangovers everyday and are lazy. Apple likes to go to Kata Beach though; we relax there and enjoy the seafood. She took care of me with everything, the food, how to eat...
After a few days, she confessed that she would have to go back to her hometown, Buriram, soon. Her grandmother is sick in hospital. I take her back to her room and we promise to meet again.
Two day's later I meet Mint again; after a few lady drinks she tells me that she has got some problems with her French Boyfriend. He saw a photo taken by the Illuzion staff of me and her published on the club Facebook fan page. She met him in the bar a few months ago and, like Apple’s boyfriend, he regularly sends her some money but she has never left the bar.
For beach lovers, Phuket has many nearby options...
She knows that, like many foreigners here, her boyfriend can’t afford to
stay in Thailand as a resident and she is not ready to live in Europe.
So, for the moment, she is still doing her thing as usual and it’s
making him crazy. I asked her about Apple, it turns out that she’ll be
back in a few days but I’ve decided to not contact her for the moment,
and play around instead.