Monday, February 28, 2011


Today my brother and I had a delicious Vietnamese lunch with a Thai Princess.  Her political views, informed by her childhood in England, made it evident she was a rebel.  At 19 she rejected the prince her family arranged for her to marry and at 20 feel in love with a British Ambassador who was ten years her senior.   She raised her children in England, Thailand and the Middle East conforming and resisting when necessary.  The prior evening at our hotel's roof top bar I was curious about the interaction between the higher end Thai prostitutes and the waitresses who served them and their western male clients.  I wondered how the all female wait staff,  beautifully dressed in black silk tops and long pants with thigh high slits, felt about bringing cocktails, night after night, to the escorts.  I asked the princess if they were connected by their desire to be independent and make a living, or in discord by their choices.  "They hate each other."  I learned harsh judgment is rampant among Thai women even though they need each other.  The sex trade is big business in Bangkok, and it was evident that many guests in our classy boutique hotel were not in the city to see The Grand Palace.   The hotel did not employee waiters to serve the customers.  There was a reason all the waitresses were beautiful, and although their uniforms were tasteful, they were sexy.  They were not employed to offer sex, yet I'm sure night after night they had to endure subtle innuendos.  The complicated relationship between sex and class in Thailand is apparent everywhere. Earlier in the week the princess had to attend a funeral for a cousin.  She was disconcerted that even in this setting her privledge was on display.  Her seat at the service was in the front row indicating she was a direct descendent of his wife.  Whereas, his mistresses and their families were relegated to the back of the temple.

No comments:

Post a Comment