Getting Scammed Around the World

 

PICT0100

Today, I sat down and was hit with a distant memory from 2004. It was my first time in Bangkok. 2nd or 3rd night. I was drinking it up at Bedsupper Club. I walked outside and as it was closing and asked a couple of people if there were any after hours bars. Someone mentioned Spice Club. So I walked out to the parking lot and asked a Tuk Tuk to take me there.

Well, old Dude took me for a ride. Charged me 100 Thai baht (3 USD) and deposited me exactly one hundred feet down the road from where I started.

To get there though, he drove up past Q Bar around to Soi 5 down to Sukhumvit and back up Soi 11.

I didn’t really figure it out until about 3 months later when I partied at BSC again but this time with some friends. BSC closed. One of the gals said; “Let’s go to Spice!” I said; “Cool. Let’s do it.” and started to get a Tuk Tuk. The chic looked at me like I was an idiot and was like come on you lazy moron.

She turned and started walking down the street. I followed. When I saw Spice, I remembered the tuk tuk ride from earlier. I just started laughing. Everyone was looking at me like I was crazy. So I told them the story. And they all laughed at me.

Luckily, though, the first time that I went to the Grand Palace, I’d read lonely planet and been warned about the touts and “it’s closed today, let us take you to thirty gem stores and 14 tailors” so we can get gas coupons and what not.

I did ride around with a tuk tuk guy for free once or twice. He drove me around the city for free. I saw everything and every once in a while, we walked into a Tailor shop or a Gem Store and I acted interested and promised to return the next day with my credit cards because I was “fearful of carrying them with me in the big bad city of Bangkok.”

It was actually a fun day and the tuk tuk driver was a cool old guy. I’ve got his pic somewhere. Nice old dude.

I’ve done some weird things in Bangkok.

Still looking for that damn two story after hours bar with the big tree trunk and a circular platform around it in the middle of the dance floor. I’d love to party there again. Been there three or four times, but, each time too drunk or tired to remember the name of the joint.


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In Sanjaree, right outside Camp Hovey in the north of the ROK. There are several of what we called “Drinky Bars.” These bars are strikingly similar to the bars of NaNa, Soi Cowboy, Pattaya and Patpong. You walk in. Girls surround you. Ply you with drinks and try to get you to by them “Lady Drinks.” Usually, some kidn of fruit juice. Some of these bars have dancers on stages or platforms. Some pool tables. What they all have is SEX for SALE.

I did two tours in Korea. A little over two years on station.

It never failed to amaze me that guys would frequent these establishments and actually FALL IN LOVE with the girls from whom they and every other Tom, Dick and Harry were purchasing sex. Boom Boom.

These bar owners. Mamasans. They’d bring girls in from the country side. Poor girls with little to no education. After bringing them, these girls would have a “bar debt” to the Mamasan. The money for room and board. New clothes and make up. Food and whatever else Mamasan and the bar provided for their survival/livelihood until they were established and taking in customers.

One girl. Amazingly pretty. She had an excellent scam going. Before she was found out, she scammed three different guys. She would get some poor soul. A sucker. To fall in love with her. They’d start “dating” while she was working at the bar. She’d be “working” all the while. Raking in the dough, but, telling him that she was only serving drinks and what not.

So she got the first one. The first sucker. She got him hemmed up. They made marriage plans. Old Dude would start supporting her while she was supposedly not “working” at the bar and just serving drinks. The guy would pay the bar debt for her. Somewhere between 3 and 5 thousand dollars. They’d start the VISA process.

Once everything was paid off. Bar debt, etc. And old girl had soaked the poor sucker out of his hard earned money, it would usually be time for GI Joe Loverboy to PCS back stateside.

At this point, the gal would disappear. All of the money with her. Up in smoke. She’d make some excuse about going home to see her family before she went to the land of the Big PX or whatever.

Loverboy would be sitting at the Airport waiting for the love of his life who would, of course, never show up. She having absconded with all of his money.

This gal was able to do this three times before she was caught. I’m sure she wasn’t the first or the last to run the scam.

Broken hearted GI Joe on the airplane headed back to America sobbing. The gal and Mamasan splitting his money.

After the guy PCS’d, the girl would come back to work for the same bar. Find a new sucker and do it again.

Beautiful scam.

The hell of it is that you’d think that only dumb farm boys from Kentucky or West Virginia would fall for this kind of scam.

Nope!

Two of this gals victims were Officers. One was a Major. I guess education doesn’t help in matters of the heart.

Bunch of numb-nuts, if you ask me.

The same kind of scam that happens in lower Sukhumvit to naive farang (foriegners) happens all over the world. Same scams in Panama as well. I saw similar scams and set ups there as well. And I laughed at the suckers there too.

It’s amazing. The ingenuity and artfulness of the deceit of some of these characters.

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