So, my last couple days in Bangkok, I got to see the fun and consequences of the sexual culture in Thailand. Three days ago, Jen asked Somchai to take us to Patpong, Bangkok's red light district. Basically, it's a couple blocks of go-go dancers and sex shows. We did everything short of actually going inside. From what I could see, the girls parade around in bikinis and each one has a number on her. Different men kept coming up to Somchai trying to lure him in to watch. A few also asked us girls too. Overall, it doesn't look that different from what you'd see in sleazy parts of big cities in the U.S. Except in Thailand, most of the customers seem to be Japanese businessmen and older, unattractive white dudes.
The next day for lunch, I asked Somchai to take us to this restaurant called Cabbages and Condems. The eatery was started by this doctor who worried about the overpopulation of Thailand due to lack of access to birth control. His reasoning is that condems should be as attainable as vegetables at the grocery store. Hence, the name of the restaurant, whose profits go toward the clinic next door. The food was pretty good. Some of the menu items have cheesy names like Condem Salad. The atmosphere is definitely geared toward tourists. Nice chairs and table cloths. But the walls are adorned with condems from around the world--Tanzania, Russia, India (brand name of Kama Sutra of course) and pictures of Condeman. When they bring you the bill, they throw in a condem for each person. Funny enough, the condems are American-made.
My next post will probably come when I'm back in California. I'm actually at Narita Airport in Japan awaiting the last leg of my trip home. How my last day in Bangkok and overall impressions of my trip deserve its own post.