No Something. No Another Thing. No Something Else.

BarRaider: Bar Bill Bullshit

Posted by BigDummyKenny on February 2, 2012

Been awhile since I’ve submitted anything and thought this time I’d change it up a bit. Instead of writing about the ladies and their tricks I’m here to tell you about the places they work and the bar’s tricks to get you to part with more of your hard earned cash.

I had a few friend who wanted to catch up and down a few beers and enjoy the scenery. Been awhile since I’ve been out with the guys and my girl was keen on gettin me out of the condo anyway. Besides, only so many nights I can tolerate her sister and friends coming over and making a mess of the place while drinkin my booze. So as I head out I tell my girl that her barwhore sister better make sure the place is spotless or she’s not welcome back again as I give her a parting kiss on the cheek. Yea, I’m charming like that.

We all decided on meeting outside Country Road at 9pm and it was about half past when everyone showed up. OK, time for some drinking and checking out the girls. We decided to make a pass up and down the Soi before stopping off in one of the bars. Hmmmmm, I don’t remember the girls looking so average or being so uninterested in being there. As we got back down toward Country Road we noticed a few lookers outside Deja Vu and since none of us had been there since the Apache Bar takeover the four of us go in.

Now the bar looks much bigger on the inside than it does on the outside. Looks bigger than Tilac I mentioned to my friend, too bad they forgot to hire extra girls. There were 7-8 girls out front, 7-8 girls on stage and maybe 5 entertaining customers. Ugh, this isn’t looking good. My friend says, Ah, let’s just have a few drinks and have some fun. Fine by me. A couple of the slags from outside followed us in like they’d known us for years, expecting us to welcome them to the table for drinks. All right girls, you can join in.

Now, having been to several of the other bars under the same ownership, I’ve known for years several things to watch out in this guy’s bars:

1. Dancers asking for a tequila and a coke (counts as 2 lady drinks).
2. Dancers asking for us to buy the mamasan a drink.
3. Bar Staff expecting you to buy them drinks.
4. Bill padding.

Well, would ya believe tonight we hit on all four? Yea, it was good. But it’s not that difficult to handle. Just be a bit prepared and know how to counter each situation ahead of time.

So we sit down and start to order and of course one of the slags asks for a coke and tequila. No, I tell her. Each of us, pointing to us 4 guys, are just ordering 1 drink, so each of you girls will get one drink. She starts to pull her bargirl pouting shit. Now nothing straightens out the girls faster than you pulling the mamasan aside and tell her to explain to the girl that you don’t like her attitude and if she’s not going to be “jai dee” about buying her 1 drink then she needs to leave. That gets the message across that you’re not going to put up with the bullshit they normally pull. At the same time, order the mamasan 1 drink for helping you out. Not necessary, but it helps to show that you appreciate her keeping the girls in line and gives you an excuse to cut off any of the dancer’s requests to buy the mamasan a drink. If the mamasan won’t help you out and sides with the girls, refuse to buy that girl a drink and do not ask her, but tell her, politely, to leave.

Buying the mamasan a drink is something I don’t do anymore and unless you’re going to frequent the bar on a regular basis I suggest that you don’t do it. I can tell you there have been times in the past where the mama has been a descent person and getting to know her would be to your benefit in terms of addressing any issues that may come up. But I gotta say that in most instances it’s a waste of money.

We get our first round and my friends plus the two slags are joking and having a good time. I notice the bill was just over 1000 baht. Hmmmm, this is going to get expensive fast. I didn’t realize drink prices had gone up so much. Checked the ticket and notice there’s no listing of the drink prices. Further, there are 6 small square slips of paper, each with a “1” with some additional writing and two of them also had another number. My guess is the number is the number of the dancer. What I didn’t like, what nobody should like, is that in this age they are still using hand written slips without any pricing details – BIG RED FLAG.

There we are, having a good time, and the waitress keeps coming by like were drinking too slow. About 10 minutes later it’s time for round two. Waitress motions to me like her throat is dry. I play stupid…what’s wrong? “I’m thirsty.” Really? You don’t have any other customers and since the AC is on about 20 it’s an icebox in here. How can you be thirsty? “Just thirsty.” Well, you should probably go get a drink of water because I’m not buying you any drinks. Often this will get you a pout or scowl. Tell her that if she want’s a good tip she also needs to be “jai dee” or you’ll ask the mama for another waitress. Fortunately this gal understood from us sending one of the dancers away. Nothing say don’t fuck with us like making a statement early.

Second round comes…then the third round. Everyone is having a good time even though the place is almost completely empty. One of the girls has taken a liking to my buddy but the stupid barfine rules about the coyote dancers says they can’t go with customers. My buddy isn’t happy and we’re ready to move on but decide on one more round just for us guys before we leave.

Now each time after the drinks are brought and the checkbin is dropped off at the table I’m taking a quick look. Just over 1k+…to 2k+…3k+…so for the last round I’m expecting the bill to be just over 4k since it’s just the 4 of us ordering. What is this? Almost 5k? Most people will immediately get pissed off at the wait staff. There are no doubt instances where the wait staff is involved, I think in most instances it’s the staff behind the bar ringing up the tab who’s to blame.

How did I handle this situation. First thing is to remain calm. Knowing that the system is setup to allow them to scam the customer and yelling at the wait staff and the mamasan does you no good. Next thing is I take the small square drink slips and count them. I divide them up by those for the girls and those for us guys. Now I know that each of us has been drinking the same thing each night. There are 6 slips for the girls and 16 for us guys, so we know the count is right. So next is I have the mamasan come over and explain the issue. I make a point to mention that each time the drinks were brought I noted the amount of the bill. I tell her that I think someone adding the total made a MISTAKE. This is key, because in Thailand as in most asian countries it’s important that nobody loses face.

I hand her the slips, counting them out in front of her (so the creeps behind the bar can’t add more slips) and asking her to have them put the amout of each drink on each slip. She frowns knowing this will take some time, but I again explain someone made a mistake and we need to get this sorted out before I pay the bill.

About 10 minutes later the slips come back with the amounts on it. She pulls out a notepad and a calculator and we add everything up…Well, what do you know, someone DID make a mistake of almost 800 baht. How did that happen? I didn’t actually say that, but I did say the cashier has been drinking too much and is “key mao” (equivalent to “shit drunk”). To which she gets a good laugh.

So that was our one and only stop in that bar owner’s group of bars. Although nobody lost face we just didn’t want to deal with the potential hassle in any of his other bars. By the end of the night each of us had spent about 5k baht and I have to repeat what Adman said in his submission a couple weeks ago about the attitude of the girls on Cowboy: In general it was crap.

One other helpful tip before I end this post. If the girls ask if you’re there on holiday, tell ’em no. Tell ’em that you’ve lived there for just over a year working for a big company. You won’t believe how that will change the dancers, waitstaff and the mamasan’s mindset and much of the stuff they’d normally try on tourists they won’t attempt.

Oh yea, and the condo was spotless when I got back home!


11 Responses to “BarRaider: Bar Bill Bullshit”

  1. “If the girls ask if you’re there on holiday, tell ‘em no”

    Interesting……down south its the opposite.

    The girls tend perform better and are much more friendlier when you downright lie and tell them your here on vacation for a week.

    Its quite funny when you grab a Song Tow with the girl and laugh to yourself as you pass your car parked on the road as your on the way to the short time room.

  2. adman said

    I’ve seen that too BBG. Not just in the south. Also in Pattaya.

    Sometimes I would notice a change in some of the girl’s attitude when I said I lived in Thailand.

    Not a change in a good way though. Maybe they figure if you live in Thailand you know how the games are played.

    • Adman,

      When I said South I meant Pattaya. So you noticed that eh?

      I agree, they put together your local so you may know the tricks. Plus a local guy really puts the damper on having multiple sponsors, customers and Thai boyfriends. Plus locals are notorious cheap charlies.

      Tell em your on holiday and move yourself around. Which of course you can’t do much in Bangkok cause the areas are sooooooo small.

  3. Raider said

    Well, I live in Bangkok, and reading the post I had the same thought: you get better treatment from the girls if they believe you are on holiday. They seem to think that tourists are more ‘sanuk’ than expats living here.

    But Bar Raider is all about being the ‘expert’ on bars and bar girls and always being in control. He’s obsessed with the idea that we’re all in the crosshairs of a ripoff scheme all the time. Thankfully, he’s here to educate us.

    For him, it seems, control is always the issue, and letting the staff know that you’re a local who knows all the tricks and scams trumps the more relaxed attitude that might result from giving the opposite impression. You can’t let them make a fool of you.

    So, I think when it comes to telling the staff that you are local or a tourist, the opinion will vary with the objective. Of course, if you’re an expat who visits the nightlife areas frequently in Bangkok, it will be tough to pass yourself off as a tourist, since these girls have high quality hard-wired facial recognition software along with a ‘jungle telegraph’ system that makes the two or three small nightlife areas impossible to take cover in for very long, so there isn’t much point in worrying whether to claim to be a tourist or a local expat. If you’re around enough, the girls know.

  4. Jack said

    I laugh at this because anybody that goes to Soi Ripoffboy and throws money away on overpriced drinks is either rich not caring about money or unaware that there are many other places to go in Bangkok(mainly Thai oriented but foreigners welcomed) that offer reasonable drink prices. I once wnet to Saphan Kwai with 3 friends and got wasted on many beers – total bill at end of the night for all of us combined – 700 Baht. Also the girls at this bar were much better looking than the skank you find on Soi Ripoffboy.

  5. BigDummyKenny said

    @ Jack – Are you talking about the bars on Sutthisan Rd?

  6. Jack said

    Yes Saphan Kwai is on Suttisan Road. But there are also other places to go besides Saphan Kwai like Lat Prao, etc.
    Speaking Thai helps out considerably too.

    These days Soi Ripoffboy, Nana Skank Plaza, and Patpong are strictly for tourists who like to throw away money and appearantly see the skank there better than what they can get in their own countries( and it probably is).
    Those areas are now full of mercenary bitches and greedy bar owners that only care about your money and not about your satisfaction. It was not always this way. Only in the last 5 or so years has it gotten so bad. In the late 1990’s the scene was
    much better at those places. I guess the newbie tourists have no concept of how much better it used to be nor the time to search out the better options in Bangkok away from the Soi Ripoffboy scene.

    The soapy massage parlors are still very good mainly because you are not forced to buy ripoff drinks.

    I will say that you can still get good value money wise in Pattaya as the compeition if fierce down there. Many bars still charge a reasonable 50-60 baht for a beer. But the quality of the girls in Pattaya is much inferior to Bangkok.

  7. Wombat said

    Though naturally it was much better in the late 80’s.

  8. BarRaider said

    Yea, everyone livin in Bangkok know Soi Cowboy is a ripoff. But not everyone lives in Bangkok now do they? So those people may wanna know if certain places are still trying to ripoff customers above and beyond the prices listed on the drink menus and the games the girls play dont ya think?

    Raider, I wanna know what makes you think we didn’t have a relaxed attitude? You know you can tell someone to piss off about buying drinks and still be nice about it. We just wanted to check out the naked girls on stage, no be pestered every 5 minutes for drinks by hunchbacked pumpkin faced barstaff and coyote girls with bad attitudes. Youre right on about it comin down to what your objective is for the evening. We had fun, but we werent going to be the ones pouring drinks down these girls throats so they could make some quota when the bar is empty. None of us really gave a squat about being surrounded by girls while there and since I was buyin it was my call on how generous we were with the girls.

    Yea Jack, Soi Ripoffboy is silly expensive. But all of us that were getting together wanted to meet someplace close to where we live. None of us had been there in a while so we thought we’d check out the girls and have a good time without the gfs.

    I don’t disagree about tellin them youre on holiday if you want all the girls in the bar hanging all over you all night but if youre throwing money around and not holding back it really dont matter to them if you tell them your a tourist or a local does it. We wanted to be able to have a good time and not be pestered by everyone for drinks. If the bar is empty and the girls are bored thats exactly what will happen if you dont set expectations up front. Anyone disagree with that?

  9. I for one appreciate the comments on Cowboy since I only get there twice or so per year and a lot can change in those time-frames.

    Its a slight ripoff but I still maintain if you have a friend flying in or a customer to entertain nothing beats Soi Cowboy. Especially with a customer as its not as sleazy as Nana or Patpong.

    But what do I know…..I’m only here for the beaches and the temples.

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