Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just Say No to the Ping Pong Show

I dread to say it, but I think I've seen all that Bangkok has to offer in twenty four hours. I know, I know – I seemed so up on it before, and I still am. There's the weekend market, there's the palace, there's all those other temples, and gardens, and blah blah blah – but as far as things that are different goes, I think I've seen and done it all. Well not all – there are some cultural experiences I'm willing to shy away from.

From what I've heard, the people who work ping pong shows get paid 200USD a month. They work six to eight hours a night, seven nights a week. This bothers me. Don't know what a ping pong show is? Good for you, son – keep it that way. Before research it seemed like a normal, every day, cultural experience of disturbing proportions – but something available only in this area of the world. Like the bull fight in Madrid. But the more you look into it the more distressing it becomes. That's right – more distressing. As if that's possible.

It's the wages – that fact really bothers me. Each person who goes to see such a show has to spend more than the employee's nightly wage an hour. The people who run these clubs must make an absolute killing. And the average tourist wouldn't care at all about the employee. So here's where I draw my line – it's all fine and well to do what you will, and what you want, but it's not alright to mistreat your staff. It's hard to be moralistic about things involving darts, and frogs, and other such things – but there must be a line somewhere. And this is it.

I mean, honestly, what's the draw to work there? Seriously, someone tell me. I'm sure more money could be earned doing all sorts of other things in related industries. Unless they're being paid more than I've been led to believe... in which case, by all means, cultural experience away.

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