The threat is real and the result can be ominous at times. Thailand has a commodity, resource and forward tactical force that can defeat the most valuable international assets. The form is a "hunter killer" team of assets that ultimately disable the foreign target.
With cunning they move in an orchestrated tandem. In a target rich environment they split, and seek multiple opportunities and assets. In a target scarce environment they regroup, compare intelligence and take a consorted approach on a single high-value target.
It is the "twin attack" of Thailand - and they show up in uniform and ready for action.
Da (the elder sister) dons the uniform: spaghetti-strapped micro-shirt, miniskirt and "fuck me" pump stiletto heels. Fah - her "twin" - favors a low-rise heel and cuts her hair to match her sister's, both due to a slight height difference. Other than these differences their outfits are extremely similar.
Da and Fah are two beautiful women and they are working the bars with an unusual level of skill. The "twins" size up the crowd at a "freelance bar" in Patpong with an abnormally keen sense of opportunity. They were actually born 13 months apart, but their strikingly similar physical characteristics make them "twins", or at the very least "sisters", when working the customers.
Individual sexy, beautiful women are easy to find in Thailand's sex industry. But sisters, "twins" or not, are unique and a fetishist's dream.
They have monetized their strikingly similar looks as twins in their favor in the sex industry.
"We work together. We are the same," Fah says. "Farang [Westerners] want fantasy. We live together, we sleep together and when a farang wants it, we have sex together."
"We do," Da says and, never wanting to miss an opportunity, continues, "You want go with sisters?"
Another bar in Patpong (Soi 1) whose sign and tagline say "Sisters, Take Two" seems interesting in the same vein. However, upon inspection it is a disappointing and tiny bar that claims the daytime hours and customers (businessmen and professionals) drive their short-time business.
Asking the mamasan about "sisters", one finds that there are no actual sisters in the group. "All of the girls here are sisters," she argues. Although the camaraderie is admirable, one cannot help but be disappointed by the lack of real sisters - is this not false advertising?
On to Soi Cowboy, and there is the Long Gun go-go bar that does a very convincing lesbian show. The girls look only nominally like each other, but they are sisters and take a similar, focused approach to customers as the Patpong sisters.
Want one girl? Good. Want two girls? Sisters, twins? Even better.
Bar fines remain about the same, averaging about 400 THB (about USD $12.50) per girl. But this is obviously a double bar fine that causes the mamasan to look on approvingly. Now, when dealing with the girls' fees things are slightly inflated. The average "short-time" cost for a single girl is approximately 1,000-1,500 THB (about USD $31-$47). But with the girls working under the guise of a familial ménage à trois, the price is 1,500-2,000 THB (about USD $47-$62.50) per girl and is generally non-negotiable.
So such an affair could set a punter back some 4,800 THB (about USD $150) for two girls for three hours. Not to mention the cost of a short-time room or a hotel, lady drinks and possibly food if the ladies are so inclined.
Going full circle, we end up back at the noisy Muzzik Cafe on the crossroads of Patpong Soi 1 and 2. Wedged between two extremely friendly and flirtatious "twins" (aka sisters), a writer can slowly glean facts while being fondled and propositioned if the bar tab is open and giving.
Fah, who is seemingly the more chatty of the pair, admits that, working about five days per week on average, they can make between 40,000 and 100,000 THB depending on myriad variables. No matter the variables, even at their low end of 40,000 THB a month they are making more than a college-educated administrative assistant.
"Sometimes we are lazy. Da is very lazy," Fah admonishes while Da pretends to ignore her. "When we get multiple customers, either together or individually, and make money, Da uses it as an excuse to take a day or two off." Fah is obviously unimpressed by her sister's work ethic.
Da ignores her and homes in on a target of opportunity.
Fah talks a bit more about the work, the pressure, the benefits, the need to do it to make a decent living and support the family, until a signal comes up from her sister in arms that it is time to execute a consorted attack. Fah excuses herself with a peck on my cheek and an amorous glare to remind me that if things don't work out with the current target, I might be sighted as a potential replacement.
The somewhat elderly customer is obviously taken by Da, who first approached him. She holds his gaze and attention as her hips gyrate in her micro-miniskirt. He never sees the sneak attack coming that ups the ante in a way that might be impossible to measure.
Fah sidles up behind him, begins massaging his shoulders, but when he attempts to turn to see this new arrival, she covers his eyes and whispers some sort of sweet nothing into his ear. When he is finally allowed to look, he is taken aback to say the least. A moment ago he had one of the most beautiful girls in the bar fawning over him - now they seem to have multiplied, along with his luck.
Drinks are bought, very questionable dancing ensues with the farang leading his two honeys, and as the bar draws down to its close, the twin tactic can be overheard being put in play.
"You ever have two ladies, twins, take care of you?" Da coos to the punter. Before he can answer (he is a bit dumbfounded and buzzed on alcohol at this point), Fah chimes in, "No have customer tonight, I sad!" She feigns depression: "If you take me and sister, very good time, take very good care for you!"
To say that our man, the elderly punter, is akin to a deer in the headlights at this point would be a kind description of the situation.
Minutes later as the house lights slowly come up signaling the end of yet another evening in Bangkok's red-light district of Patpong, the fellow, now fully succumbing to the "hunter-killer" twin team, leaves feeling victorious, with his ladies hanging off of each arm.
Considering the events of the previous days, the history of these women in the bars and their performance that night, it is convincing that Thailand's twin threat in terms of the sex industry is not something to be taken lightly.