Feb 22, 2021
Updated: Jul 11
"Jennie" is a 30 something year old girl. She speaks Thai with some English. She is fearfully outspoken and decorated by tattoos of her favorite Disney characters. She has worked at a bar for the last 10 years. Jennie is our friend. Jennie is a prostitute.
Prostitute is not a word we use here because it carries the wrong connotation similar to many other words in English. I use it only to make a point. Jennie dreams are like any other. She longs to have a decent income to support herself, she longs to been seen as beautiful based on her heart not her body, she longs to be seen as worthy of love despite her past.
Last Thursday we spoke with Jennie and her friends. We often go to the bars Thursday and/or Sunday nights without an agenda besides just letting the girls know we are there for them.
A couple of months ago, before we knew her, I saw Jennie with a Farang Key Noke (Dirty Foreigner) who was 3 times her weight and twice her age. He bought her a beer after which he felt he had the right to continue to grope her. I remember her face. I asked her, "When this happens you seem uncomfortable?" which I felt was a huge understatement. "It is hard," She replied, "When a man buys me a drink, I have to look pretty and happy. If I don't, he won't buy me drinks. I really don't like these things but I have to look happy otherwise I don't get paid."
Things are never as they seem in the bars. Girls look pretty to make money but all they really want is someone to love them for who they are. Guys come here because they girls lure them in, but like a siren song their hearts desire something else. Through friendship and conversations we seek to let them know the love of a Father the never had who loves them despite where they have been.