Behind The Smile - Daddy's Hobby
Publisher : CreateSpace.com
Description

Lek was born the eldest child of four in a typical rice farming family. She did not expect to do anything any different from the other girls in her class in the northern rice belt of Thailand.

 

Typically that would be: work in the fields for a few years; have a few babies; give them to mum to take care of and get back to work until her kids had their own children and it would be her turn to stop working to take care of them.

 

One day a catastrophe occurred out of the blue – her father died young and with huge debts that the family knew nothing about. Lek was twenty and she was the only one who could prevent foreclosure. However, the only way she knew was to go to work in her cousin’s bar in Pattaya.

 

She went as a waitress-cum-cashier, but when she realised that she was pregnant by her worthless, estranged husband, things had to change. She had the baby, gave it to her mother to look after and went back to work. However, now she needed real money to provide a better life for her child and to make up for spending its whole youth 500 miles away. She drifted into the tourist sex industry.

 

The book relates some of her ‘adventures’, her dreams and nightmares and her ‘modus operandi’. It tries to show, from Lek’s point of view, what it really is like to be a Thai bar girl – the hopes and frustrations, the hopes and the let-downs, the hopes and the lies and deceit that are part of her every day life.

 

One day she meets a man she likes and he likes her too. Nothing new there, it had happened hundreds of times before, but she feels that it is different this time. They have a wonderful four weeks together and then he goes home – as they all had, leaving more promises and more hopes.

 

This one returns, but real life with a real boyfriend is not as easy as she had dreamed it would be. They go through good and bad times, but will they stay together and for how long?

 

After all she has been through, will she be able to be a regular girlfriend or even a wife again? Will she ever really be able to trust a man enough again either? Or would she be better off giving up her dreams and carrying on working in the bar?

 

Lek begins to find out that getting what you wish for is not always as good as you thought it would be.

 

'Behind the Smile' refers to the fact that Thailand is known the world over as 'The Land of Smiles'.

 


BOOK TRAILER


The Story Behind This Book
The writing of 'Behind The Smile' was not a quick event, but the research was even more protracted. 'Behind The Smile' will be seen by some as only relating to Thailand, but that is not true. I was born in Barry, South Wales, but I never saw the rough side of town, although many would have though that where i came from - The Colcot -was pretty bad as well. My parents gave me and my four brothers a good life, but really, i should only speak for myself and will do so from here on. i loved school and had the sort of brain with a retentive memory that made learning things and passing exams quite easy. I had also been brought up to be polite, so, except for a resistance to authority, I got on well at school. I never had time to see what was later described to me as the 'seamier side' of the dock area. One evening, after school, when I was about 16 years old, I went with the school rugby team to the Chain Locker down by the docks. First time for me. We sang all night and I was introduced to some appreciative ladies - young and not so young - who were described as 'working girls'. I knew the expression, of course, but it was the first time, I had ever met any. They did not seem as, as ...., 'bad' (I suppose) as I had been led to believe by jokes, the TV and general gossip. In fact, i was quite fascinated by them. I had never seen such women before. They joined in; they danced; they'd be rude and they would just act as if there were no-one (maybe no men) watching them. I was mezmerised. A few years later I moved to Portsmouth, which in the Seventies had 20,000 sailors and 20,000 students, but was / is actually a garrison town. Now, most of that lot were men and there were plenty of women about too. However, I was still a swot, well, a little bit less so, and I did not get involved until I took a part-time job in the Wiltshire Lamb by the Students' Union. The landlord's name was 'Sweeny' Todd and he had just retired as a Master at Arms after a lifetime in the Royal Navy. I earned and learned more after shifts than I should have. There were many working girls in the Lamb, especially after hours. From there I moved to Den Bosch in the southern Netherlands and there was a real Red Light District there. I 'had' to walk through it every night to get home from the pub and many times I would stop to chat with the girls. They often asked me to get them a kebab or some chips at 2 o'clock in the morning while they desperately hung on for the off-chance of a punter. I knew most of them well, but not physically. We often used to play darts on their nights off. Darts was the in thing in the Netherlands in the Seventies and it was quite chic to be taught by a Brit. Twenty-odd years later, I ended up in Pattaya and I immediately got on with the girls in the bars. What I have written in this book, Behind The Smile, is not autobiographical and nor does it relate to any specific people or bar that I know, but I have heard more than 75% of those tales from the girls themselves and i am forever grateful that they could see sufficient friendliness in me to trust me enough to relate them. I love Pattaya and I love Thailand and I love Portsmouth too. 'Behind the Smile' refers to the fact that Thailand is known the world over as 'The Land of Smiles'.


Praise and Reviews

Behind The Smile

by Owen Jones

Lek was born the eldest child of four in a typical rice farming family. She did not expect to do anything any different from the other girls in her class in the northern rice belt of Thailand.

 

Typically that would be: work in the fields for a few years; have a few babies; give them to mum to take care of and get back to work until her kids had their own children and it would be her turn to stop working to take care of them.

 

One day a catastrophe occurred out of the blue %u2013 her father died young and with huge debts that the family knew nothing about. Lek was twenty and she was the only one who could prevent foreclosure. However, the only way she knew was to go to work in her cousin%u2019s bar in Pattaya.

 

She went as a waitress-cum-cashier, but when she realised that she was pregnant by her worthless, estranged husband, things had to change. She had the baby, gave it to her mother to look after and went back to work. However, now she needed real money to provide a better life for her child and to make up for spending its whole youth 500 miles away. She drifted into the tourist sex industry.

 

The book relates some of her %u2018adventures%u2019, her dreams and nightmares and her %u2018modus operandi%u2019. It tries to show, from Lek%u2019s point of view, what it really is like to be a Thai bar girl %u2013 the hopes and frustrations, the hopes and the let-downs, the hopes and the lies and deceit that are part of her every day life.

 

One day she meets a man she likes and he likes her too. Nothing new there, it had happened hundreds of times before, but she feels that it is different this time. They have a wonderful four weeks together and then he goes home %u2013 as they all had, leaving more promises and more hopes.

 

This one returns, but real life with a real boyfriend is not as easy as she had dreamed it would be. They go through good and bad times, but will they stay together and for how long?

 

After all she has been through, will she be able to be a regular girlfriend or even a wife again? Will she ever really be able to trust a man enough again either? Or would she be better off giving up her dreams and carrying on working in the bar?

 

Lek begins to find out that getting what you wish for is not always as good as you thought it would be.

 

'Behind the Smile' refers to the fact that Thailand is known the world over as 'The Land of Smiles'.

 

Published 19th April 2012 by Createspace.com; ISBN: (978)1475216882

 



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Owen Jones
Owen Jones was born in Barry, South Wales, where he lived until going to Portsmouth to study Russian at 18. After finishing his degree, he moved to s'Hertogenbosch in the Netherlan More...
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