Thursday, January 24, 2013

Burmese Prostitutes of Maesot across Myawaddy (2)

A busy street in Mae Sot (2012).
This was what Ko Aung who works at a Guest House in Maesot bitterly said of the poor families of Burmese prostitutes working in Maesot.

“Times are so bad we Burmese do not know what is good or bad no more. We don’t know what is a good character or a bad character.

We have to call for a Burmese girl if the guest wants one. And there she comes by a motorbike. All three together on the bike. Father, mother, and a child. Child is just over one. Father drives the bike. Mother is the prostitute. While mother is in the room with the guest the father and the child wait outside. Father giving bottled-milk to his child. When her business is over they all go back home on the bike, unbelievable!

I’ve seen mother and daughter working together in the same brothel here in Maesot. If I tell what is going on with our Burmese in this town, people wouldn’t believe me, unbelievable!”

Burmese Girls are Willing to become Prostitutes

But nowadays more and more young Burmese women have been coming to Maesot to work willingly as whores.

According to one Burmese woman who used to be a sex-worker and now a Mamasan running a large brothel in Maesot, it used to be difficult to get a new prostitute from Burma but in last ten years it is a lot easier as the pimps from Maesot are now well connected with the brokers deep inside Burma.

“I’ve been in this sex trade since about 18 and now I’m over 40. During my time working the guests it was almost impossible to get a new Burmese girl here in Maesot. So the pimps and mamasans had to use so many unscrupulous ways to get a new girl.

But times have changed and now we can even order a choice girl with particular figure and size through the brokers back in Burma. One reason is life back home is so extremely difficult even the decent Burmese girls are giving serious thoughts to becoming a low-life whore here in Thailand.

A Burmese girl working in one Maesot brothel.
My shop is not a classy one. Mainly for blue collar workers and we charge only 200 bahts for one fuck. Me and the girls split right at the middle. I pay them once a month. Some take out advances before the pay day.

At pay day I deduct rent and cops’ fees 1,000 bahts from each girl. I provide them with free rice and pay each girl 20 bahts a day for curry.  

In Maesot we have about twenty whore-houses and every house has to pay Maesot Police 8,000 to 10,000 bahts a month. Because of that protection money cops just let us do the business, undisturbed.

Even if they plan to raid the brothels they tell us in advance. But they cannot help us or protect us whenever the special-cops or operation-cops from Bangkok come here. Just last year Bangkok cops raided my house and arrested my husband for running a brothel and the court gave him 2 years and 7 months jail term. He’s now in prison and I’ve missed him.”

According to Arnold who is a Burmese pimp from a Masesot brothel, previously the local Thais ran well-established almost-legal brothels in Maesot but enterprising Burmese have come in and started running brothels from their own houses and finally taken over the whole prostitution business.

“Burmese owners and Burmese pimps and Burmese girls, business is more profitable because everyone is from Burma speaking the same language. At front of the houses we open a small grocery store or a tailor-shop just for show. Girls work the rooms back in the house.

When the order comes from a hotel or a guesthouse we send the girls there by our motorbikes. Some girls live with their family and when we get the orders we contact them by phone and pick them up and send them up.”

This was what Nyo Nyo a 25 years old Burmese prostitute matter-of-factly explained her work while laughing at herself.

“When I got a call from a hotel my husband would send me there on his bike. Sometimes we have to bring our son along too. He is only one and half year old. While I was working in the hotel room my husband would feed our boy and wait for me. 

People say nasty things and try to shame families like us here. For me, I’m selling just my body and I love my husband and child 100%. I can’t afford to care what they say of us. They are not feeding us or taking care of my family.

There are hundreds of Burmese families like us here in whole Maesot region. My husband was a brick-layer and he gets no more than 100 bahts a day even if he is lucky to find work. Let alone supporting our parents back home we can’t even afford our daily meals. 

So now my husband takes care of our boy and he sends me to the clients and brings me back home. One order 500 bahts doesn’t even take one hour. I get 1,500 bahts if I stay whole night. Now my parents already have had own house and farm.

There are hundreds of families like us here. We can only do it when we are still young. Once I get older no one wants to fuck me. The main thing is to have a complete understanding between the working girl and her husband.”

Breaking Virgin Girls

Burmese illegals waiting to be deported back to Burma.
Nineteen year old Burmese prostitute Nway Nway who has become a working-girl since she was sold off as a virgin four years ago recalled her story.

“I went to school up to fifth grade. I was originally from Moulmein. We have four siblings and I am the eldest. My mother sells fried-snacks at the port. Just to do that she has to get a small daily loan with very high interest. My father had a stroke and he cannot walk.

My mother’s earning was not enough for us to survive. She made not more than 1,500 kyats a day. One kilo of rice alone cost more than 1,000 kyats and the family needs more than a kilo a day. So finally me and my mother came here looking for work.

We peeled onions, laboured for brick-layers, all temporary jobs. Jobs were hard to find and Thai police kept on catching us. Finally we got contacted with one pimp who also was from Moulmein. And my mother asked me to sell myself for the family and I accepted.

I was a virgin then and final offer was 15,000 bahts and pimp took half. And the Thai old man who broke my hymen took pity on me and gave me 3,000 bahts tip. I gave all that money to my mother and asked her to go back home. Now I send money home every month so that my younger siblings can go to school.

The breaking of virgins here works like this. Very first time was 15,000. Second time was 8,000 and third time was 3,000 bahts. After that you are priced just like a normal whore. All my first three times the Thai old men fucked me without condoms as that was what they really wanted.

Thinking of it later and started knowing about AIDS and all the STDs it’d scared me shitless. I went and checked myself at Maesot General Hospital and they found nothing. So far I’m still luckily healthy,” said young Nway Nway.

General Health of Burmese Prostitutes in Maesot

Waiting for cremation at the Maesot morgue.
(A Burmese prostitute died of AIDS.)
According to a senior Thai nurse from the Maesot General Hospital every prostitute in Maesot must have once-every-three-months blood test and weekly uterus test. She also emphasized the fact that the hospital has regular contacts with all the whore-houses in Maesot.

“The hospital and some NGOs here have been helping them by educating them about sexually-transmitted-diseases,”  she explained.

A young Burmese prostitute named Thwe Thwe said about the medical checks, “These regular medical checks are for our benefits and every brothel takes it very serious. If someone misses the regular appointment the hospital immediately calls the House and the boss-woman punishes her with 500 bahts deduction from her earning that month.

There are a few cases of girls infected with AIDS and died later. Luckily it happens only once in a while. Sometimes we have to force the men to put on condoms as we basically do not let them fuck us without a condom. With STDs one can be easily cured but with AIDS one’s life is basically over once one gets it.

Some guests are so drunk they don’t want to use condoms. Some sneaky ones even try to take off condom during intercourse. We really have to talk to them persuasively to put on and keep it on. Some real stubborn ones we have to use women-condoms.”

She also added, “The broker back home told us that I could get a good job in Bangkok. She even gave my parents 200,000 kyats as an advance from my so-called future wages. Only when I got here she sold me straight to a brothel and now I am a low-life whore. I just want to let people from Burma know not to trust these human-traffickers.”

Even Graduates and School-teachers are becoming Whores

Phyu Phyu formerly of Rangoon also said, “I’ve been a prostitute since Rangoon. Here in Maesot if a girl is not spendthrift she could save and send money back home. Back in Rangoon business is not as good as here as there are too many prostitutes for too few men who have enough cash to spend on whores.

Also back in Rangoon the local administrators and the police and even firemen are always trying to fuck us free. So I figured out coming to Maesot would be better option and I also knew some of my friends who are already working in Maesot. That’s why I am here now.

Here in Maesot we just have to pay about 1,000 bahts a month to Thai police. That’s okay as we whores and the local police are basically relying on each other to make money.”

Burmese workers on their way to a garment factory.
There also have been many cases of Burmese girls and women, working in the Maesot garment factories, coming into the sex trade because of easy money and other factors involved.

According to one Burmese working girl some decent girls turning into prostitution after their parents losing houses and lands because of gambling habits and started pushing their daughters to send them money more and more.

This was what Ma Nwe one Burmese working as waitress in Maesot said of how most Burmese girls gradually fall down deeper into the sex trade.

“When they first arrive they just work as normal waitress in restaurants. Soon they are being pressured to make more money. One reason is their parents back home demanding more and more money from them. Other reason is they themselves want to have good life here with house and motorbike and all that stuff.

And there is peer pressure too. They see other girls making 1,000 bahts easily by spending a night with restaurant customers after the closing at about 2 in the early morning. That is a big money for a girl earning only 3 – 4,000 bahts a month at the restaurant. So easy for a girl to turn into a whore from a waitress here.

Some begin from massage parlours. You know that massage with happy-ending sort. Easy money there too and attract many Burmese girls. One two-hour section costs 240 bahts and the girl gets 100. The rest goes to the boss but they take care of her food and lodging. Money is so good a Burmese girl starting as a massage-girl ends up selling her body eventually.”

Most heart-breaking fact is, according to Me San a former high school teacher now working as a prostitute in Maesot, there are countless number of well-educated Burmese women such as university graduates, school teachers, and nurses working now as prostitutes in Bangkok and the Thai border towns of Ranong and Maesai and Maesot.

She said, “Nobody wants to do this job! But there are no jobs in Burma even for the graduates. Even when one has a job the ridiculously low salaries are no match for the hyper-inflated prices. At present the situations in Burma is impossible to live as a decent human being.

Pardon me for using such big words. We are the victims of a really bad political system. Forget about others when even the graduate-teachers like us are having hard times. I know some people are blaming me for working as a prostitute despite being a former high-school teacher.

But I wish they could understand me. I’m like in that song Jin-ma-lay Ma-jan (Ma Jan the spinning top). But a top wouldn’t spin unless someone drove it to spin. Once that culprit is gone I the top will stop spinning!”

A Burmese women group in Maesot .
Burmese Prostitutes of Maesot across Myawaddy (1)