Recently I had the pleasure of getting beat up by five Vietnamese thugs hired by a foreign jealous boyfriend.
They just came out of nowhere and jumped me as I was drinking with buddies at a popular Saigon bar. I couldn’t do a thing. Security took a long minute to intervene (perhaps they got a commission). Luckily it wasn’t too painful; punches and kicks usually stun more than they hurt, if they’re not too prolonged and certain body parts are spared. I looked like shit, had to wear sunglasses for two weeks, but recovered quickly.
I wouldn’t write about getting beat up like a bitch (not that I’m particularly proud of it) if I hadn’t uncovered in the process a fascinating study of the cluelessness of foreign boyfriends of Vietnamese hookers. (A Korean in this particular case.)
Rule number one: never try to turn a ho into a housewife. And a ho she is indeed. A very active one. In several bars. Every night. He’s the only one in town who thinks she’s quit and only loves him. Probably because he’s not in town. She only stops working when he visits Saigon once a month. The rest of the time she only has to be at the right place and between customers when he video-calls to check on her. He does it several times a day. Surprisingly he doesn’t call at night when he should – probably a spouse is watching.
I know about these calls because I listened to so many. They wouldn’t be so cringeworthy in their content (both collectively know about 200 words of English) if it wasn’t for their context. The more I heard and the more I felt sorry for the lad (until the beating that is).
I fell in my share of honey traps in Saigon, but never did I go anywhere near the level of fabulation that poisoned this fool’s mind. We’ve all met naive foreigners who believe they’re saving a hooker from prostitution by giving her the love and money she’s never had, when she keeps on stockpiling plenty of both. But this one beats them all in my experience. Perhaps because I was sitting in front row.
I met her at an after-hours party at a friend’s house, and we became sort of fuck-friends. I never gave her one đồng and she never expected otherwise. She actually paid for a lot of stuff. I even went down to see her folks in the countryside. I guess some of it was “long con” strategy, but I’d like to think the girl genuinely liked me. She instinctively knew I wouldn’t fall for any kind of transactional relationship, just as she’d instinctively known a sucker when she met that guy.
To her I was a fun guy she called when she had exhausted (pun intended) all of her prospects – usually past 5AM. To me she was like the friendly dentist who sees you for free between two appointments.
This could have lasted many months. We kept on meeting despite her colleagues/roommates always scolding her on being so stupid to see me for free. He kept on sending money and video-calling despite me (and probably others) laying naked on the bed next to her. I wasn’t ashamed; she was the one lying, not me. It’s not the first time I’d been in that position between a hooker and her long-distance boyfriend. I’ve given up on these guys a long time ago. They should learn on their own… Or read this blog!
It all came crumbling down when he saw a message from me popping on her phone (she’d just asked me a question so I replied without thinking he’d be there). Then the shit hit the fan.
She tried the Just A Friend® routine but he wouldn’t have it. He threatened to leave her. Then he forgave her, as he had done so many times in the past. But it didn’t end there. This time around he had a name and a face to blame, and he swore to get to the bottom of the story.
First he tried to contact me, but I didn’t reply (What’s the use? No rational thought would reason him at this point). Then he called everybody he knew in town, several times a day, until someone spilled the beans and she admitted to everything. Everything except for one important detail: that she was fucking many more guys than just me. The story that finally emerged (and on which her group of friends agreed) was that she’d been loyal all along, but she felt very alone and sad when he was abroad, so she had fallen prey to my stubborn advances. In short, she was a Penelope and I was a sexual harasser.
And so the death threats begun.
They were several over the course of a month. Every time I blocked him, on SMS, on Facebook, on Viber, on Zalo. He seemed obsessed, but I thought these were just desperate screams. Who signs a death threat and sends it from their personal phone anyway? I didn’t take him much seriously.
He’s not a bright guy nor a charmer to begin with. A boring man with more money than skills, he didn’t have much experience in nightlife, not to mention hookers. He met the first one on his first week-end in Vietnam. He was the perfect sucker. A Big Fucking Fish.
That was some 18 months ago. They were at a BBQ party where her group had been invited for the precise purpose of entertaining the guests. She was explicitly introduced to him as a hooker he could enjoy that night. But she knew better than to follow that script. A few days later they were officially a couple. By then she had somehow convinced him she was not a hooker, only a poor single mother struggling in a third-world country, so happy to be saved by a rich foreign man with a big heart. Heard that before?
Now, she was already making north of $2,000 a month before he came in. Her family owns a profitable fruit farm with a nice little house. His extra $3,500 a month is not exactly needed. Add in all the gifts and by rough estimate he must be cashing out $50,000 a year on her. He could help quite a few real poor people in the countryside for that amount.
Once the love fable was planted in his fat head, nothing he heard would convince him otherwise. People told him many times she still worked and he was being a sucker. He kept ignoring warnings and red flags. At some point she confessed having been a hooker all along; she only had hidden it at first because she really liked him and was afraid of losing him; now she would quit for good if only he could send her an extra monthly stipend; he acquiesced.
Note that I didn’t know all these details until the recent event prompted me to ask around about him. I needed to estimate the probability of this shit happening again. I needed to learn from the experience. And learn I did, on the topic of this very blog.
There’s a limit to how much a man knows, not to how much he believes.
Faith is stronger than facts. Desire is stronger than need. That’s why the advertising industry exists. That’s how people still believe there’s a man in the sky and evolution is a lie. When a story really makes you feel good, when it soothes your suffering and gives you purpose in life, then you want to believe it. The more suffering and purposeless you are, the more powerful your faith. Thus does the Church of Saigon Hooker keep on recruiting devout followers. And this one is a true zealot.
Of course when the death threats came I stopped texting the girl. She’s sweet but I’m not gonna put myself in trouble for a bar hooker. As opposed to him, I know she’s not girlfriend material. (She asked me once if I would replace him “taking care of her” would he leave her. She was too smart to insist for an answer.)
In his confused mind (probably his lower man-brain), he didn’t just take down a rival, or impress his girlfriend with his spending power; he basically saved her from the predating claws of a disgusting female abuser. He was nothing less than her knight in shining armor.
That explains his messages about how she’s poor and if I really want her I should do my part or leave her be; the many times when he believed her innocence over countless eyewitness accounts of her going with customers; etc. Once, in an exchange with someone I know, he concluded on my case: “Oh I get it, she was just with him for sex, not for love like me.” LOL! Alpha fucks, Beta bucks. (I have screenshots of all that shit. There’s more where it comes from.)
So that’s how yours truly got beat up by a fine team this fool had hired at some other bar (rumor has it they were security staff from a luxury club I obviously won’t name). It was meticulously planned; he posted two of them as scouts outside my bar to tell him and the rest of the crew when I would be there. Once my pain shower ended (after what felt like an eternity) I stood back up, and there he was, claiming the hit from a secure distance, screaming whatever nonsense at me.
My dear readers will notice that makes him a coward in addition to being a sucker.
Anyway, I went to the police the next day to report him and his death threats, but there’s not much more I can do. I was naive enough to call my consulate for advice, but I quickly understood they’d only make a move if I actually died. Hopefully Captain Save-A-Ho hasn’t been able to order a bigger hit (machetes?) because his thugs refused to hurt a foreigner too badly.
I really hope this is the end of the story – for me, that is. I’ve licked my wounds, but he will suffer much more than me as he gets deeper down the rabbit hole. He’s quite the rabbit. And she’s quite the hole.
Pictured: A woman I wish had been her.