On the Proper Etiquette when Seeing an Ex-Bargirl with Her New Husband

It’s a low-key Thursday night in Phnom Penh. The early evening rains have subsided, and you are meeting a friend for dinner at a respectable Western restaurant. As you walk in to the restaurant, you see a couple quietly eating dinner at a nearby table. It’s an ex-bargirl with her Western husband or boyfriend. But it’s not just any ex-bargirl. It’s one you know.

At first you don’t even recognize her, because you haven’t seen her in a few years, and a lot of ex-bargirls kind of look alike. There are so many older Western males with young Asian females in Cambodia that these couples easily blend into the local scenery. You do a brief double-take as you pass by them. She looks up at you, and then you realize that yes, she is definitely That Girl from That Bar.

By referring to her as an “ex-bargirl,” I do not mean to pass any judgment upon her or upon you. Maybe she worked in a proper bar/restaurant, and she simply served you lunch a few times a week. But maybe she worked at night in a sleazy Street 104 hostess bar. Maybe she’s your ex-lover, and you both passionately dated for a while but couldn’t quite make the relationship work. Maybe she was a doe-eyed cashier, and you just bought her a bunch of lady drinks and masturbated to her Facebook page. Who knows.

In any event, regardless of whatever relationship you once had with this woman, you now have to decide whether to say hello to her and her husband. I consider myself an expert at interacting with bargirls when I encounter them in their natural bar habitats. I have memorized all the perfunctory bargirl introductory questions and answers, in English and Khmer. I can predict most bargirls’ Connect Four moves before they make them. I know exactly how long I should let an older bargirl massage my shoulders before shaking her off so that I’m not socially obligated to buy her a lady drink. (Answer: seven seconds).

But whenever I spot an ex-bargirl somewhere outside her bar, with a husband or boyfriend, it momentarily stuns me. I freeze up. I stare at the ground and start saying to myself, “Don’tlookatthebargirl, Don’tlookathebargirl”. Sort of like when I see handicapped people.

I really have no idea what to do in these situations. Actually, because I live in Las Vegas, I do have a little bit of personal perspective. My hometown friends and I used to visit a few strip clubs every now and then. There’s an unwritten Las Vegas rule that if you ever happen to see a stripper during the daytime eating lunch with her husband at Fatburger, you don’t walk up to her and say, “Hey, Peaches! How have you been! Almost didn’t recognize you without the pole!” This just isn’t done.

So I employ the same aloof strategy whenever I see Cambodian ex-bargirls with their husbands. I “blank” them, as my British friends would say. I think this is actually the courteous thing to do. Put yourself in the husband’s situation. He married a woman who used to work in a Phnom Penh bar serving Western guys. He probably doesn’t want every outing with his wife to be a series of meet and greets with all the white dudes she knows from her bar-working days. Most of the white guys she knows probably either slept with her or tried to sleep with her. That’s what white dudes do in Cambodia.

Put yourself in the girl’s situation. She has moved on from her bar life and gotten married. Does she want her husband to be constantly reminded of her bar-working past by seeing a parade of ex-customers saying hello to her? Probably not.

You should also keep in mind that some of these ex-bargirls are quite skilled at the art of deception. Her new husband may not even know that she ever worked at That Bar Where You Met Her. She may have convinced him that she learned English in a monastery from some surprisingly ribald monks.

If you dare to say hello to her and her husband, you might quickly get dragged into her web of deceit. What if her husband promptly asks where you met her? Should you answer truthfully? Any comment you make in his presence could be fraught with peril, because the life story she once told you might be completely different from the one she has told him. Imagine if you say something innocuous to her like “How’s your sister?” and then her husband turns to her and says “I thought you were an only child.” That could be awkward.

On the other hand, this woman is a human being. She has feelings. You may have enjoyed a friendly relationship with her, in some form or another, over a number of years. Isn’t it terribly impolite to ignore her and her husband just because you met her in a bar? Maybe she really wants to say hello and to proudly introduce her new husband to you. Heck, maybe the husband is trapped in night after night of tedious conversation with a decades-younger Cambodian wife, and he’s dying to chat with anyone about any topic other than the weather, her stomachaches, and the quality of her fish soup.

Nevertheless, when faced with this situation, I always err on the side of discretion and pretend not to know the girl. I act like I’m in a spy thriller and I’m a CIA agent who doesn’t want to expose my source. If I sense that she is really trying to get my attention, I might reciprocate with a nod and a half-smile of recognition from across the room, like a Seinfeld-esque “funeral hello.” The husband can probably see that. Maybe that’s worse.

On a related note, I have noticed that at least three ex-bargirl acquaintances have stealthily “unfriended” me on Facebook in the last year. I’m quite sure I did nothing to offend them; I think they just got married and decided that it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to stay in touch. I respect that. I wish them well. I just hope I don’t ever run into them with their new husbands at Rahu.

Gavinmac

36 thoughts on “On the Proper Etiquette when Seeing an Ex-Bargirl with Her New Husband

  1. Soi Dog Reply

    Quote “I stare at the ground and start saying to myself, “Don’tlookatthebargirl, Don’tlookathebargirl”. Sort of like when I see handicapped people.”

    Classic.

  2. IndoorLoco Reply

    So Gavinmac is an American? What is up with this generalization? “Most of the white guys she knows probably either slept with her or tried to sleep with her. That’s what white dudes do in Cambodia.” There are white dudes out there in Cambodia who see Cambodian girls as human beings to have a platonic relationship. In the American culture, female sexual experience is a natural part of life journey. Every woman is supposed to have slept with at least 4 different guys in order to really understand that men are lowly weak dependent beings, unlike women who are powerful in all aspects. Gavinmac should never look back at any of those “bargirls”. His meaningless relationship built on the foundation of unequal and perverse practices with those girls was long over since his game plan had just begun. Gavinmac is not the moon or the sun or the stars, and so to succinctly put, he is not important to anybody or even himself at all. There is no need for Gavinmac to air any bargirl’s dirty laundry to the entire world because without those bargirls, Gavinmac is pretty much a lonely man anyway.

    • gc Reply

      I agree; well said. Take sex or the implication of sex out of his life; his writings, and what’s left; typical of a degenerated and shrunken mind!

  3. sluzenwafer Reply

    so do these rules also apply to women that don’t work in bars, and never have, that are now married but while they were single they were sexually wild?? what do you do when you run into their husband after going through the whole kama sutra with their current wife??

  4. Ken svay Reply

    Gavinmac rides again, so to speak.Who are the startled couple in the photo and will they be joining the lynch mob at pochentong when he next flies in?
    I dont think the hermes bag, carat ring wearing facebook brigade will care about bar girl articles, bar girls are broken women and deserve no comment.

  5. Uncle Monty Reply

    “On a related note, I have noticed that at least three ex-bargirl acquaintances have stealthily “unfriended” me on Facebook in the last year. I’m quite sure I did nothing to offend them; I think they just got married and decided that it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to stay in touch. I respect that. I wish them well. I just hope I don’t ever run into them with their new husbands at Rahu.”

    Can you explain stealthily “unfriended”? What is the difference to unstealthily “unfriended”?

    So how exactly how much time has GavinMac spent working and interacting with the female population of Cambodia who carry on a normal life without working in a pick-up joint?

    Quite a funny article, but on the other side as Cambodia’s best read forum, website thank you for implying all Western men are involved with bargirls.

    A moronic front page post.

  6. abby normal Reply

    Yes, but what of the ex gf who you thought was a “good girl”, when she was actually a very skilled liar and tart for hire by the hour behind your back. She conned you out of too much money, broke your heart and never got what she deserved.

    In this instance, do you out her? It would be the kind thing to do for benefit of her latest mark.

    What did I do? I ratted her out and he believed her anyway. 3 months later her dumped her after catching her with another “customer”.

    Likewise, what to do if the current mark is actually her Khmer man who she was with before during and after you? Not a moto dope, but an older Khmer businessman . A guy who does not know what she is either. The best revenge is living well and being happy, they say. There’s no chance of that here, so revenge to balance the ledger it is.

    Bitter?
    You bet.

  7. Peter Hogan Reply

    Things I’d rather do than get either emotionally or sexually involved with a bar girl:

    * give myself a barium enema
    * shave my ballsack with a cheesegrator
    * eat my own head

    • falcon randwick Reply

      There really is nothing like a freshly cheesegrated scrotum, it’s beathtaking, I suggest you try it…

  8. Chin Vary Reply

    I really hate those fucking old fat ass messing around with all my khmer young girls in my country. They should leave Cambodia alone n go back to their countries n fuck their own daughters.

    • Peter Hogan Reply

      So presumably, it’s OK for you when fat, old Khmer men mess around with ‘your’ Khmer girls, you racist prick.

      • Chin Vary Reply

        bc u are an old fat ass u think it is ok.

        i dont think it is ok even old fat ass khmer men mess around with young khme girls.

        10% of those old khmer men we feel bad enough, why u guy old fat white pigs to dump more shit on it?

          • Chin Vary

            Yes, they go for ur pocket u bastard.

            We are Khmers we dont have any problem to get girls like u fat ass white pig n had to travel thousand miles to get fooled.

          • sidneywho

            Let’s not make this a racial issue. I am a Cambodian man and have been living in the US for many years, though I’ve found racism is everywhere around the world. I do not tolerate racism. It is so inhumane to call a foreigner “white pig.”

          • Rasy

            Chin Vary. You are being very racist. Stop shaming our nation with your vulgar attitude.

  9. Ken Reply

    ”She may have convinced him that she learned English in a monastery from some surprisingly ribald monks.”

    Love it!

  10. Sid Reply

    Who the hell wants to marry a Cambodian bar girl? Come to California, there are plenty of Cambodian women with Master and PhD and they are virgin too.

  11. Pinnochio Reply

    Nice article but goofing on bargirls is getting a bit old. How about an article about the racist, xenophobic, bullying motodop greaseballs like chin varun that talk shit to passersby knowing that they cannot retaliate because they have ten of their friends around and a corrupt police department behind them ? I love to grab a beer next to a small group of iced up thugs and watch how much shit expat and visitors alike eat at every corner refusing to comment about it directly or online. WTF ?

  12. Pinnochio Reply

    Great picture. The girl’s microexpression reveals the true attitude of indigenousc phnom penh towards expats minus the phony smile. I am pretty sure this is chin (on the balls) varun’s wife/pimped out bargirl (same thing for these animals).

  13. Sid Reply

    The girl in the photo looks like she is in pain. The guy must have put his finger in her ass.

  14. sam perera jr Reply

    I AM FROM A SOUTH ASIA AND FIRST VISITED CAMBODIA YEAR 2000,AND DID NOT COME BACK UNTILL 2010,IT WAS A HELL ON EARTH WHEN I WAS FOR FEW DAYS,LOST THE INTEREST TO STAY ANY LONGER,THEN EVERY WHERE NIGHT CLUBS OFFERING SMALL GIRLS FOR SEX.CRIMINALS ARE ON STREETS,AT NIGHT,ANY VISITOR,NO SAFE.

    AFTER HEARING NEWS OF CHANGESS,I DECIDED TO VISIT AGAIN,YEAR 2010,I DID NOT ABLE TO RECOGNISE CAMBODIA I SAW 10 YEARS AGO.CHILD SEX STOPPED,NO CRIMINALS ON STREETS,EVEN NIGHT ANY ONE NOW CAN WALK ON ANY STREETS HERE.INVESTORS EVERYWHERE BUILDING UP BUSINESESS AND LOCALS BENEFITING WITH NEW JOBS,TECHNOLOGY AND KNOW HOW ABOUT ENTERPRISESS AND TRADE,EDUCATION IS NOW THE MAIN TARGET FOR YPUNG PEOPLES ATTENTION,SO MANY OF WORKERS NOW ARE PART TIME WORKERS AND STUDY FOR THEIR BETTER FUTURE.

    NOW ONL;Y PHNOM PENH,SIEM REAP ARE THE ONLY ASIAN CITIES HAVE NO LOCAL BUSESS,BECAUSE ALL HAVE MOTOR BYKES AND OTHER VIHICLES.

    IT IS VISIBLE THAT PRIME MINISTER HUN SEN IS A KEEN FOLLOWER OF GOOD ADVICE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CAMBODIA.IT IS UINDERSTANDABLE THAT IN FEW MONTHS TIME CANT DEVELOP A COUNTRY WHICH TOTALY DESTROYED BY THE CRUEL COMMUNISTS.

    IF NOT DISTURB AND LET CONTINUE THE PRESENT PROGRESS AND USE THE FORIEGNERS PRESENSE AND THEIR MONEY FOR ONGOING PROGRESS,CAMBODIA HAS A GREAT FUTURE.

    HOPE CAMBODIAN ORDINERY PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION TO CORRECT AND WISE ADVICE FOR NOT TO DISTURB THE ECONOMIC PROGHRESS THEY ARE NOW UNDERGOING BUT HELP IT TO PROGRESS MORE.

    CAMBODIAN GOVERNMENT”S PRESENT PROGRAM OF LET FORIEGNERS COME AND INVEST,WORK,LIVE,IS THE MOST SMART PLAN CREATED THE PRESENT ECONOMIC PREGRESS HERE.

    GONE THROUGH SEVERE UNFORTUNATE EXPERIENCESS OF IT”S PAST,CAMBODIA IS FINALY FORTUNATE TO HAVE RIGHT PLANS IMPLIMENTATION AND A FAR SIGHTED LEADER FOR ECONOMIC PROGRESS.

    WELL DONE,CAMBODIA.

    SAM PERERA JR

    • rik Reply

      What a load of complete bullshit. How much does Hun Sen pay you? 100% bullshit.. P/P is full of bars, whores and corruption, call it what it is.. Still I love the place as most people are awesome!!! Why dont you fuck right off

  15. Pinnochio Reply

    THANK YOU FOR EXPOSING ON YOUR OWN WHAT LIARS MOST CAMBODIANS ARE AND HOW UNEDUCATED AND RUDE THEY ARE BY TYPING IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. REGARDING YOUR COMMENTS HERE IS MY RESPONSE: AND I THOUGHT I WAS A SMALL WOODEN PUPPET.

  16. Bren Reply

    Be it Phnom Penh, Las Vegas or Stuttgart, and whether she was a bar girl or a nun, I will give her a casual wink and let her response be my guide.

  17. potty Reply

    not unlikely, that a lot of your “proper wives” had more sex partners than the average Cambodian bar girl…

  18. paul scott Reply

    There sre two things a really clever writer will attract and they are praise and bilious antagonism. The photograph is unsettling. The guy from Alabama State looks confident enough ,his arm around girl , but it seems like a grab shot and somewhat dangerous. The girl is looking straight at the photgrapher and she shows fear is it.
    The Author Gavinmac a Master of the Story.

  19. rik Reply

    This girl has a name. Her name is Thannapach.She is pictured here with her husband Alan who is a teacher in Thailand. She was born in Nakhon Sawan and died there also. She never was in Cambodia and this story is complete bullshit..

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