By Jin Dabenda
BANGKOK (China Daily Show) — Wang Ge was excited: For months, the junior government official had been reading of his compatriots’ adventures in the steamy Thai capital. Now he was finally visiting himself.
Particularly of interest were the country’s many post-op transsexuals, or “ladyboys,” an object of enduring fascination to many holidaying Chinese.
Which is how Wang ended up at a drag show on the capital’s famous Soi Cowboy, cradling a cold Singha in one hand and a six-foot, 140-pound “woman” in the other.
Except “she” wasn’t a “woman” at all – she was, in fact, an actual woman.
“When I took her back to her cramped apartment, I had drunk many beers, maybe three, so I was dizzy and confused. I didn’t know what I was doing, as we began kissing and taking off each others’ clothes,” Wang admitted.
Things progressed to the bedroom, where Wang undressed his companion, only to find a pair of magnificent breasts – and a neatly trimmed vagina.
“I immediately rushed to the bathroom and was violently sick,” Wang recalled. “Maybe it was the beer but one thing I do know is: she was no ladyboy.”
Wang’s experience is not uncommon. A surge in tourism from the Chinese mainland has exposed an apparent shortage of proper, anatomically correct male-to-female transsexuals in Thailand, experts say, and many clubs and bars are now resorting to using real-life women to make up the shortfall.
“A proper ladyboy should look, smell and feel like a fraulein but have small identifying marks only a connoisseur could recognize,” waxed gender-reassignment expert Dr Klaus Von Eimmenheim.
“Her delicate hands seem a trifle large, perhaps. Her jaw might be firm –a little too firm. And of course, when you remove her underwear, there should be a very distinct, yet small, pizzle. This is most important.”
As Western economies struggle to recover from the 2008 financial crisis, nouveau riche and cadres in China are enjoying a travel boom. Many signs in go-go bars and brothels across South-East Asia now feature Chinese characters alongside the usual Thai, English and Bavarian.
But the sudden transgender shortage threatens this boom period for Thailand’s vital tourism industry.
Sexually ambivalent Chinese men are now finding themselves even more confused when, after an alcohol-fueled night, they end up in bed with someone they assumed was a young girl, realized was a man, hoped was a ladyboy but turned out, instead, to be none of the above.
Tourist chiefs have urged calm.
“We welcome Chinese and all foreigners to enjoy our fine array of prostitutes – of every conceivable gender,” read the Twitter feed of the Pattayan Tourist Board on Wednesday.
Deputy Minister of Health Somboon Pakchala said there was absolutely no cause for alarm.”There’s no actual shortage of potential Thai ladyboys,” he assured.
“We have thousands of effete young men ready, willing and able to make the cut,” Pakchala told China Daily Show.
In the interim, long-term farang offered their advice on avoiding any unpleasant surprises.
“There’s one failsafe way to check and that is to ask,” advised amateur expert Bill Wiggins. “If it’s a woman, she’ll maybe shout at you. But if it’s a ladyboy, she’ll kick the shit out of you.”
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