If you have seen the Hangover 2 enough times (like I have), you will at least be somewhat aware of the industry that involves both ladies and ladyboys entertaining gentlemen folk sexually, but what happens when a pandemic hits?
To cut a long story short across south-east Asia brothels, KTV’s, girly bars and massage parlors were some of the first to be shut down, and are the last to be allowed to open again. Whatever your views on the world’s oldest profession, you can at least understand this; after all, you can’t really social distance from someone you are massaging, let alone giving a hand shandy to. But for the VIP girls of Bangkok, things are about to change.
As of last week, authorities in Thailand have announced that the massage parlours of Pattaya and Bangkok are to be allowed to open again, giving respite to the thousands of women not able to put their hands to work and earn money for their families.
The move marks phase three of a four-phase opening in Thailand with movie theatres, sports fields and, of course, massage parlours allowed to open. Phase four will be the full opening of the economy, compliant on there not being a second wave.
The opening of the massage parlours still comes with a number of restrictions, such as limiting “massages” to 2 hours and the continued use of face masks by both client and service provider.
Many other businesses, such as restaurants and barbers, had already been allowed to open, and there are now even talks of starting a number of flight routes between Thailand and countries such as Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
But of course, the big news is the victory for the massage girls of Bangkok and beyond who can now start servicing clients again.
Finally, after all the drama of 2020, a story with a guaranteed happy ending.