While some tourists jet in from around the globe specifically to enjoy the androgynous charms of Patong’s legion of ladyboy prostitutes, there are still cases cases where off-guard male tourists end up with a ladyboy under the misunderstanding that he is a real woman. Such misunderstandings can – and often do – result in disaster, as two recent reports in the local press have shown. Green season: The first case happened on September 9, at about 3:30 am, when Pol Col Prasit Yodthong received a report from staff at the Thara Patong Hotel that outside the hotel a group of enraged ladyboys were beating senseless two Saudi tourists. Col Prasit and eight motorcycle patrol policemen were soon at the scene, pulling the furious ladyboys off the Saudi men and taking them into custody. Off to Kathu Police Station went the ladyboys, while their victims, with gashes on their heads and wrists from being slashed with knives, were rushed to Patong Hospital, conveniently located right across the street from the scene of the fight. From their investigation, police learned that the group of five ladyboys had been prowling for customers in front of Tiger Entertainment Complex, on Soi Bangla, when they happened upon two drunken young Saudis, both named Mohamad, aged 24 and 25. As is the common practice along the walking street around bar-closing time, the boys-turned-girls used a series of somewhat-less-than-coy gestures to attract the attention of the two Arab travelers. The heaving breasts having led them into thinking their accosters were actually attractive young females, the Saudis negotiated a price of 2,000 baht each for the two ladyboys, named Nong Suzee and Nong Som-O, from Nong Khai and Chiang Rai Provinces, respectively. Taking the ladyboys back to their room at the Thara Patong Hotel, however, they soon learned the truth: down below they were still wholly male. Thinking they had been tricked, the two men refused to pay and contacted the hotel staff for help to get rid of Suzee and Som-O. But as they were doing so, the two “girls” called their friends by mobile phone for back-up and a melée ensued outside the hotel. Police arrested the five ladyboys to charge them with assault, but the two Saudis decided not to press charges, flying back to the relative sanity and tranquility of their home country the following day. Faux pas: In the second case, at about 5 am on September 12, a 23-year-old Frenchman named Simon freaked out in the rented room of 24-year-old Nong Ple, a ladyboy who had not yet undergone the final step in gender-reassignment surgery. When he learned that the bargirl he had gone home with was really a barboy, Monsieur Simon frantically tried to grab his clothes and bid the ladyboy adieu. But the crafty Nong Ple locked the door to his room, blocking the Frenchman’s most logical route of escape. In his desperate bid for freedom, Simon went to the third-floor balcony – and jumped. He was last reported to be in a grave condition at Patong Hospital, where he was being treated for a head wound requiring 50 stitches and a fractured vertebra.
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