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Making It Rain in a Thailand GoGo

In case you are unfamiliar with the term, “making it rain,” here is the definition as it’s listed in urbandictionary.com:   When you’re in da club with a stack, and you throw the money up in the air at the strippers. The effect is that it seems to be raining money.   There’s no way I could have ever put it better than that!  The term and the act started to become popular when it was proliferated by some artists in the hip hop community 6 or 7 years ago.   Back then it was a fresh and funny way to spice up a night.   It barely caught on in Thailand, if at all.  I saw it done just a couple of times throughout the years, and it was perfectly fine each time.  Here’s what’s interesting:  The whole “making it rain” fad is pretty tired out, barely on life support in the U.S. by now.  But in Thailand, it is catching on in a big way, and it’s become horribly annoying!

Urbandictionary.com doesn’t merely give you the definition of a word or popular phrase; it also gives you the word in a sentence.  Here is the sentence they used for “make it rain:” After Leroy finished trapping for the night, he went to the strip club, got 10 stacks, and made it rain inside the club the whole night.  That’s a pretty solid way to use it, but I don’t think it really suits the spirit of the phrase in regards to people doing it these days in Thailand.  Here’s a more appropriate and relevant use of it:  After wasting money on a few buckets of ping pong balls, Jim realized that making it rain with 20 baht notes was a much more efficient way to burn through whatever money he had saved this year.  Ok, so maybe I’m being a little harsh there.  Or am I?

making it rain

The last time I went to a crowded GoGo, the act of making it rain ruined the entire experience.  I’ll leave the name of the place out since I don’t want this to be a stain on the establishment as it’s not really their fault.    That night the place was crowded and the girls were hot.  Each girl was either dancing on stage or sitting with a guy.  Then I saw a middle aged guy throw a stack for the first time of the night.  In case you were wondering, a stack contains 50 twenty baht notes.  So like most things in Thailand, you get a discount on it, since a stack in the U.S. contains 100 single dollar bills.

When the first stack came out, it didn’t really bother me.  I just said to myself, “This guy is a little late to the party with the fad, and the place is a little too packed for this, but whatever”  Within minutes, another stack came flying out, thrown by the same man.  Now he had the girls’ attention.  You may think that is all the guy wanted, so on the surface, maybe it sounds like he got exactly what he paid for each time he threw 1,000 baht out at the girls.  That was definitely not the case, but I’ll get to that later.   Once the girls realized that this guy was going to be “jackpot city,” every girl in the place became fixated on getting as many of the 20’s as they could get their hands on.  Think about it this way, the girl I’m sitting with spends twenty minutes with me having a drink, which she gets 35 baht for.  The girls sitting or standing near this guy were getting 100 or so baht within a 5 second flurry.

The next stack came, then another and another after that.  But this time the guy wasn’t content simply with throwing a stack in the air, as he wanted to become the center of attention for everyone in the club.  So he hopped on stage and started throwing one 20 baht notes one at a time…at the girls’ faces.  And I’m talking about direct hits, throwing each one with the same wrist motion of cracking a whip.  By that point, there were no girls on guy’s laps and there were no girls dancing on stage.  There was just a pack of hungry wolves diving at the floor.  This isn’t a particularly large or spacious GoGo I was at, and they don’t have a ton of girls working there.  After the second round, some of the girls had too many notes to hold them in their wrist bands, and had to dump them in the back.  But OK, as silly as it all was, 10 minutes or so later, things started to go back to normal.  And the guy and his friend had exactly 0 girls sitting with them by that point.  I guess that didn’t sit well with them!  I saw a Thai guy bring stacks of stacks on a tray to their table.  I would have left, but I liked the girl I was talking to, and I wasn’t going to let these guys force me out of a spot that I normally love.

It actually got worse because now there were two guys doing it, and both of them were throwing as many of the bills at the girls’ faces as they could.  I don’t think most of the girls could even tell you what these men looked like as they were too busy crawling on the floor.  I’ll estimate that they threw a total of 30-35 stacks over the course of an hour or so.  And then, after spending approximately $1,000 USD, the men left the establishment with nothing other than their memories.  I can think of better ways to spend 30,000+ baht at a GoGo.  All they really got for their money was to have a lot of Thai girls call them stupid crazy foreigners in Thai, and to make a bunch of men hate their guts.  For that money, they could have taken 5 girls to their hotel, EACH!  But they did things their way, and despite most of the girls raking in 1,500+ baht each off the men, not a single girl even thanked them!

Unfortunately, there’s more to the story.  20 minutes after the men left, things were very much back to normal.  Girls were dancing and girls were sitting on top of guys’ laps.  Even bar fines were being discussed.  Then all of a sudden, another two stacks flew out at the stage.  At first I thought the same men had returned, but that wasn’t the case.  A new group of guys, who had absolutely nothing to do with the last couple, picked up where they left off.  I told my friend, “we can’t f**king win tonight,” and we left.

Here’s the deal:  It’s usually not my business the way people spend or waste their own money.  The GoGo was clearly very well prepared for this, because some how they kept coming out with rubber-banded stacks. And unless they were buying back the 20’s from the girls in the back (which we really can’t rule out), they were ready for this type of behavior, and had the stacks stocked.  So if they don’t have a problem with it, why should I?  Well, because it ruined my time there, that’s why.  IT was inconsiderate to every other guy in the joint, and the fact that they were whipping them at girls’ faces tells you this certainly wasn’t an act of philanthropy.  This was a couple of guys who wanted to act like big shots, nothing more and nothing less.

A few parting shots on “making it rain in Thailand”

  • I get the charm of doing it in a strip club in our home countries, where getting some attention from the girls could give you a leg up to meet the girls after.  But in Thailand, you can literally have sex with any of the girls!!!  What more attention do you need than that?

  • Rappers might have made the trend big, but Thailand’s had the ping pong balls for a long while, so they’ve been on top of this nonsense longer than anyone.  The ping pong balls have always been intended for tourists who want to act silly for a couple of minutes.  It’s all the same sh*t.

  • There is a time and a place for this in Thailand.  If you’re at a GoGo that is basically empty and the girls’ all have that depressed, “I’m not going to make any money tonight” look on their faces, throwing a stack or two could get the energy going.

  • Unless you are invited on the stage by a girl for some strange reason, it is absurd for you to go on the stage.  I’ve seen it a million times, and usually the GoGo’s are pretty nice about it.  It’s a total embarrassment for everyone in the place though, and it should never be done.  I’ve seen a drunk guy get tossed on his ass for doing it once and not listening when he was told nicely to get off. Let’s be clear, the GoGo’s are in the business of entertaining men.  When a sloppy drunk guy gets on stage or starts acting like an attention whore, it make it difficult for any of the other guys there to actually be entertained.

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About Chris

Chris founded Living Thai and author of the books Learn the The Thai Alphabet and How to make money in Thailand also the Blueprint for Living in Thailand. Chris started this blog with the aim of educating westerners on how to have the best time in Thailand, to make new friends and to vent his frustrations Chris is also fluent in both written and spoken Thai.

One Response to Making It Rain in a Thailand GoGo

  1. Brian Sumpter May 9, 2014 at 6:39 am #

    Some greedy Vegas strippers probably popularized the idea, it sounds dumb. In Thailand, like you said, you can already make a deal with the girl if you have her attention, so why throw away cash?

    I enjoyed a few Go-Go bars in Pattaya. The last one was so raunchy, when one of the girls screwed my beer, that did for me. I’m happy just to view the girls with some clothes on from here out. ;)

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