Waan - Mother who becomes a prostitute for a “better” life. About 17 years old.
Dao - Waan’s daughter. About 5 years old.
Jake - Typical 19 year old American kid just out of high school.
Chailai - Woman 25 years old. Realizing she has nothing/no one to work for.
*All characters are on stage. Light shines on one person at a time. Extra people who aren’t speaking are like extra props.*
ACT 1 Scene 1
(Waan looking through old family pictures and thinking of everything in her hotel room alone. thinking to herself.)
So I'm not even 18 and I've gone through hell. I never really had the ability to live the life of a child. I had to take care of my family ever since I could remember and I even started a family of my own already. Crazy, huh? Well that's just how it is. I can't be free and live my own life. So sure there are plenty of teen mothers out in the world. What makes me so special? Like every other teen mother out there, I needed to find a job. I started out finding any other job that was suitable for our area - being a day laborer. I made 100 baht a day. Seems like a lot, doesn't it? It's really only $3. That's the only I have considering I live in the countryside.
One day, my friend who moved to the city came back to visit and told everyone how well she was doing in the city. People started rumors because she sends 10,000 baht home to her family every month. That's $300 - not a typical wage for a waitress. Of course, she denied everything everyone accused her of. She tried to convince me to return to the city with her since the pay was so good and it'd be good for my daughter.
(Flashback: Waan is talking to her best female friend.)
“Want me to go to Bangkok with you? Yeaahhh, I'm not sure about that. I don't think “waitressing” is suitable for me considering I’m a mother and all... Air quotes? Nah, it’s nothing. Just letting you know I know you don’t waitress. It’s obvious... Oh so you’re not a hooker? That’s highly doubtful... I know I’m your friend, but come on, you don’t make that kind of money walking around giving people food. It’s just not likely... Fine, want to prove it to me? I’ll go then.”
I left my daughter with her father. I wish I didn’t have to, but I had no choice. This is already hard enough as it is. I have to leave my daughter with my ex-husband and his new wife. Of all people. I’ll try my best to get her back when I get the money.
(Lights fade out and onto Dao)
ACT 1 Scene 2
(Dao playing in the dining room playing with her toys talking to a visitor.)
Mommy is never here for me. I know she’s out there trying to create a better future for me, but I doubt it’s in the right way. I need my mother’s presence here. I can’t stand another day with my father and his wife. I mean, I love him and all, but this is too much. His wife already hates my guts just because I resemble my mother.
(begins to get crayons and paper to draw a society full of men.)
What’s up with women, they either love you so much that they end up leaving to get “a better life” or they hate you so much they’re only here because they have no other choice. I can’t stand women. Yeah, she’s doing it for me, but I don’t ask for much. She can actually go to school and get a better job because I’m living in hell anyways. So what difference would it make if she tried to go out and get a better career? I’m mad that she’s only thinking about herself. Just because it’s ‘easier’ to be a sex worker does NOT make her a better mother.
(Lights fade out back onto Waan standing next to Chailai or close to her.)
Act 1 Scene 3
(Waan is walking down the street watching as other women are being picked up by men for ‘services’ and sees Chailai in a distance just waiting around.)
..this is not what I expected it to be at all. All these men - mainly tourists think that we enjoy this misery. It’s just good pay to us. But they are total perverts. Give them an offer where there’s more affordable sex compared to every other place and they’re all over it. This is against my religion to have sex before marriage or for married people to sleep with anyone except for their significant other. I’ve gone far from my religion. I’ve broken the biggest rule out there. I’m a home wrecker. How would I feel in their shoes? Well I’ve done so much damage already as it is. It’s not like me continuing would change anything. Wives shouldn’t blame me. Blame their husbands, blame themselves for not being able to satisfy their husbands to the point they go out paying for what they can get from their wife. That was mean - but honestly, women need to keep a hold on their men. I know that women have absolutely no power here, but we need to do something. I’ve already screwed my life over by becoming a sex worker and leaving my daughter, but I can help warn other women that they should never leave a good thing behind to find what they believe might be better. That’s what’s wrong with people, they are never satisfied with their happiness. All we do is find something better and half of the time, it backfires.
(Sees a little boy through a window across the street coloring.)
I need to find a way back to my daughter’s warm hugs who was always there to wipe my tears away. Her little innocence is refreshing. I’m going to find the next train to her and spend all the time I have with her until she’s all grown up. But know one thing, I’m not ever going to allow her to make the same mistake I did. I’m going to let her know that if you have something good, don’t seek something better. Be happy with what she has.
(goes off to buy a train ticket back home.)
(Lights fade out and onto Jake who is standing next to a random girl.)
ACT 1 Scene 4
(Jake is roaming the streets of Bangkok checking the women out because the only reason he’s there is to find a girl to have fun with.)
HEYO! What’s up?... Do you offer the (clears throat) “services?” Mhmm, we both know you do... Wait what?! You’re not a you-know-what?
(Starts fixing his shirt and gets closer to the girl.)
Hey sweetheart, I’m not a cop. I know everything about this business. Come on, not every guy out there will be hot enough for you be able to actually enjoy this job of yours. Now, I’m not the hottest guy in the bunch, but I sure can hit it. Oh, how old am I? I’m 18. You know, just passing in after high school.. My buddies and I decided to hit up this fantasy land for a little bang bang, know what I mean? We heard wonders about this place. Every hot chick in this place is a prostitute and the sex sure is cheaper here than everywhere else. Wait - if you’re all hot, why aren’t you guys married or with someone?.... oh yeah, you did say that you weren’t in the business. Are you sure? Because I thought you were just making sure I wasn’t a cop... Whoops, my bad. Well now I know you’re not a hoe, wanna go out to dinner some time? Why not?.... It was an honest mistake. Don’t other guys mistake you for a street walker? Well see, you should be used to it by now. I mean, dressed the way you are who wouldn’t come to that conclusion?
(He gets smacked)
Daaaamn, I’m sorry hun, just letting you know how it is. If you didn’t want the wrong attention, be a bit classier.
(Girl walks away.)
Oh you’re just gonna walk away now, huh? Awww, don’t be like that. WAIT!... you didn’t gimme your number.
(Jake tries to follow behind the girl and light goes onto Chailai)
ACT 1 Scene 5
(Chailai speaks in ‘broken English’ at the corner, feeling overwhelmed with her life she doesn’t think she can handle it. She’s lost it and is muttering to herself.)
I don’t like being called bad things all over Bangkok. All the mean people just say “She is a hoe” and they throw stuff at me. I not smart like other people because my family can’t do nothing for me. I want to be like everybody who do this for the family, but I have nobody to take care of except for my grandma who is sick. I have no husband, no kids, no brothers, no sisters, no anybody. What if my grandma die? She is so old. What am I going to do? No body there for me. Nobody wants to love me because they say I am stupid. All they want is my body. They run around and say “Oh hey there sexy lady” I feel happy they like me. But only to sleep. They don’t care if I die tomorrow or right now. They only want to sleep in the bed with me. I am a nobody. I have nobody. You know what? I don’t care anymore. I am 25 year old. Soon no body want to sleep with me either. I am too old to go sleep with everybody and be the sexy woman. All the man want is the little girl that 15 year old. So nasty.
(Lights go off and Chailai is in her hotel room full of suitcases and is in front of the mirror.)
ACT 1 Scene 6
(Chailai is looking at herself in the mirror and getting ready.)
This is so new to me! I finally have first boyfriend. Not the one where the guy want to pay me to be with him. The one where he want to spend time with me. This is a new beginning for me. I can go to school and try to learn to speak the English language and get a real job. How someone like me meet a guy like this? All I need to do is don’t go stand and wait for the guy anymore. I find respect for me, then someone find respect too. This guy so nice too. He promise something and he pull through with it. It’s not like the guy I work for who promise a better future. This guy let me move in with him in beautiful house. It’s not whore house where he do that to a lot of people. I’m the only woman in the house. He make me feel like I am the angel, but he know what I used to do. You can’t have relationship without communication.
(Looks off into a distance and pauses with makeup.)
Sometime I still have nightmare that nuk lang, that mean gangster, is going to come find me and kill me. But, Adam is always there for me. He comfort me when I have nightmare and cry.
(Gets back to Earth and continues to apply makeup.)
Oh well, everything is okay. We going to move to America to start new life and forget about everything that happen here. The past is past. Time to burn it all and let the ashes blow with the wind.
(Gets up and gathers suitcase to leave.)