Be Afraid Boris
Back in 2008 I penned an article 'Glasnost Pattaya Style' about the apparent 'Russian Invasion' of our fine city. I backed up that statement with statistics showing that Russians had become, numerically, the largest national group to visit Pattaya, dethroning UK passport holders who used to have that distinction.
In 2007 almost 890,000 Russians visited Pattaya, up 84% from 2006. From January through September 2010, over 659,000 Russian tourists entered Thailand; a 77 percent increase over the previous year for the same time period. (During the same period in 2001, less than 40,000 tourists from Russia visited Thailand.) Between January and June 2010, Russian visitors to Thailand totalled 305,415, up 102% over the same period of 2009. By the term 'Russians' I assume they mean people from any of the former republics of the Soviet Union, and not just those from Russia itself.
Analysing and explaining the reasons for the influx of Russian visitors to our Paradise-by-the-Sea would fill several volumes, so I am not going to go into that. As a Pattaya resident, I am more concerned how the Russians behave when they get here rather than why they are here.
I was sitting in the foyer of one of Pattaya's prestige hotels (I snuck in while the doorman wasn't watching) and three tall, blonde women in their mid-thirties were sitting not far away. I recognized their accents as being Russian. Twenty minutes later, their husbands or boyfriends arrived; three big, strapping, square-jawed men you'd like to have on your side in a fight.
Apparently, the guys were late and their women were subsequently in the foulest of moods. They immediately let their menfolk know about it. The guys copped a barrage of Russian abuse that would strip paint from the walls … and they took it like wimps. I don't understand Russian but from their body language I guessed the guys were saying things like, "Yes dear," "I'm sorry, dear," and "It won't happen again, dear."
From a male perspective it was pathetic. These guys definitely had no balls. I fought the urge to get up, slap their collective Cossack faces and tell them they were giving men a bad name.
But this was not an isolated incident. I can't recall how many news reports I have seen or read involving altercations between Russian tourists and locals. In almost every case where a Russian woman was present, it was she who was dishing out the violence or tirade of abuse.
Thai thieves tried to rob a Russian couple jogging on Pratamnak Hill. The would-be muggers were beaten off and scared to death by the Russian woman! The news item didn't say what the Russian man was doing while his wife was teaching the thugs a lesson.
Another report was of a Russian woman leading a heated argument with a Baht Bus driver in Jomtien. The driver got out of his vehicle and was matching her toe to toe. If you or I had been involved, the driver would have simply got on his phone and called other members of the Baht Bus Mafia who would have descended on the scene in a matter of seconds to add weight to his argument. This time it was a Russian woman involved and the driver found himself without friends. Those drivers who may have answered his distress call and turned up, did a quick U-turn. Others simply stood back and watched. Eventually, a policeman arrived and got one side of the argument from the irate Baht Bus driver. Then, seeing an extremely agitated woman who could speak no other language but Russian and was possibly not open to negotiation, he advised everyone, including the small collective of Baht Bus drivers and large crowd of Thai onlookers, to disperse. They did. The policeman watched the woman from a distance until he decided she had calmed down sufficiently to no longer be a threat to man nor beast. Satisfied, he got on his motorbike and drove away.
There have been other reports of angry, violent Russian females keeping onlookers - and sometimes Pattaya's finest - at bay until they calmed down enough to be restrained or sedated.
This is not unexpected, and we only have to check our history books to find even more extreme examples. In June 1941, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union. The attack had initial successes because the Soviet front line defenders were all male. Eventually, Soviet military losses were so high that Stalin had to recruit women into his army. This turned the tide against the Germans and in May 1945, Stalin's million-strong army of pre-menstrual Russian housewives captured Berlin.
A couple of decades later when the Cold War was near its peak, we in the West were preparing for a Soviet attack and possibly the start of World War III. The great Soviet propaganda machine portrayed the mighty Bolsheviks as big, fearless, cold-hearted men who wanted to be masters of the universe and enslave us all. It turns out that these men were not so fierce after all and, for many years we were scared of Boris when, the truth is, we should have been more scared of Olga.
Since 1917, the Soviet army has comprised the largest percentage of volunteers of any army in the world. That makes sense when you consider that most of the volunteers were married men. These husbands figured it was safer to carry a Kalashnikov and face NATO tanks than it was to arrive home drunk and face the wife after a night out with a few mates.
But don't take my word for it. When you are travelling about Pattaya observe for yourself. Watch groups of Russian tourists and attempt to figure out who the leader of the group is. I guarantee the alpha members of the group will be the females. At the bottom of the power food chain will be the physically larger but less aggressive, kowtowing males carrying all the shopping bags and walking, with heads slightly bowed, behind their women.
Comment from the Ass Editor:
I'm not sure that I absolutely agree with the fool, in his perception of the Russian male. Certainly Mr Putin seems to be an Alpha male. I also wouldn't advise readers to assume that those big Russian guys are whelps or pussies.