ADVENTURES AT THE
MALAYSIA HOTEL Part 2: Baby Farms and Mysterious Packages
Bruce Marshall was born in England but quickly escaped to Australia. After first visiting Thailand in 1991, he was a regular visitor for 15 years, and finally moved here in 2006. Bruce writes candidly for Naked Farang about his travels, observations and experiences in Thailand. Here he shares his insights into one of Bangkok's most iconic landmarks: the Malaysia Hotel.
The rent boys and girls at the Malaysia Hotel taught me about situations I would never have dreamt of.
I must admit that the girls who frequented the Malay Coffee Shop seemed to be far more interesting than the boys. First person that springs to mind was a woman named “Malia” (Maria?). She was a plump Thai woman and not the type you would think would be a “rent girl”, but she sure was! She was in her forties, and really did look like someone’s mum.
Well Malia was VERY popular with the farangs. Why? I have no idea! But she would happily sit with me and tell me tales about who she had met the day/night previously, some of them quite young guys! I will never forget Malia doing “the dinosaur walk” into the coffee shop one afternoon. “What’s wrong?” I enquired. “Oh, last night… very big!”
No holds were barred by these girls when they were talking about their adventures!
I later found out (from Malia and some other boys and girls) that Malia had been a “baby farm”. I had never even thought about this in my life, that you could make a living from having and selling babies, but apparently some girls do. It’s quite a sad tale though.
Malia I was told, even though quite sweet to chat to, also had a cold side. She had four children, one of which had been sold to a married couple from Melbourne, and I was led to believe she had never bothered to even register the births of the remaining three children.
She told me herself that the couple from Melbourne paid her well for the child, and she actually lived with her new born daughter and the couple in Melbourne for a few months. I’m not sure how much they paid her, but I believe it was a substantial amount.
How was this done? Easily! Just register the husband as the biological father when the baby is born in Bangkok; then the Thai mother and the “father” head off to the father’s country. After a period of time, the Thai mother decides she doesn’t like life in that country, and she simply flies home and leaves the baby behind. I think now 15 years later the rules have been tightened, but I know for sure that it was going on around the mid 1990’s.
My “friendship” with Malia came to a very sour end. She asked me in front of a Thai friend one day if I would take a birthday card back to Australia so that I could mail it to Melbourne on my return. In absolute naivety I said “Yes, sure”. My Thai friend pulled me aside and asked me what I was thinking. It might be packed with compressed heroin!
The next day the “one card” had become half a dozen “letters” which she wanted me to mail from Australia to different parts of the world. I was awake to what she was up to, and I tried my best to avoid her, but one day the letters were slipped under my hotel room door.
My Thai friend stormed down to the coffee shop and told her to back off. The next morning I checked out. Malia came running up to the taxi and tried to open the door so she could pass the letters to me. Who knows what was in them, but I never had contact with her again after that. On later visits to Bangkok I saw her in the coffee shop, but I stayed well away from her.
Malia wasn’t the only “baby farmer” I met at the Malaysia Hotel. Around the same period, I also met Aey. Aey had two young daughters and had recently been bought a large house in Bangkok by her new “boyfriend”, who was a gay Aussie business man. His name was “Elliot” (name changed to protect him). Elliot and his Aussie boyfriend were quite wealthy and had decided they wanted a child. So they paid Aey to do it for them. Aey was nine months pregnant when I met her and Elliot.
Elliot had been holed up at the Malaysia Hotel for seven months. He didn’t trust Aey to hand over the baby, and was worried she might even do a runner, so he had to live with her at the Malaysia Hotel to make sure. It all sounds sordid, but in all defence of Elliot, he had looked after Aey, paid for her upkeep, made sure she ate well, and took care of her while she was pregnant.
The deal was as mentioned before: on the birth of the baby, he would register the birth with him as the father (rumour had it the real father was a Hong Kong business man), and then Aey was free to travel to Australia with him.
It all looked like a perfect set up. He had a very large home in Sydney and she was free to live there and be with her baby for life if she wanted to. Her two other daughters were already being reared by her sister.
Aey told me that me that she really wanted a boy. When the birth came, everything went smoothly and she had a beautiful baby boy who they named Bobby (not the real name). Aey didn’t want to breast feed him as she was afraid of connecting with him, but little Bobby became sick with a stomach virus, and the doctor advised breast feeding. She immediately connected with him, and didn’t want to let him go. Elliot offered to take her with him and Bobby when Bobby was a month old. She would have had a great life in Australia, but she refused and let him go, saying she liked her life the way it was.
I saw Aey two years later at the Malaysia Hotel. She was burnt out, jaded and had aged badly. With another customer, she was complaining she lost her son. But I know that Bobby had a good home in Sydney. Elliot kept in contact with me, and today Bobby is a happy, well-educated teenager living a happy life in Sydney.
As for Aey, I never saw her again. I guess she just accepted her fate, but she did have a choice in the end. What do you think?