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Patpong Sisters


camerata
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What do you ladies think of Cleo Odzer's book Patpong Sisters? There's nothing else like it, really. I read it about 8 years ago and what stuck in my mind was that the Thai bar girls - who she considered friends - on occasion hustled her the way they hustled guys. Also, her description of the gay scene was pretty interesting. I particularly liked her comment about Thai feminists that she met at a conference - they thought prostitutes were "immoral" not because they slept with guys for money, but because they slept with more than one guy. :o

I corresponded with Cleo for awhile because I had a web site about HIV/AIDS in Thailand. After doing a quick google on her name it seems she may have died in Goa in 2002. Very sad, if true. Anyone know for sure?

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After doing a quick google on her name it seems she may have died in Goa in 2002. Very sad, if true. Anyone know for sure?

I read the same thing about her passing away. :D

What do you ladies think of Cleo Odzer's book Patpong Sisters? There's nothing else like it, really.
I really enjoyed Patpong Sisters, however found it read more like a non-fictional novel rather than an academic piece of writing (that’s me being pedantic). However, I commend her for broaching the subject (at that time and place) as a woman. I doubt a male could have established the same rapport. Obviously things down Patpong have changed, but it would be interesting to see to what extent in comparison to Cleo’s observations. If I had more time I’d love to do it (have already befriended quite a few girls there) :D:D.
I particularly liked her comment about Thai feminists that she met at a conference - they thought prostitutes were "immoral" not because they slept with guys for money, but because they slept with more than one guy.

I do find the “immoral” issue interesting. If it’s a case of notches on the bed, then quite a few of us would be deemed as scarlet women :D:D. I recently watched a documentary about what defines a woman as a “slut”. The literature on the area is growing and it’s quite fascinating what men and in particular other women think. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. :o

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I really enjoyed Patpong Sisters, however found it read more like a non-fictional novel rather than an academic piece of writing (that’s me being pedantic).

That seems to be the fashion these days - take your PhD dissertation, tart it up a little and sell it as a gonzo-journalism type novel. Liza Dalby's Geisha comes to mind. But Liza proved she was a good novelist by writing an excellent quasi-fictional biography of Muraski Shikibu (for anyone who hasn't heard of her, Murasaki was the woman who wrote the world's first true novel a thousand years ago).

I do find the “immoral” issue interesting. If it’s a case of notches on the bed, then quite a few of us would be deemed as scarlet women :o

Sorry, I got that quote a little screwed up. It wasn't made by a true-blue feminist but a "professional woman from the elite class":

"To her, Hoi (a bar girl) was no good because she became attracted to men while with Alex, the idea being that, even as a prostitute, a woman is supposed to be faithful to her man. A woman must repress her own desires, whether she's a wife or a paid companion."

One thing I liked about Cleo, though, is she sure as he11 didn't repress any of her own desires. :D

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Sorry, haven't read it yet. If you're willing to let me borrow it I'd be more than happy to give you my review!  :o:D

I think I'm being hustled. :D If you're in Thailand, you can probably borrow a copy from Asia Books. It's a must-read, as far as I'm concerned.

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One thing I liked about Cleo, though, is she sure as he11 didn't repress any of her own desires.  :D

Repress one’s desires? :o In this day and age that has to be a joke :D. I might be getting a bit ahead of myself :D, but suppression of desire never results in satisfaction – which (as I understand it) is the main goal for everyone :D.

p.s: I enjoyed Geisha, purely as a novel – it helped kill the hours in an enjoyable way :D.

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I haven't read it either, but I'd like to thank you for bringing it up - novels are my favorite sneaky way to absorb information - I'll add Patpong Sisters to my list. Do you have any other suggestions?

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it seems she may have died in Goa in 2002. Very sad, if true. Anyone know for sure?

from the social security death index:

Name Birth Death Last Residence Last Benefit

CLEO S ODZER 06 Apr 1950 26 Mar 2001 (P) (FO) (none specified)

SSN Issued Tools

097-42-3588 New York SS-5 Letter

Add Post-em

(V)=(Verified) Report verified with a family member or someone acting on behalf of a family member.

(P)=(Proof) Death Certificate Observed.

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I haven't read it either, but I'd like to thank you for bringing it up - novels are my favorite sneaky way to absorb information - I'll add Patpong Sisters to my list. Do you have any other suggestions?

Not if you prefer novels. I read mostly non-fiction. I think the only novels I've read in the last 5 years are Memoirs of a Geisha, The Cobra Event (about bio-terrorism) and Da Vinci Code.

If you like books about unusual women, try Dragon Lady : The Life and Legend of the Last Empress of China, by Sterling Seagrave.

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