Underwear Induced Giggles

We all have to do it in our lives out of necessity. It can be easy and straightforward or embarrassing and humiliating. Since moving to Bangkok I’ve only had to do it a couple of times (thank to friends who do it for me sometimes) and each time have left thoroughly red-faced. I am, of course, referring to buying underwear.

It isn’t the act of buying underwear that is embarrassing, it’s the staff. In particular, it is the female staff. Department stores like Emporium seem to think that having young women staffing the mens underwear section is a good idea and normally this wouldn’t be a problem.

The problem begins when these young ladies see you shopping for underwear, because they gather all the other young female colleagues and stand nearby glancing at you, gossiping and giggling about the farang who needs to buy underwear (yes, farang wear underwear too). It makes it a little difficult to ask them for different sizes or their opinion on which pairs are better when their embarrassment makes me embarrassed.

If there is a good store to buy underwear from that doesn’t feature giggling girls for staff, please let me know. You’d be doing men in Bangkok a great service.

12 Comments so far

  1. him (unregistered) on August 17th, 2005 @ 4:30 pm

    Oh tell me about it. The bloody staff! So much as look at a pair of underwear and you are surround by women gladly showing you latest and greatest silky smooth tacky as fuck shorts. Jesus wept. No offence to any gay gogo dancers who might be reading, but I ain’t one of them, and that seems to me to be the only person half of the stock would appeal to!

    And, without wanting this to sound, um, erm, whatever, *nowhere* in this damn country sells anything that fits a westerner like me! The only place I have found anything – and had professional level staff, is at Marks & Spencers in Central Chitlom.

    I should point out at this point, I’m talking about reasonably prices thai- underwear. Yes, yes, I too have seen all the Calvin Klien etc, that cost 3000B. Screw that.

    Underwear: one of the reasons I am looking forward to going to Australia next month – I can get some!

  2. Baba (unregistered) on August 17th, 2005 @ 5:56 pm

    And let me tell you he’s not big and fat either ;)

    What’s worse is that he makes me go shopping for his underwear… now THAT’s embarrassing. And for some reason even in Europe where I went looking the department attendants were also women.

  3. nocturn (unregistered) on August 17th, 2005 @ 6:14 pm

    humour. i bought 20 pairs at the gap last i was home. i love buying an xl that is too small for me in thailand and finding a very roomy medium in the western world.

  4. Ben Harris (unregistered) on August 17th, 2005 @ 6:26 pm

    I’m going to have to go and buy some new ones soon since the next time I’m out of Thailand is mid next year. I’m dreading it (buying the underwear, that is).

  5. Bonifide (unregistered) on August 17th, 2005 @ 7:11 pm

    I’m not too big on underwear as long as it holds my junk in place, so not sure if you’re looking for silk or satin or whatever.

    So don’t know much about underwear situation, the 300 baht for 3 at MBK is satisfactory for me. They have (farang) sizes up to XXXL too. They seem to be lasting a year later. :)

  6. bernhard (unregistered) on August 18th, 2005 @ 5:40 am

    Bying underwear in Thailand seems really to be a big problem.

  7. Ben Harris (unregistered) on August 18th, 2005 @ 11:36 am

    I can’t bring myself buy underwear from one of those streetside vendors who sell 4 packs and the such.

  8. bkkmei (unregistered) on August 18th, 2005 @ 12:01 pm

    I think for some foreign women, it could be even more of a problem. Thai girls are extraordinarily petite. Selection of bra sizes will only go so far. Except at M&S which has cunningly cornered the market in larger sizes (and doubles the prices accordingly).

  9. aurix (unregistered) on August 18th, 2005 @ 7:52 pm

    wow.. you learn something new everyday, don’t you? i never knew underwear buying was such a big problem for farangs in thailand before. well.. come to think of it, it should, for all the reasons that you guys have pointed out. i just never thought about it before. this is kinda funny actually.. ;-) sorry, folks!

  10. Baba (unregistered) on August 18th, 2005 @ 10:58 pm

    “I think for some foreign women, it could be even more of a problem”

    Yeah tell me about it… and IF you do find your bra size it’ll be padded, and me I don’t be needing that padding. And M&S that’s just daylight robbery ;)

  11. Tim (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 1:52 am

    wow, 3000B for CK’s, that’s quite the mark-up. I love Calvin Klein Underwear, especially the boxer breifs. Trying to avoid the tighty whitey thing, and anything which too much spandex.. But agree the dept stores would probably buy sell more if they had a mixture or more men in the men’s dept.

  12. Ben Harris (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 9:36 am

    it was ‘that time’ recently when new underwear became a necessity so, instead of going through the hassle of finding reasonable pairs myself I sent the other half with one rule – “Don’t buy the cheap ones off the corner of the street”.

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