Service workers don’t make jack in Thailand,

unless that’s the name of one of the many foreigners who wash up on the beach here. They usually end up in one of the many GI-style bars looking for a little R & R in a World War III of the soul for which an armistice is pending but never imminent. Nurses with ten years experience make the equivalent of a couple hundred American bucks a month, which admittedly goes a lot farther here than there, but still… Prostitution is a dream job for many in a dirt-poor agrarian economy with a highly competitive Chinese-descended service sector. To actually marry a Farang is a fantasy for many Thai women with only the minimum six years of education, an expanding thirty-something waistline and only a smidgin of Pidgin, but still enough to get the new cars and houses rolling in. Of course the big jackpot is the Big D itself (no, not Dallas), inheritance, Easy Street for life if the papers are in order. Many a smart cute cookie foregoes Boogie Nights at the disco and Priapic encounters of the third kind to service an ailing foreign account and go straight for a house on the Boardwalk when the old geezer croaks. Of course some don’t like the long wait and try to help the process along. No girl would ever cop to being an inheritance-chaser, of course, and most probably aren’t, really, unless of course somehow you know in a way with special circumstances events unfold Smith-like by an unseen hand. Even the government gets in on the deal, offering cozy retirement opportunities to anyone who can cough up the minimum $25,000 to deposit in a Thai bank. Some accounts probably go unclaimed when they expire. Call it inheritance farming.