One of the things I noticed was just how comfortable other Thais were in her company.
Heterosexual Thai men were quite happy to give her a compliment such as telling her how beautiful she looked. It was the charming way the other Thais treated her that soon put me at ease.
This particular reporter seemed to be fascinated with the ladyboy scene. Like most of his report, I think he just made it up.You will see them working in shops and restaurants.Even if you go out into the country, you will find katoeys. In fact, I had not been here long before I had a personal acquaintance who was a katoey.A lot of the above figures are probably the same katoeys moving from location to location and I think I have overestimated all my guesses. So I am saying somewhere between 100-300 katoeys working in Phuket's sex industry.Certainly not 5,000 but then a figure of 100 would not make good press. Are there really lots of men looking for their services?But he said 5,000 actually working in the sex industry. At Soi Katoey in Bangla, there are always a few dancing at the front of the soi.There is another katoey bar at the back and Moulin Rouge ladyboy show.He made a few sweeping generalisations about Phuket's nightlife, suggesting the whole island was truly a cesspit of debauchery. But he obviously saw enough ladyboys around to think it was a reasonable guess.He then claimed there were 5,000 ladyboys working in Phuket's sex industry and a huge demand for their services. Phuket's high season population is estimated to be around 500,000.They all called her 'she' as it is polite and made her happy. It made me think just how far behind our attitudes still are in the west.Personally, I was initially a little uncomfortable in her presence. In the wake of the tsunami tragedy and the media feeding frenzy that followed, a friend sent me an article from a British newspaper.