A Life Like You And Me
When I lay down on my bed in the Isaan and I can't sleep my thoughts are moving to the past. I think about my secondary school, managed by Catholic Priests, where every disobedience was punished bodily. I think about all those years at the university, where I had studied like hell to pass all those exams. I think about those twenty-eight years at that company where I was paid very well and was respected because I had the knowledge. I think about my first wife who left me because we didn't find the time to talk. I think about my two boys far-away, wondering what they are doing..but when I wake up in the morning and hear a drowsy voice whispering: "What do you want for breakfast", I let the past for what it is and think about the future.
I met her in a bar eight years ago, on my first trip to Thailand. In a time where I was depressed and not sure of myself (mid-life crises) I accepted a relationship I was not ready for. She was beautiful, polite and well-educated. Had everything a man can dream of. In the time being with her on holiday she told me her life story. Her father left her when she was 4 years old. At that moment her mother was working in Hong Kong. Raised by an aunt living in Bangkok (sister of her mother), she was able to study in a private school by money coming from Hong Kong. After graduation she found a job in an export company. When she met a Thai man who she loved she wanted to marry but her family had other ideas about her future life. They had found a farang who would like to marry her. This was arranged by two other aunts who where working in a beer bar. After many discussions and also because it was a decision made by her family she agreed to marry this (in her eyes) old (56 years, she was 19 years) and strange (she nearly had seen a farang) man. After staying about one month the farang went back home to make the necessary papers to bring her over. I don't like to talk about men who I don't know but because I am sure that everything she told me is true I give you one quality of this falang. He organized sex parties where she had to have sex with other men. Nineteen years old and not knowing what sex is all about she got depressed and fled to her Thai boyfriend. For her it was running into a nightmare. After one year, searching for help, love and understanding she became pregnant, lost her job and was left alone by her boyfriend. A new bargirl was born.
Nobody understood what I was doing, even me sometimes, thought I was crazy by moving to Thailand. But I had found a new goal in my life to take care this lady who I loved and who had no chance to succeed when I left her alone. (My embassy didn't gave her a visa). We did our best, made many mistakes and I can tell you it wasn't easy, but we believed in each other, talked with each other and took decisions together. After two years we succeeded.
After about two years her family sought contact with us. We decided to give it a try. She was strong, self assured and she knew whatever decision she took she had to ask my opinion. It was one of the biggest mistakes we had ever done. After nearly one week of our first visit the money story began. They asked her why I had not paid a dowry. They asked her for money for a car, motorbike, TV, stereo, computer, gold etc. We gave them everything in the supposition that some day when they had everything they needed it would stop. After one year buying for about 2 million baht luxury for them a family member asked me if I was interested in purchasing land. He knew somebody who wanted to sell a nice piece of land. I responded with a maybe but I wanted to know how much and where. The next Sunday we took a visit. It was about 16 km from a big city, located in a small village. It was a good location, near a big school, near a hospital and along a big road. I was interested and asked him how much will it cost. The owner wanted 800,000 baht he replied. This was far to much for this land and I asked if I could speak with the owner. We went over to his house but he wasn't at home. I felt something wasn't right in this case. The following week I made a little investigation. I found out that if I buy the land 50% would be split between the owner and the family.
Now I understood that I was not part of that family. They not only tried to swindle me but also they thought I was stupid. I felt like an idiot. I was furious. My wife arranged a family meeting where she told them how I felt. She told them that from now on she has no family anymore. She forbade her family to visit her by threatening them if they still do she'll start talking with other people.
This happened 3 years before. My wife now has found a new life, a new falang family and good friends (my sister is one of them). When she is singing I know she is happy and not because she has money or luxury but she had discovered what she had searching for: a life like you and me.
Your wife has very strong convictions. You're a lucky man.