And They Lived Happily Ever After
After reading the piece's "Maybe it is possible" by JL and "East vs West" by Ozymandias today, it's nice to see some happier people for a change. There seems to be so much doom and gloom in LOS at the moment.
So, I thought I would add my voice to the happy camp and tell you the story of my last 18 months.
OK, background first, I am a very regular traveller to and through BKK for both business and pleasure. Yes I have indulged in the nightlife over several years.
It all started when I broke up with my last girlfriend from Kabin Buri. (This is a whole story on its own but sounds so like other readers stories I shall not repeat it).
OK there I am on a Thursday lunch time in a hire car heading from Kabin Buri to BKK feeling very sorry for myself. I got to thinking that I didn't need to be in the UK till the following Monday so, what the hell a weekend in Pattaya might cheer me up. Turn right, 4 hours later I am checking in to my favorite hotel in Jomtien.
Come 7.30pm all dressed up heading into town for some action. (Why is it that so many falang make no effort to dress up when they are out for the evening? Come on guys, I always think if you look good, you feel more positive and everything just flows from that.)
Anyway back to the story, after a few beers in the Walking Street I ended up in a gogo bars in soi 7 or 8 (I forget which). I am not sure why I even stopped, as there was very little going on. Anyway, in I go, sit down, order a beer, over comes a lady a bit older than I would normally choose but OK. She sits down and after the usual questions (Hello, what your name….) the next thing she says to me is I not come with you, just talk with you. This immediately got my interest as it’s a line I have never heard from a BG. So we start talking, I was amazed at how good her English was. It turns out she was a tour guide in Chang Rai and speaks almost perfect English and very passable Japanese, She has an accountancy degree and is generally a very bright girl. During the course of the conversation I also discover her father is dead, her Mum is sick in hospital and she has just lost her job in the travel agent. I can hear you saying here it comes, how much did it cost you. Well it didn’t!
By closing time I was totally enthralled with this lady, so much so that we came to an agreement. I would pay her bar fine she would come with me but NO SEX. It actually didn't bother me because I was having such a great time just talking with her. Well we talked all night, all the next day and most of the next night. I discovered that she had turned to bar work about 2 months previously to pay her Mum's hospital bills. The bar owner was very happy because she kept punters in the bar talking and buying lady drinks, she hated dancing but didn't mind wearing skimpy clothes, when the bar fine question came up she would simply talk the customers into going with one of the other BG's. She was basically living on the monthly wage and lady drinks. Again I can hear you say, no way, never, what was she up to. Well at this time I couldn't figure it out either but something told me to keep going.
The third night we were still talking back in my hotel room and the subject inevitably turns to sex. To my total amazement after a pause, she said to me, what’s sex like! Well, once I had picked my jaw up off the ground we started talking. Not wishing to go into too much detail at this point, she was a virgin at the age of 30 and had never had a serious boy friend. In fact she had never seen a man naked! The result of the conversation was that she said to me, “I trust you not hurt me”, “I need to know about sex”, ”I like you” and “don’t tell my Mum”. Well the inevitable happened and yes I really think she was a virgin, but I also vowed to myself that I wouldn't let her start down the long slippery slope of a BG.
The following day we went and found a nice apartment for her to live for the next month or two it only cost a few thousand baht. Yes I did give her 10,000 baht for her Mum's hospital bill as I know she had no savings and could only think of one other way she could raise the money. She insisted on working in the bar for another 4 weeks as she had promised the owner and she didn't want to lose face. No problem I really did trust her even at this stage.
Next day I returned to the UK. The plane gave me lots of thinking time and by the time we landed I knew what to do. Over the next 4 weeks I phone her regularly and she worked very hard to gather all the papers she needed from Chang Rai, Bangkok and Nakhon Rachasima, including a passport, letters of reference from old employers and all sorts of other paperwork. I worked hard in the UK to make sure I had everything the embassy would want from me to show I could support her on a visit to the UK.
So 4 weeks later I am back in Thailand at her Mum’s house in Nakhon Rachasima. Now comes the slightly naughty bit which is why there are no names in this piece. We used all the gathered paperwork to construct a story that showed our relationship went back a good six months and totally kept Pattaya out of it. We practised the story so we both knew it inside out and made sure everything added up.
Interview day came at the embassy. (I have already written up this bit of the story under “Beating the Embassy” some months ago so I won’t repeat it) Success! But only a six week visitor’s visa. But we don’t care it’s a visa! 3 days later we are on a plane to England.
It was the most amazing six weeks we have ever had. Well, one visa leads to a second and a third and a Schengen visa and an Indian visa (I travel a lot and it was really nice to share it). By the third visitor's visa the British Embassy was starting to get argumentative so while we were in the UK we decided to get married. So we did in May this year.
Now the one thing I haven’t told you is the reason I am unmarried at 40 years old. I have a fair size company and have always been worried somebody would see a large pot of money and not me. Well, true to her words “I love you not your money”, she signed up to what we called a pre-nuptial agreement before we got married, so I have no concerns about this.
In August we went back to the hotel in Jomtien for our Thai wedding ceremony. About 100 of my wife’s family turned up and some 50 of my friends from all over the world. Simply the most incredible day we have ever had.
We are now back in the UK happily settled and our relationship is growing nicely. My wife has a job, is learning to drive and has made new friends – English, European and local Thai people. She really has settled in well. It’s really strange the affect that earning her own money has had. Suddenly she is working out how much it will cost for a car and a summer house in Thailand. While I fully intend to provide most of the money for these projects she is keen to contribute her share.
Lastly I want to share what I consider the ultimate sacrifice on her part which really made me realize how much she loves me. We all know about the sinsod tonmun (dowry / bride price, gold at engagement ceremony – Stick) it has been discussed many times on this web site. In our case we talked with her family and we all decided that as my wife wanted a big Thai wedding all the sinsod tonmun would be used to help pay for the wedding. That was no problem till after the wedding when relatives kept asking her mother how much did you get. Being cynical I am sure it’s with a view as to how much they can borrow, but what the hell it's only money.
Anyway after the wedding we get a call in England saying her Mom has changed her mind and would like the money after all. Without even discussing it my wife said to me “Not fair on you, I sort this out”. So in spite of offering to pay she starts saving money from her job and last week sent the whole lot to her Mom without any intervention from me.
Sure, she is very Thai in the way she thinks, in her logic and the way she over exaggerates her thoughts. No problem, I really like that and it is going to give me years of fun trying to get my head around it. What’s really nice is she is already learning the western style whereby we accept a problem exists, discuss it and solve it, rather than bury it, ignore it, or get cross about it.
All we need to do is keep the right balance and we will both be happy for a long time.
All in all a pair of very happy bunnies!!
You got a really good one! I hope it continues to go well – I'm sure it will.