Stickman Readers' Submissions October 30th, 2003

These Isaan Girls

Anonymous Submission

I came with a friend to Phuket for a hanky panky holiday in September last year. I had a creaking marriage and thought a bit of light relief with the LOS ladies of the night would be just the thing. First night as a newbie we called in at a bar on Soi Seadragon and I spoke briefly to an attractive girl – let's call her Porn before leaving her and going back to the hotel to crash out. My friend had hooked up straight away with her friend. The next night I went to try my luck elsewhere but my friend visited the bar again and said Porn was asking after me. This routine carried on for two or three nights. So then I did go back and went with her.

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Bang! I was gone and my life has not been the same since. The full girlfriend experience. As an old fart of 55 [but still up for it!] I felt as if I had died and gone to heaven with this lovely lady of 30 beside me. She was bright, lively, understanding and spoke excellent English. We were together for the rest of my holiday. When the time came to leave I was as near crying as I have been for years. I just did not want to go.

On arrival home a loving e-mail was waiting. I was away on what I now know is a familiar path. The feelings growing stronger as I sat in Farangland. Memories of the best moments continuing to grow. The start of requests for money which I was delighted to oblige. It also led directly to the end of my marriage. My Thai experience leading me to raise the state of our marriage directly with my wife. Within a week she left never to return. The divorce will be finalised in about three months.

Fast forward four months. The exchanges with Thailand have continued. Porn has stayed home most of the time in Isaan – a village near Udon Thani – but returns to Phuket to see me when I come out again. Again we have a good time. But occasionally she displays an unpredictable and angry side to her character which I had not seen before. And although she had told me there was no one else I discover there is an Austrian hovering in the background. This is someone she had met a year before who kept in touch but had not sent her money or helped her. She had told him about me and prompted by this he wanted to come and take her back to Austria. 'But I choose you as you are right for me 'she told me.

She also said she wanted help to build a house in her village. I agree to help and say I will send money when I get home. Not good enough – I am not trusted. I am marched to the bank and big money is extracted there and then on my credit card.

She starts to want commitments about the future but in my in between state of near divorce I cannot make any promises. Lovely as she is I also don't want to jump from the frying pan into the fire. Despite this the relationship is fine. It is my main support in this difficult time of my life. I am in love with her.

Fast forward. I visit again in May this year. I visit Isaan to see the house I have helped pay for and meet the family. I had read much about the Isaan experience and it was everything I had expected and more. Absolutely fascinating but also often very boring! As an aside you can see why the girls are screwed up. The contrast between their family orientated villages [bed at 10 and up at 6] and their crowded rooms in Phuket in comparison to the luxury hotels where they go with their clients is so extreme. That together with going with so many different men [as she told me 'Many men smell – you do not'] and always being short of money while being surrounded by farangs' wealth would do anybody's head in.

I digress. It came out that although I had tried to make it clear I wasn't yet divorced she thought I was. Consternation. That didn't go down well and although we were still ok she was getting restive at the time being taken – leading to what? Also another familiar figure appears. The Thai ex-husband and father of her two children who lives nearby and who is abusive and who she is afraid could call at any time to sort her out.

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I return home. We are ok. The flow of money from me, and text messages and e-mails continues. She is restive with the position. But I still love her very much and she says she loves me.

Next visit. Two months ago. A week in Isaan and a week in Hua Hin. Things are not good. Displays of temper and annoyance. I now know that again it was because I was unwilling to commit for the future. The slow speed of the European divorce and the need to get a financial settlement are alien to the Thais. I can't commit in this in between state. I left on a low note although we were still together and I was still paying out.

Text messages and phone calls continue. Then one day I get a goodbye text message from her. I am in the middle of a major row with my wife at the time about our divorce and it is days later before I fully realise what Porn is saying. I also have a message to say she has 'by mistake' taken some money out on a cash card I have given her. This was after advice on another forum that the quickest and cheapest way to send money is to open a new account and transfer set amounts into it and let your girl have a cash card for that account. I put on a small overdraft limit to cover currency fluctuations.

I then try to phone and text but nothing is accepted. Strange. I check my bank account on the net. The withdrawal she mentioned from her village is there. But next day there is another withdrawal up to the overdraft limit at a very unThai sounding place. Very strange.

I put the words in on Yahoo and search – it is the banking hall at Vienna airport! I have now put the story together. The contact with the Austrian had continued all the time we were together. As she got more unsure about me passports and visas were arranged and she was all ready to go well before my last visit. I think I was being given a last chance on my visit to commit although nothing was said directly about it.

So after my visit she changed her SIM card so I couldn't contact her and off she went. Also I think there had been more threats from the Thai ex so that was another pressure to go. So she is now gone and is living with Mr. Viennese Whirl in Austria. Is she happy? Is it what she really wants? I don't know.

Crazily enough three weeks after she went my divorce started to get sorted so we could have moved forward. But maybe not the right thing in the circumstances!

So I'm now sitting in England feeling very sick about the whole thing with her closer to me geographically than she has ever been but a million miles away in reality. What are the lessons from all this? Probably no more than has been seen on Stickman a thousand times. The feeling that 'mine is different'. How easy it is to fall into a BG relationship without even thinking about it. How what you thought would be a night's fun can impact on the rest of your life. How you never really know what the girls are thinking. How there are real cultural differences – although the girls in the resorts can seem to be almost western they are not! And how the girls mood can change dramatically if they aren't getting what they want.

Also to the girls the relationships they build with Farangs are central to their prosperity. We can walk away and save money. It is the opposite for them. Another thing is the concerns of BGs of about 30 who see themselves getting too old for the game and start to become anxious about the future.

Another factor which my girl certainly knew about was the relatively easier entry requirements for Thais for the Schengen visa countries as compared to the UK [crazy situation] – this makes a continental a better bet for hooking up with long term back home than an Englishman.

All the above mix in together to result in what has happened to me. Also I wasn't and am still not sure what I wanted from this relationship. Although I now feel lost and know I did love her a little voice says that although she has gone it might be for the best. That uncertainty is why it has rebounded on me. If you play around with fire you will get burnt.

Stickman says:

Yes, it is for the better. Whatever you do, don't go back to Phuket looking for another!

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