Stickman Readers' Submissions January 5th, 2004

Delightful Farangland – Welcome To Your Asian Girlfriend

"You promised love to some walky-talking boobs with slitted eyes?"

"You can send her to me later."

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"Marry her!"

You get all kinds of delightful remarks, when people back in Old Europe hear about your Asian girlfriend. I've collected some statements, as they come in three stages:

1: They hear about her, when you return back from Asia.
2: They meet her, as she visits you in Old Europe on a tourist visa.
3: They remember her, after she went back home to Asia.

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1) They hear about her

Mary, 53, neighbor lady:
"Oh, that ring on your finger is new, right? Did you find a girl on your Asia trip? Wow!!! Great! What's next – will she come here?"

She is happily married.

Susan, 38, previous girlfriend:
"Of course I have prejudices against girl friends from SE Asia. But I guess she is ok, íf you chose her."
She is happily married.

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Gabriella, 35, most recent ex-lover:
"Yes, of course, we western ladies can't compete with those young soft sweet things from over there. Of course you won't stay with her, but then nobody wants her any more in her village."

Gabriella once had a three days layover on the Philippines, so she's an old Asia hand. She just learnt from me she is an unhappy single again.

"Ah, maybe you 'love' her or whatever. Let's go to bed anyway, we can have fun anyway, come on."

Cathy, 32, lady friend:
"Heck – you promised love to some walky-talking boobs with slitted eyes?!?"
She is bored with her boyfriend, has had an eye on me.

Christian, 40, my buddy:
"Oh, you always find the most difficult women, don't you, I mean language, distance and all."

Sunny, 37, lady friend:
"No need to tell me more. Yes I do know those girls are so soft and submissive that we tough outspoken western women stand no chance against them. They are just so comfortable for you lazy men, as you don't have to explain your macho habits and all to them. They are just happy to be taken to a house with electricity and working bathroom facilities and give their bodies in exchange."
I had spoken less than three words. For years, Sunny has been yearning for a man and a baby, without success.

My mother, 62:
"Just think about it, they have all this misery. They just want a ticket to the rich countries and to grab your money."
She has never left the First World. Her marriage is disappointing.

2) They meet her

Mary, 53, neighbor lady:
"Hello-ho, Hello-ho – you two look so sweet up there, like two lovely birds…!"
Ning and I are sitting on the rooftop, enjoying the view, and Mary is calling us from her kitchen window on the other side of the road.

My local supermarket manager, about 40:
"Oh, nice to meet you, Mrs. Ning! Now I know why Pothole sometimes disappears to Asia for months. How you like Old Europe?"

We had had some brief talks about Asia, but of course I hadn't mentioned a girlfriend.

Joan, 36, lady friend:
"Oh, what a surprise to meet you, wow, very nice, yes I already heard you have a guest from Asia, wonderful, you must come to my house for coffee."

We've met by chance on the market. Big hug for me and one more big hug for a very surprised Ning. Joan is happily married.

Let me tell you that I live in a rural, but prosperous part of Old Europe. An area where people know each other, greet each other, talk to each other, trust each other and help each other. Complete foreigners with Asian or African faces get a good reception. So it is a nice environment to touch down for Ning, my Asian girl friend. She, on her side, is just your picture perfect good Asian girl: pretty, but not stunning; dressed neatly, but not provocative; polite behaviour with a warm smile; no alcohol, cigarettes, tattoos, loud voice; just a few years younger than me.

Doris, 39, my ex-lover:
"She wants to learn how to do a pizza? Sure you can come and we'll do one. I'll buy the ingredients, no problem. Ah, I guess we'd need an extra bag of chilli?"
She is happily married.

My local supermarket manager, about 40 (on the telephone):
"Hi, what are you planning for dinner tonight??? Your Asian lady is here in the shop, but she is not sure if she should buy spring onion or field garlic. What were you going to cook then? You want to talk her on my wireless phone?"

My local bookshop manager, about 55:
"—" (big smile)
She supplies me with Lonely Planets, and we had some brief talks about Asia. Of course I hadn't mentioned a girl friend. As we enter the shop, her smile is supportive, not sleazy.

My local car mechanic, about 40:
"She is something special, beautiful skin, not every man has a cutie like this – you can send her to me later!"
He is married with two kids, the garage is full of pin-ups. His smile is sleazy, not supportive.

Mary, 53, neighbor lady:
"We would like to invite you and Ning for dinner. Is Saturday night ok? What can she eat – would fish and veggies be fine? You think she likes my Tiramisu?"

My local supermarket manager, about 40:
"Ah no, don't buy that cardboxed fish you are checking there. That's not really fish – it is junk. Wait, last week we had a red fish special, no industrial processing. There is just one filet left in the freezer back in the depot room. That's real great, I had some last Sunday. Wait, I'll bring it."

My mother, 62:
"Hi son, how are you doing, oh well, last Sunday we did a trip to the big city, heard a nice concert there, but the traffic was so annoying, and then the dinner in that restaurant, you remember the one I talk about…"
As she sermons into my ear, she doesn't know Ning is with me, sitting right beside me. Ning, next to me on the couch, doesn't know it is my mother on the phone. I just avoid the universal word "mama". After my mother had declared in part 1 that all Asian girlfriends are economic refugees, I didn't want to tell my mother that Ning is visiting and I didn't want to see the woman I love in an ungracious environment like that. No doubt Ning is wondering why we never meet my parents, she even has brought a nice present for them. I've told Ning that my parents live six hours away and are on a holiday trip anyway; I am not sure if she believes this or not.

3) They remember her

Mary, 53, neighbor lady:
"I tell you, marry her – there is nothing better ahead!!!"

Angelina, 40, neighbor lady (as reported by Mary):
"She looked nice. I hope he will keep her – and not send her away, like so many men do with their foreign girl friends!"
She is happily married.

Rosy, 47, neighbor lady:
"How is she doing over there? Will she come back? Tell her my best wishes. We couldn't talk much, but I think we had some understanding anyway."
Obviously, while Ning happily worked in my garden while Rosy did hers, some smiles went across the lawns. Rosy is happily married.

My local supermarket manager, about 40:
"Maybe you'd like to know we now have this new parcel service in the shop. Sends parcels all over the country, and cheaper than the regular post office. But sorry – right now they don't service SE Asia."

My mother, 62:
"Son, your father and I would like to see some grand children sometime – is there nothing going on in that direction?"

Stickman says:


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