Readers' Submissions

Thais Abroad

  • Written by Dreamer
  • June 1st, 2004
  • 8 min read



This is just some thoughts about how much fun you can have when the Embassy eventually stamps your girlfriends visa, and you are in for a life of bliss in Farang land.

This isn’t meant to be a tale of woe, and there are quite a few couples that have gone on to find a happy future – but it would be less than honest to say that they are anything other than a minority.

As a prelude, let me tell you a quick tale about a guy I met in the queue for the British Embassy, around 12 years ago. He was in a queue to try and marry his young lady. Unfortunately he had gone to the wrong place, but the 5000 baht it cost for a 24-hour marriage was too much, and the week it would take to do it himself was too long, and in any case he had only met her the night before. However, in the grand scheme of things, I’m not sure that would have mattered too much, such are the other risks involved.

Money

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that follows Stick’s site to learn that at least one or two of the girls that marry Farangs do so for the money. What they don’t realise is that the average Farang saves for a year for his 2 weeks of fun, and the rate of spending whilst on holiday is rather higher than what they do back home. Even when you’ve sat down and explained it to them, and they will assure you that they understand, they don’t! They will still expect to be taken out to expensive nightclubs/restaurants every night, as you did when you were on holiday. Of course when you don’t do that once back home, that is all the evidence they need that you never really loved them in the first place.

One of the fundamental problems with the girls, BG or lot, is what your counsellor would call low self-esteem, that’s why they are all so nice to their faces (but gossip like you wouldn’t believe behind their friends backs!)

When you get them back home and what passes for a normal life, they have serious trouble understanding the change (unless you get a good one, and even that can be hard!)

Culture

Let’s assume here that you’ve met a girl that isn’t an out-and-out money grabber, and she has at least some intention of making a go of the partnership. Sadly because of the way that the Thai education system trains them, it will inevitably end up being the husband that makes all the compromises, and that tends to end up being a one way street that is hard to get off. Thais are, by and large, incapable of adapting to other cultures. When that raises issues between the two of you, needless to say, an argument will ensue. However, whereas as a Westerner, once the heat dies down, you will sit down and discuss why the problem arose, and what you can do to stop it happening again, that is about as opposed as you can get to the Thai way of thinking. Once the argument has passed (and the Thai sulk can be anything between a few hours and a week), if you ever try to discuss the issue, you get met with a blank stare that is basically saying, why do you want to make trouble again!

This is hard for the average Farang to understand, but normally in the interests of a quiet life, they will go along with it, and the more you do that, the more one-sided things become.

The alternative to that is when the husband is a bad bastard, and to be honest, the Thai girls normally respect that and are less likely to stray, and I’m guessing because that is more how a Thai husband would treat them.

Certainly, any sign of weakness, at least with the wrong girl, and you can be in for big trouble.

In fact, all those little darlings at your local bar, who have fallen in love with you in 10 minutes because ‘Thai man no good’, are probably shacked up with a Thai boyfriend, who sends them out to fuck Farangs, and drinks the proceeds, but to an extent that is what they understand, and it sounds horrible, but in some way they are comfortable with that.

Children

If you want an insight into why the Thais have a lot of the attitudes they do, then just watch the way they bring up their children. Anything the kid wants, they will normally get for them immediately, there is no concept of teaching them to wait. Whilst it’s nice to see that they care about the children, there is the usual blindness to any long-term concerns, and I think that goes a long way towards the mantra that anyone who has spent time there understands:

Tired -> Sleep
Hungry -> Eat
And arguably, Horny -> Fuck

Class

Probably less the case now than it was a few years back, but in those days, anyone on holiday in LOS had a decent job back home, simply to be able to afford the fare. However the majority of girls are farmers from Issan, and you have to be aware of the class difference.

What normally happens, even amongst girls with the best motives, is that because of cultural/class differences, they end up leaving the guy that took them out of Thailand.

So, who do they end up with? In most cases, security guards and taxi drivers, because they share the same class background. And in a lot of cases the boyfriend will be a foreigner, because they feel a bit like a fish out of water here, and feel more in common with people in a similar situation.

Before everyone writes back to moan about the above, this is not meant as anything elitist, it just seems to be the way it is, and I have a lot of genuine examples to base it on.

Insight

For what it’s worth, and I make no claim to be an expert, this is just my advice from what I’ve seen, though I wouldn’t claim to have learnt from it myself!

Let’s assume that you are around 40, and maybe recently divorced. Don’t go for the 20-year old that falls in love with you at the first bar you go to. Just the culture difference will screw you, and the age gap will pretty much put the nail in the coffin. I can’t think of a single relationship like that which has worked, and I’ve seen a few.

Instead, look to the rather more sensible 35-year olds, the ones with enough brain to figure out that their time is running out in that industry, and what they are looking for is security. For sure, they’re not as immediately stunning as the 20-year old, but probably still half the weight of an equivalent Farang – and they are the ones that actually might appreciate what you are doing for them, the 20-year old stunner has had at least 2 years training that it is her birthright, and that will do you no good at all.

Once you get them home, you’ll have to make adjustments, but you need to set limits. Chances are, all their friends will be Thai, and there will be card schools etc, and it can be really hard to set reasonable limits on that. The key problem is that the husband will normally feel some guilt that he’s dragged his better half round the world (hey, wasn’t it her that said she wanted to live with you?) So, the average husband will put up with more hassle than he would from a farang partner. However if you don’t set limits, you will lose respect (very important for a Thai), and they will just walk all over you.

Of course if you lay down rules that they don’t like, their first reaction is to threaten you that they’ll go back to Thailand. Out of probably 100 Thais that I know here, many have threatened, but none have actually done it. It’s a threat designed to make you feel bad. It doesn’t take them long to figure out that life here is better than a shack in Bangkok, or an apartment in Pattaya shared with 3 other girls. To be honest, if they are really going to go home, they’ll do it anyway.

Conclusion

I’m not too sure that there is a conclusion here, I don’t think there are any real answers. When I first went to Thailand, I saw all the stereotypes, but I quickly realised that in fact there is a whole spectrum of hopes and expectations on both sides.

Generalisations are easy, and to be fair account for the majority of cases, but there is a whole spectrum out there, and in some cases with right and wrong on both sides.

The only advice I can give is, don’t get talked in to anything you are not happy about doing, and although the chances are slim, those Oriental dreams may just come true!

Stickman's thoughts:

You have crammed a lot of really excellent advice into this. A very good read indeed.