Stickman Readers' Submissions July 14th, 2004

A Happy Ending

By Mr Anonymous, again!

Well I’ve been lurking for years enjoying the benefits of knowledge accrued from this site, so maybe I should contribute a little.

I first visited Thailand in I think it was 1991. My wife wanted to go to Egypt on holiday, I fancied going to Vietnam, and by chance I found a package with Kuoni, doing 4 days in Egypt, followed by 4 days in Bangkok and then a couple of weeks
in Pattaya. So that made for an agreeable compromise and off we went with 7 year old daughter – my wife was happy to see the Pyramids and I got food poisoning in Egypt, and we then set off for Bangkok. We were booked into the Jade Pavilion
on Sukhumvit Soi 22 and I remember now first stepping out of the hotel and being captivated by the sights and smells on the street and loving the heat and humidity. We did the normal tourist sites – the Grand Palace, Golden Buddha , the
snake farm – and then onto Pattaya. Driving into Pattaya I thought we’d made a mistake, it looked grubby and uninspiring, but once in our hotel, The Nipa Lodge, as it was then, things improved – we had a great time. I loved
the bars and the food, wife and daughter liked the pool and the shopping. And thus it was that we came to holiday year after year in Thailand, always stopping in Bangkok, but going on to stop in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai one year, Hua Hin a couple
of times, Phuket once (too expensive!) but always drawn back to Pattaya, where I was also able to satisfy two desperate and disparate psychological cravings as well – I fell in with one of the golfing groups and was thus able to play far
better golf courses than I could in the UK, and also got involved with a team in the Pattaya quiz league. Sad really, but there you go. So there we were, summer holidays sorted out for year after year.

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And then my marriage went west – my wife calmly informed me one day that it was over. In fact she had met a chap she much preferred to me, and he had an ocean going yacht too! Difficult to compete with that really. Anyway I wasn’t going to let this destroy me, and of course my up and coming trip to Thailand that summer travelling by myself now held new possibilities, if you get my drift.

I booked myself into what I was pretty sure was described as a guest friendly hotel in Pattaya, picked quite a nice looking girl from a nearby bar and I actually stuck with her for a couple of years. She was always there for me and I upped my visits to twice a year. Nothing permanent was going to come of this I was sure, and I never sent her money and she never asked me to send her money, until one day out of the blue she said I should agree to send her 6000 baht a month, or she was going off with this Dutchman who would regularly send her money. And so goodbye it was.

On my next couple of visits I picked up a few girls from bars, but whilst it was enjoyable it wasn’t really satisfactory. I knew by now though that I wasn’t interested in having relationships with European women – as many others have suggested here I was increasingly viewing them as selfish, verbally aggressive, and looking round at home, the number of overweight women was noticeable.

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At this point in time we got the internet at work, and I set myself the challenge of trying to become the most skilled person at using this new technology, which we were told enabled you to interact with the world. So, to teach myself I set myself for starters a challenge – to try to arrange for myself a date in Bangkok for my next summer visit and to do so without paying any agency fees. It wasn’t that easy actually, and I came across a number of women whose desire was “to be looked after”, some who seemed to be looking for a visa opportunity to move elsewhere, but eventually an international dating site gave me a free week's membership, and lo and behold I arranged my date.

A few weeks later and I was in the Nana Hotel awaiting the arrival of my date, who looked nice in her internet photo, and was an educated Thai / Chinese woman (BA and MA) and qualified chartered accountant. She was even prettier in the flesh than her photo suggested; that evening she had booked us a dinner cruise on the river. We got along very well, though my northern English accent was at times difficult for her. We stayed together for the duration of my 5 week holiday, trusted one another (she leant me her car for example) and when I was hospitalised as a result of a freak golfing accident (wrong place, wrong time, and thus struck by a golf ball) she paid my hospital bill of 30,000+ baht, which I duly repaid from my travel insurance. Our relationship continued apace, and we have travelled together to Bali and Vietnam (both of which she paid the airfares for) as well as throughout Thailand, and she has been to stay with me in England on three separate occasions; the last visit including us getting married.

We face certain logistical issues – we are both loathe to have her give up a good job as finance director of a multinational company in Thailand (and they don’t want to lose her, and consequently have given her 40 days holiday a year to facilitate visits here) and currently I live rather like an oil rig worker, doing two or three months and then seeing my wife for a few weeks before we separate again for a couple of months. It’s not ideal but I can last this out for a year or two, and intend to take early retirement and move to Thailand – I’ve set myself a target of a pension of £1000 a month and if I can get there, what with my pension lump sum of maybe £40,000, and the proceeds from the sale of my house which will net me £100,000 plus then I think we will be pretty well set up (especially as my wife already owns a nice condo in Bangkok).

And what of my wife? Well we never argue, she never throws tantrums, she tolerates my golf, quizzing, football watching and snoring, whilst I allow myself to be taken to movies I’m not too bothered about. She is kind and considerate, and my mother adores her. I treat her probably with more respect than I would an equality minded English woman – I open doors for her, carry things and try generally to make sure she is OK with whatever is going on. I generally pay for everything when we go out as she seems to expect this, but as I’ve said she does make some major purchases for us (and actually has made two further such purchases in the last month) and is forever buying things for me.

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Oh and by the way, I have met a number of my wife’s friends who would clearly not have been averse to entering into a relationship with a nice, kind farang – not money grubbers, but rather women who seem to perceive that it may give them a better chance of a stable relationship with a man much less likely to go butterfly than the average Thai male, or women who have had singularly unfortunate experiences with their long term Thai boyfriends. As an illustration one of my wife’s friends, who is a lovely and charming woman, when I first met her had long term boyfriend, who accidentally left his phone at her flat, and a call was received from his wife asking where he was – my wife’s friend had been going out with this man two years, and when accosted about this, his reply simply was that “we had fun didn’t we?” Her next boyfriend seemed strangely dogged by money troubles, given his job, and it turns out, like something from a Thomas Hardy novel, that his mother had borrowed money to prop up her ailing business, promising as surety for this loan that if she failed to repay then her son would marry the divorced daughter of the moneylender – son was desperately trying to pay off the debt of his mother in order to forestall the consequences of non repayment. Against this sort of background a nice farang man might well look a better bet in the long term relationship stakes.

As for me I am blissfully happy, and off in ten days to spend a few weeks with my wife in Bangkok, with some time in Pattaya, and with a long weekend in Hong Kong that my wife has paid for. My wife already has planned a visit to England in October, and I have a ticket to be back in Bangkok for Christmas and New Year. Maybe things could be better, but believe me I’m not complaining as all in all my life is better than it’s ever been, and looking to get even better in the near future.

Stickman's thoughts:

God to hear things have worked out so well.

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