Me, My Friends And The Mia Nois
By The Anonymous Author
Ever wonder about those mia noy stories? Do you think it's only those people with money in their pockets who indulge?
Most people tend to categorise the mia noy as a rich man's plaything, usually a fairly young and exceptionally good-looking maiden. While I guess the Stickman site is more about love – hate relationships, here are a couple of stories to think about.
While many companies prefer to set up in or around Bangkok, many do, for cost-reduction purposes, tax breaks, etc, set up in the provinces. So in a bit of a role reversal, I found myself with a couple of farangs and a bunch of Thais way out in the provinces, the nearest town at least 25 kilometers away.
Many of us had home and family in Bangkok, but would have to stay away at least during the week, spending just the weekend with the family. Some of the farangs were single, others were married, their families either with them, or still abroad. We all eventually ended up renting local accommodation within commuting distance of work.
What happens when you're away from home
He came with his wife and family. They rented a nice house in a small development and they kept to themselves. The children were 'home-schooled', and they made regular trips to town for farang food.
He rented a place slightly more upmarket. The wife was not in Thailand, she preferred his home country and would seldom visit. He was living with the maid. I won't dwell on this one.
In his late forties, his wife was also abroad. He was very into his work, and many not-so-competent persons (in his opinion) used to get criticised. He eventually divorced his wife and married his Thai secretary, twenty years his junior.
He, too, left his wife abroad, no kids. She wasn't too keen to join him here. After almost a year of refusing to come, she filed for divorce. He went back, settled everything and came back to work. Some time later, he met a much older Thai woman. Although she had grown children, they got together and still are.
He was the oldest of the lot. He was separated from his wife, his children already grown up. He used to be quite happy with the local lasses you could find around and didn't really want to go to Bangkok.
A mixed bag, some local and some from Bangkok. The ones from Bangkok would try to find accommodation as cheap as possible, many staying together to save costs, and pooling transport. Those who could afford it stayed alone.
The mia noy stories
The in-company story
He was a Thai engineer, his wife and two young children in Bangkok. He rented a room somewhere, and drove a fairly decent if not too old Japanese car. At the many gatherings where the farangs and the Thais would get together, typically at those wooden
structures passing themselves off as restaurants upcountry, he was quite popular as he had the gift of the gab and could sing quite well too. There were stories that he was a bit 'jow choo', and I'm sure he had a few girlfriends
tucked away somewhere.
She worked in the accounting department. A pleasant-looking person, she always had a smile for everyone. Good figure, too. Her family lived in the same district and she was staying with a close relative in town. She had a small Japanese car and would commute to and from work like several of the other girls. Being single, she had many boyfriends in town.
I guess the relationship started like most other office romances. He'd be chatting with the girls in the office making jokes, I guess we all do that. After a while, it was noticed they would be chatting together more often, and in more secluded spots on the premises.
Many of us would meet up after work for a few beers, and there were quite a few 'restaurants' to choose from. You'd be able to get a cold Singha beer and Thai whisky at most, and the food was passable. Most places had 'dek serve', young farm girls masquerading as waitresses. We all had a lot of fun teasing them when ordering food and beer.
We had our regular venues, and would change around once in a while if we got bored with the food, or the place just got a new karaoke machine. I used to hate those things, especially when they crank it loud, and then start to sing off-key.
We had a couple of regulars, some of us who could afford it, and some hangers-on like the drivers who would scrounge as much as they could. We'd get our own back on payday, when they were required to buy a bottle of Thai whisky for the group.
This behaviour was quite normal for us.
This guy was one of the regulars in the group, and about three or four farangs, myself included, and we normally ended up paying the lion's share for the night's revelry.
Initially he would come on his own, but after a while she would show up. As things developed, they would leave more or less at the same time. It was when they started showing up together at other venues that it all came out. They started living together
during the week, on weekends he would go back to his wife and kids. She accepted that, and this went on for two years or so before we went our separate ways and I had only an occasional phone call to say hi.
I ran into him and his mia noy a couple of months ago. This is where they stand now. His mia noy's mother, who has a fair amount of spare cash lying around, bought a nice detached bungalow for them in this provincial town. They now have a kid, two years old. His wife in Bangkok has found out about it, but actually allows him to see the mia noy over the weekend. Maybe because the mia noy does not make unreasonable demands and stays in the province, and he has not stopped supporting his family in Bangkok.
My mia noy story
Okay, I'm married, you're going to say, why the &#*! did you do that, have you no morals or consideration for your wife and kids?
I'll tell you something. It didn't start out that way.
If you read the previous story, you'll have an idea of what we used to do after work. I rented a townhouse in town with a gate so I could lock up the car. It was right next door to another of the company's employees. So if we weren't out at some venue or other, I'd buy a couple of beers and we'd sit outside and chat while his wife made dinner. Sometimes other guys would join us here too.
Now, the guys knew my habits, and most would tag along after work for a few beers (they'd be happy with their 'baen' or half-size Thai whisky). I'd always tease the younger girls but never look any further. I'd tell them they were too young for me, and indeed they were. It was the same partying with some of the farangs in Nana, flirt around but not indulge.
We'd flirt around with some of the owners as well, and I had some rolling on the ground after telling a few raunchy Thai jokes. There was one lady owner, and her sister, who took more than a passing interest, even though they had agendas of their own. Both were mia noys as well, but to Thais.
Sometimes the owners would ask female friends of theirs to come help out at the restaurant, and they'd join in the general fun. There was one in particular I took a fancy to, she was excellent company. I understood she worked at a sewing factory somewhere, so I did not see her too often. One of the other guys at the company used to run a sewing factory himself, and she sometimes called him to help fix the sewing machines. I usually got dragged along, and now understand the concept of sweat-shop.
I eventually got to know her better. She was never allowed to go to school, and did farm work from the time she was six. She then went to construction work, and got married while still in her teens. She had two kids, one teenage, both in school. She was supporting them with what she got working ungodly hours at this place, taking in other people's laundry, and doing some lunchtime cooking for another group. Her husband was in another province, they'd been separated for a long time. He didn't lend any support towards the kids, and had a new wife.
She never even considered trying getting money the easy way; she had her pride, even though she was struggling. And she was good with handicrafts, as I saw examples of cushions, silk flowers, crotchet work and stuff where she stayed. At one point in time, she actually managed to get an equivalent primary education at a government-sponsored adult education program. Definitely not a lazy person. Yes, I did sometimes see her at her rented room, many times with friends. We just enjoyed each others' company, and considered each other good friends.
Well, it had to happen sometime. Yes, there was a big party. I was happy to see her included in the group that came along. The party continued at another venue till past four in the morning, all of us were pretty smashed. Well, she's left her bike at home, so I send her back. Well, somehow I miss the small turnoff to her place, oops now you're going to have to come to mine, I joke. She says, simply, okay. Good grief, now what?
Suddenly I'm almost sober again. Yes, we ended up in bed. I guess she wanted it as much as I did. I did worry that it would affect the friendship part of it, but nothing changed.
My Thai neighbour (and colleague) freaked out. Note that they've met my wife and kids before, and they like them. They understand the situation better these days.
So we reached an agreement. We liked each other, but didn't want commitments. She'd come over when she had time, and I picked up her room rent. I also made sure the kids had pocket money to go to school. Either could break it off anytime. And we were mature enough to understand not to meddle with my family. (Yes, it was the first thing I told her when we first met).
My decision to commit myself came about this way. She got hospitalised, and got a bill twice her average wage. A friend offered to borrow the money from a loan shark, but she had to repay it herself. (I know this 'friend'). I could see no way that these two kids would ever get an education, all everyone wanted to do was take advantage of her generosity.
I realised much later that at one point in time she had actually starved herself to make sure the kids had something to eat, something she would never tell me, and that the kids would do the washing up of the dishes in school in return for a meal. So I paid the hospital bill, no commitments. I paid the school fees for the kids, I won't let lack of money get in the way of an education. I can't desert a friend in need.
That was a long time ago. Since then, we've seen the daughter married. She's a grandmother now. We've built a small house on the land next to her father's. She did a lot of the work herself. We'll get rubber trees planted on her land (yes, she owns a couple of rai), it would bring in revenue.
She's being realistic. She appreciates the help now, she saves what she can. So there will be something later that she and the kids can fall back on.
She has never interfered with my family, all these years, and has never asked for more than what I give. She makes no demands of my time, and is a good listener. Nothing gets repeated outside. We are an accepted part of her small village, so even the wedding invitations come addressed to us as a couple. They know I have a wife in Bangkok, too.
No, my wife and kids have no idea. Some very close friends (who were there) know. They know the mia noy well, too, and like her as much as the wife. They won't spill the beans. I spend most of my time with the wife and kids these days. The mia noy understands. I came second this time, she says. But in the next life, I want to be first.
So, do I feel guilty? No, I don't. There will be as many opinions as there are people in the room. To help someone who really needs it, and to see the help appreciated for what it is, makes me feel I did the decent thing. The kids have an education, one has a good job because of it. She has not been reduced to borrowing or begging.
Is it so bad to give someone back a life?
I just couldn't live like that….that you could, and that others do, is their business, but for me, I'd feel bad. Yeah, I understand why it happens, and do not think any less of people who have a mia noi, but no, I couldn't.