A Tale Of Three Fiances
By An Embattled Aussie
Frustrating / confusing prolonged chats full of ambiguities – My blind faith in humanity – Lonely men beware! – Thai culture – Abusive Woolamaloo Aussie man – Money matters – Cyber Lies – Broken hearts – Life threats re: Chuck – life threatening – immigration – police – solicitor – Australian visa process – High status high ranking government official AND MORE!
Here’s a little tale, of trickery, lies, money, deceit and internet chat. The pain as I write this is emotionally indescribable. The setting for this story is in Thailand and Australia.
It began for me with the decision in April 2003, to study for an English teaching certificate (TESOL) in Thailand. So I contacted some similar minded females around Thailand from profiles, posted on a popular site and found one lady to be particularly keenly interested and supposedly single. A high ranking Government official, with the Ministry of Something Or Other. She had a high rank at work and she seemed like the sweetest, most trustworthy individual one could ever hope to meet.
The training course was booked and tickets purchased and my new internet friend Ning agreed to meet me at the Bangkok airport when I arrived on July the 1st, 2003. It seemed to be love at first sight, with a whirlwind tour of Bangkok, floating restaurant, sunset cruises and first class care and attention. After 4 days together she even decided to accompany me to Banphe where I was to begin the English teaching course.
I became desperately ill with some stomach problem and had to be rushed to hospital and put onto an IV drip, where my girlfriend Ning, stayed with me for 3 days, lovingly taking care of me.
After recovering from this, I went on to complete the training course successfully and spent the next 3 months with Ning having the happiest time of my life. We tried to get a tourist visa for Ning, but the Australian government rejected the application! We agreed that if I could manage to secure a fiance visa, that Ning would come to Australia and join me as soon as possible. So off I went, back to Oz on October 13th ’03, confident that my new found partner would be my life long trusted companion.
After much legal cost and government red tape costing around $3000, a visa was secured for Ning, for the 9 month period to December 8th 2004. The visa allowed for Ning to marry me here and apply for permanent resident status. After many excuses, Ning finally arrived in Oz on March 27th, having taken 3 weeks holiday from her job, as she’d decided to check everything out before deciding if she’d go ahead with a new life with me. OK, fair enough I thought.
Three weeks of bliss followed with a seemingly loving interaction with my friends and neighbours. Promises of a swift return were made as she returned to Bangkok and her job. As the weeks became months, I began to worry. Flight numbers and arrival times were given to me, then cancelled, lengthy absences from both phone and internet became the norm. Eventually I put a deadline in place around the beginning of August after which time I sent mail, which threatened to have her visa cancelled. This resulted in a tearful pleading phone call in the middle of the night.
The story now, is that she has to stay at her job till October in order to claim a $4500, long service entitlement upon resignation. I weakened and agreed to give her till early October to come to me in Oz. So having planned for a winter wedding and holiday in Oz, I had to cancel all plans and fill in the following months constructively, so I built a nice little room for Ning to have upon her arrival.
Come October, Ning then told me that if I came to Bangkok, we could have a small traditional wedding ceremony the following week with family and friends, then pack her things before having a honeymoon together in Thailand, before departing together for Australia on October 20th. So I got myself quickly booked and flew to Thailand on September 23rd. Ning met me at around 1 AM in the middle of the night, then a one and a half hour high speed taxi ride to her apartment followed. Exhausted and feeling rather ill, the strangest few weeks of my life was only just beginning to unfold.
After only two hours or so, I was whisked away in another taxi, to a grand tour of her office and surrounding area in the smog, filled Bangkok dawn! Most peculiar, considering our flight booked to Koh Chang didn’t depart till 8.30 AM! It got even stranger with the announcement that no wedding was actually planned in Bangkok and that she hadn’t actually decided if she would in fact accompany me back to Oz! So a very stressful, tranquilizer assisted few days were to follow, in the most lush, tropical and romantic beach and rainforest setting you could imagine.
Now I’d been quite ill prior to these events, with unidentified digestive problems and severe stress plus a herniated disk in my lower back to be careful with. It didn’t help, to arrive back at Ning's Bangkok apartment to be told we had to go again quickly to visit her mum and the family in the deep south of Thailand. So Ning went off to work, early in the morning, leaving me to clean up from the last trip and pack for the visit to mum. Late afternoon and a surprise phone call from Ning, begging me not to open the door if someone should knock! When asked where she was, the answer was, "downstairs"! A survey of the area below, revealed Ning, hiding amongst some trees at a nearby block of apartments. When asked what the hell is going on, I got a garbled reply about money owed, a drunken "stalker" and her sister was due to meet her there!?
There was absolutely no understandable explanation for this extremely strange behaviour, no amount of trying could provide any insight into what was happening.
I returned upstairs to the apartment alone and eventually the sister knocked on the door and spoke with me about an American who’d known Ning for some years. Ning finally came to the door and proceeded to tell of a drunken, crazy ex-boyfriend who wouldn’t go away. The money she had, was supposedly to be handed out in small amounts, for his food and medicine needs. So OK, we all agreed, Ning had her very own "stalker". Bags were packed and we continued on our planned trip to southern Thailand to meet "mum" and the rest of the crew.
A week staying with family, sometimes relegated to the concrete floor alone with a few blankets for a mattress, family efforts to sell me overpriced blocks of land, and some most interesting visits to local villages and out of the way places followed. Ning’s family appeared to really love me and agreed that we should indeed be married and together in Australia. Strangely though, Ning had many a whispered phone conversation, spoken in English, at all hours of the day and night on her mobile. Hmm.
So home again to the Bangkok apartment, exhausted. Ning went back to work again, supposedly to tender her resignation from her job which would enable us the time to do all the packing and honeymoon bit over the final 10 days before our flight was due to take us back to Oz together. Another clean up of the place and emails answered, when there was a knock on the door.
The door was opened to reveal one very drunk, urine soaked extremely sick looking American of a similar age to myself! He demanded to know "who the hell I was?" Upon being told I was Ning’s fiance, the Yank replied, that oh no, HE was
Ning’s fiance and that he’d been seeing Ning for 3 years now. He came in and identified many things in the apartment as being his, including a Fender guitar, the queen sized bed I’d been sleeping in with Ning and many other
items. It turns out that she’d promised to marry this poor fellow and he’d given her all his money over the years. Ning, he said, had told him that she was on her way to the US, via a small job in Australia, to join him shortly!
Ning had all of the money he had left in the world. He told me and he needed some of it, to buy some food.
Alarmed at these revelations, I tried in vain to contact Ning on her computer, mobile and work phone numbers, all to no avail. A spur of the moment decision was made to visit the local police station to see if they could throw some light on the situation which now included a very sick American, who slept in the local park and begged for his existence from the poor, but generous local people. Police contacted Ning’s office and finally put Ning on the phone to me. She said she’d be home shortly to explain.
Many hours later, her sister arrived and asked where Ning was. Ning eventually showed up and a heated exchange followed where she threw 20,000 baht (about $660 Oz) on the table and told me to give the yank his money. She opened the internet bank account I’d given her which contained around $2,500, intended as the "bride price" to go to her mother, after we were wed. She gave me the opportunity to transfer the money back into my own bank account – and can you believe this! I failed to complete the transaction, telling Ning that I trusted her to repay me the money if she failed to marry me as promised! Yes, I’ve done some very foolish things in my lifetime, but this act of stupidity will be hard to forget. Bearing in mind I’d also given Ning many thousands of dollars, which had been banked into another of her bank accounts, for airfares, and other expenses, this was indeed a moment of utter stupidity.
Sister departed the scene and Ning decided that she was going to go away alone the following afternoon and leave me to deal with the Yank. Refusing to tell me where she was going, I was told I’d be met at the airport in 10 days time to fly off together and live happily ever after. It was now clear to me why I’d been run ragged all over Thailand. It was Ning’s attempt to prevent me from meeting the other fiance!
From this point on events were becoming complex, confusing and alarming. A phone call to Chuck’s mother in the US, (Ning’s American Fiance), revealed that he has a severe alcohol problem and should only be given small amounts of money and food, because of his problems. Chuck's mum pleaded with me to try to persuade Chuck to fly home to Chicago, when I’d phoned her. I agreed to try to get him cleaned up and onto a flight, before I departed too.
A hefty dose of sedatives for me and the following morning I set out in search of Chuck. This proved to be no easy task for me, with my very basic grasp of the Thai language and very few locals with much spoken English skill. Finally, Chuck was located and delivered to me, looking even worse than yesterday! He’d been bashed and robbed during the night and now had around 13 stitches in a large cut above his left eye and massive bruising. I took him home to the apartment that Ning had departed from, leaving the keys to me. It took all day to sober him up, clean all his clothing, get him food and hear his version of what had happened to him. He’d obviously had a complete nervous breakdown following 3 years of broken promises from Ning. He just couldn’t believe, that such a sweet, seemingly innocent, naïve, middle aged person, could be so devious and dishonest! We were both able to agree wholeheartedly on that score.
The US consulate was contacted and the police again, in an endeavour to get help for the poor bloke. Nobody was willing or able to help, other than to suggest that if I was to depart the scene, I could take his bags to the police for safe-keeping, then post most of the money to the Consul, for safe keeping. This was done and I tried very hard to convince him to get booked and on a flight back to Chicago, from whence he had come.
Our friend Chuck had other ideas and was determined to wait around Ning’s apartment until her return so that he could take out his frustration and anger on her. Completely broken and desperate, he said he’d rather die here on the streets, than return to America. He wanted to wait around the apartment until Ning’s return, with the possibly of a dangerous incident if they were to meet again! After all my efforts, Chuck was out the door and disappeared into the night, leaving me with his passport, money and bags. The situation at this point was looking rather dangerous for me, as I could just imagine myself stuck in a dank Thai prison cell if Chuck happened to die, somewhere during the night! I’d become the most likely murder suspect, should this happen. Or indeed if Ning was to return and be confronted by Chuck, anything may have happened, with me being in this crazy love triangle that connected us! It took most of the following day to locate him again and once again get him cleaned up and fed. I agreed to give him enough money for a week or so and posted the rest of it to the US Consul, where he would be free to call in and collect some at his leisure. The baggage was delivered to the police station and after 3 hours of waiting and explanations, I was finally allowed to leave, having signed a statement that the police would only hold the bags for 14 days.
Returning to the apartment I quickly cleaned up and packed my bags, then decided to take a look at Ning’s computer contents. This is where things really started to become interesting.
A collection of at least 5 lovers was located from saved emails and documents in her cupboard. Photos were quickly taken of documents and emails forwarded on to Australia, after a few hours of exhausted fitful sleep. One particular email pointed to the fact that Ning, had flown straight to Sydney after she’d left me with the yank, and was now with another man who she’d also promised to marry! This fellow, Joe Bloggs who lives in Woolamaloo, had been mentioned several times by Ning as being a friend. Documents revealed he’d been in Thailand with her during June, while I was waiting faithfully here for her promised arrival! Many love letters and saved chats revealed the fact that they also planned to marry!?
Further research, revealed that they were cooking up a plan for Ning to marry me, then find some excuse to leave me and join him as soon as possible, or wait the 2 years for the permanent residency status when she could then easily leave me.
The Australian embassy was contacted and I had the visa cancelled over the phone and followed up with a written and signed letter, posted immediately. It was now crystal clear, that our friend Ning, was a serial abuser of men and that I was in a particularly risky position. I hurriedly departed the scene by taxi to the Bangkok airport, where I booked a week's holiday on Koh Samui, with all transfers and difficulties taken care of, so as to be in a safe environment and try to recover my strength, before returning to Oz.
Internet café visits during the week revealed more emails from Joe Bloggs in Woolamaloo, making attempts to convince me that Ning was not with him. A chat with the Oz embassy on my return indicated that indeed she was in the country on my as yet unprocessed cancelled fiance visa. Further information revealed that our Mr Joe Bloggs may be a perfect match for our friend Ning, in that he would appear to be a serial abuser of women, both from Oz and overseas!? Instant karma perhaps?
Information I now have, indicates, that Ning is currently staying with Joe in Woolamaloo. They soon plan to fly to Bangkok together from Sydney.
The evidence I have, would seem to indicate that Ning’s family knew about most of this information, yet failed to warn me, leaving me in a rather precarious and vulnerable situation, from which it will take me a considerable time to recover. The possibility of our American friend Chuck, dying in the streets of Bangkok, remain high, as the US consulate informs me that he still refuses to leave Bangkapi, where all this crazy business was centred.
News just to hand. Ning is in Bangkok again, back at her job, and her Woolamaloo lover is in Thailand for 2 weeks. She finally paid me back the "bride price" I'd given her for her mum, should we have married. I sent all the above, to the Thai government, so she may lose her job as a consequence, which will mean, she'll probably go ahead and marry the next farang that comes her way!
Wow, what a ride! This really is one of those only in Thailand stories. I would suggest though that contacting the Thai government, I assume you mean her employer, may have been a foolish thing to do. Goodness only knows what might come of that (anything from nothing to losing her job and losing her passport) and she could respond in a very nasty way.
* All names and place names have been changed *