Left My Heart And Sanity In Bangkok Part 2
Excuse me if I jump around a little bit with the story in this part. But it's the situations rather than the chronology which is important. And a little bit shorter time spent to write this. Xmas is coming and I'm busy.
Well, it's September and Jay's birthday's coming around. I am in a quandary about a present. But Jay has something on her mind and I can see it. It can up on the night, about a week before her birthday on the 10th.
Not sure how long she's been hatching it, but it was a doozy. I know her well enough now to see that when she puts on that girly voice and chuckles a little before speaking that she's about to ask me for something. And it usually involves some monetary investment from me. Can you guess what it is folks? It's a CAR….
Back in Thailand, our travels to date have been limited to using the Taxis to get everywhere. Jay is also phobic about using the BTS, so that's out of the question. The best thing on earth is the old Sky Train, IMHO to get around BKK. Honestly, I'd take any mode of transport, where it's suitable. But to sit in a taxi, stuck in traffic, it is just ridiculous.
Also when her sister was available to be the chauffeur, we'd use her car. By now, I started to see a pattern developing with Jay, where Jay tries to emulate her sister. Anything that Deem has acquired or been given by Tom, I think Jay aspires to it. Admittedly, Deem is a lot more mature in her behaviour and has been with the same guy for a number of years. Deem also seems to be more realistic about the possibilities and the situations. But Jay is a different animal altogether.
One time, we even hired a taxi for the day to drive us to her family home in Pak Chong near Korat. I bet the taxi driver never expected to be going off the beaten track, on a dirt road, crossing muddy streams to get to her family home.
A car, I says. Why do you need this, when your sister whom you stay with has a car? Jay says to me rather sweetly, it would be the best present ever, from anyone. I can hear you guys snickering now. But I relented in the end.
The gist of this situation is that I took out an unsecured personal loan here in Oz to the tune of 15K AUD, for the deposit on a new Corolla Altise. And then by way of the monthly salary to Jay, pay a monthly repayment, on the residual. About 20,000 baht a month. So for the next few years I was paying off 2 loans. Positives are that I don't worry about getting around when I'm there and a number of times I have also driven around BKK myself. And I figured that if the relationship went South, I stand to lose only the $15K. What can I say, at the time my financial and job situation were quite rosy and I figured I was easily able to absorb the monthly repayments. Thinking about it now, it is a fair amount of money. Right now, the car is almost paid off, but I was naïve to have done it and not likely to ever again.
Honestly, I questioned whether getting into this relationship (if I can even call it that) was worthwhile. My life as a bachelor, with a more substantial bank balance and doing things on my own terms, goes out the window. Now I find myself counting the
pennies, see a much reduced bank balance and the worst aspect is I think changing my behaviour, my self expression for Jay. All be it some aspects are because I need to dumb down my communication to her, so she will understand. Most times the
message still gets confused.
For two and a bit years, this emotional maturity aspect of our union, worried me. Just as I do not want to change because someone wants me to, I also did not consciously try to change this aspect of her nature.
I read an interesting comment by someone, either on this site or somewhere about females. Not necessarily Thai ladies either that this also applies to. A woman's need for a man in her life is so that she can ensure financial security and to satisfy that maternal need to bear a child. Once she has accomplished these 2 aims at whatever level she deems is satisfactory, then we men become almost obsolete. As long as it is assured that the man can continue his financial support, she has her female sisterhood for other aspects of her life. Mostly, they don't involve you and sometimes you are an intrusion.
I make the above statement, because at around middle of 2002, the financial aspects started to badly affect our relationship. Not to mention that our communication had also not improved beyond the normal day-to-day basic English. I also suspected that I had made her life too comfortable, so that any need on her part to enrich and development the relationship was not necessary. She was getting what she wanted. Whereas I increasingly felt unfulfilled and felt it not going in the direction I envisaged.
The straw that broke my back at least, was the multiple times where I would visit the family upcountry. One of two things would always happen. One is that Jay would insist I need to give her Paw, what is by their standard a significant amount of money to maintain the life, at the end of each trip. Even though I told here from the beginning that I may support her, but am not able or willing to also directly support her extended family. By jeeze, what I gave her as a monthly support is way above and beyond an average Thais office wage. 30 to 35K baht a month.
Issue two, is I am the sole financier for all expenses on these forays. I know that others have already pointed out on this site that, as a farang and a guest, you are always viewed as the ATM. That's OK, as I don't volunteer money and only when they ask. But what really got to me after a time is that the gestures were never seen to be really appreciated (again, this view has been expressed by others before me). Rather, they expected it..? Unlike a Western custom where the guest is treated like a guest.
Also on this latter scenario, I had a personal annoyance about her 2 brothers. The older one with a wife and kid, but no visible means to sustain them, apart from scunging off Dad. It seems to me that it is a case of no pride, no ambition, except to rely on Mum and Dad. The younger one, had aspirations to be a big shot DJ in BKK, but again no visible means to sustain that lifestyle.
Do you consider yourself to be a big shot DJ, if you happen to DJ in the bars of Patpong? I didn't think so.
Can you feel pride, when you ask or accept handouts from strangers (namely me) to sustain your lifestyle? I wouldn't.
Would you be doing your hardest to change this situation? Hell yes!!
But I guess it was easier to scunge of a soft target, the farang, the walking ATM.
Digressing for a moment here, but not altogether an unrelated topic. The Thai government I believe gave money to subsistence farmers, like her father. To allow them to become more productive and improve the poverty rate. What a lot of them ended up doing with this handout, is not what the government intended. Most probably blew it away on booze and gambling and not a whole lot ended on improving their lot.
What most of these poorly educated folks also fail to understand is that the handout was more of a loan, which the government expected to be repaid. I believe this is a current situation which is becoming more problematic for the Thai government. How do they get back the money from people who have nothing?
Well, given that Jay's father was one of the recipients of this assistance; it eventually came time to repay the debt. I think on a yearly basis, they are expected to repay a certain amount. This one time, whilst Jay was still in OZ with me, a request came from her father to Jay about the money. 50,000 baht to be exact. Humm, I thought. The farm is productive; they have cattle, multiplying in numbers. Sell these to repay the loan. But no, not enough money in the kitty. Can I give?
Her father is really desperate. He had apparently asked both daughters. Deem by proxy from Tom, gives him some. Yet the bulk of the money Jay is expected to contribute. Well, another frigging argument ensues. Why did I have to be the mug? What would happen if I wasn't in the picture? How would she accommodate this request? Frigging spread her legs and prostitute herself again, for his financial mismanagement?
BTW, I don't think there was ever any direct intimation by Jay, to her father about how she made the money. But it doesn't take a genius to figure that an average Thai worker, without completing school, does not make anything approaching what she was pulling down each month. Is this feigned ignorance on his part, or is he indirectly condoning what his daughter did?
May I never be in a situation, where my daughter was forced to do this.
Yeah, the story is beginning to sound pretty much the same. By late 2002, I had begun to put questions to her about going the next level. When r u going to let me know, if we will get married. You move to Australia, etc. Jay's standard response is
"Give me more time…".
My questioning became more frequent. She became more edgy. Tempers flared and no resolution to be had in sight. I guess it was a natural conclusion that with no happy ending in sight, for either of us, I called it off.
In the end, it kinda went off with a whimper, I did the deed over the phone and that was that.
Footnote: That was back in 2002 and in the intervening period till now, I had always felt regret. It was always a grey area about whether Jay took full advantage of the situation and I let her. Or whether that was her way of taking care of the family before making the break, to be with me. Was it a master stroke that she'd always left me guessing about her true motive in the relationship even to the end? I felt empty and questions were still unanswered. Why would she even attempt a long scam, by coming to Australia, if she was not serious about us?
Well folks, when something eats away at you unresolved, I just had to do a post-disaster analysis. Hence the next saga in this story. I will write about it when things are clearer. I am living and working through it with her, once more. Part 3 is being played out now. I wish upon a star for my dream to come true….
Thanks for listening. And please, email me, if you have comment or have gone through the same.
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