Readers' Submissions

It’s Not Always About The money – Or Is It?

  • Written by NSUU
  • March 26th, 2005
  • 10 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

By Not So Ugly American


Disciple – what an appropriate term. Sounds like she really has you brain washed.

WARNING: What is to follow may be too many broad generalizations. You may or may not agree with, and you may or may not fit into any of these generalizations. Proceed with caution.

Let's take a look at what this “Witch Doctor Wife” has taught the devout disciple.

“How many Western woman also love the money, pretty well as much as any Thai woman I think, maybe worse.”

OK – so I will concede agreement on this point. Of course I do not think it is much of a stretch to make the following generalization.

“All men with money are worried that WOMEN only WANT their MONEY”

The main difference being it is easier for a Farang in Thailand to be seen as a man ‘with money’ than that same Farang in his home country. Let’s face it boys our Euro / Pound / Dollar goes a whole lot further in LOS than back home – that is part of the reason we come / live here.

“…they work together, and pull their money together as a family, which to me sounds a good idea, as two can live better than one.”

Oh where to start, where to start. Pull THEIR money together – Here is a good place to start. Not sure how many of the Stickman submissions this chap has read but if most of these lovely ladies had some viable income (outside the bar scene) that could be pulled together this might help. Most of the problems revolve around the fact that the lovely Thai lady has no viable source of any kind of significant income to contribute. And therefore his money is really now being turned into THEIR money. There is no “pull their” money or pooling of money if only one of the two partners has any significant form of steady income. This can also become a very difficult proposition if one of the two partner’s income is 5, 10, 20 times the income of the other partner.

The next flaw in the argument appears to be the disciple’s math. TWO can live better than one. Again not sure how many of the submissions this bloke has read but most of the time the money problems have nothing at all to due with the Farang's unwillingness to support the lovely Thai lady (the other member of the TWO). The problem is the unwillingness of the Farangs to support not only the lovely lady, but her parents, all her many brothers and sisters, the many aunties and uncles that miraculously appear every time the Farang is in the village. So it may very well be true that “TWO can live better than one”. I would say that it is a far stretch to say that “THE VILLAGE can live better than one”.

A slight adjustment to this line or reasoning appears a little later in the Disciple’s submission when he states:

“I found out that the Thais where I work always pull in their money together as a family.”

Yes, yes, yes, now we are getting somewhere. OK now let us investigate the average bar girl / Isaan family + Farang money pooling scenario. Remember we need to pool our money as a family.

WARNING:
I will make some VERY general and broad reaching statements with the following mathematical model. However, it should be very easy for those of you out there with a basic eight function calculator to revise the numbers as necessary to better fit your particular situation, and still grasp the issue at hand.

Income only Model (IOM):
Bar Girl = 1 person
Farang = 1 person
Isaan Farmer and his extended family = 10 people
Total number of people in the money pool: 12 people

Bar Girl – who no longer works in the bar = 0 Baht per month

Isaan Farmer and his extended family = 20,000 Baht per month

Farang = 125,000 Baht per month Total = 145,000 Baht

145,000 / 12 = 12,083.33 Baht per month.

Congraduf**kinglations your monthly share in the revolutionary family pooling method just reduced your take home pay to one tenth what it used to be – OK one fifth if you want to count your share and your wife’s share. Ain’t the Thai system of wealth redistribution beautiful? Can’t understand why we didn’t figure out the glory of this system before?

Income + saving Model (ISM):
Bar Girl = 1 person
Farang = 1 person
Isaan Farmer and his extended family = 10 people
Total number of people in the money pool: 12 people

Bar Girl – who no longer works in the bar = 0 Baht per month

Isaan Farmer and his extended family = 20,000 Baht per month

Farang = 125,000 Baht per month Total = 145,000 Baht

Your cut = 12,084 Baht per month

Bar Girl bank account balance = 20,000 Baht
Isaan Farmer and his extended family total balance all counts = 100,000 Baht Farang account balances = 2,500,000 Baht* Total = 2,620,000 Baht 2,620,000 Baht / 12 = 218,334 Baht OK, OK you and the wife’s cut = 436,668 Baht

* Please note you must expose all of your wealth so that the family pooling method can truly be effective. You must indicate money not only in your basic checking / saving account but also the money in your 401k, IRA accounts, CD’s, etc. As this would only be fair because the rest of the family has fully disclosed the entire value of their wealth to be properly pooled.

Wow – ain’t socialism great. So when can the parents expect you to transfer that 2 million Baht into the family account?

Oh I forgot we aren’t talking about socialism we are talking about how lovely it is to be in a truly committed relationship, and how wonderful it is to pool our money and share in life’s little pleasures. How great it is to put love before money. WAKE THE HELL UP HIPPY BOY. Stop smokn’ those flowers and look around man – this ain’t no commune.

“It seems the love they (Thais) have for their husbands is far deeper and more meaningful then a western relationship”

Yeah right – do you know that Thai culture revolves around face? Are you aware that face is exactly as the terms suggests – only skin deep? This is not to say that a Thai woman can’t share a very deep and meaningful love for her husband (this is possible for pretty much any wife anywhere in the world), but to try and categorize a typical Thai relationship as deeper and more meaningful than a typical western relationship is pure poppy cock.

There are plenty of skin deep Thai-Thai, Thai-Farang, and Farang-Farang relationships for us all to share plenty of blame in this department. One thing that keeps skin-deep Thai-Thai relationships together is that they are both so worried about loosing face over a break-up that they are completely content staying in the skin deep relationship. Even though both parties, and everyone else in the village really knows the relationship is only skin-deep. As long as nobody says anything; as long as the husband keeps the minor wife(s) out of the public eye; as long as the wife keeps the gambling and boozing out of the public-eye, as long as no one speaks the words aloud – then everyone can save face. They all get to keep their skin-deep dignity and go on about their skin-deep lives. OH JOY. How I hope my relationship can only grow to become so deep and meaningful. What a target to shoot for – of course us westerners could never dream of obtaining and maintaining such a deep and meaningful relationship now could we?


“..and don’t see the cultures as a problem, but we can both see it as a learning experience and learn about each other’s cultures.” AND “To fall in Love with a Thai woman is it not better to learn from each other and learn the cultures from each other instead of battling and blaming each others culture.”

Good luck mate. It has been my experience that accomplishing this is much easier said than done. For some of the following reasons:
A) Many Thai ladies are not really all that interested in truly learning about your culture
B) Many Thais – especially if you live your life in Thailand – pretty much demand that you learn to accept and live with things being done mostly along the line of Thai culture. Not a whole lot of room for compromise and understanding.
C) Many Farang are not very effective communicating western cultural issue in a fashion that enables their Thai partner to understand western culture in way that allows the Thai to assign any value to your cultural perspective.
D) Many Thai are not very capable of really explaining the nuances behind Thai culture effectively to Farang in such a way that allows the Farang to assign any real value to the Thai cultural perspective.

Example C:
F: My sister’s car was just repossessed.
BG: What mean repossessed?
F: That means my sister could not pay her bill for her car so the bank took back her car.
BG: Why YOU not pay bill for your sister?
F: Because it was not my car or my bill.
BG: Why YOU not pay bill for your sister?
F: Because it was not MY car or MY bill.
BG: Yes, but YOUR sister. Why YOU not pay bill for your sister? And the circle continues until you give up or she goes to sleep.

Example D:
F: Why do you want to do it this way?
BG: Because it is the Thai way
F: Why is it the Thai way?
BG: I just told you “It’s the Thai way”
F: Yes but can’t we do it another way because, Reason A, Reason B, and Reason C.
BG: No we must do it the Thai way. Why you cannot understand the Thai way? Why you must be difficult? You crazy / silly / etc. Farang you not understand Thai way. And the circle builds until you either give in or she goes to sleep.


“No wonder it is hard for anyone to find true love when they place money above love.”

Good question – and again I go back to how many of Stickman’s submissions have you actually read? Go back and read thru some more. Start to keep track of how many times a Farang indicates his lovely little Thai Lady has said some form of the following:

“If you no more send money to me, then you no more love me”

If money was not such a big deal for the many Thai Ladies out there and they did not place money above love. Then money would not be a problem – because they simply would not ask for it. Our love would be enough.

Simple Math

No request for money = no money problems = true love

Or is that free love = true love ???

I opened this little ditty with a point that I was in agreement with. And in the interest of maintaining good cross-cultural relationships I would like to end my piece with any additional point that I am also in agreement with. The following point I think is actually the heart and soul of any / all successful long-term cross-cultural relationships.

“Seems many good western Thai relationships the man takes time also to learn her culture and she his then you can come halfway together you learn to understand one another not fight cultures, you bend your cultures mould them into a slightly different form, you take parts of each others culture, but also never give them up, you’re not afraid to learn.”

Good point – I think the most important aspect of successful cross-cultural relationships is making the conscious effort by both parties (and their families) to understand each other's cultures and work together to reach a workable compromise for all parties. You have to learn to meet in the middle. Too many times either the Farang and / or the Thai partner is unwilling or unable to make the necessary concessions to allow them to reach a compromise that all parties can live with.

In conclusion:
If it is not about the money – then don’t ask for money.

Compromise is the bases for ALL successful long-term relationships.

Stickman's thoughts:

If it is not about the money – then don’t ask for money. – These words are oh so true!!!! GREAT stuff, I really enjoyed this submission.