Stickman Readers' Submissions March 26th, 2005

Who Saved Who?

We get our fair share of “she broke my heart and took my money” stories on this site which is, of course hardly surprising given the setting and given the main reasons farangs come to Thailand.

My personal story is one that bucks the trend in many ways.

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I beg your indulgence.

There used to be a nightclub on the ground floor of Orchard Towers in Singapore. The name of this place was a series of numbers. Maybe some of you remember it.

Times change and this place is no longer in existence but ten years ago and for many years before that, this club was a happening place.

Live band, watered down whisky, expensive beer and stacked to the rafters with Thai ladies of the night. All night would cost you SGD 200. No bar fine. You would let her out in the morning and go and find her again at the club the same evening
for another two hundred dollars worth.

I had an apartment not far away and however much I promised myself I would not be going there tonight, somehow it just drew me like a moth to a flame. I was powerless to resist. At midnight on any given night you would find me there propping
up the bar and fondling some sexy Thai darling.

I had a plan though. None of these girls would ever steal my heart. I was armour-plated. I would occasionally let one stay at my apartment rent-free (I had three bedrooms) as long as they were prepared to do a bit of cleaning and cooking
and throw in a freebie now and then. This would work for a couple of weeks or until they had to leave Singapore to renew their visa. All in all, not a bad arrangement and they never got too pushy about wanting to come back. No expressions of love,
no sad stories from home, no pressure for extra money. These girls were real professionals and I appreciated it.

Then, one night as I was standing there minding my own business this lady sidled over to me and began a conversion. I surveyed her over the rim of my beer glass. She was really not my type at all. She was wearing jeans and a conservative
pink blouse. Her hair was tied back and she was wearing glasses. Not for show, but for seeing with. I thought to myself, ‘this nice young lady is going to get eaten alive in this place’. -Don’t be daft-.

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Her name was Bon and she had been in Singapore for two days. She had a fourteen day visitors visa and she had never been to Singapore before. (Yeah, right!!)

So moving on, I took her home. It must have been a Friday or Saturday night because I did not have to work the next day.

Bon had got up and was making some breakfast when I woke up. We talked over breakfast and bugger me, a real conversation constructed itself, jokes and all. I hadn’t had one of these with a woman for quite some time. This woman was
actually good fun.

I looked her over again. The harsh glare of daylight and sobriety had shattered many a vision of beauty for me before, but this time, Bon without her make-up or glasses and her hair down looked much better than she had last night.

I needed to a have a serious talk with myself. Jesus Christ, I can’t LIKE this girl. It ain’t in my plan.

Don’t ask me what happened but the next thing I know, we’re at Bon’s temporary digs somewhere in central Singapore collecting her clothes because she’s going to stay with me until her visa runs out in twelve days
time. Technically this is going to cost me 2,400 frigging Singapore Dollars. Strangely enough, this did not seem to bother me at the time.

So there we were. I had a new flat-mate. But we hadn’t laid down the ground rules or anything. Sleeping arrangements : do I pay or what ? Cooking, cleaning, laundry: who does what?

This is the strange part, we (well mostly me, I suppose) settled down to living together with remarkable ease. There was no friction, no feeling of invading one another’s space and the details that I had been worried about just took
care of themselves.

Bon did not go back to the club nor did she mention money.

After about a fortnight she had to leave because her visa had run out and she was going back to Bangkok. Reality check!! She had no money apart from the bit of spending money I had given her. How was she going to manage?

Alright, so I stumped up $2,000 and told her to come straight back. She said she would be a few days in Bangkok and then she would come back to me. I drove her to the airport and off she went.

What the f.c.u.k. was I going to do now? I had fallen for a hooker. She had moved in with me and it looked like I had set a precedent by paying her wages. This had to stop before it got out of hand.

Bon did not actually come right back to Singapore. She called to tell me she had gone to see her mother in Ubon Rachathani (wherever the hell that was!) and she would be back in a couple of weeks. Fine, long enough for me to come up with
a plan to extricate myself from this fix.

Then, guess what, I started to miss her. I wasn’t going out drinking or anything! I was coming home from work and watching the TV. I had to pull myself together!

Presently, Bon came back to Singapore and I picked her up at the airport. On seeing her smiling face and her genuine delight to see me, my heart just melted. I had to admit, I really liked this woman.

We took up where we had left off. Bon came back to my apartment and we carried on enjoying each other's company. Getting her a new visa every two or four weeks (depending on the immigration officer’s whim) was a pain in the arse
but we came up with some interesting alternatives. A trip to Johor Baru, or K.L. or Batam or Jakarta but it was a bit expensive.

I gave her $2,000 every month and Bon took care of the grocery shopping and our living expenses out of this money. Whatever was left over, she kept. I never asked how much she kept and she never asked for any more.

After a few months, we decided that we had to find a way around this visa run bullshit which was getting to be a real pain.

Ping…an idea. I would employ Bon as my maid. In Singapore, this is perfectly normal. Everyone has a maid, although mostly they are Indonesian or Philippino. There is a monthly charge payable to the government but it is much less than hopping
in and out of the country every couple of weeks. With a maid’s card Bon could stay in Singapore for 12 months at a time. Of course, we could come and go as we pleased.

This worked fine and over a period of months we had become a rather unlikely couple.

A few years later, we got legally married in Bangkok and I registered the marriage with my embassy. No dowry was paid or asked for. I bought her a gold wedding band and a diamond pendant.

We could then do away with the ‘maid’ arrangement in Singapore.

A couple of years after that, we moved to Bangkok where I had secured a reasonably good job. We have lived here now for about five years.

We will have been together for nine years in August and I could not have imagined finding a better wife anywhere. I haven’t as much as washed a cup or pressed a shirt in all that time.

We live in a very fine house (which is in her name of course) and we enjoy a very good standard of living. We are about the same age and we even play golf together.

There may still be a sting in the tail but somehow I doubt it.

I count myself very lucky.

Stickman's thoughts:

Very good to hear of positive stories like this.

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