Readers' Submissions

A Viking’s Tale



Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

What is it with guys from Norway ? Is it that with being so cold all the time their brains get iced-up ? Or, is it that the women there are so wrapped up against the weather all the time that when the guys do get to see some female flesh they have some kind of brain spasm? I don’t know what it is but I have met some Norwegians in my time who’s behaviour can best be described as erratic. My mate Ove won’t forget what Thailand did to him any time soon. Mind you, it is difficult to imagine anyone behaving in a more erratic (or just plain stupid) way than this.

Ove called me from Stavanger to tell me he was coming to Thailand and we should meet up for a beer or two. I hadn’t seen him for more than twelve years but I always enjoy catching up with old friends.

Turns out, Ove had come to Thailand for a variety of reasons. He had just gone through a messy divorce at home in Norway and it looked like he would have to sell his house as part of the divorce settlement. (Ah, good ole Farangland. Don’t you just miss it to bits).

He was also recovering from an industrial accident. He had inhaled some toxic fumes while working on an oil rig. One of the side effects of this was that his ankles would swell up so he couldn’t get about too well.

Another problem was that because of this disability, he could no longer work offshore. There would be a compensation payout from his employers as soon as the insurance paperwork was settled but Ove was not sure how much this would be and he was now effectively jobless.

He was thinking about starting a new life in Thailand with his share of the money from the sale of the house and the accident compensation.

His plan was to open a bar in Pattaya. He thought I might be able help him with some general advice. I freely admitted I knew sod all about running a bar (about as much as he did as it turned out) but I shared my limited experience of Thailand with him. I tried to warn him about some of the tricks and scams that go on and told him to be careful who he trusted. I especially warned him about getting involved with bar girls.

Ove did not know Thailand very well but he knew he sure liked the weather and he was crazy for the girls. He could not keep away from the bar scene and would make a right prat of himself ringing the bar bells and throwing his money around over the next few weeks. Of course, the girls swarmed all over him like flies round a cows arse and he loved it.

He loved it so much that he firmly made up his mind to cut his ties with Norway and move to Thailand. I was concerned about his motives and his ability to survive here but hell, he was thirty nine years old and big enough to look after himself, right ?

Anyway, Ove went back to Norway to tidy up his affairs. The house sale went through and Ove’s former employers came through with the accident compensation. A month later he returned to Thailand with about ten million baht with which to start his new life.

What happened next should be a case study of what not to do if you plan to settle in Thailand.

Ove made straight for Pattaya and paid cash for a small bar business. Within a week, he had met a bar girl who had wormed her way into his plans. Her name was Noi.

According to Noi, farangs were not allowed to own anything in Thailand and if he wanted to buy property, or anything else really it would be better if he had a Thai wife. This is absolute nonsense of course but Ove didn’t bother to check anything himself and Noi began to reel him in.

When Ove came to see me a few weeks later in Bangkok I was horrified to hear what he had done.

I met him in a bar in Patpong. Noi, his new wife now already was sitting next to him and both of them were caked in gold. Chains, rings, bracelets and Ove proudly told me how much it all cost. I gasped audibly. Noi naturally mistook this for admiration.

There were three Thai guys also with Ove and Noi. He explained this was her brother and two of his friends who were helping out with his new bar.

While I talked with Ove, his brother-in-law was saying to Noi in Thai, ‘Get some money from the farang so we can go for a drink’.
‘Is five thousand baht enough’ says Noi. ‘No, get him to give you ten thousand’ says the brother. Off course, they assumed I couldn’t understand Thai and they knew that Ove didn’t.

Noi complies and sweet talks Ove out of ten thousand baht. She slips the notes to her brother and the three guys slope off.

I kept my mouth shut.

Ove went on to tell me that in addition to the bar he had also bought a new car and a condo and had paid cash. Everything was in his wife’s name.

I told him he was an idiot and I did not like the look of this. He insisted that Noi was a good woman who had helped him enormously. I reckoned she swallowed!!

We parted company on cool terms with me telling him he was an idiot and Ove telling me to keep my opinions to myself.

Not three weeks later Ove called me to tell me that Noi had had him thrown out of his condo and she had taken possession of the condo and the car. Her ‘brother’ turned out to be her husband, of course and they had just hit the jackpot.

Ove was reduced to sleeping in the bar but his money was all gone now and he could not afford to replenish the stock. And as if to add insult to injury, last night while he slept there some bastard stole the TV.

After a few more weeks Ove had no choice but to return to Norway, penniless. He’s now living in his mother’s spare room back in Stavanger no doubt freezing his nuts off and wondering what the hell happened. The whole saga took less than twelve months to play out.

What true paradise is this country called Thailand.

You just gotta be careful.

Stickman's thoughts:

The classic rip off….submissions like this really should be compulsory reading for all farangs.