Readers' Submissions

Hopelessly Hopeful

  • Written by Akulka
  • August 27th, 2005
  • 33 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

Before I want to tell you folks my story I would like to give you some short information about myself. I first started reading Stickman’s fabulous website more than 3.5 years ago, when I had searched the internet for information about my upcoming travel destination, Thailand. Since that time I have not missed checking out each and every single reader’s submission, and you all know how many have accumulated throughout the past years…!

I haven’t read them all through, because some have just not been of much interest to me. Generally speaking I have never been interested in “sex maniacs” diaries of their punting missions in the LOS. I have also submitted two submissions under different names throughout the past three years, none of which dealt with bargirls or the sex industry in general.

I admit to the fact that I am very much interested in the bargirl industry, as I find it fascinating and intriguing to read and learn about it. I have no idea where that curiosity comes from, as I have deliberately chosen not to get personally involved in any of that bargirl / prostitute business, neither in Thailand, nor elsewhere. It’s definitely not my kind of ball game, and I have the feeling that if I ever got involved, it wouldn’t do much for me except probably drain me emotionally.

While I do find it somewhat odd to have such, let’s politely call them “unbalanced”, Farang-Thai “couples” walking the streets of Bangkok and so many other places, I don’t want to point my fingers at anyone. After all, I don’t know what it is like to be in their shoes. Also, this is not the idea behind this very submission anyway.

At that point of my life, 3.5 years ago, I had never been to anywhere in SEA before. I was an ambitious student of 21 years of age, who by that time had done his fair share of travelling through Australia, many parts of the US, Northern Africa, Europe, and also China. Travelling has been an obsession of mine since I had first packed my backpack at the age of 18 and travelled through Northern Africa by myself for a period of 8 weeks. From that moment on I knew that travelling would become a very important part of my life. So far this has been very true.

Throughout the past 4 years I have been to Thailand twice, if you don’t count multiple entries during trips while going on excursions to Laos and Cambodia, basing my journeys through SEA in Bangkok.

So let’s get down to the actual story…

On my first trip to Thailand 3 years ago I got acquainted to a group of Thai university students. I didn’t just run into them accidentally. Those students were participating in a program promoting cultural exchange between foreign travellers in Thailand and Thai students, which had been organised by the university where they studied.

All in all I met around a dozen students, mostly in groups of three or four, usually mixed boys and girls, where girls were clearly the majority. Generally I had a good time with all of them. They all were nice enough and fun to spend time with. I just loved the fact of being able to get known to local students there who were not only my age, but were also interested in cultural exchange and getting known to new people.

On one of those occasions I had met a girl that left quite an impression on me. I will use the name Nok in this submission when referring to her. Like all the other Thai participants of the program she was a university student, back then 20 years of age. Unfortunately we didn’t get to spend much time together at all. We only had a chance to spend half a day together, first just chatting away in a small coffee bar, later having dinner together at a street stall at night.
I really liked that girl. She was the shy kind, cute, funny, witty, and curious about life. At the end of the day we exchanged email addresses, and I promised I would write to her once I got back to good old Europe.

After my return from SEA I contacted her through email as I had promised, and we stayed in touch for a period of a few weeks. Both me and her were busy with life, and neither one of us really knew much about the other anyway. Basically all our knowledge of each other consisted of the things we had exchanged on that single half day in Bangkok. Those were memories nice enough, but little to build anything on.

We lost touch with each other after a while, except for maybe an occasional email from me to her or from her to me, saying hello from time to time. After some time also this friendly exchange stopped. Although we were not really in touch any longer, I still kept her contact on the MSN messenger throughout the years. Sometimes I saw her online on MSN, but didn’t bother to send a message as I expected her to have forgotten about me already anyway. I thought she must have probably deleted my contact from her list in the meantime. Well, I was wrong…

More than two years would pass before we got back in touch again. One day, when I was sitting at my computer getting some work done, the MSN messenger window popped up on my screen. It was Nok, asking me if I still remembered her. Well, I have to say, I was surprised to have her send a message to me, a lot! Surprised in a very pleasant way that is, as I hadn’t expected her to still remember me at all anyway.

So it happened that we got in touch with each other again. At first we exchanged short emails only, or spent some time on MSN talking to each other. We didn’t talk about anything meaningful really, just enjoyed letting each other know how we were. She sent me pictures of herself that showed her life during the past few years. So did I…

I found out that after graduating from university she had gotten a very good job in Bangkok with an international company. I also later learnt that she earns considerably more money with that company than what I was told the average salary of a Thai university graduate usually is. Her life seemed good, although she lived alone and quite far from her family, who live up north.

Our talks became much more frequent and intense, and sometimes we spent hours on MSN messenger just talking and fooling around. Her English language skills were really good, as she had spent some time abroad during the course of her studies. When we didn’t have a chance to talk on MSN, we frequently exchanged emails, which were getting longer and longer.

For two months we wrote emails to each other every day. Most of them were several pages long. For myself I have to say I felt really good about having the feeling of connecting with a girl again. I haven’t had that feeling for a long time, as I had separated from my last girlfriend three years earlier, because I couldn’t put up with her attitude and extreme mood swings anymore. She was of a born Philippine by the way, who happened to come to my home country with her parents at the age of 4. That is a different story though.

Anyway, after that relationship which had lasted for two years back then, and which had been my only serious relationship in my life, connecting with someone again in a meaningful way really gave me a good feeling. Well, maybe we both just really enjoyed the attention we were giving to each other.

I am a very picky character when it comes to women. I also love my personal freedom very much, which makes it even harder to go for any kind of compromise, just in order to overcome the occasional feeling of loneliness. Generally speaking, I live a great life. I wouldn’t dare to complain about it seriously. I have a great family, a great job I enjoy a lot that earns me three times the monthly salary of an average university educated person my age, and enough friends and hobbies to keep my life active and lively.

On the other hand that doesn’t mean that I don’t often miss the affection from a partner that you get in a good relationship, or the closeness and intimacy that comes with it. Also one of my “problems” is that I am strongly attracted to Asian women (sounds familiar to many of you, doesn’t it?) Where I live there is only a very small Asian community, so I don't have a lot of options as far as this is concerned. It’s not as if I don’t find native girls from here beautiful or attractive in many ways. It’s just that I have never found one where the whole “package” seemed to be the way I imagined. Well, maybe I was never looking hard enough… Also, as a big fan of Asian culture I just like the thought of having an Asian girlfriend. Well, I told you I was picky, so there we go…

At one point Nok suddenly mentioned to me that she had a boyfriend in France. She had gotten to know her boyfriend while he was staying in Thailand during the course of his studies. At that point I didn’t bother to ask a lot of questions about that guy at all. I just knew he was about her age, and he was French. That was it. Actually, I wasn’t interested in learning much about that guy at all. The only thing I was really wondering about when she told me about him was why she had never bothered mentioning him before.

The news about her having that boyfriend abroad came as quite a big surprise to me. Nok and I had been flirting heavily on MSN and through emails at that point. We were teasing each other a lot, but always in a charming and not naughty way at all. I like to consider myself as a very rational person, so I didn’t ever really think of anything serious about us being flirty and affectionate in our conversations. In the meantime we had started calling each other on the phone as well, besides writing those long emails. It’s not as if I had built up any expectations at that time. For that I am too reasonable, and realistic. However, I did catch myself daydreaming sometimes, thinking how nice it would be to see her again, being able to talk to her face to face, and what would possibly happen between the two of us if she was not living in Bangkok but here.

Anyway, I didn’t understand why she spent so much time with me on the internet, and shared so much with me, while she had a boyfriend.

When I confronted her about why she had never mentioned her boyfriend to me before, she said she hadn’t felt the time was right for telling me, and how she had been afraid I would stop teasing her and talking to her so much. She told me how she had lost the feelings for her boyfriend in a way, who she hadn’t seen in person for more than 6 months. She said she was feeling empty inside, and blamed herself for having lost those feelings for him, not being excited anymore when he called her or wrote to her.

She told me a few things about him without me asking, like how they usually fight a lot, and how there were some things in his past that she didn’t like. It seems like that French dude was a womanizer and party lover, unlike her who described herself as a rather quiet and not so outgoing character. That’s also the impression I had gotten of her.

She also said she wasn’t quite ready to go to France at that point to visit him as she had planned to do, because she wanted him to finish his studies first, find a job, and live the real life.

However, she told me that she was thinking of going to Europe anyway, as she had been invited to visit a good friend of hers. That friend she used to study with during their time abroad in their university years. By chance, that friend didn’t happen to live far from me at all; meaning, if she was to come to visit her friend here, the two of us would definitely have a good chance to meet as well…

She told me if she would find a way to come to Europe to visit her friend as she had planned and promised to do, she would definitely use the opportunity to see her boyfriend as well, as she could hardly let such a chance pass.

Did I expect Nok to be able to come to Europe any time soon at all? No…actually not! I didn’t think she would have the money, nor did I expect her to get away from work so easily. I thought the earliest time I would see her face to face would be maybe in a few months time, as I had planned a short trip to SEA anyway. I have to admit here that the prospect of meeting her had encouraged me to turn that plan into reality in my mind. At that point I was probably starting to get involved already…

Well, I turned out to be wrong in the end, and she did manage to come for a visit. She managed to get away from work and take a leave.

Initially I had expected her to fly to France first, to spend the greatest part of her time with her boyfriend there, before taking an inner European flight to see me and visit her friend. That was not what happened though. Even though her boyfriend had wanted her to book the flights that way, she got herself a ticket to my place first, taking the Inner – European flight to France as a round trip from here… She later told me that she had just gotten that flight without consulting her boyfriend about it. She confronted him with the fact only after she had finally bought the tickets. She did this because she wanted to spend more time with me…

Well, I wasn’t sad to learn about that. After all, instead of seeing her only a day or two, I would now be able to spend more than a week with her! I was so excited when I learnt that she would be able to come. I was really happy about the prospect of being able to see her, sit next to each other, and talk to each other face to face, as we had both wished.

The visa was another issue, as she needed a letter of invitation from someone she would be staying with. This letter of invitation would serve as a guarantee that she would return to Thailand after her visa expired. Also the person who guaranteed would have the burden of carrying the responsibility in case of her being ill, having an accident, or any legal issues.

When I learnt about how difficult it is for someone from Thailand to come here for a visit, it really made me upset at first. I can see the reason behind those strict policies, but in Nok’s case and probably in so many others as well, I found those regulations quite inappropriate und simply unfair. For us farangs it is so easy to go to Thailand, get a visa on arrival for 30 days, without any trouble at all. In their case they have to prove so much, as if to show that they are not up to anything bad while here. Right…as if every farang who comes to Thailand has a heart of gold and the very best intentions…

I briefly thought about organising the letter of invitation for her, but in the end her boyfriend did it. Despite everything I just didn’t feel comfortable at all about taking on so much responsibility. Especially because she would spend a great part of her time in Europe not here with me, but in France, out of reach and control. If anything was to happen to her during her stay there, authorities would come to me for whatever the reason was…

Also I didn’t have much of a chance for doing this for her, as I spent the majority of the time before she finally arrived abroad. It would have been near to impossible to organize everything necessary from there.

As soon as I learnt that Nok held the tickets and the visa in her hands, and I was finally certain that she would come to visit for sure, I made myself free from work during the time she would be staying. I offered her to stay with me in my apartment, which at first she only reluctantly accepted. I have quite a big place for myself here, so I told her it would not be of any inconvenience for me at all. Actually, I just wanted to be able to spend as much time with her as possible during her stay. She finally agreed to my proposal and accepted the offer of me providing her shelter during her stay. At first she told me she wanted only to have a place to spend the first night, and the move into a hostel after that, but I managed to convince her to stay with me for the full length of her stay. Staying with her friend was not an option, as that friend was living in a small student’s dormitory close to her university. It would not have been possible for Nok to stay there with her.

So the big day finally came, and Nok arrived, with the plan of staying for 11 days, before moving on to France in order to see her boyfriend.

I went to the airport to pick her up. Boy, I was so excited to finally meet her again. I got her a little welcome present, and actually managed to surprise her when she entered the arrival lobby. She was just as pretty as I could predict from the photos she had sent me. She was shy at first, but I went ahead and gave her a big hug just the way I had promised her that I would during one of our last MSN messenger conversations. From then on everything went perfectly fine…

I have to mention here that I covered almost all our expenses while she was staying here. In the beginning she insisted on paying her share, but I just didn’t let it happen that way. I am sure many of you consider this as a stupid thing to do. Well, maybe it was, but letting her pay for outrageously high prices here didn’t seem fair to me.

Generally I wouldn’t consider myself an overly generous person, but in this case I just couldn’t help it. The cost of living is really high where I live, so I thought given my financial situation and her relatively low income by Western standards, it would only be fair if I covered the costs. I told her she would get a chance to return the favor when I come to visit her in Thailand, to which she finally agreed. I am not sure if it was generally a good idea to spoil her this much, but I wouldn’t have done it for anyone, and not if it hadn’t contributed to my own pleasure. I just wanted her to have a perfect time I guess. The feelings that had built up within me during the previous months seemed to grow stronger and stronger, and from her behaviour I could tell that it wasn’t any different for her. It looked like we were falling in love with each other for good.

Well…things went as they went, and during those days and nights we got closer and closer. After a few days of getting more and more attached to each other, we slept with each other for the first time.

After we had spent some days together I just couldn't help but wonder what was on her mind in regard to her boyfriend. After all, we had spent a wonderful time together, which she seemed to have enjoyed just as much as I. Still, she was bound to go to France to meet her boyfriend in only a few days time. I felt as if I was running out of time to clarify the situation between the two of us.

Truth to be told, from an egotistic point of view I wanted her to stay. I had gotten to like her a lot, and we had had such a great week together. True, that week did not resemble the normal life I lead here at all, as I had told all my friends to back away for the time while she was staying. I had no work to attend to, I skipped my hobbies and usual routines, all in order to be able to spend as much time as possible with her. Still, I very much wanted her to consider spending another 10 days with me, instead of going to France to meet her boyfriend…

On the other hand I was not so certain of what would happen if she stayed. After all, I was starting to feel a lot for her, and my rational side told me it might be better not to get attached too much. Eventually she would have to leave to go back to Thailand anyway, and saying goodbye would probably be so much harder if I was to get used to having her around 10 days longer.

I wanted to find out what her thoughts on the general situation were. Did she still want to go there to meet her boyfriend? If yes, what would she tell him? Did she consider at all not going, but to spend additional time here with me? If yes, what would she tell her boyfriend?

Her answer was that she just didn’t know. She told me how she had avoided thinking about it, as she enjoyed her time here with me so much. I made a point in saying that there was not much time left for her to think about it, and that the things that happened between us couldn’t be undone. I told her that I would very much like her to stay with me longer, because I wanted to get to know her better, and because I enjoyed being with her so much.

Sometime between our talk she told me how she had fallen in love with me. She told me how she had never expected that anything like that could happen to her, as she is usually a very determined person, and in control of her emotions. She said she had gotten overwhelmed by those feelings, and couldn’t reason against them. There she was, me holding her, crying in my arms…

Things had gotten complicated. During our first talk we didn’t come to any conclusion.
When we talked about all this again the next day, for a moment I thought she had decided to stay with me. But it turned out to be a misunderstanding. I couldn’t really argue against her reasoning…despite everything.

Her point of view was the following. She said she was only able to come to Europe at all because her boyfriend had organised the visa for her. She felt terribly guilty about having betrayed him already by seeing me and being with me. How could she betray him even more by ignoring him and not seeing him at all? She mentioned how she had known him for more than two years, how much time they had spent together while he was living in Bangkok. She said she couldn’t bear to hurt him this much, by just not showing up in France, leaving him to wait for her at the airport. She said they had a long history together, which she respects, despite all the difficulties they apparently must have had in their relationship. She also mentioned how she thought of this week with me as some kind of a dream. Something that was not fully real, as it was such an extraordinary time, and so different from the actual daily life of each of us. She said even though she had no idea what would happen now between her and her boyfriend, she knew how it was to live with that guy in Bangkok, while she only got to know me under these extraordinary circumstances that in no way resembled typical life.

I have to admit, even if I didn’t like what I was hearing much, she had a point. Actually I think, if she had forgotten about her boyfriend so easily, not caring about his feelings at all, I would have wondered a lot. On the other hand she had already betrayed him by being with me. She hadn’t told him the truth about where she would stay while in my country, with whom she would stay. She hadn’t mentioned me at all to him, and now she had cheated on him as well.

So as it turned out, she stuck with her decision to go to France to see him. To me it seemed as if there was no good decision to take here, as all the options were disappointing and sad in one way or the other.

The last day she spent with me in my city was overshadowed by the fact that she would be leaving so soon. We spent the time being very close with each other, concentrating more on the time we had left together than on anything else that we could have done.

So finally she did leave for France, and left me behind very confused and with a lot of mixed feelings. I have to make a point in saying that I didn’t regret a single minute of her staying with me. I had started to feel for that girl, and there were so many things going through my mind…

First of all, during our talks she mentioned to me a lot of times how much she cares about honesty in life; Honesty when dealing with people in general, honesty especially when being in a relationship with someone. She repeatedly asked me if I would consider myself an honest person, as it was important for her to know…

If honesty is so important to her, how could she do what she did to her boyfriend? She had lied to him for a long time, starting from not telling him about the real reason for her staying so long in my home country, instead of spending more time with him. Obviously her excuse for those lies were that she didn’t want to hurt him, so she preferred to cover up all those “little” details, not telling him anything at all. Can this be attributed to the “saving face” factor as well…?

When she left for France, I decided not to contact her while she was staying there. I thought it might be best not to mess with her mind while she was there, as she would have to sort out a lot of things anyway. She did send me a text message after two days of being there in France, saying thank you for all I had done for her, and the wonderful time we had spent. I did reply to that one, wishing her all the best for her time there, and the strength to make the right decisions. We exchanged some more messages throughout that week. Mostly she wrote to me, telling me how she missed me and how she wanted to see me again so badly, how she had left her heart with me…

I had no idea what was going on there between Nok and her boyfriend. I later found out that she never told him anything about what had happened between me and her.

She wrote me another email, telling me what she was doing there in France; meeting friends and their families, hanging out, doing some sightseeing. She wrote me how she so much wanted to speak to me, share her thoughts, but how she couldn’t speak them out loud where she was. She also mentioned how she felt so sad and guilty being there with her boyfriend, after all that happened between me and her.

I realize how weird this must sound, but actually I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her boyfriend in a way. He didn’t have a clue what had been going on between his girlfriend and me the week before.

What was I supposed to think? On one side I could understand that she couldn’t just go to see her boyfriend for the first time in many months, to rub the events of the past week into his face right when they meet. After all, she did depend on him, and could hardly risk having him kick her out in an emotional outburst.

On the other hand, how could she be with him, after just having been so close to me? There was no way of knowing for sure, but I guess she couldn’t just keep him at arm’s length for the time of her stay with him. They were probably not reading Shakespeare loud out to each other at night, either…

Generally speaking, I am not that much of a jealous character. Especially not in this case, as we hadn’t been together for so long and I was not head over heels in love with her. Still, the thought of her cuddling up in that guy’s arms there in France really didn’t give me much peace of mind at all…

Was I being unrealistic? After all, I didn’t see any chance that there could be anything serious going on between the two of us in the future. We would not be able to spend much time with each other at all any time soon… Realistically speaking, there was no future for us, at least not as far as a possible relationship was concerned. There is no way that I would ever consider giving up my excellent job and life here to pursue a relationship on shaky grounds in Thailand. Yet I couldn’t help it but think about finding a way for us to spend more time together so many times…

During the past years I have read so many stories on Stick’s website. Many of them dealt with men who were screwed over by Thai girls, and I am not talking about bargirls. Am I having the feeling of having been screwed over? No, definitely not! Am I uncertain about what to think of all this? Yes, I definitely am!

Often the term “good girl” had been mentioned in earlier submission. People made comments what supposedly “good girls” would do, and what they wouldn’t do. As far as I understood Nok could not have been easily described as a “good girl” by Thai standards, if I consider all those events mentioned above. On the other hand, life is not just black or white…there are so many shades of grey in between. You just cannot put millions and millions of women into a few categories. I don’t think this is fair to do, and there just have to be distinctions made.

I met her again one more time before she flew back to Bangkok. She had to change planes on her way from France to Thailand at the airport in my city, so I went to see her there. We only had two hours to spend. We ended up holding, hugging and kissing each other there most of the time. Then I had to let her go…

So what is going on now…?!

Well, we are in touch a lot. We spend several hours a week on the phone talking to each other, next to the daily email and SMS exchange between us.

As I had planned even before this development, I have gotten myself a ticket to go to Bangkok in late October. I would have gone anyway, but of course the prospect of seeing Nok again there is driving me even stronger to go now.

What am I expecting of this, I really don’t know. Actually I am surprised about myself, how unreasonable I am, by choice. I believe I am in love with that girl, and even though my mind tells me I am making a fool out of myself, I just cannot let go. I guess time will smooth things out, one way or the other. Anyway, there is not really much I can do about it now. I cannot switch off the feelings I have for her just like that, and I actually don’t want to, either.

I haven’t asked her about her boyfriend in weeks, but I believe she still hasn’t told him a thing. She is very afraid of hurting people’s feeling. This seems to be also the reason why she chooses not to tell him anything, because due to the distance it is so easy for her to keep everything about me covered up.

I know she is not comfortable with this situation herself, so she often chooses just to ignore it. She repeatedly told me how she felt very guilty about this all, especially during the time when she was staying with her boyfriend in France. I guess the distance between her and me as well as her and him give her a chance to partly ignore the complexity of the situation she finds herself in. Also, she told me more than once that despite her having such strong feelings for me, she didn’t think it was right of her to give me hope, as she doesn’t know what the future will bring. She said that she thinks of herself as selfish because she wishes to go on the way it is now; meaning being in touch with me as much as we are, but also not splitting with her boyfriend, as she isn’t sure if that’s the right step to take…

I don’t know how I should feel about this. I don’t believe I should judge her for doing what she is doing, as I am not sure what I would do if I was in her situation. She once told me that she just doesn’t know if she still has feelings for her boyfriend, and is afraid of making the wrong decision in regard to him. I think she also believes that she owes him, and therefore feels as if she cannot easily break up because of that.

I wonder what the next months will bring, until we will meet again in Thailand. I am so much looking forward to seeing her again. We have made quite a few plans already about what to do and where to go in that time.

Especially during the past weeks there have been a lot of readers' submissions dealing with the “Thai girlfriend” experience. Most of them warned about the difficulties, the dishonesty and money issues, next to so many other things. This has really made me think a lot.

Generally speaking, I think some of the comments that were made about women’s general longing for security (provider, ATM-husband) were really over the top. I am well aware that it is essential for most women to be with someone who can provide financial stability. However, I truly believe it isn’t right to paint the picture with such a broad brush. I know more than a few cases where the guy has little or nothing to offer to his lady, and they are still happy and living a functional relationship. Sure thing, money makes the world go round, but other things do as well. After all, luckily not all people (women) are alike…

As far as the “purity” of love versus “bought love” goes, I can only say: “To each person their own…” Personally, I don’t believe true feelings of love and intimacy can be bought for any money in the world. However, I realize not anyone is looking for such things in life…

At this point I want to believe that it is not unreasonable to actually put good faith in people.
In Nok’s case, I just don’t notice any of those behavior patterns that people have warned about so many times during the past months. I am not deliberately trying to turn a blind eye on anything. I truly believe she is a sweet, caring girl, and not necessarily typically “Thai” in many ways. She might have her issues that I haven’t learnt about so far, but I still have to meet a person, no matter if male or female, who doesn’t have any issues of some kind. On the other hand…how many others have believed this about their girl before, only to be disappointed, their hearts broken, their world shattered.

Time will tell. Despite all warnings and well meant advice, I suppose everyone just has to make his own experiences in life. I don’t like to think of myself as naïve, so I am not letting my guard down completely. I am afraid I might get sucked into something that I will regret later on. Sometimes I am thinking I should take it for what it was, don’t look back, and go on with my life. Well, easily said, yet not so easily done; at least not for me.

Still, I choose to have faith in that girl. Call me a fool if you like, probably I am…

Thanks for reading!

Comments of any kind are surely welcome and appreciated…!

Stickman's thoughts:

Lowering one's expectations is one way to ensure that they do not get too badly burnt, and in this situation that is what I would recommend. This girl certainly doesn't sound evil or "bad", but she most certainly does sound confused. Call me the cynic, but when she has proven to cheat on her boyfriend, even if she does choose you over him, who's to say that she will not repeat the cycle in the future, and choose another guy of her existing boyfriend, that being you. Yes, I am being very cynical with these comments…..but do remember, that the one thing that is sure about people's behaviour is that they repeat past actions.

Whatever happens, good luck with her!