Stickman Readers' Submissions December 1st, 2005

20% Chance She’s Not Lying

I wasn't planning on sending this Stickman article in, but I
found it on a CD and since some time had passed I thought I'd update it a bit and send it in.

I've always lived my life according to probability. There is no god, there is no karma, there is nothing out there that we can have contact with or influence enough to change the laws of probability.

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Coincidence happens occasionally. Once at my apartment complex in Florida I met the wife of a guy I'd served in the Air Force with in Hawaii at Hickam AFB 6 years prior. She and her kids were staying in the same apartment complex and she just happened
to be washing her van right outside my room when I pulled up from work.

That kind of stuff happens occasionally. The trick is knowing when it is coincidence and when there is something more to it than that. In this case, had I then seen her while fishing, while at Disneyworld and while at the bar I would have suspected something

That's just the way it is. Coincidence in the human drama doesn't happen consistently. Well, it does, but only when there is a reason.

Hope you're still with me – the 'meat' follows.

Here I am in North East Thailand – major city – 1 million people I'm guessing. My phone is already programmed with a greeting that I read every time I turn it on… "Nothing is as it appears". Gathered from the collective wisdom of some of Stick's writers.

Nothing is as it appears.

Maybe there has never been said a more true statement here in LOS. This statement ALONE carries some weight in my theory. This statement is evidence against nearly anything you'll question. It's basic truth stems from the idea that to Thai people – losing "face" is the most negative thing they can experience. So, to avoid losing face they will throw up every kind of smokescreen possible and sometimes IMPOSSIBLE to avoid losing face. "Nothing is as it appears." has more truth every time I sit down and start to look at things that I think I "know" are true… or what I accept astrue.

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[[rating: 8]] (I'll explain the ratings later)

If you are trying to understand people, women, life… you must live by some set of rules… meaning, you have to be able to judge what is happening from the most objective viewpoint possible. Otherwise, you'd be what we call a "woman".
Women react emotionally and judge emotionally. They think, gossip and argue emotionally. It's an obviously flawed way of going about things.

I would rather rely on probability because it can't change. A woman's arguments change with her menstrual flow. I have no flow and would like to keep it that way.

It happened like this…

I was at work – I am dating a girl I work with. We work closely together. She graduated from one of the "better" universities here in Isaan. She speaks English incredibly well. I have dated her 2 months. She basically lives with me. Cooks for
me. Cleans for me. Sets appointments for English class for me. Runs errands for me. I haven't dated anyone else. I'm happy and yet I do not trust her. She is innocent, naive and all of that, but from what I've read and heard in
Thailand I cannot trust her yet.

Maybe I cannot trust her ever… not sure.

I was in the doorway of the office at work and I noticed that outside the door was a farang standing very close behind my girlfriend slash co-worker. He was talking and she was talking – but she was not looking at him. He was within a few inches of her
backside. She was bent over preparing the food for kids for lunch. The situation struck me as odd… and that was the 1st bit of data for the equation.

[[rating: 8]]

I brushed it off – but checked to see how long it was going to go on for. I could not see either face very well and yet I could hear talking. I did not know this guy, though I guessed it was a different co-worker's friend that had come to visit her
at work. His English sucked and yet he still was able to pick up the occasional job teaching English in Isaan – even without a degree or certificate. I guess they talked for about 2 minutes.

[[no rating – length of time not that important here – 2 minutes could have been talking about anything innocuous]]

More data… we were all eating lunch at the table – still at work. My girlfriend remarked to this farang "Can you handle that?" meaning, the som tam he was eating which was pedt maak. He replied with "I can handle
a lot of things" Smiling… hmm. I'm wondering a bit about this guy now. Is he hitting on my girlfriend? Nobody here at work knows that we are dating – and so it wouldn't be unheard of. I make a mental note.

[[rating: 8 or 9]].

More data…

I was sitting at my desk and I remarked to my girlfriend that I thought the farang spoke better English since supposedly he taught English before. She said that he did not teach here at work, but that he taught at the same computer shop that she did for
two weeks. She assisted him! Hmm… ahhh, ok – the data is getting interesting.

[[rating: 10]]

The guy has hung around work here for 3 days in the last week. He is visiting with others in the building – and yet they are in the next office mostly. I have seen him look into our office on numerous occasions, not in itself meaning anything.

[[no rating]]

More data…

I ask her why she didn't tell me that she worked with this guy before. She responds that she did tell me when he first came here to the school a week ago. Now, I know that my brain is better than an elephants by a rather large factor, and I don't
forget ANYTHING that is said regarding other men and someone I'm dating.

So this 4th bit of data was scary. She was either lying or really thought she told me. Both of which are indicative of something tricky going on… If she had thought she told me – and yet she hadn't – likely she had been playing it over in her mind so much that she thought she actually had told me. Or, she meant to tell me.

[[rating: 9]]

More data…

I'm very suspicious at this point and I ask her – did you sleep with him? She throws some Chai Yin at me – the powder mix package and asks if that's what I think. I don't respond – because, I'm not emotional. I ask her again, "did
you?". She says "No." Then she says, "Why?". Hmm, this 5th bit is more troubling than any of the data so far…

I have one rule that's nearly always right on. One rule that I've trusted from the time I've heard it and I have about 95% confidence in it. It is… "The strength of the emotional reaction is equal in proportion to the truth about
the subject". Something I learned in a psych class early on in my schooling. If she had blown it off, said, "No", and turned silent for a bit I would have felt better. But instead, she was very pissed and wanted to know WHY I wanted
to know. The why is quite obvious. It was her wanting to know the WHY that was odd.

[[rating: 9]]

I logged it…

Then she said…

"yes, I sleep with all the farangs I work with". Hmm. It was true in my case, and I did know her to be involved with one guy from Belgium and one guy from America for some serious internet dating and infrequent visits by one of them to see her.

When I met her she was without a doubt in the strictest sense of the word – a "virgin". That fact couldn't have been any more clear. Back to the statement she made…

I have noticed that when people are asked about some behavior or questioned… accused… they often times will admit that they did the act – in the form of a joke… some fake facetiousness that is supposed to be only a joke… and yet,
it gives the speaker some sort of satisfaction for having told the truth in some small way. Watch for it- you'll see it too.

[[rating: 6]]

So I sat… and she went to the restroom to cry and probably send some SMS message on her phone – she made it a point to check her phone and take it into the restroom which she NEVER has done here yet.

[[no rating]]

I sit and think.

I start putting the equation together… and I need more data so I go back in memory and try to find something else that doesn't make sense. Something that I remember, and something that wasn't significant enough at the time to cause any suspicion.
And of course there were some things.

When I saw the farang first come to work here I said hello and he didn't really respond. My girlfriend was behind me and perhaps he was looking at her and thinking about what to say… not sure. Perhaps they had been talking since he came to town
and he knew that she and I were dating… Not sure.

[[rating: 6]]

I said to her, "hmm, that might be "Arguile"" – since I knew that guy named Arguile had worked here in the past and that another co-worker was writing a farang named Arguile that used to work here. She said that she didn't

[[rating: 9, she knew because she had worked with him!! ]]

For the first 2 days he remained in the office next to us and did not come in to meet me or her or the other co-workers – which is odd. Every farang I've met here has always wanted to find out about the others… talk, share experience, talk about
anything. This one didn't and yet he talked to other farangs here. Odd… and at first nothing to worry about, but, it becomes a bit of data as the equation gets built.

[[rating: 7]]

I recall that in the past week she has had a large number of SMS and phone calls to her mobile. Often times she'll go outside or into another room which she hasn't done before.

[[rating: 7]]

There have been some occasions where she was to have an "aunt" visit her from a neighboring city that either materialized or didn't. Some did, some didn't. However, one noteworthy event was when she told me that her aunt miscalculated
which day she had to arrive in town to attend the temple for a Buddhist holy day. That didn't make any sense at all! The woman is a devout Buddhist and doesn't work – so all she has to worry about all day is which day to come here to
go to temple. That was quite odd.

[[rating: 9 – her aunt is old and maybe is getting senile?]]

And with that, after all the evidence that I could gather was easily visible, I had something to analyze…

When I go about making a decision – a major decision, I am as objective as possible. I love to see it on paper and tally up the equation so it makes as much logical sense to me as possible. Some of the data can be flawed… my perception of what happened
or what will happen can be flawed but, when pulling many pieces of evidence (experience) together to be part of the equation – the sheer number of pieces of evidence makes it unlikely that a wrong decision will take place. Don't get me wrong,
I am emotional at times… like everyone. However, I don't stick with decisions I make while I'm emotional. Every decision goes through a logical analysis before I act on it.


I assign importance to any one bit of data by going with my estimate of the probability that the piece of data has anything sinister about it. I usually assign a number from 1-10 – with 10 being definitive proof that something beyond probability has occurred.
Sometimes I "weight" each bit of data with the importance that it has on the situation.

For this scenario I just went with a simple rating of each factor.I will go back in this story now and assign a number to each bit of data so you can see what importance I gave to it. [[done, the rating is in the brackets]] It is all subjective of course, and yours will be too if you choose to do something similar.

I have a master's degree in psychology and I think I know people pretty well. Very well? But I tend to trust people upfront. Being in Patong for the first 6 weeks of my Thailand experience didn't give me a good feeling about the women's
behavior here. I have been burnt multiple times already by falling for a girl that I wanted to "help" and having the situation turn against me for it.

So that's my story… coincidence happens… not consistently though. When you add up all the data, it may not be coincidence at all.

My decision about the above scenario after adding up and getting the average was that it just DIDN'T ADD UP. There was something going on there – not sure what it was though.

I decided to continue dating her for the next few months. While I liked her a lot I wasn't assholes over elbows in love and we had a mutually symbiotic relationship… She did things for me and I did for her. But, I broke it off with her in October
when I realized that I didn't come to Thailand to get married again. She was starting to talk that talk and I didn't have the 100% trust that I'd need for that… nor would I ever have it with her.

TALLY: 96 total out of 12 bits of experience. Average for each experience is: 8. That gives me about an 80% confidence that something sinister was going on. In my mind there is about a 20% chance that she isn't lying.

Not really enough to make me do something immediately, and yet, considerable enough that it changed my long-term thinking about her and helped me decide to move on this past October…

Stickman's thoughts:

One thing that needs to be understood about a good number of Thai women is that, right or wrongly, they do not dedicate themselves to their boyfriend as they would to say their husband. It seems that more and more, these women see a boyfriend as someone to whom total honesty and trust are not pre-requisites.

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