Stickman Readers' Submissions December 12th, 2005

Hopelessly Hopeful Part 2

This submission is a follow-up to August 27th “Hopelessly Hopeful”, which you will find down in the middle of the list in “Readers Submissions 8”.

For those of you who didn’t read the initial piece it might prove to be a bit hard to follow the subsequent storyline. If you are interested I do recommend you look at the original submission first, before starting reading this one.

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Before telling my story, I also want to thank all the readers who took the time to write me encouraging notes and / or well intentioned advice on my situation throughout the past months after reading my submission. I got in touch with some
really interesting and friendly people that way, and their ideas on this all helped me a lot with my mazy thoughts.

After her return to Thailand in late July, Nok and I stayed in touch, as the mutual feelings of affection between the two of us had long overruled common sense and rationality. Yet, at no time did she break up with her French boyfriend, as
she proclaimed that despite everything she wasn’t completely sure of her feelings for him…

I got myself a ticket to Bangkok for late October, which I eventually rescheduled to late November due to a big project at work I had to take care of before finally being able to leave. I had planned even before this affair to get myself
a ticket to Bangkok at that time, but of course the prospect of seeing Nok again there was driving me even stronger to go.

So during those long months before us being able to reunite again we were in touch a lot through phone, text messaging and occasionally chat. We spent several hours a week on the phone talking to each other, next to the daily email and SMS
exchange between us.

I never really figured out how this whole situation actually worked for the two of us, neither did I understand why I was doing all this despite the fact of her having a boyfriend still.

Also, every last single bit of rationalism left inside of me told me that this will not get me anywhere at all. My reason told me I should look back at the ten days we spent together gratefully, but now close this chapter and move on with
my life. I just had no idea whatsoever of what to expect out of this all. It was basically just the hope of meeting her again that was driving me all along the way.

Her words to me remained affectionate and warm for many weeks, right until about the middle of October, about one month before I would fly to see her. From then on I noticed how she got colder towards me in her emails and especially on the
phone. I made a big effort to keep up the connection between us, as I hated the thought of her slipping from me just so short before going to see her there in Bangkok. I made quite a lot of sacrifices to keep in touch, and often felt as if she
didn’t see me as much of a priority as I considered her. I stayed home from meeting friends or running errands quite a lot of times so I could reach her on the phone at a suitable time. That wasn’t always easy for me to do, as I
could best reach her in her evenings in Bangkok, which were early afternoons in my place.

I was disappointed sometimes, to say the least, when I called her after announcing I would through email or SMS a day before I eventually did, just to find out she was unavailable to speak to me then because she was out with friends for dinner
or at the movies. I thought it would have been nice if she had at least written me a short note that she wouldn’t be available at that time, so I could have planned my day differently.

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Anyway, this didn’t happen too often, and didn’t change the way I felt about her. I was still madly looking forward to seeing her, yet trying to keep in my mind the well meant advice of close friends, as well as Stick’s
in his response to my initial submission, to lower my expectations in order not to get burned too badly eventually.

I wondered a lot what was going on, and developed a few theories, trying to come up with a good reason for her behavior.

I thought she might just try not to raise my expectations too much, now as the date of my arrival was moving steadily closer and closer. Maybe she was just uncertain about the situation, and what to expect out of it. I was sure her French
boyfriend was nagging at her conscience throughout the whole time as well. I know how she has never been comfortable with this whole situation, so she often chose just to ignore thinking of it. She repeatedly told me how she felt very guilty about
this all.

In hindsight I know now that she was trying to keep my expectations low, as she didn’t know what to expect of my visit there either.

So the day of me flying to the LOS finally arrived. Quite a bit of heavy workload in my job had me tied down during the two weeks before departure, so I never really had the time to get very excited about the prospect of going to see Nok
again. I definitely took the time to send an email to her every day, as I had gotten used to do in the months before, but as we would see each other so soon anyway, I cut down on the length and content a lot. I was basically saving it up for the
time I would be there, sitting with her, talking face to face as we had wished we could do so many times during those long weeks apart.

But then finally, a few days before leaving for Bangkok, the excitement actually kicked in. I realized that now the time had come that I had been waiting for such a long time already.
A long time before the departure date I had already
made sure to organize some gifts that I hoped she would be happy about. I bought her some local sweets she had enjoyed during her time staying here, got the DVD of a movie we had talked about on the phone and we both wanted to see together, and
most importantly a nice set of crystal earrings.

I remembered her admiring those in the window of a jewellery shop while she had been staying with me. So I got those for her now and had them beautifully gift-wrapped, imagining already the joyful look on her face when she would rip open
the box and find them in there…!

Those earrings were not insanely expensive, albeit they were neither cheap in appearance nor price. The pendants were rather small and unobtrusive, yet sparkling in the light and beautifully crafted, and should go extremely well with her
smooth black her and gracious profile.

With all those things buried in my luggage I set off to the airport on a particularly unpleasant and cold early winter evening, dressed only in a long sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans, in anticipation of the comfortable heat of Thailand’s
cool season.

So there I was, sitting in the departure hall, having cleared security checks, waiting for the boarding process to begin.

Looking around me, there was an interesting mix of travellers to be observed. There were quite a few families who looked as if they were bound for some beach resort vacation down at the islands in the South, mixed together with some adventurous
looking young backpacker type of guys, many of them having their eyes focussed on the latest Lonely Planet guidebooks on Thailand and SEA. A group of retirees were chatting noisily about the uncomfortable long plane ride they were expecting.

And then of course there were those kinds of guys who could most easily be described as the stereotype sex tourists, though I realize it was probably not fair to make that judgement on my behalf. Interestingly enough, those guys seemed to
be eyed by a lot of curious faces in the departure lobby. It was almost as if everybody tried to figure out who of those “usual suspects” was going on the trip for this very reason.

Not as if I would have cared much about it, but I did wonder what some of those people had in mind when looking at me, as I didn’t think I fit in very well with either one of the described groups. They probably would have chuckled
or shaken their heads if they had known me as the love fool that I was, going to Thailand to pursue an impossible relationship against all reason and sense…

The flight was fairly pleasant, and I managed to sleep some hours on the plane. Landing in Bangkok I noticed something I hadn’t picked up flying into Don Muang at any of the times before. There is a golf court in between the two parallel
runways…! How about that…!

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Now, I wouldn’t call myself an expert on aviation security, but I do believe that having a golf course situated in an area as security relevant as an airport is very odd to say the least. It was bizarre
to watch the players and their caddies’ line up at the edge of the taxiway to wait until our plane would pass so they could walk to their next hole.
Probably only in Thailand…

At immigration I probably picked the line served by the most incompetent of all immigration officers at the airport, as she took an average of five minutes to clear one passenger in the line. Me, standing in line as number 12 or 13 ran out
of patience quite quickly, knowing that little Nok would be waiting for me outside in the arrival hall for some time already. So after realizing that I would still be there in line the next day if I didn’t change it, I slipped into the
line next to me, earning some grouchy looks from my fellow travellers.

Anyway, a few minutes later I cleared customs and walked into the crowds in the arrival sector of the terminal. Nok spotted me first, and waved at me, catching my attention. She was standing there, a bit away from the crowds, sipping ice
tea seductively through a straw from a can, with a hint of a smile on her lips!

I stepped towards her, and as I got close she made a step backwards, increasing the distance between the two of us. I wasn’t too surprised or even worried because of that. I guessed she would try to act appropriately in public, especially
her being a supposedly “good” Thai girl, and me being a foreigner. I guess she just didn’t want to make the wrong impression on anybody around…

So we exchanged the usual courtesies, trying to overcome this awkward situation. Despite me having Nok in my company on our way to the parking lot there were at least half a dozen Thai guys considering me a business opportunity, trying to
catch my attention, most of them whispering “Pattaya? Pattaya?” to me…! I found that a bit embarrassing for Nok and could understand even more so why she was obviously trying hard to behave unmistakably as a proper Thai lady.

After around 40 minutes of driving we reached her apartment building, conveniently

located in walking distance to Phayathai BTS Station. After instructing me briefly on how to behave when walking through the public part of the building in her company, I grabbed my luggage from the trunk of her car, and followed her through the lobby
to the elevators.

Her apartment turned out to be a bit smaller than I had expected, yet quite comfortable and nice. We sat down on the bed and I handed my presents over to her one by one, studying her reactions carefully all the time. She was really appreciative
about all of them. She recognized the earrings that I had bought for her, and beamed at me while muttering out happily how she couldn’t believe I remembered how she had liked those. She promised to put them on when we go out together at
the first good occasion.

So the ice between the two of us began to melt steadily and after I handed over the last present to her she got closer and gave me a big hug. As it was late afternoon already, and me being rather tired from the journey, we decided not to
do much anymore on this day, but stay at her place and relax. We thought about getting some dinner from a food stall down in the Soi, and then watch the DVD together I had taken for her.

It all came quite differently unfortunately. One of her colleagues from the office called and asked her for some assistance with a presentation that was due in the middle of the following week. Nok had been involved with the project all along,
and felt as if she was obliged to help her colleague finishing it up now, even though it was a late Saturday afternoon. It was not her direct responsibility to do this, but I could understand how she didn’t want to let her colleague down
with this. Anyway, I thought she would get done with everything quickly, and then spend time with me. How wrong I was…

So while she got busy chattering on her mobile with her laptop in front of her, I unpacked my stuff and waited for her to finish. It didn’t take her long, and we decided she would take me to an Isaan restaurant that she liked for dinner.
She mentioned to me how she might have to make another phone call to her colleague after returning back to the apartment later in the evening, which I said I would understand.

Dinner was very nice, and I greatly enjoyed sitting out in the open in her company with good food at a nice restaurant in some quiet Soi not far from her place. On our way back she was on the phone already, being busy again on the presentation
thing she had to get done with. Anyway, she promised me it would only take her 30 minutes max to finish it up, and then she would be done for good for the weekend, and give me her undivided attention. She said that at around 8pm. Back at her apartment,
she was back at her laptop immediately.

Me, still in happy anticipation of a nice evening together at her place, watching a movie, hopefully her cuddling up in my arms, waited patiently for her to finish up…

And I waited for a long time…

In the end, the 30 minutes she had promised turned into four hours, her finally shutting down the laptop and getting off the phone past midnight. Needless to say, I was very disappointed with this.

If she had work to do that couldn’t wait and she was responsible for, fine…

On the other hand I found it really quite discourteous of her to let me wait for such a long time there, constantly telling me how her getting done with work was just a question of a few more minutes. Hell, I arranged this trip to see her
at substantial expenses from my side in terms of money and time, and all I got out of it on my first day of arriving was watching her yak away on the telephone with her colleague for hours. I did feel like an idiot…

Finally, she got done, and we cuddled up in bed next to each other, falling asleep pretty soon.

Next morning, on Sunday, we got up at around 8am, as she had told me the previous evening how she would have to send one final email to her colleague early that morning, and then she would be all mine for the remainder of the day.

So what happened…

She was working on the laptop for three hours, most of the time being on the phone with her colleague again simultaneously. I, once more, was sitting there like a moron, waiting for her to finish up in “no later than 5 minutes”,
as she repeatedly made sure to remind me. Finally we left her place and went to Chatuchak market, planning to first have early lunch there, and then go for a lazy walk around the market. Well, as soon as we had sat down at a food stall at the
market with plates of tasty looking food in front of us, her phone rang again, and to my considerable annoyance she was sucked into a telephone conference again, which lasted for 90 minutes at that time.

Now, don’t get me wrong…

I didn’t blame her for being busy like this with work. After all, it was her responsibility, and I liked to see how she was so diligent when it came to taking care of it, or helping out her colleagues in need. What I found so irritating
was how she always kept on telling me how this would only last for a few minutes, and I should just please sit it out with her. It was just such a disappointment for me to spend weekend with her being on the phone constantly over some oh so important
presentation, especially because I knew that she wouldn’t see a lot of her during the week except in the evenings because of her work obligations anyway.

We finally did go for a walk through the market, and we both had our hands read by an old Chinese lady fortune teller. That was good fun indeed, and I was surprised about some of the things that peculiar lady could tell about my life. She
knew spot on what profession I was in, which is not easy to guess at all, could tell of an absolutely unobvious medical ailment that I endure, and had some other ideas about my life I found to be very precise. Now, I am really very sceptical when
it comes to fortune tellers and alike, and I had never consulted any before, nor do I believe in horoscopes. Anyway, it was a fun activity to do, even though the lady made good money from us, asking for 300 baht each for the run. Upon paying the
daughter of the fortune teller overheard Nok saying to me how she needed to find an ATM as she was running out of cash. I don’t speak much Thai at all except some basic phrases, but I could well understand the meaning of the fortune teller’s
daughter pointing at me, obviously saying to Nok how she doesn’t need to find an ATM as she had one walking with her already. Nok actually confirmed to me that she had been saying that after we had left to place…

So, back at her place we were, and guess what….she was on the phone again, and continued to be until midnight, only interrupted by having some small snack in her room with me. She did apologize to me many times for having to do all this
work on the weekend, yet never stopped telling me how she would finish up shortly, just to end up continuing her work for hours to come. I have to say, this did piss me off, even if I didn’t tell it to her face…

Something else had happened on this day. At one time during her making telephone calls to her colleagues, her phone rang, and she ran out to the balcony, sliding the glass door shut behind her. It didn’t take me long to figure out
that her French boyfriend was on the line, as the door to the balcony was not designed to be a sound proof barrier of gossip and sorts…

If he had known who was lying on his girlfriend’s bed just a few meters away, I am sure we wouldn’t have sweet mouthed her for 20 minutes on the phone. I did pity that guy a bit, and also felt disappointed about the fact she
obviously still looked at me as number two in the line…

I will not bore you with too many details of my daytime activity in Bangkok during the following lines. Nok had to work throughout the days from 9am till usually around 6pm everyday. Unfortunately she couldn’t take any leave from work
during the week because of her busy schedule, although she had announced to me differently before me arriving. She also had to go out of town for two days for attending a company conference, spending the night there.

So I had a lot of free time at my hands for exploring the city on my own.

I had been in Bangkok twice before, some years ago, yet back then I had mostly followed the guidebooks, doing one tourist attraction after the other. This time I wanted it to be different. I did a lot of walking, visited some really pleasurable
spas in the Sukumvit area to treat myself to some professional (non full service) massages and alike. This was just blissful. Those spa treatments at the better places are not cheap, but simply unavailable back where I come from. Even if they
were, they would probably be 6 times the price anyway…

I went down to the NEP to do some people watching in the late evening on the day she was out of town, as I had never been there before. After reading so much about it on this site, I just felt like checking it out for once. What an absolutely
wicked place that is, incredible…! Quite a show indeed…!

One afternoon I even met-up with another regular Stickman reader who I had had some friendly email exchange with after him reading “Hopelessly Hopeless” on the submissions page back in August.

So how did my days with Nok pursue…?

During daytime we were usually on the phone with each other for a few times a day. I had gotten myself a cheap second hand brick of a Nokia phone at MBK with an Orange SIM card after an unsuccessful attempt to unlock my mobile phone there.

In the evenings I always tried to be back at her apartment at the time when I expected her to come back home from work. Except for her idea of taking me to Chatuchak market on the weekend, where I had never been before, Nok didn’t
seem to have made many plans for us for my time there.

On Tuesday night I took her to “The Dome at State Tower”, to have dinner at Sirocco. I had read about that place in a newspaper article back home not long before leaving for Thailand, and also remembered it from being mentioned
on this website. After checking out the restaurant’s website I decided this was just the perfect place for me to take her. Usually I am not all that much into fancy dining, but I do appreciate great cuisine. I usually treat myself to such
a place not more often than maybe once or twice a year. The last time I had enjoyed a very decadent dinner had been about a year before, having a 100$ Kobe beef in Dubai’s Burj al Arab tower hotel. So I figured it was overdue to repeat
the experience, this time at the world’s highest outdoor restaurant with some lovely company. I knew of course how Nok could never afford having dinner there, so I figured she would be delighted if I took her. Also, I really wanted to go,
and was more than willing to lay out the costs of dinner for the two of us to have this experience. I rather paid a substantial amount of money for her and my dinner, than going there alone, or probably not at all. It was well worth it indeed.

The evening was fantastic. We were seated at a nice table with spectacular views over nightly Bangkok, enjoying the great service and food. This evening set me back around 3,500 baht each for three courses and a glass of good wine for both
of us. A lot of money for dinner, but all in all well worth the experience.

What did strike me as a bit odd was how little restraint Nok had to go for the more pricey mains on the menu. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not a stingy guy, especially when I treat myself to a place like that. Still, if it had been
me who was invited to such a place, I would probably have tried to pick something on the lower to middle scale of the price range, or at least ask my host if it was okay to pick a particular dish if that was on the more pricey side…

I was also quite disappointed that Nok didn’t wear the earrings I bought her. She had told me she would wear them for sure at the first good occasion. If not there, where else? By the way, she never wore them one single time during
my whole time staying there in Bangkok with her. Not once! Only when on the way to the airport, starting my journey back home some days later, she said she was sorry for not wearing them because they never matched her outfit at any time. Right…

The other evenings we spent going out for dinner usually, too. We went shopping in the evening once, and another time we made it to the movies. Basically we were doing all the regular boyfriend – girlfriend stuff together.

Now, as I was experiencing Nok in her daily life, some of the things I wrote about in “Splitting An Atom” back in September slapped me back into my face. I couldn’t help but noticing how clueless she was about the goings
on in this world. Despite her being such a smart and well educated girl, her lack of intellectual curiosity stuck out like a sore thumb.

Not only did she seem to have neither much interest nor knowledge about life on this planet apart from her own, friends and family’s, she had also surprisingly little interest when it came to how I spent my days while she was at work.
I would have expected her to ask me how my day was, where I had been, what I experienced when meeting her in the evening, but she hardly asked me anything at all. When I told her something out of my own initiative, I often had the feeling as if
it was not important to her to hear from me.

When I asked her about her own day, she hardly told me anything either. I had noticed this pattern of behavior when talking to her on the telephone and writing her emails before, and always found it odd.

I remember once writing her how the apartment building I live in was on fire, which had been a really scary situation with all the thick smoke everywhere. She never asked me anything about it at any time, neither did she ever have any questions
about things I had been telling her about of my own life previously.

I wonder what the reason for this is. Is it just not important to her? If not, for what reason?
I am not saying anybody needs to be an expert and highly interested in international affairs or politics, but I believe it doesn’t
hurt anyone to at least watch the news every other week, or take a glimpse into the paper. I don’t think she is ever doing anything like this…

So what happened during the nights…

As I mentioned above, she was still holding on to her French boyfriend. I had found out a few more details about him in the meantime. He had been studying and working in Thailand for around one year. That was the time obviously when he met
Nok. He also took her travelling with him to some places in the region. I saw quite a few photos of him that she kept in her apartment, and had not hidden from sight particularly well. He looked like a decent guy, but from the things she had told
me about him I couldn’t help to feel much sympathy for him…

During all the time after her leaving my home country back in July, and before our reunion in Bangkok, I knew that she never told him anything about me. Before me arriving to see her, she had made up her mind about keeping her distance from
me, as she admitted to me some days into my stay with her. She thought that even though I would be sleeping in the same bed as her, she would just stay on one side of it, keeping me on the other.

I knew how she had felt really bad about cheating on her boyfriend with me the way she had done, and genuinely believed it troubled her a lot. Yet, her resolution to keep me at bay there didn’t last very long. The first two nights
we were sleeping close, her cuddling up in my arms already, albeit nothing more than this happened.

On the third night though, she gave herself to me, without me pressuring her at all. It was wonderful, even though her shyness and reservation when it came to sex limited the experience a little. She did open up a bit during the week more
and more however.

And this very night something happened I never thought it could happen to “oh so reasonable me”…

When it was obvious that we were going to sleep with each other, I got out of bed quickly to fetch my toiletry kit where I had put my condoms. However, in the dark and within my heaps of luggage and stuff on the floor I couldn’t find
them. I had put them into a not so obvious place because I hadn’t wanted Nok to stumble across them by chance, getting the wrong ideas. So after rummaging through my stuff for minutes which seemed like an eternity to me, she called me back
to bed and whispered into my ear how it would be alright. At this time she was right at the beginning of having her period, which doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of pregnancy when having unprotected intercourse, but reduces it to
about the level of risk of pregnancy when having sex using a condom during a girl’s most fertile days.

In regard to STDs I was not worried at all, as I was certain to be clean, and her just having had an extensive medical check up a week before for her new job.

So we had unprotected sex with each other for the first time, something I originally had promised myself to do only when being in a solid relationship. In the heat of the moment it had seemed alright to me, but looking back on it the next
morning I really felt like slapping my own face for doing it. Taking risks wasn’t me, especially not in such a case. True, it was her proposition to go without, and I did have reason to trust her, just as she trusted me. So it was definitely
both of our responsibility here, yet I was angry at myself for letting my little head rule over my big one.

It wasn’t until a few days later until the news hit me like a sledgehammer…

A few nights later, after having sex again, this time using a condom additionally though, she admitted to me taking the anti-baby pill. Well, good news one would think, and no reason to worry anymore about anything…! And actually it should
have been like this, but it did turn out differently!

I asked her about her pill prescription, and since when she has been taking it on a regular basis. She told me her doctor had prescribed her the anti-baby pill some months back to help her ease her period pain and to get a more regular cycle.
She told me how she had been taking it for about 6 months already, yet never really exactly got her head around how it actually worked on her.

And then she said, she had forgotten to take it five (!!!) times in a row during her last cycle because she was just so busy with work! When she said that, my jaw dropped!

This girl didn’t have the slightest clue how the pill actually worked on her body. She knew the basics alright, but in terms of its impact on her body and its effects on her natural cycle she was basically clueless. So there you have
your top-notch educated executive girl, working for an international company, speaking three languages fluently, admitting to you how she doesn’t have a clue about something as simple as taking the anti-baby pill. I couldn’t believe
it. Did she not listen when her doctor explained it to her? Was the doctor a complete moron for not making sure to drive home the complete package of information, making sure she understood everything? Or was little Nok just too damn lazy to sit
down for 10 minutes and carefully study the instructions on the package insert?

Anyway, it didn’t matter anymore. I made sure to explain the concept and the functionality of the pill to her, answering every question she had about it. That didn’t solve the original problem though.

Having unprotected sex during her period in a regular, unaltered cycle reduces the risk of pregnancy considerably, especially at the beginning of her period, even though nothing is 100% safe.

When taking the pill however, a girl’s bodily rhythm doesn’t resemble a regular cycle anymore. Ovulation can occur at any given time during a cycle, after the girl having forgotten one or more pills. Sure, there are times when
forgetting a pill is less risky than at others, and it is sometimes possible to compensate the forgotten pill by various means, depending on the circumstances. However, the fact that she had forgotten five pills in row basically meant the pill
had lost all reliability as a contraceptive in this very month. Any doctor would tell you to additionally use other contraceptives like condoms when only one or two pills are forgotten, as the pills reliability is not maintained anymore.

So all this made my head spin a lot, even though I didn’t let her notice right away. At the time of us talking about this, it was already too late for her to take the morning-after pill. Also, I had doubts in my mind what this could
mean for me and her now.

I spent a good proportion of my first day back home researching the subject on the internet, basically coming to the conclusion that in this particular situation pregnancy is not very likely, but cannot be ruled out either.

So what I will still have to do is talk to her about it, trying to convince her to take a test. The earliest possible time for taking a reliable test is around 18 days after intercourse, and must be executed by a doctor checking a blood sample,
as one of those cheap pharmacy tests will not give her any reliable result whatsoever, especially because she is on the pill. 18 days have not gone by yet, and I don’t want to agitate her these days, when there is nothing we can do about
it anyway.

I will talk to her about it next week. Maybe I am overly worried, but I believe it is important to gain clarity here.

I am still biting my ass how I could let it come so far. One of the most basic rules in life for me is “Never base anything on assumption”, and I just miserably failed this credo of mine.

So what else was going on during the week despite this stupid episode that still haunts me to this very hour… Please cross your fingers for me that everything is going to be okay with this…!

Well, she kept on working on her presentation throughout half of the week, also in the evenings, leaving me waiting for her quite a lot of times. I wanted to avoid confrontation about this, as I knew it was job and she couldn’t easily
get around doing it. I was only staying for such a limited amount of time, I just didn’t want to waste it having an argument about this either.

On the other hand I felt she could at least give me a more realistic idea how long it would take her every time she settled down in front of her laptop for work. I didn’t expect her to make the same effort for her as I had done while
she was staying with me, organizing so many things for her to do, making her my first priority ahead of anything else in that time, as I knew it was probably harder for her to do here now than for me back then. Still, I felt a lot as if she could
have made more of an effort. I know how she appreciated so much all what I had done for her in the past, but she sure had a strange way of showing it. On more than one occasion I felt quite under appreciated…

Back in my home country, I had paid for all our expenses, as I knew how big of a burden that journey had been for her financially. She had never felt comfortable about it back then, and usually offered to pay her share, which I refused to
let her…

I had always told her that she could make it up to me when I came to see her. So what happened while I was there now…

Well, we did share alright, but yet I still paid for a lot, and didn’t feel bad about it either. I paid for the two nights we spent on Koh Samet towards the end of our trip in a IMHO way overpriced bungalow, as well as for our joint
dinner quite a lot of times. I saved so much on accommodation, staying at her place, and many other things, I just didn’t feel good about letting her pay so much, her only earning less than 10% of my yearly salary, despite having a very
well paid job there.

Our days together there in Bangkok started to come to an end, as we had agreed to go out of town for the weekend. She had originally proposed to drive to Koh Chang from Friday to Sunday, to spend a relaxing time there before I had to travel
back home. I did like the idea a lot, as I had had enough already of spending my days strolling around Bangkok during my days there.

When she had proposed going to Koh Chang I had questioned her proposition of going there, as I had read it would be a long drive, and I felt it would be such a shame to waste our time together sitting in a car all day. I suggested maybe going
to Koh Samet instead, as I had never been there before either, as it was so much closer. Anyway, she convinced me how this was no problem and the drive wasn’t as long as I thought.

So we took off to Koh Chang with her car on a late Friday morning, after her letting me wait on her for two hours again for finishing up her work. She hadn’t cared to make any reservation at a hotel on Koh Chang, so we would have to
find ourselves a place once we got there. Around 100 km out of Bangkok she changed her mind and asked me if I would mind changing our plan and going to Samet instead, as she was already exhausted from driving. I had to chuckle at that point…

So Koh Samet it was, and we spent two nights there. I had read quite a bit about the place before, so I kind of had an idea of what to expect of it. What I got to see was pretty close to what I had expected, even though I had imagined the
beaches to be a bit more beautiful than they were. I had been to Phuket before, and there was no way to compare Samet’s beaches with those by any means. Still, it was pleasant, and I did appreciate the chance to dig my feet into warm white
sand and jump into the sea, while back home my folks were freezing at temperatures below zero degrees Celsius. We had nice seafood dinners there, enjoyed Thai massages next to the shore, and generally took it very lazily, spent quite a lot of
time in bed, too…!

On the first night there, her lying in my arms again, she started to cry on me. Asking her what was going on, she first didn’t say a thing, but eventually told me how she felt so bad about cheating on her French boyfriend. She told
me how she was so afraid of what he would think of her if he could see her now, there in my arms. She asked me in tears why I was so nice, caring, and loving to her, as she didn’t think she deserved it. She said how I deserved so much more
than this, and she felt like she by far didn’t give me as much as she should. She said she loved me…

The following day should be the last full day we would spend together, as I would have to catch my return flight back home shortly after leaving Samet on Sunday, returning home.
We enjoyed the day for what it was worth, and had one last
dinner together at the beach, returning to our Bungalow early in the evening.

That night we talked a lot more, and very openly so. She spilled a lot of tears during this night, and I didn’t manage to keep my eyes dry either some of the time. We were lying there next to each other, all close, hugging and caressing,
enjoying the moment of intimacy for all it was worth.

In one of those moments I asked her if she still loved her boyfriend, to which she quietly replied yes, sobbing it weakly into my ears. She asked me what I wanted her to do, to which I replied that she needed to do what she thought was right
for her. I told her how I loved her, and hated the thought of not having her for me, despite many things I found difficult about her to accept, her lack of attention for me at times just being one of them.

I didn’t know what to tell her, as I couldn’t foresee what the future could hold for us, even if she decided for me instead of Frenchie boy. In the months before coming to see her, she had talked a lot about trying to get a
scholarship for a MA program somewhere around Europe. She even asked me many times about such programs in my home country, and if I could inquire for her about the possibilities of studying there. I did all that for her, only to find out that
her chances of getting a scholarship were rather limited, despite her good grades at university and her professional background. This whole question became obsolete though when she made up her mind to quit her job, and start working for another
multinational company after going through many tedious application processes. She hadn’t felt happy in her previous job anymore, and decided it was time for a change.

Taking this step basically ruled out the chance of her pursuing a master program abroad anytime soon in the future.

As for me, I sometimes thought about what it would be like to live abroad. I had been thinking and daydreaming about this for years already, long before meeting Nok. As my profession is very specialized and generally sought after anywhere
in the world, it is not an impossible thought to ponder. However, due the specialized nature of my job, quitting here and going to work elsewhere would mean burning all bridges behind me, and destroying a career I have built up carefully throughout
the recent years. It is a huge risk to take. If I quit my job here now, and returned after some time, I would have to start from scratch, probably losing at least 60% of my present salary and benefits. Was I willing to do this, especially if the
trigger for such a decision was a woman? If I am honest to myself, I really don’t think so…

Sure thing, Thailand would be a great experience for me, living and working there, if I found a way to do what I am doing professionally here in Farangland now. On the other hand, despite the spice of Bangkok as an exotic destination, and
the fascinating hustle and bustle that makes it so alive and vivid, after only spending a week in the big smog I was reminded how good the quality of life actually is where I live now. The grass is just always greener on the other side…

There are so many things I don’t like about my place in Farangland, but I guess there is just nothing like a perfect place to live in this world. At least, during my extensive travelling, I haven’t been to any place that came
close being worth of such a description.

If I had a chance to go abroad, to Thailand or elsewhere, and then return to my old life without much loss if things didn’t work out, I would definitely do it. As it looks now, I don’t see much of a chance of this coming true…

As for her, do I think she would be happy living here in Farangland, despite being with me…?

I seriously doubt it. English is not the native language spoken here, and she would have such a hard time to integrate into society. I saw how much fun she has with her friends and colleagues where she lives now I don’t think life
here could match this. Also, the likelihood of finding a job without speaking the language here is close to nil. I just couldn’t stand her working in an under qualified position with other immigrant workers, with all the education, wit,
ambition, drive, and potential she has. That would break my heart, and make her very unhappy probably…

So why do I feel such a terrible loss now within me…?

Despite me being told to be fairly attractive, and supposedly a good catch for a girl for many different reasons on several occasions, I just cannot comfort me with any of this right now. I am picky when it comes to women, and probably I
am too critical and over demanding at times with the things I expect from a partner. I probably need to work on that, yet I just don’t want to go for a weak compromise. Am I a hopeless romantic? Well, probably I am to a considerable extent,
although my parents failed marriage should have taught me differently, and that is most likely the biggest argument against going to Thailand. The girls there would probably lure me in, and then chew on my heart, just to spit it out finally, leaving
me behind much lonelier than ever before…!

I am a risk adverse person, and generally the thought of going to Thailand for a girl (woman) is absurd to me, even though I have to say being there in Bangkok I was impressed with the eye candy that one comes across everywhere in town…

On that very last night, she told me how I must try to be happy without her. It was her who drew the line, and thereby managed to do something that I just couldn’t bring myself to…!

I couldn’t find an argument against hers.

I still wonder what is her plan in regard to Frenchie boy… How does she think it will work out with him then? Maybe she is hoping for him to return to Thailand and live with her. I cannot say for sure, but I suppose that is what’s
on her mind in the back of her head. I didn’t ask her about it, either…

On our last day together we were both rather quiet, acting as if nothing particular had happened the night before. We slept with each other one last time, went swimming into the sea, and enjoyed a late breakfast. On the road back to Bangkok
there was not much for us to talk about anymore. We reached her place in the early evening, I finished up my packing, and we spent our last hour of peace together on her bed, her lying in my arms. She had her face buried into my shoulder, crying
for most of the time, and holding on to me tight with her gracious little hands…

I tried to soak up this moment into my memory, the touch of her skin, the smooth silkiness of her hair, and the warmth of her body…

Then it was time to leave for the airport. Before leaving the apartment, she turned around, kissed me for a long time, and said she loved me…

She wouldn’t be able to do this anymore out in public, or at the airport…

When the time finally came to say goodbye, everything was so unfamiliarly formal. We stood next to each other, just next to the small gates leading to the immigration desks. She told me to take care of herself, and so did I tell her. She
asked me to write to her, and not to disappear.

She told me how terribly afraid she felt about losing me.

I didn’t answer…

That moment felt so cold to me after those days full of mutual love and affection, I just couldn’t comprehend it.

So she left, turning back to me one more time after walking away from me, seeing me off to the immigration line.

I know myself…

I usually don’t realize a loss for some time, but finally it strikes me double as hard. When she called me back from her home shortly before I was boarding the plane, I struggled to keep my voice from shaking. Despite everything I
could sleep well on the long flight back, and my city “welcomed” me with temperatures only slightly above zero, freezing rain, fog and darkness.

I returned to my home and couldn’t believe how this all had passed me by so quickly…

Right now, I am struggling to get back into my daily routine. I am having the blues, looking at the sour faces looking blankly at me in this cold place here, following my daily stupefying routine at work and at home. I know I will get used
to it again, and things are going to be alright. Just these days, I am grateful for all the cheer ups I can summon…

I wrote to her a long email. I needed to do this to get everything off my chest for good.

I told her how happy I was about the things that have been between us, and how I don’t regret a thing, which is mostly true.

I told her how I will not write to her anymore anytime soon, nor will I call her anymore. I need to take a break from this routine we established throughout the last 8 months. I need to get her out of my system, get used to her not being
a part of my daily life anymore…!

I realize, it’s funny to say this….

How could she possibly have been part of my daily life, us being so far apart most of the time? It doesn’t make sense, yet I cannot deny it. And this is exactly what has to change now, so I can go on with my life, and get over the

She replied to me, telling me how much she missed me, and apologized a thousand times for her not taking as well care of me as I did for her. She tried to explain herself, and thanked me from the bottom of my heart for what I have given to
her. She said how she just still loved her boyfriend deep within, after going through tough times with him, and she cannot make this undone…

Empty words…? I don’t think so… Yet it doesn’t change a thing…

I will have to get in touch with her again next week, convince her to take a pregnancy test soon, just to be on the safe side. I hope she will listen to me and take it well… I believe it cannot be too hard to have a pregnancy test done
by the use of a blood sample in Bangkok. I guess she will know where to turn to…

Other than that, I will try to get her off my mind. She told me her boyfriend will probably come to see her at the end of this year. Those were not news I desperately needed to hear…

I will return in March to Thailand, for another 10 days. Originally I had planned to do the same thing all over again, spending time with her and all…

I will have to wait and see how things go, and how I will feel about it after the worst of this emotional turmoil I find myself in right now has passed. I hope I will be able to stand seeing her again without bringing back the pain. I will
have to wait and see I guess…

Most likely, I will not spend the whole time in Bangkok with her, but go to Hong Kong or somewhere else for a couple of days. I have always wanted to go there, but never had the opportunity so far…

Let’s see…

So this is it basically…

Thanks for bearing with me…

As usual, any feedback, input, or comments are highly welcome and appreciated…

Stickman's thoughts:

In her defence, when Thais are asked to do things that are work related, they really do not have much choice and the obligation to do it is very strong indeed, even if it is after hours or at the weekend. She was put in a very difficult position then.

A bit of cold, hard advice. Don't go to Thailand in March. Go to Bali, or somewhere else. You need to get this girl out of your system.

nana plaza