Stickman Readers' Submissions January 20th, 2006

Thai Heartbreak

I have a story about love lost in Bangkok that the readers may find interesting. I changed the Thai woman’s name to Sally. This story is true.

I am an American in his late forties. I have struggled for many years financially and after awhile decided to go to college and make a career change. I struggled through college and work, and made child support payments. Financially I was poor but very responsible. I could not afford to date and most women where I live were not interested in a man who was barely making ends meet. After I received my degree with honors I got a very good paying job with a major company, however I was saddled with student loans and debt.

He Clinic Bangkok

Meanwhile many of my friends had visited Thailand and had brought back wives. I saw how their lives had changed for the better. Men who had been angry were now happy and settled in their lives. They were traveling with their new loves and seem to be very content. I had been living the life of a monk with my classes and work schedule. I decided one day to take a vacation after I graduated. I had not had a vacation in 20 years. I too

wanted to find love if that was possible. I was, perhaps, a little too naïve.

I had met someone from Surin online and was planning on visiting her when I arrived in Bangkok. I experienced cultural shock on my first day and walked around in a daze for several days. I stopped at a girl bar at Cowboy Soi. I have never lived that type of life, but I wanted to experience it. I met a bar girl named Sally and liked her. There was something very sweet about her that I liked. We stayed together for several days and I got very sick. She took care of me, and I decided not to visit the online girl I had met from Surin. Instead I made travel plans to Chiang Mai with my new girlfriend Sally.

CBD bangkok

We had a great time in Chiang Mai, and on her birthday we went to the Queen’s temple. When we came back to Bangkok we were both very sad because I had to leave. We exchanged phone numbers and addresses and I gave her my email address.

When I got back to the states I started thinking about her and felt very strong. I called her and started to email her regularly. I told her that I wanted to bring her to the states under a fiancée visa. I also told her that it would take a long time, maybe as long as a year. She seemed trilled that we could be together. I asked her about her job as a bar girl, she told me that she had to support her family and that there was no other way for her to make enough money. She told me that she had to make at least $500 dollars a month to make ends meet. I told her that I could send her $300 dollars a month, and that she could continue working as a bar girl as long as she did not have sex with the customers. I also told her to take English lessons.

She agreed and told me that she would be faithful. I started sending her money. I had to work side jobs on the weekends in order to pay off some debts and to send her money. Everything seemed to be going okay except that I had to wait several months while she took care of some paperwork issues on her side. I was planning on visiting her during the Christmas holidays but I did not make a reservation until too late. All of the flights were booked and the only ones available where in the $3,000 dollar range. I did not have the money for the trip. She was very upset about this, but there was little I could do.

I finally got the fiancée visa paperwork together and send it to the appropriate Federal agencies. She would text message me every week but I could not text message her with my phone. We talked regularly and emailed. Meanwhile I worked every weekend to cut down my debt, save money for the plane fares and for the financial support I was sending her. I would call her at night, but usually I was very tired form work and sometimes not at my best. Often I was a little grouchy from work.

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We got a visa interview date for June. She asked me to come during that time but I did not have enough vacation days. Something happened during this time. She said that her cell phone went bad and we had problems communicating. I emailed the U.S. Embassy in Thailand inquiring about her Visa status. She had received the Visa but had not contacted me so they called her back and took her Visa away. During this time I was having some second thoughts, and was feeling a little uncomfortable. I was no longer getting text messages and there was something different about our conversations. After a month she got her Visa back. I was happy but she did not appear to be too happy. I started to make plans but she became very hesitant. I felt there was something wrong and lost my temper.

I talked to a friend of mine who was married to a Thai woman. His wife talked to her. She told me that everything was okay. I talked to Sally later but she was different. She was angry at me. She told me that she was not the one for me and that she did not want to continue. I could not understand. I realize that I had lost my temper, but I had apologized and could not understand why she was still angry. This went on for several weeks. Finally I told her that I was coming next month and had bought a ticket. She told me not to come because she had made plans with her family. I cancelled the ticket.

During this time I thought about the things that I had done. Was it my fault? Did my anger that one time scare her? Could she not accept my apology? Is there anything else that I had said or done? I was still sending her money and trying to talk to her.

She finally agreed to see me the next month. When I arrived I was very nervous. Instead of calling her when I got there I spent the first day with a friend. I was not sure of what was going to happen. When I called her she came to my hotel and lost her temper. She said that my friend was more important than her because I saw him first. She said that I reminded her of her first husband. She also confided in me that she had had a sexual relationship with another man for about several nights. I told her that I had been faithful to her the whole year. It never got better than that. Everyday it was something. Sometimes I was late for dinner and she would lose her temper. Everyday she reminded me of something I had said 2 months ago, 3 months ago, 4 months ago. I do not remember what I said, or the circumstances. I may have misunderstood her or she misunderstood me back then, but I certainly did not remember the context of the conversation.

We then went to visit her parents who are extremely poor and I went into cultural shock at their condition, plus they did not speak English. I felt very strange because all of the locals would come by to see the farang. I also felt a certain coldness form her parents. They told Sally that I did not love her. Again that night we got into another fight.

When we came back to Bangkok everything seemed okay. She told me that she would come next month because she had to take her daughter to the doctor. I came back to the states thinking that things would work out.

I had told her that I would change and try to be more loving but within a week I got an email from her. She told me that it would not work because I could not change. She told me that I was a cold person and that she could not love me. I was devastated. I got very sick and lost about 18 pounds within a month. I could not sleep and was tormented throughout the day. I blamed myself for not being a loving person. I felt that I had driven her to despair. I wrote her a letter asking her to forgive me for having hurt her, and that I hope that she finds someone that will love her the way she needs to be loved. I called her several weeks later to find out if she received the letter. She told me she did and that she could not get me out of her mind. I asked her to let me try to work things out but she said that it was too late because she had turned in her fiancée visa.

I talked to my company and asked for a leave of absence and made a reservation for Thailand hoping to get her visa. I called her and told her of my plans. She got angry at me over something. She could not seem to forgive me over some issues, but she said that she would ask her parents for advice and would call me back. She never called and never answered my phone calls. I cancelled my trip.

Several of my friends who were married to Thai wives talked to me and gave me advice. They told me to forget her and try to find someone else. They had known me for years as a loving and caring person, a man of his word and a hard working person. I took their advice and started emailing women online. They also invited me to Thailand during the Christmas holidays and I decided that maybe I could meet some of these online women. I called Sally one more time and tried to talk to her. She wanted nothing to do with me and told me that she was going to the Philippines to work.

I went to Thailand during the Christmas holidays. I had never gone to the message parlors and other than that first bar girl experience had not gone to the bar girl circuit. I decided to date these online women during the day and check out the bar girl scene at night. Every night it was a different bar girl. The online girls were very sweet, they had legitimate jobs, were educated and seem very sincere. During the day I was a good guy, but at night I went shopping at the bar girl clubs. I felt like I was living a double, almost schizophrenia, life.

I went up to Chiang Mai to visit one of the online girls that I had met. I felt a little uncomfortable walking around a city that I had loved during my first visit. I passed by the restaurants me and Sally had dined. I went to the city of Lampang where this online girl was from. I felt very comfortable there with her. I started to enjoy my trip and enjoy her company. She was a hard working woman, with a college degree and seemed very sincere. I felt that maybe we could have a future together. I left Chiang Mai for Bangkok on a Sunday afternoon.

When the plane arrived to Bangkok, I went to pick up my baggage at the baggage counter. As I turned to pick up my bag, right next to me was Sally. I looked at her and said “Sally”, she turned and looked at me and then a man got between us. He told me that he was her husband. He said this with a German accent. He kept yelling at me that he was her husband while I told him that she was my fiancée. After awhile he went to get a cab and I started to talk to her, but then I walked away. I did not want to give her the satisfaction of how I was feeling. I did not want to act in anger, despair, or any type of emotion. I grabbed a cab and went to my hotel.

I talked to a good friend of mine who has been living in Thailand for 15 years. He told me that this was typical of Bangkok. Many of the women in Bangkok are looking for a rich farang who will buy them an American style house and take care of them. That underneath the smile, a lot of things are going on, some of it being financial, some of it being family pressure. He said I should be grateful to that German for taking her off my hands. He was going to have to deal with her and her family. My friend said that my story is one of many in Bangkok. Another friend called me from the states who was married to a Thai woman. He gave me good advice and tried to comfort me. The best action I did that night was going to a girl bar and finding a girl I wanted for the night. It was the best I could do.

I felt relieved because there was resolution to my pain. I no longer felt that paralyzing devastating pain that it had been my fault. I felt betrayed and used. I had placed faith in someone and that person had misused that trust. I have learned a lot from this experience. I read the book “Thailand Fever”, and gave that book to that girl in Chiang Mai. I started reading books on how to develop successful relationship and started asking people who appear to be in successful relationships for their advice.

I do not know if I want to go back to Thailand, and if I do, I do not know if I want to pursue another long distance relationship with a Thai woman. Besides the cultural, religious and language differences there is also the poverty and lack of incentives. Asian people really do see the world differently than westerners. The way western people approach dialogue is different that many Asian cultures. The role of the family is different. To the Thai people, family is the most important issue in their lives. What Sally wanted was a rich farang who could pull her family out of extreme poverty and buy her an American style house. Even if she did love me she did not want a working stiff like me.

I did find some comfort with the bar girls. I talked to many of them and they told me their stories, of how they came from extreme poverty and they had very little future. Many of

them felt very bad about the way I had been treated, and were sympathetic. Many had been promised marriage and visas and had their hearts broken by a westerner. I felt a deep compassion to these bar girls. I could tell by looking at some of them, their inner despair, and their sense of hopelessness.

I forgave Sally for her actions, if I could not give her what she needed maybe this other guy can give her what she needs. That is the true definition of love, patience and forgiveness. If you truly love someone you have to set them free. I hope the best for her and for all those bar girls. May god help them. As for myself, I do not know if I will ever find someone for me. Maybe I should stop trying, I do not know the answers, I only know that I still feel a deep pain and the feeling of betray. The idea of finding love in Thailand is a bit remote, however I still communicate with the 2 online girls I dated the last time I was in Thailand.

Stickman's thoughts:

Shake the German's hand if you ever see him again – no man wants a woman like that. However, there is some truth in it that a guy has to have a few things going for him for a woman to find him an attractive option.

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