What’s Life Without a Dream?
Thailand, land of smiles, land of dreams.
Any newbie reading these submissions is most likely to end up more confused than enlightened. Which piece of advice should he take? Butterfly, don't butterfly, be suspicious, be trusting. Treat the girls as prostitutes, treat them as a girlfriend. My advice would be this; Make up your own mind as you go along. A reasonable dose of caution wouldn't go amiss but at the end of the day you will only visit Thailand for the first time once. Don't deny yourself the sights, the sounds and the experiences because of what you've read here. I remember my first time like it was yesterday. I was walking down Sukhumvit Road about 1 hour after checking into my hotel. I was looking for food, I walked past a bar (now demolished) and was accosted by 5 pretty girls trying to lure me in. I was afraid I would be scammed so I resisted, I wish I hadn't. Live and learn. Enjoy it, take it as it comes and deal with whatever situation you find yourself in with good grace and a smile. If you're worried about being fleeced, only take out as much money as you plan to spend, leave the rest in a safety deposit box.
But what exactly is it about this exotic corner of the world that causes normally sane, level-headed individuals to consider throwing away everything they have achieved after only one or two visits.
The girls? Probably. What normal red-blooded man could resist their charms for more than a millisecond? But why, even after reading many of the horror stories on this site, do some of us still wade straight into the deep end? A previous submission on this site stated that even if the girl he was involved with (and who had destroyed him both emotionally and financially) had stood in front of him at the start of their relationship and explained to him exactly what she was going to do, he would have carried on anyway. I know exactly what he means.
Reading things like this makes me realise just how pointless it is trying to arm oneself against the same thing happening again and again and again. It's not that some of us never learn, it's just that we long to find the utopia we dream of, that romantic ideal that Hollywood has led us to believe achievable. We want to be the Leonardo de Caprio character in Titanic, laying down our lives for our one true love. Maybe Forrest Gump is closer to the truth, but even this character finds redemption in the end, he gets the girl, he experiences true happiness. Isn't this what we all crave? 'The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return'. That was used in Moulin Rouge, maybe that's even more relevant…'never fall in love with a woman who sells herself, it always ends badly'.
We have become disillusioned with our stressful lives in Farangland, with the constant battle to stay one step ahead of the game, the mortgage, the fuel bills, the tax, the ever increasing demands by the media to have the latest gadget and the ultimate sex life. We are led to believe that everyone else is living this enhanced lifestyle and if you're not then you're a failure. What do you mean you still have dial-up internet? A 3 year old car? Only a 28" TV? Loser, loser, loser they scream. So when we arrive, frazzled and burnt-out in LOS we are immediately side swiped by how different everything is, after a few days and more than a few Singhas mondeo man is already checking out real estate prices and contemplating the big move.
Would so many people (men) visit Thailand with such regularity were it not for the girls? Of course not. Having said that though, how many times have you sat next to someone in the departure lounge who makes it his raison d'etre to inform anyone within earshot that 'actually I've been to Thailand xxx times and never been in a girly bar, I go for the culture and the temples' yeah right.
Sadly it seems that us romantic types are not capable of assimilating the fact that these 'sweet innocent cuddly' Thai girls are capable of hurting a fly, never mind parting us from our life savings, sanity and self-respect. How could she be planning to take me for every penny I own they ask? She loves me, she's never met anyone like me, we're going to be together forever they protest.
It's a bit like the pictures we see of polar bears on the TV. There they are frolicking and playing in the snow, they look so big and harmless, just like a teddy bear. Try to cuddle one though and it'll rip your head off. Some Thai girls are the same, approach at your own risk. But they're soooooo pretty and cute, surely she wouldn't hurt me, I'm not the same as the other men, I respect her, I treat her good…grrrrrrrrr!
This is a real problem. I was talking to a guy a while back who had been hurt by a Thai girl. It had left him really bitter and twisted. He told me that he was going back to Thailand that next week and he was going to just fuck as many as he could, 'treat them like the whores they are' he intoned. I said nothing, I know this guy, I know how his mind works, I wanted to tell him to stay away but I knew it would do no good. Sure enough, 3 weeks later he returns from Phuket, and he's full of it. How he's met a good one this time, how she's finished working in the bar for him, how he's going to marry her…He was quite amazed that he could have been so stupid the first time around, but now he's seen the error of his ways and everything's going to be perfect.
Should we be judgmental? I think not. We are all entitled to make our mistakes in life, who knows, maybe this one is different. Good luck to him.
Another common theme on this site is the cry that Thai girls are so much nicer than English / Australian / American / Insert your own country here, girls. I have to say I agree in principle.
A while back I conducted a little experiment. I live in a reasonably affluent town on the edge of the peak district in England. One Saturday afternoon I went into town to do some shopping. Whilst there I decided to count how many women I saw who I found attractive and would (given the looks and personality) like to date. Now I'm not looking for supermodels, just nice, slim, friendly types with that sunny disposition. I reckon that in 90 minutes of walking around, going into several shops I must have seen at least 1000 people, maybe more. Let's assume that 60% of these were women (women like shopping right?), so that means I scoped at least 600 females. How many do you think I fancied? 50? 75? 100? Nope, not even close. Out of the 600 or so women I saw, there were only 4 that tickled my fancy — 4. That night I repeated the experiment but instead of shops I went around the bars and clubs with my friends. This time the number of females had risen considerably, and most were in the most attractive age group of 18 — 30. How many do you think this time???
9. A measly 9, not even double figures. Now I know what you're thinking, 'this guy's a perfectionist, he's looking for the un-obtainable'. Well before I visited Thailand I'd have probably agreed with you but once you've sat in virtually any public space in any town or city in Thailand your perceptions change dramatically. I repeated this little experiment whilst strolling around Hua Hin a few weeks ago, the ratio of fanciable ladies leapt from about 1% in the UK, to nearer 80% in Thailand. Make no mistake chaps, if you're single and you come to Thailand, when you return home your whole outlook on the dating scene will have changed. Why compromise and date a pudgy opinionated pint-drinking, fag-smoking, loud-mouthed farang woman who thinks it only right and proper that she act just like one of the lads, when you can find near heaven with a petite, sexy, sweet Thai lady who'll act like the girl you've been looking for since you were old enough to be interested in girls? (Note the word 'act'!)
Thailand spoils you.
I wonder how we'll feel when we're about to draw our last breath. Will we regret the wasted years, the money that we frittered away on unrealistic dreams of lifelong happiness with Ning / Pom / Tan / Toon, the heartache and jealousy, the pain and the hurt? I hope not. Because mingled in with all the pain and the hurt are memories of amazingly wonderful joyful happy carefree loving times. They may be buried under a ton of lies, deceit and remorse, but they are there. Dig them out, cherish them.
When the dust has settled and your state of mind returns to one of near equilibrium, I think we have to try and treasure the memories of the times spent in LOS and the adventures we had there. Think about it, what else comes close? Sure you could go out and buy a sports car or a boat, but when all is said and done they're just inanimate objects. You can never replicate the thrills and the feelings that you experience with other people. This is what makes us the people we are. These are the memories that burn themselves into our brains. Do you remember your last car? I'll bet not, at least not with any affection. I'll bet you remember all of the girls you kissed in Thailand though. I'll bet that there's a smile playing across your lips even now, as you remember her, the places you went, the things you did together.
So then, let's not castigate the poor guy who despite all the warnings has fallen head over heels with a girl he met in a bar. He's just embarking on a journey many of us have already made. He's going to experience the highest of the highs but he'll have to pay for those highs with feelings of desperation, loneliness and hopelessness. At least he's going to feel something. Don't pity him, pity suburban man sat in his armchair watching Coronation Street every night, waiting for life to show him a reason to wake up in the morning. Life is short, get out there and experience things.
Don't hold grudges, don't pre-judge and maybe, just maybe you'll come out the other end with a smile on your face.
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