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Sometimes something happens that doesn’t make any sense. No sense at all. Usually you never find out why and the reasons for it remains a mystery. Sometimes, though not often, you do find out the reason much later. This is a story about Jin; her
confounding behaviour, and how I eventually got to the bottom of it.
Jin was a nice Bangkok girl I met on the Internet. In her late twenties, it was her beauty that captivated me. Her website photo was stunning. As we got to know each other, she sent me many more pictures, and, yes, they all attested to her striking beauty. Naturally I was interested, very interested.
Jin worked in an import export company based at Don Muang airport. Although she had a business degree, she was only a secretary, probably employed for her looks. Her salary was low, 10,000 baht a month, and she hated her job but it was close to where she lived, so she put up with it. However, her company would soon be moving to the new airport on the other side of the city, and this worried her, because it would turn her life upside down.
Jin had married early, to a Thai man who had been unfaithful, and they had got divorced several years ago. She was now only interested in farangs.
It was looking good for me!
I was coming to Thailand the following month and we arranged to meet. I even managed to convince her to go travelling with me. Then Jin introduced me to her best friend Tong, who she shared her apartment with. Tong was a similar age, an accountant, very sweet but plain looking. While I was not that interested, Tong was very keen to chat with me. And then, Jin started dropping out of sight. Whenever I saw her on MSN Messenger, she would chat for a minute and then say she had to go. Conversely, whenever I went online Tong would catch me and chat, chat, chat.
It appeared that Jin was trying to set me up with Tong, although Jin denied this. I wasn’t interested and told her so. It was very frustrating. Then Jin dropped out of sight all together. No chance of travelling with her, especially as I couldn’t contact her. Tong wasn’t that helpful either, saying that Jin was busy, or that she had to go and visit her family up country.
Having no other option, I reluctantly wrote Jin off. I had no idea why she had gone from so keen to so cold, from so approachable to so unavailable. I was sure I had not done anything wrong. Something though had obviously happened. I probably would never find out.
C’est la vie.
Tong was very keen to meet me. I had a free night in Bangkok, so I slotted her in. We arranged to meet in my hotel foyer at 7.30 pm on a Tuesday in July last year. I came down from my room and there was Tong, sweet as ever and looking very nervous. This was the first time she had ever dated a farang, and her spoken English was not that good. She said she had a surprise for me, went around the corner, and returned with Jin!
Beautiful as Jin looked in her photos, she was even more gorgeous, if that was possible, in real life. I couldn’t believe my luck. Off we went to catch a cab to go to dinner. Unfortunately, Jin turned out to be the Thai equivalent of a dumb blonde. Her spoken English was not very good either, she let Tong and I do all the talking and replied only in monosyllables, and she managed to get us hopelessly lost trying to find the restaurant she recommended.
Not that I cared. I was smitten by her smile. Her eyes were twinkling, her lips had a suggestive pout, and everything about her screamed a smouldering sexuality. I would have given anything and everything to light that fire. Jin was nice and pleasant to me in an airhead sort of way, but it was pretty obvious she was not remotely interested in me. Her mission that night appeared to pair Tong up with me.
After dinner we all went to Q Bar and danced the night away. Nice music and a great sound system, but once it filled up it was seriously crowded. Then back in the taxi and I got myself dropped off at my hotel, gave them money for their fare and the taxi took them home. I had had an interesting, if frustrating evening. I had had the pleasure of finally meeting Jin, but I was no closer to knowing why she was no longer interested in me. Sacrificing herself for Tong didn’t make sense. She knew I was very interested in her, that I wanted to travel with her, and that she could have had a really good time with me. But for reasons unknown, after initially being interested, she had switched off and tried to match me up with Tong instead.
Life can be a bitch sometimes.
I returned to Australia the following week.
Tong was keen to keep in touch and we chatted occasionally. Jin was never online. One day I asked Tong how Jin was and she said that Jin was now in Sydney studying English! I asked Tong where Jin had got the money from and she said she didn’t know.
Jin in Australia? To say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. How could she afford it on 10,000 baht per month? I knew her parents were not wealthy. The mystery was deepening. But I focussed on the opportunity. Sydney was only a couple of hundred kilometres from where I lived. I travelled to Sydney often. Much better to chase after Jin in Sydney than in Thailand.
I emailed Jin and yes, she was studying English at an English language college in the city. I asked for her phone number. No reply. I gave her my number and told her to contact me. No response. A few weeks later, I told her that I was coming to Sydney and suggested we meet. Ok, was the response, but then she never replied to any of my emails and I couldn’t get in touch with her.
The following month I invited her to Canberra and she said she would maybe come with a friend. And then again, no response to my emails and the weekend came and went.
So frustrating. This beauty was so near, yet so far.
I gave up after that. I know when I’m beaten. But, I kept Jin on my mailing list when I sent out a batch of my latest photos, and occasionally she would say how much she liked them. One day she sent me some photos of her, and we gradually got chatting again. She was now waitressing in a Thai restaurant in the city, and had fallen in love with Sydney and Australia. Her English was much improved, and it was now obvious that she was certainly no airhead. After seeing her beach photos where she sported a stunning golden brown tan, I suggested that Aussie men must be showing a lot of interest in her. She agreed, and said that in Bangkok Thai men had shown no interest in her but here she was very popular, with men queuing up to ask her out.
And she told me she had a boyfriend, Johnnie. She also wanted to remain in Australia. I told her the easiest way to stay in the country was to marry an Australian. She laughed and said she couldn’t, she was already married. “Married to Johnny? I asked.”
“Yes,” she replied, they had got married in October, and so she could stay in Australia.
And that’s when the penny dropped and the light went on in my head, and I finally could make sense of her previous behaviour towards me. “Had you already met Johnny when you started chatting to me?” I asked.
“Yes,” she acknowledged, adding that he had visited her once a month in Bangkok.
Maybe she initially chatted to me because Johnnie and her had not yet gotten to the stage where she solely focussed on him. But if that was the case, it soon changed. And it was Johnnie who paid for her to come to Australia and attend the English language college.
I asked her why she didn’t tell me about him when we first started chatting but she sidestepped that question. Maybe she wanted to keep her options open? If so, she didn’t keep them open for long. Certainly not long enough
Yep, she was keeping her options open and you were the back up plan!