Stickman Readers' Submissions April 28th, 2008

A New Adventure

I’ve been a reader of this site for a few years now, a little more intensely over the last year or so. I now find myself almost addicted to Sunday nights (10 Aus time) and catching up on readers submissions and getting their angle on LOS. At times one could get a little disheartened with Thailand and its folk if you read some of the print too closely but I manage to see the fascinating side at the end of it all and I’m looking forward to a new adventure I’m about to embark on.

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Let me start by saying that why I’m about to speak about such personal stuff I’ve never really relayed to anyone before on a public web site is beyond me but I guess it’s the charm of Stick and my fellow submission makers that has prompted me to start typing… maybe a little boredom at home right now too.

My first touch with Thailand was at BKK airport in about 2002 on the way to a conference in Italy. It was a stopover for about two hours in the middle of the night. All I saw was the inside of the old airport. My mind was already made up… this is the land of the Bangkok Hilton, drugs and prostitutes and I was glad to get back on my way to Italy. I was one year out of divorce and had no idea of the spell this place would soon place on me. I even felt sorry for the lovely Thai lady who ran a restaurant near where I worked in Australia, who had to return to BKK and I was sad for her… how she must miss Australia!

The second time around I was here for two days on business. An experienced expat partner brought me here in view of setting up a chain of outlets to which we had been given the master franchise rights for Asia. It was a rush job but he took me to Patpong and I couldn’t believe it. Why were the women so friendly? I felt like a star… I got on the grog and ended up kissing the most beautiful girl I’d seen for ages, my mate barfined her and her friend to go sing at a karaoke bar. I was so drunk with excitement and Tiger Beer I don’t know how I made it back to the hotel. There was no sex… being scared shitless of AIDS … but I was on cloud nine. Silly me decided to go back to Patpong the next afternoon to find my new angel again… no chance… I couldn’t remember enough to know where to start but I knew one thing… Thailand had won me!

Since my first brief visit in 02 I’d kept in contact via email with a young Thai uni student was also from the same restaurant in Australia who had returned home with a master’s degree. She would meet me for lunch on my subsequent visits to BKK. She was cute, yet too conservative for me I thought. I couldn’t imagine how a beer drinking knockabout bloke like me could seriously have enough in common with a traditional Thai girl to have any sort of connection. So I never really thought about her as any more than an exotic friend that I could never really relate to on an intimate level.

Then whilst at home on a cold winter’s day I got her monthly email that started me on a new course. To give you some background it was about 2006, some business decisions had made my life hard, my two beautiful young kids were not a regular part of my life, not like the wonderful childhood I had with my mum and dad and what I always wanted for my own family, I was alone and realising I was entering depression. And let me tell you, when the ‘black dog’ finds you not only can you not see the light at the end of the tunnel but you can’t even see the tunnel anymore… Her email; It simply said “I guess we’ll only just be friends so I must accept that”. She had an on again off again boyfriend and somehow decided she’ll have to settle for him. Not so fast I said! I asked her to meet me in Hanoi for a week in Vietnam. It was totally against her social rules… and against my better judgement… I really didn’t know her at all; our conversation had only ever been polite and cordial. She told her mum she was holidaying with school friends. But let me tell you, the moment she jumped in the taxi with me at Hanoi to head to our hotel (she had booked separate rooms but I soon fixed that!) I looked at her pretty face and I knew I’d done exactly the right thing. We were inseparable from then on. This shy conservative traditional Thai girl is the funniest girl I’ve ever known. She’s charming, very self assured, no bitching, no complaining and she treats me like a king.

I think I know what you’re thinking… Well… she does have faults… and this is where I’m learning slowly about Thai culture. From Vietnam it was quick trips here and there meeting up in other countries and then a two week stay in my homeland. I was way in love. She quit her career job (quite a wrenching decision for her) and left her beloved family to be with Mr Farang! And here’s the not so happy part… her on again off again boyfriend? Well he’s still there, isn’t he!! Only he didn’t know about me and I didn’t know about him. I don’t know how she did it. We even had a massive reception in BKK before she came to Aus to make the relo’s think she was married and behaving like a good Thai girl. It wasn’t until about 10 months into her stay in Aus, we were married for one month (this time for real) and she left her email logged on!! It was all there in front of me… She had been promising him she would be back soon… it was just an overseas trip to find herself bla bla. Not only that but she had a little interlude with him on a brief trip back to Thailand because she “missed her mum!” Naturally I kicked her out of the house and sent her on her way, ‘Back to Thailand!’ I told her (mind you I already had a pre-nup so there was no financial burden here). But she wouldn’t go. She wrote me the most heart wrenching letter. I’d love to post it here but it’s a little personal. Apparently she was with this guy… her only boyfriend, for 10 years. He was your typical Thai guy (from what I can tell by Stick's readers' submissions). He was a little cold to her, didn’t treat her that well but for some reason she loved him. Their families – mainly his – expected them to marry. She said he would lose face tremendously if she revealed our history and she had put it off so long that it spun out of control. The result is, after insistence from me, she told him the truth via email and he immediately cut off all contact. She was a mess for days about how she had stuffed up this poor guy’s life. He had absolutely no idea. And of course I wonder if it could one day be me. Now, months on, her family have just jumped back on a Thai jet after having spent 10 days with her, myself and my kids. She is 100% into me, loves me as much as I do her and life is really very rosy. I’ll hang onto it for as long as I can thanks… I’m not gonna ponder the future (another thing I learned from the Thais). She has never ever asked me for money… She pays her own way… And her mum does too so I’m not with a gold digger. I honestly think she made a very big mistake but it’s over now and she hasn’t faltered since. She hides nothing now (I hope!J).

And finally, my new adventure starts!! I have quit my job of 20 years. I have about a grand a week to live off from property returns and I’m gonna take a 2 month course in Thai language in Bangkok. My Mrs and I have a little empty condo ready for us on our arrival; apparently the family are not using it!! Her family are a ball of fun and they like me so all is bright! We are trying for a baby and maybe looking to set up a little business that will allow us to commute back and forth from Thailand and Aus. So when I’m there in July I would love to catch up for a beer with any experienced expats to help me learn more about the LOS from a farang point of view. Well I hope I haven’t bored you all here, unlike some of the submissions on this site – they are incredible reading. See you in LOS!!

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Stickman's thoughts:

Nice story.

What you say about her having this fellow in the background is so common with upper-middle and genuine upper class types in Thailand. Both the hes and the shes often have someone in the background. Generally this person is their insurance policy, someone they will marry if things get desperate. Sometimes the other person realises that is their position and sometimes they don't, but for sure it is not at all uncommon.

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