Norwegian Disappeared in Thailand – 8.2 million Baht Missing, Plus A Boat
Hi Stick, yet another farang in trouble. This info from Norwegian newspaper "VG". I started this as just a mail for the "mail from the week" section, but got inspired as I went… hope you can use it.
( http://www.vg.no/nyheter/utenriks/artikkel.php?artid=513168 )
"My girl is not like that, she told me herself" (title suggestion)
Norwegian Per Arne Solheim, aged 38, has been missing since April 9. this year. That was after he had transferred 1.3 million Norwegian kroner, or approximately 8,2 million Baht, into his girlfriend's account. He had been with his girl since 2005, having met her back then in a Koh Samui bar. In 2006 Mr. Solheim bought a 32 foot Bayliner, in which he lived with his girlfriend. This rather expensive boat is now also missing.
After 3 months the police believe they have found the lass. It turned out that she had never given Mr. Solheim her real name, which was said to complicate the search for her whereabouts. However, with bank transfer details available one can reasonably ask why her real name was not uncovered earlier.
Furthermore, Mr. Solheim's family in Norway has been in touch with family and friends of his girlfriend after his disappearance – several times, but they report that communications dropped as soon as they start asking about him. It's anyone's guess why the police has not been able to round up any suspects when contact phone numbers are available to reach the lass' friends and family.
Apparently, Mr. Solheim had transferred the money to his girlfriend's account as he had no bank account himself in Thailand. Granted, there are some rules as to whom can open an account. However, a farang wanting to transfer such an amount into Thailand would have to knock on few doors to find a bank eager and willing to open an account, never mind the paperwork.
It's safe to assume that Mr. Solheim has had his last lay, so any search for him must be to recover his remains for a proper burial. I have a suggestion for his gravestone: "Here lies another complete idiot, that should not have been let out in public unsupervised".
He is not the first, and will not be the last. I cannot help myself being continually amazed at how many otherwise sane men keeps getting into it with bargirls, often claiming that "my girl is different". Well, guys, she's not. Sure you can make a life with a lass, just remember this: Most of these girls will go far to get money, pressure from her family is a big thing. Married her, you say? So you are family too? Then remember her priorities when it comes to loyalty and affection, it goes something like this (someone has made a similar list before I think, apologies for being a copycat):
1. The King.
3. Her mother.
4. Rest of family (the Thai part, that is).
5. Close friends and everyone in the village.
6. Food, including cockroaches.
7. Her working companions, friends or not.
8. Almost all other Thais.
9. Family dogs.
10. You, maybe.
Sounds harsh? Too many farangs have found that a list somewhat like this is very real if the proverbial going gets tuff. Poor Mr. Solheim is just another statistic. Whores are whores whatever the wrapping. I say there's nothing wrong with loving them, as long as you love them for what they are. If you make yourself vulnerable, you will get hurt.
I have another list, of things to do and not to do:
1. Keep control of your funds. Always.
2. Stay cool. If money becomes an issue to the point where it sours your relationship, let go. Money will always be an issue, just mind your pain-threshold here.
3. When dropping your bargirl, give her some "save-face" gold or money.
4. When having dropped your bargirl, move. Do not hang out where she works. And do not take her back for a quick shag. Do not reply to SMSs – stay gone.
5. Personally, I would not let a girl move in that I have not known for at least 6 months, and that time should include visiting her upcountry folks.
6. As with cash, keep control of other things as well. If you cannot have a car in your name, rent or lease one. Do not ever put it in the girl's name.
7. If you get into sending money to a girl because you are only sometimes in Thailand, go get your head checked. Then pay a private eye to make a report.
8. If you want to marry, it's the private eye again. It could save you a lot, perhaps even your life. No kidding.
9. Even when married, keep control. No land or car or anything in her name. You can lease your land and /or house. Make a clear deal if you have to support her family. So and so much per month, and stick with it.. Not a satang more. Be prepared to lose the odd sibling or buffalo due to sickness, as they would lose you with few tears.
10. Always keep enough cash to be able to buy a ticket home on very, very short notice.
I love being in Thailand and have fun. Soi 6 is great! Partying in an up-country village can be super fun! (for me anyway, not everyone's cup of brew). It's one big playground. Use it to play. Then remember it's just a playground after all. A MINORITY of guys make it, and make it well, in Thailand. My respect to those guys!
But chances are you are NOT one of them. If you have to find out, please be careful. Do not bring more money into Thailand than you are not prepared to spend or simply lose. Because for most of us that is what happens – we spend it or lose it or both. And some, like Mr. Solheim, lose their life by being gullible.
Now, I have "yellow fever" – western girls hold little attraction for me after having visited Thailand for more than a decade. I love Thailand. But for finding girls, and maybe "the one", we should all keep in mind the alternatives. I have travelled a bit around, and had reports from friends who have travelled further. Some submissions here also reports on things elsewhere. Check on the does and dont's, and pop over to the Philippines. Have a weekend in Bali. Check out Saigon. From Bangkok you can get to most places around, so go explore and discover. South East Asia is much more than Nana and Walking Street, especially for the man on the hunt.
Also I am a bit surprised that certain Eastern European countries have not yet taken over more as destinations for single male adventurers. Not the least for those looking for more permanent companions. Cheaper, often, than Thailand, and with some stunning lasses on the job. Champagne, or at least decent sparkling wine, at prices comparable with Chang beer in Thailand bars. Cheap hotels too. This is off the subject I suppose on a Thailand related site, but still on the subject as to what is on many of our minds 😉 – if allowed, here is a link to a site you may want to spend a few minutes on: Hegre-art – another Norwegian, this one exploring eastwards from home. With somewhat more success than the presumably late Mr. Solheim.
I have to sign off some time. You see, a friend of a friend is calling for advice (true story, actually). He met a girl about a year ago in Patong, Phuket, and is planning a lasting relationship. She is really nice and right for him, as she even took him to see her family in Nakhon Nowhere – although it became quite costly. Amongst other things, there where these kids that did not belong to her but her dead sister, that needed tuition fees and school uniforms and shoes and some other stuff. She, never having married, has no kids herself off course. Scars on stomach from Honda Dream accident. Never mind, she's 38 so he figures with his 46 it's cool with the age gap there. And she already has a sister in his country, working in a "restaurant" not yet named. She drinks a bit, but she has told him she loves him, so I'm sure that will work out just perfect. Right.
For the less initiated, this will go something like this as I foresee it: 38 year old whore on her last leg in that profession catches first-time farang in bar. Farang is love sick and with funny looks has not had much company through his life. Whore spends winter testing farang's threshold on money issues, and finds that farang has adequate means, combined with some willingness to part with said means. Sick buffalo now in 5 star hospital with 24 hours room service. Mother in same institution, next room (corner suite).
First transfer of cash for plane ticket – visa sorted by proper guarantee from farang and the process assisted by maidens experienced in filling out the proper forms at various embassies – well that cash is gone. Buffalo needed tail transplant most urgently.
New founds transferred, but departure delayed – mother is to have some serious surgery to the brain. Cat – scan reveals Thai brain remarkably similar to that of Homo Sapiens. When calling the landline, maiden is not available as she is reported to be camping at the hospital. This makes sense, it's all in the guidebook about how they love their mothers. Maiden would not be able to talk much anyway, as she is actually a) on Koh Samui and b) a certain part of the anatomy of a 72 year old German is placed to hinder what few words in English she would otherwise be able to regale him with on the subject of delays and logistics.
Some months later (low season setting in) the maiden finally makes the trip. Has figured out the number of years she has to stay to qualify for independent permanent residency and work permit.
Farang gets what he craves, no sweat for the lass – after more than 20 years in the business she could not care less about another customer pumping and sweating. At most, she is slightly disgusted, at best she hardly notices. Alcohol helps her here.
The sweet little battleaxe proceeds to go for the money, having fits and making fights if no funds are forthcoming. Local dealers of building materials and vehicles in Nakhon Nowhere celebrates. Buffalo now has two tails. And then after a very few years the buffalo looks like an octopus at its wrong end and the maiden goes on welfare in a rich country while getting ten times more per lay than she did back home. Farang customers accept age and appearance, being amazed at actually having close contact with a female of more or less the same species. Farang husband broke and in tears.
Lass soon enough gets bored and returns to her homeland, where she sells the holiday apartment that the farang had bought and put in her name. Lass then returns to her village, where the money is lost in a game of "high-lo" at the funeral of the buffalo – deceased by some complicated infections caused by fifth tail attached too close to rectum.
Farang unwisely starts legal process regarding sale of apartment and ends up beaten badly by maiden's actual Thai husband. Police base proceedings on the old and tested "merit points system" that, while officially abolished, seems to be still in place. Used to be that legal cases was solved by comparing "points" in Thailand – a farmer might have, say, 1 point being a lowly farmer, while a government official would have, say, 10,000 points being an elevated government official.
So in the Court of Law the farmer would have gone: "hey, you raped my daughter" or "yo! you stole my buffaloes, even the one with six tails man! I see it parked right outside your house. Ain't that many six-tailed buffalos around, now are there. In fact, there is only one in the whole messing country. Please note that, Your Honor".
And the Judge would address the farmer: "Yes little peasant, with your dirty feet, there is indeed only one such buffalo in the land. And it is indeed parked right outside Khun Pornchai's residence. How he can stand the smell is beyond me. Furthermore, that funny variance of syphilis your daughter got from the bible-basher we had here this rainy season has clearly passed on to Pornchai as well. Just look at him – he's all blue and dribbling like an idiot as your daughter is. Now who in his right mind would hop on a girl known to have caught a nastiness like that, I might ask. But that is not what I am here to ask, as you should well know. How many points do you have, little worthless one?"
"I have 1 point, your Honor", would the peasant reply. "I have 10,000 points", would the elevated official retort. "Well then, you are to hang for defamation, my little peasant. What property you have, along with that of your family, will go as compensation to Khun Pornchai. Unless, off course, they can come before me with more than 10,000 points of merit".
END OF INTERLUDE
How many "influential" people do you read about losing cases and being jailed in Thailand? Some, but not many. Now guess how many "points" a small-time farang is worth. As in the mind of the authorities and regarding practical application of what passes for law in Thailand, if not officially written in the constitution. How many bargirls lose out when having ripped off a farang? Seems they are more likely to get the heat if they snatch a camera and some petty cash from the hotel room than if they con someone for a few million.. Hmm. How can that be… oops. Right. Can afford payouts.
On with the Nostradamus: Farang eventually makes it home, with one eye never to function again and a permanent spine problem. Lass returns to Phuket and occasionally snags the odd mature gentleman from the west, looking for another "permanent" moneybag. Lass keeps getting social welfare into her account in a bank in the western country, all cool, she's got an ATM card so she can get her hands on the money. Eventually these payments stop, as someone somewhere gets wise to the fact that the lass is no longer in the western country – with bank statements showing she's been out for quite a while the farang gets in trouble. He never knew she had applied for welfare and had not reported her departure to any welfare authorities back home. Said authorities have been screwed over too many times and disbelieve the farang who gets to pay back and then some.
A nice little scenario…
I am being a bit rough here perhaps – but shit happens. As for sending in another "be warned" submission, it seems some things cannot be repeated enough. Some people will not listen, whatever. "My girl is different"…
Like hell she is.
The (probable) loss of Mr. Solheim is sad. And he will not be remembered, from other than family and friends back home. Or perhaps by the girl and what she may have had of help in this business, in the unlikely event that the Thai police will take the case anywhere further than statements to the tune of "all is being done and arrests are expected shortly".
I hope Mr. Solheim's family will get wise to the fact that if they are to have any hope at all of getting somewhere with the investigation, never mind arrests and convictions, they'll have to open they're wallets very wide – and basically forget about the local police in their district in Norway who apparently are responsible for pushing the case. Imagine a local cop somewhere in a small town in Norway trying to get things going, on the phone and mail, following procedures to the letter. It's not even funny. It's so tragic.
Perhaps Mr. Solheim committed suicide? After all he was based in Pattaya when reported missing. Go check around tall buildings, and dig around in the piles of corpses of "mentally disturbed" and "depressed" farangs rotting away, largely unreported by the English-language press.
And have a nice vacation 😉
I thoroughly enjoyed this.
"Like hell she is different." When you said these words you were absolutely right. It is my observation that guys getting screwed over today and losing even more than guys did in the past. The problem is getting worse.