Stickman Readers' Submissions July 29th, 2008

StickmanAmerica Investigation Report

Dear Bargirl who is special and not like the rest of them,

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Thank you for employing the services of StickmanAmerica Investigation Service. As per your request, I have conducted an investigation of Falang here in the US to see what he has been up to.

But before I tell you the results, I will just summarize the information that you gave me prior to my investigation beginning. Falang is married and has 2 kids. He lives in Nowhere, USA. He sends you $600 US a month. He plans on divorcing
his wife, and coming to marry you, and getting you a visa, and taking you to America, and building your parents a house in Isaan, and giving you enough money each month to send back to mom and dad, and buying your brother a new water buffalo and
pickup truck and motorbike (which your brother promises to pay back the full amount of within the next year). You have promised him in return that you will stop working in Nana and go to hairdressing school and English language classes, but that
you want to remain in your one-room "apartment" near Nana Hotel because your friends live nearby.

My investigation revealed that Falang is in fact married and has 2 kids. They spend all of their weekends together going to the beach and going on bike rides in the park as a family. Falang makes about $35k US a year. This means that he could
probably send you more than $600 US a month, especially since his wife's salary is about the same. After talking with Falang's friends, he does seem to be getting ready to divorce his wife. But the problem is that they have been married
for 11 years, and he's afraid that she's going to take all his money and that he'll have to pay child support. Falang is probably right in his concern about money. In fact, if he goes through the divorce, you can probably expect
that he'll only be pulling in about $18 – 20k a year after he gives away $15k to his wife annually. This means that after all the bills are paid, you guys will not be living in a 3-bedroom house like he lives in how in Nowhere, USA, but instead
a 2 bedroom apartment in downtown Crapsville, USA, about 80 miles away from Nowhere. There are no Thai restaurants or places to buy Thai ingredients in Crapsville (Not many Asian people in those parts either), and the closest Wallmart (kind of
like Big C) is about 40 miles away. So you'll either have to learn how to drive yourself (but you'd need a car, which he probably won't be able to afford), or wait until Saturdays so that Falang can drive you to Wallmart for the
big weekend trip. But hey, the weather isn't bad in Crapsville, and it only snows about 5 months out of the year (much better than your poor sisters who married guys in Europe where it's cold, wet, shit weather with gray skies 24/7).

Falang's kids are in their teens, so they will be old enough to understand that their dad is leaving their mom for a Thai bargirl. They will probably despise you for it and make you feel unwelcome when they come over for their mandatory
weekends of shared custody. They won't want to eat your spicy Thai food (if you can find ingredients to cook it) but instead will want MacDonald's and Pizza Hut because that's what all overweight American kids like to eat.

If you plan on having kids with Falang when you get to the US, prepare to do it on your own. Falang will have to go to work to pay for the diapers, and you won't have lots of close family/friends around to help you like you would have
in Thailand. Formula and diapers are very expensive, so that will probably cut into your special weekend spending at Wallmart.

You've probably got the idea by now, but don't expect life in the US to be one big party. And don't expect things to be quite as fun with Falang as they are when he's in Thailand with you. Life in the US, especially with
work and bills and rules everywhere, is not like Thailand. And one thing you will probably realize most is that Falang is not a millionaire. In fact, most Falangs are not millionaires. Your Falang likes to spend money in Thailand and have a good
time, but in the US things are very expensive and he will not have anywhere near as much money as you think he should to give you a life of luxury, or the time to go out and party since he gets off of work at 7pm every day. In fact, he has already
told his friends that he wants you to work as soon as possible after getting here because he knows you guys will be hurting for money. I'm not sure if he's told you about the working part yet. There are some jobs in Crapsville's
grocery store stocking shelves – I hope you can lift heavy boxes.

Falang is not a very smart investor of his money either. In fact he only has a checking account and a savings account, both shared with his current wife. No retirement fund, no college savings plan for his kids, no 401k, no annuities or mutual
funds, no life insurance policy, no renter’s insurance, etc. Because he’s not a real smart guy with his money, what this means for you is that he hasn’t really done the math to see how you and him will be able to live after
he gets divorced and has to shell out almost half his paycheck to his ex-wife (who will hate you and try to make your life miserable, by the way). He’s not thinking about how poor you will be because all he knows is that when he’s
with you in Thailand, it’s nothing but fun, drinking, sex, good food and good times. So he just figures that when you come to the US, you’ll just bring that good time with you and money really won’t matter much. I hope that
you feel the same way – that it’s OK if you’re borderline poor in the US because you guys can have a good time drinking some Bud Light down at the local Crapsville Pub (until you have kids and have to raise them virtually
on your own, after which Pub night is over).

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One final thing that Falang has not yet considered is the cost of visas, green cards, and citizenship here in the US. The paperwork aside (which Falang isn't too smart on filling out since he barely graduated from high school), plan
on roughly paying US $5-6k on visas, conditional permanent residence cards, permanent residence cards, and maybe even some day, citizenship. I can tell you right now that Falang doesn't have that kind of money, so he'll probably have
to take out a high interest loan if his bad credit rating will allow for it (even less Wallmart for you I guess).

So Bargirl who is special and not like the rest of them, that concludes my investigation. I hope this gives you a warning about what you are possibly in for if you marry Falang. Obviously it’s up to you, but you might want to share
this with Falang as well to give him something to think about before he brings you to the US.

Please send the US $4,000 investigation fee to my office. (I know my partner StickmanBangkok only charges $400 for investigations in the Thailand, but hey, this is American baby, and things are expensive here – as you'll soon find out)

Your Crapsville Commentator,


The story is based on the real life of a couple that my wife and I know from one of the Wats that we visit. For about the last 6 months, I talk to this guy every time I see him at events at the Wat just to hear the latest drama, and he loves
to tell me about it for some strange reason. They have had a hard time and pretty much encountered everything I wrote about here, but last I knew they were still sticking it out together nearly 2 years after she came to the US.

Stickman's thoughts:

Brilliant! Maybe this report should be translated into Thai and pinned to the walls of the changing rooms of the bars?!

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