The Hunt From Lucena City to Kalasin
Not much to it really
I have been engaged or married to an Issan lady now for over 1 year. How is this possible? Well we are not really married but she, her family and neighbors refer to me as her husband. She is an adorable lady and I love her immensely. How did this all
come about? I suppose I should start at the beginning as that tends to be a good place.
Ripe for collapse
Some might be thinking I am referring to the current world financial crisis but no, I refer to something far more stupendous, my marriage. I had been with my wife for over 30 years. I look back now and can attribute all sorts of reasons as to why it became
a troubled relationship. I go over all the things that I could have done to make it better. However a work trip to Singapore in 2006 brought about the implosion. Lonely and far from home I fell in love with a Filipina bar girl. She told me she
was 28 (actually 24) and with an 8 year old son back in the Philippines. Her means of income mainly consisted of money for drinks and support from boyfriends. She was not a prostitute. (I can see many head shaking here but I am sure of this).
She did however manage to find a great number of urgent needs that drained my wallet. After about 6 months she confided that she did not love me and that I should look for somebody new. She was surprisingly honest in many ways; however I am confident
that she had found a ‘better’ boyfriend. Good luck to her.
Where to now
Separated and rejected by my impoverished Filipina princess, many would have expected reconciliation with the ‘Misses’. Not really, a euphoric if somewhat brief, foray with the vibrant young Filipina had given me too much. I had discovered
what my life was missing and from that point I was determined to find somebody whom I really could share my life with.
Reality sets in
Many might think that 47 is the prime age for male menopause. I think of it more as a time of awakening. Let’s, however call the shots as they really are. I am short (160 cm), bald, but with a muscular physique. Face handsome, a little, (I guess what I am saying is that I am not ugly) finances are ok with some flexibility to travel.
The sum total of 1 year of local womanizing through the internet, bars and speed dating resulted in the grand total of zero dates. Very impressive score card! But let’s face it; with high heels in vogue, a western woman will not look at a man under
175 cm. Fact! So I decided to turn my attention back to Asia. I simply figured that my previous Filipina girl friend was pretty special and that the world must be full of shorter Asian ladies. Many of whom would be ‘championing at the bit’
to better themselves with a Western man. (Very naive).
The hunt begins
My first encounter was with a Filipina of Chinese descent. 28 years of age, lovely, honest and hard working. Also a virgin, something that I was later to discover as relatively common in unmarried Asian ladies of this age. I am still in contact with her but the chemistry was not there. I left her as I found her.
I am not sure of how many scams I waded through. There were many and they certainly gave me a roller coaster ride of expectation. I lost a few hundred dollars here and there in forlorn hope that one of them might have been real. In my heart I knew they
were all wrong.
Pay dirt – almost
With little success in the Philippines I turned my attention to Thailand. I managed to attract the attention of a sweet and lovely Thai lady from Udon Thani. Soon I had arranged to meet her in Bangkok. I was not disappointed and had a wonderful dinner on the first night of my arrival. Then it all went wrong. The following morning I was visited by my brother’s girlfriend who had arranged to be in Bangkok for my arrival and wanted to meet me. Unbeknown to me she brought with her 3 suitors for my attention. All of which I had no interest in whatsoever. I spend the day with my lady from Udon Thani. It was heavenly but she left me that evening and never came back.
I later learnt that she was insulted by my brother’s girlfriend who had given her the ‘3rd degree’ concerning her chasing money. I also believe the 3 additional suitors also added further insult to injury. I tried to repair things,
but she had lost face and confidence in me. It was a shame; I sensed we could have been happy together. With tail between legs I returned home (Australia).
Time to give up for awhile
After this disappointing episode and a lonely 10 days in Thailand, I had avowed to cease my search for a companion. I needed a rest from the travel if nothing else. My Scottish blood however got the better of me and I continued to do some ‘looking’ pending the expiration of my current membership to a particular website. To be perfectly honest I was looking forward to this expiring as I really did want to give my battered heart a rest!
R and R however was not to be on the menu, for just prior to my membership expiring, a sweet lady from Kalasin Thailand posted her details. She looked ‘cute as a button’ listed as no smoking, no drinking, which was my preference, so I decided to attempt contact. Not really expecting much, as most ladies never respond, I was quite surprised to enter into an ongoing dialogue with her.
Having already taken too much time off work and spent too much on travel I immediately made arrangement to fly to Thailand to meet her! Why you ask? I really just wanted to get the disappointment over and done with!
The mother lode
Well she really was ‘cute as a button’ but did look very different from her photographs. She had dressed differently and had pulled back her hair in a manner which I had not seen before. I actually did not recognize her at the airport (Khon Kaen). But it was all smiles and off to meet her parents. An ominous occurrence for which I was entirely blind sided. What followed was a complete birthday/date compatibility reading, lunch and then dinner at my hotel. Of course her extended family attended (at my expense). Great fuss was made over me and various sisters (cousins) competed to feed me and peel my prawns.
The evening ended with her collecting her suitcase followed by her family seeing us off in the elevator to spend the night together.
Concorde vs. Slow Boat to China
I always imagined that relationships take time to develop. I am not sure how long they should take, but I think 1 day is a little short or perhaps impossible. My western naivety had shone through with blinding lack of forethought or intellect, again.
I had just spent the night with a sweet, gorgeous Thai lady from Kalasin, 31 years old and you might have guessed; also a virgin. Not quite what I had expected, but I certainly was not complaining.
Those of you who know Thailand might have already worked out what had happened. Those who do not know Thailand might be thinking I had met a lady of dubious character.
What really happened was this. She dreamed that the first man who came to meet her would be her husband. Prior to my arrival she also dreamed of a snake which chased and struck at her. These are dreams of significance in Thailand. We met at the airport
and her appraisal was that I was husband material. This then necessitated the meeting of her parents and other family members for their opinions and thoughts. Everything here had gone well so it was time to consult the astrological charts for
compatibility. As you can guess, everything here also worked out. This was then followed by dinner with the extended family to gauge their approval. Within the space of 1 day my 31 year old Thai lady had decided that I was to be her husband. While
somewhat surprising and unconventional she had also decided to consummate the relationship as I had traveled so far and we had limited time together.
Having a good time
We spend an enjoyable 3 days in Khon Kaen where I had booked and paid for 3 nights at one of the local hotels. We spent our time sightseeing and getting to know each other. After this we drove to her family home some 90 minutes away. Once again all went
well and I stayed in her room with her. Her father however said little and did not sleep in the house. The next evening was a different story with extended family arriving and her father sleeping in his own room. For me, sex was not permitted;
I was told this had something to do with her father being in the house.
Time to pay the ferryman
Being as sharp as a bowling ball in matters pertaining to relationships and all matters pertaining to Thailand, I was as prepared for the next day's family meeting as I might have been for the second coming of Christ. Actually, I would have been more prepared for the latter. It was time to discuss the wedding (gulp). That was me (alone) and 5 senior male members of my young Thai lady’s family. She and the other ladies had vacated the room. This left only 1 of her relations with some limited English and the others with no English whatsoever. The discussions went for 3 hours. It was slow and tedious. I thought it was 3 weeks. I dodged, I weaved, I procrastinated. I did not lie but how could I commit to marry to a lady I had only know four days? Even if I though she was wonderful, I had just left a torturous marriage, no way could I make a commitment. Can you truly love someone in 4 days?
Tempers flared and tension entwined all that was said. My mind raced at a million miles per hour. How was I going to get out of this? How do I avoid insulting family honor? The best I could do was to indicate my intent to grow the relationship with a
view to marriage. Courtship followed by engagement followed by a wedding. I never relented and the meeting just went on and on and on. And then relief; she stormed into the room and heated words were quickly and forcibly spoken and the whole meeting
just ended. Boy, was I relieved; but not for long.
The ten dollar tour
With the torture session out of the way, we headed out to survey the family farm, me, her father and 2 uncles. They all carried machetes. I had visions of being chopped up and buried in the rice paddies for dishonoring the family. Fertilizer to the multitudes, never to be seen again. Oh well, it was my own fault. Soon however I heard her voice as she called and came running after us smiling and giggling. The air no longer carried the same foreboding and I was sure that she would not be party to chopping me into mince meat.
The bamboo grove, the rice paddies, the frog ponds and breeding tanks, all very idyllic really.
I boarded the plane to go home in somewhat disbelief. My expectation had not been high after my previous adventures to meet the lady of my dreams. Yet somehow I had met someone truly wonderful and thus the genesis of a new beginning.
Money Money Money
Well all seemed fine on my return home but that only lasted a month or so. If you have a relationship with a Thai lady, I believe sooner or later, there will be some issues concerning money. But then again this may be true in any relationship. This is, however one area of the cultural divide that requires thought and consideration. For me it was the sending of money to support her. The more common phrase being to, ‘take care.’ I have no reservation about providing money to support a wife, the thought however never occurred to me to provide money to support a girlfriend, particularly when she has gainful employment. The issue developed and almost ended our relationship. I was not sending her any money. I did not understand the significance nor did I understand the expectation.
Finally the penny dropped when she sent me a distressed email wanting to end the relationship. In the email she referred to me as her ‘husband’. In her eyes we were already married. I also believe in the eyes of her community we are also
I was not going to send money to a ‘girlfriend’ and my Thai lady would not continue with a man who would not take care of her. Even if she wanted to remain with me, the shame for her family would be too much. I looked hard and researched this point of view and came to the conclusion that this is very much the Thai perspective, once you sleep with a Thai lady. You are married. <True with *some* women, but most certainly not all. It is also used to exploit foreigners… – Stick>
There were only 2 options available. We end the relationship or I align my thinking to hers and thereafter consider her to be my wife. Now, as you have read the opening paragraph of my story you will know that I chose the latter. I have never regretted
a single day.
Liar Liar Liar
Having weathered the financial storm with my lovely Thai lady, we only had one other issue of importance that has ‘rocked the boat’. Prior to meeting her I had become accustomed to posting my details on ‘western internet dating sites’. What is prevalent on these sites is that everyone lies about their age. This is a particularly western thing to do. I think a majority of people also post pictures that are a ‘few’ years old. This is something that I did not do, however I did ‘knock’ 5 years off my age. I went from 47 to 42. I felt it was nothing of significance and somewhat common practice on most dating sites. But a lie is a lie and sooner or later you have to face the music.
I let it go on and on for 4 months before I gained the courage to tell her. I really had intended to tell her the first day we met, but the whole astrological alignment and compatibility thing threw me before I could say anything.
If you ever visited rural Thailand you can expect to be asked your age within the first three lines of conversation. My lie perpetuated itself throughout her extended family and the entire neighborhood. My lie had also invalidated the whole astrological compatibility reading.
When I finally told her she was devastated. She would have to tell her family her friends, everybody, that her husband was a liar and an untruthful man. In other words, a man of dubious character. I am surprised that we survived this one. It really hit
Now it really is time to consider the wedding. I love her dearly, trust her implicitly and want to spend the rest of my days with her. I am looking forward to tying the knot.
I nearly died when we started to discuss the ‘dowry’. I knew it was coming but it still shocked me. She is young, beautiful, virginal, tertiary educated, respected family, has inheritance of a house and farm. She has prestigious employment, her own car and motorbike. The family had previously received offers from wealthy Thai suitors in the vicinity of 1 to 2 million baht (I have no doubts about this). Instead she chose me.
Oh well, in reality I am happy to pay and the inheritance becomes mine anyway (worth more than the dowry). My only concern is the current financial crisis and its ability or likely hood to affect my financial situation pending our wedding date.
Advice Advice Advice
I am not Mr. Average. Not in how I think or how I live my life. My decision to seek out and find a good Thai lady has not been an easy road. It has however been a happy one, very happy. Before I decided to take this route I read a great deal and spoke to as many people as I could. I found the Stickman site to be of great benefit. I also believe that the most successful lifestyle for me will be to maintain 2 homes, one in Australia and one in Thailand. I read many stories of Thai ladies who never assimilate living away from Thailand. I want my relationship to work and living in 2 countries seems the best option for success.
In Australia I experience prejudice and snide comments about ‘mail order brides’. My Thai lady gets stared at and ‘winked at’ by men when I am not present. I am not sure what these people are thinking. I have also been subject to false and malicious text messages firstly concerning me and subsequently concerning her. Again I do not know what the intent is.
My wife tells me of many Thai ladies with foreign husbands. Many of them have secret Thai lovers, drink and gamble. Former bargirls often return to the bars as much out of boredom as any need for money. Some bargirls receive money from multiple foreign men whom each believe they are the ‘only one’. Some lie about never having been a bar girl.
There are also many many good and honest Thai ladies with a preference for an older Western man. (I think a 20 year difference is the maximum stretch)
I believe life is meant to be lived and my intent is to live it to the fullest with my Thai wife. I wish you the same. If you are ever around Kalasin and see a short bald guy about 49 with his lovely Thai wife, say hi. It just might be me!
I am very pleased that you are as happy as you appear to be. I do however feel awfully uneasy about certain things. You state that she had a prestigious job, a car and came from a good family yet they wanted you to send money. That doesn't add up. The dowry they requested, and that you infer you paid, is off the scale. It really is. If her father is governor of the province, then so be it, but otherwise…
Like I say, I am happy you are happy….and in many ways I am loathe to comment negatively when someone is happy, but it does seem that you have had to pay more than your fair share…