Stickman Readers' Submissions July 3rd, 2009

My 10 Year Story of the ICQ girl, My wife, And Chiang Mai

I'll start by saying this is the first time I've ever posted anything on the internet but I feel so compelled to share my experience with you that it has to be done. Please excuse the spelling and grammar as I am no writer. I will try to get across my story without too much babble.

I suppose I should start with a little about me. I am now 32 and from St Helens, England. I love Bolton Wanderers Football Club and love having a beer with the boys. When this story started I had no interest in Thailand nor knew anything about the Thai way of life, country or people. The point in my life I'd like to start from is me being 22 years old. I'd just broken up with my English girlfriend of 5 years probably because I was starting to get too involved with online gaming (sad, I know). I was very distressed at the time but was discovering the world of the internet and loving it. I used an instant messaging service called ICQ at the time to communicate with my friends.

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One day (or night, can't remember now) I got an 'uh-oh' (the sound of an incoming message) and looked to see who it was. It was a random girl that we will call 'Nin' (not her real name) that apparently liked my second name and had decided she wanted to chat with me. I decided to chat to her for a while as I had never spoken to anybody from Asia before, never mind Thailand.

To cut a long story short I really enjoyed chatting with this girl and so every night I would wait for the 'uh-oh' sound so we could begin to chat. She would tell me all about Chiang Mai and what she was doing. It was like a big fairy tale to me with temples, exotic women and all that kind of stuff. I knew deep inside that I shouldn't get involved with these kinds of woman on the internet. Everybody at work was saying things like, 'she's a ladybody', 'she's after an English passport' etc, and after a while I started to get phone calls at work. She was just asking what was I doing? and how was I? nothing menacing at all. I loved it.

After a while all the stick I was getting at work I suppose, and the boredom of sitting typing to someone I thought I would never meet got too much and I stopped replying to the ICQ messages. She wrote letters to me asking where I had gone and that she would wait for me to come back. I cried a few times because I really liked this girl even though I had never met her. I wanted to go so much to be with her but thought it impossible and so I decided enough was enough.

All that lasted about 6 months and then faded out so I got on with my life, working, playing and sleeping for another 5 years. I never stopped thinking of 'Nin' but eventually met another girl (in St Helens) while I was out on the pull. After 5 years of fooling around in England this turned out to be a serious relationship. It lasted about a year but I wasn't really happy so eventually we decided to split up.

My friend at the time decided we needed a holiday so we decided to go Ibiza. We was sat in the travel agents in the Trafford Center booking it when he said to me, 'hang on, why don't we go to somewhere we always wanted to go, Thailand'. We went home and booked on Expedia straight away to go to Patong in Phuket. Right away the thoughts of 'Nin' came flooding back.

So, my friend and I went to Phuket. We did the bar girl thing for 3 weeks, came home and I along with another friend booked straight away to go again to the same place 5 months later. Needless to say I was hooked and absolutely loved the place. Now things started to get interesting.

Around this time my boss asked me to go and watch Real Madrid with him and stay there for a couple of nights with a few of his mates in Spain. I, of course said yes and we had a great time. One of the nights I met a Spanish girl in an Irish bar. The next night I went and stayed at the same Spanish girl's house. I was in love.

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So we got back to England I would call her every night and eventually decided to go and stay with her over Christmas. We had a great time and the best thing was, the day I got back (December 31st) was the day I was flying out to Thailand.

Now, about 2 weeks before I was set to leave for my second Thailand trip I somehow (can't remember how) got back in touch with 'Nin'. Actually I was talking to both these girls at once most nights and had deep feelings for both of them. A lot of the time I was in Spain and ignoring calls from 'Nin'. It was actually quite a confusing time for me. I had agreed to meet 'Nin' at Phuket airport and she would fly down from Bangkok (where she was now working as a manager, nice car, nice house etc in Sri Racha).

So I was back in Phuket having a blast and so she flew down. I didn't go to meet her. She said she waited there for hours. I don't know why I didn't go. Maybe I was thinking too much about the Spanish girl or maybe just having too good of a time. She called to my hotel room after she had arrived back in Bangkok in tears. It was at this time she found out about the Spanish girl. I was talking to both of them on MSN in an internet cafe and I sent a message in Spanish to 'Nin'. She asked her boss (an English guy) to translate it and it was full of 'love you this' and 'love you that' in Spanish. Well now the shit had hid the fan.

We spoke on the phone and she told me I had to decide if I wanted to be with her or the Spanish girl. I will never forget lying on Patong Beach trying to figure out what to do.

I called her eventually and told her I wouldn't bother with the girl from Spain anymore and that I wanted her to come down again from Bangkok to see me. In the end she did, and we spent a couple of days together. Finally I had met the girl that I used to talk to all them years ago on ICQ. She was so perfect.

To simplify it 'A LOT' we spent the next 2 years visiting each other. She came to England 3 times and I visited her about 4 times per year. I loved being with her. We spent every single night for 2 years talking to each other on MSN when we wasn't with each other. We got engaged and had a big party in Chon Buri.

We got married in Bangkok at a registry office 4 years ago. Then she quit her job and sold her house and came to live with me in England for 4 years. We built our house together and had a great time. Last year we had our wedding (even though we were already married) in Bangkok and all my family and friends went to Thailand for the first time. Everybody loved the place so much. Her parents flew down from Chiang Mai and everybody met everybody else. Great time!!!

So we went back to England and all was good. We had our first child, a daughter. Everybody was so happy. I was 31 and she was 30. About right I reckoned to be having kids. About this time work started to slow down for me (I was in the construction industry) due to the recession. Money got tight and I started to feel more like I wanted to move away from the UK. We looked at Australia and even sent off our visa applications but eventually we decided to go and live in Thailand.

So that's where we are now. We've been in Chiang Mai for 7 weeks. I have to fly back to England in 3 days for a week and leave my wife and 3 month old baby girl. I'm making myself bankrupt in the UK . My house lost a lot of value and wages went downhill. I don't mind though. We are happy here and she's just got a new job here. We have a nice plot of land to build our house on and I want to start doing some kind of online business.

That's my story of how the last 10 years (briefly) have started and ended with Thailand. It would have been such a different tale without Thailand, but not as much of a happy (or interesting) one.

Stickman's thoughts:

Great story. Just be careful bankrupting yourself. In my country you also lose your passport when that happens!

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