Getting Engaged In The Back Seat Of A Bangkok Taxi
I have enjoyed reading your website and postings. I am an American who visited Bangkok in January 2010 seeking a Thai bride. I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences with other American guys considering a similar move. I utilized the services of the matchmaking agency “Thai Professional Introductions”. After some rather colorful twists and turns I finally succeeded in meeting a very nice, pretty, young Thai gal who I hope to marry once she gets her visa to come to the USA. Please feel free to share this with your readers. I do NOT claim to be an expert on Thai women.
I’m a 48 year old white male. I have been divorced for 2½ years after what I thought was a great marriage. She said she had to find herself! I hope she does. After dating for 2 years I’ve had a few relationships and more than my share of ups and downs. I do not want to knock American women. I’ll just say I am not very compatible with them nor they with me. I’m an average guy. I am not Brad Pitt, but I don’t look bad for my age.
The idea to go to Thailand:
It was August 2009, I was sitting in the living room after just breaking up with an attractive younger lady I really did love. She enjoyed constantly arguing about the most meaningless nonsense. The things people fight about! Don’t they realize we are all going to die and none of this will matter? I just could not take it any more so I ended it.
My 17-year-old daughter, who lives with me, walked into the room. I guess she knew I was feeling down. She said to me “Dad you ought to go to one of those Asian countries and find a wife”. She kissed me on the forehead and walked out of the room. I so adore this sweet kid. I still do not know if she was kidding, BUT I was intrigued by the idea. Why not? It really can’t cost me much more than the crazy relationships I’ve been through.
I spent the next few weeks researching on the internet. I’ve always had a thing for Asian women. No Asians live in my area. I found Stickman’s website and the “Thai Professional Introductions” website. I read everything I could find and decided I seriously wanted to go for it.
Getting the consent of others:
The first BIG step in the process after deciding I wanted to go to Thailand to find a wife was obtaining the approval of those closest to me (i.e.-my daughter). I wanted the opinions of my closest friends as a sounding board. I needed people who I respected to tell me I was not out of my mind. This was a huge mental and emotional issue for me.
So I told my daughter I wanted to take a trip to Thailand alone for “vacation” (not saying a word about finding a bride). She said, “Cool dad, that sounds like a lot of fun. You always liked Asian women anyways!” The kid saw straight through my ruse and let her old man off the hook easy. She knew the real reason I wanted to go and very tactfully gave me her blessing.
I called my two closest buddies and asked them. They were very supportive and thought it was great idea telling me to go for it. I called my old girlfriend from college who I’ve known for 30 years. She told me I was out of my mind, that it was a bad idea, that I would regret the whole thing, BUT she wished me well.
Gentlemen, you will find that all your buddies will think it’s a cool idea and they will envy you for doing it. They will ask you a ton of questions and want to know everything that happened when you get back. If you meet a girl, don’t be surprised if they ask if she has a sister. Women will universally hate the idea, tell you it's perverted and disgusting and heap scorn upon you. I guess American women hate the idea that there is a relatively easy, affordable way for middle aged guys to find a much younger and attractive women who might actually appreciate all the things done for them. Women will say you are desperate and guys say you are bold and decisive for going out and getting what you really want. I believe BOTH prerogatives are basically correct. Desperation and decisiveness are often two sides of the same coin. It's okay to be a little desperate, you are a human being like everyone else. Accept and forgive yourself for being human. You’re not out to hurt anyone. Just be careful and try to use GOOD judgment when perusing your goal. It’s your life and only you can live it.
Finding a match making agency:
I read a lot about fly by night match making agencies and I had a big fear of getting ripped off or meeting the wrong kind of lady in Thailand. After much research I found the website for Thai Professional Introductions (TPI). TPI is owned by a British national living in Bangkok, Lawrence Lynch. He is married to a Thai lady named Thapanee and they have been in the business for 12 years.
What I needed most from an introduction agency was the basic screening of the women. I did not want to get involved with a bar girl or a gold digger. In the short time I planned to be in Bangkok there was no way for me to learn these things about a girl on my own and that is why I needed an agency.
I made the call and spoke with Lawrence Lynch. Do not call him “Larry”! He is a very talkative fellow full of useful information. I appreciated his enthusiasm, but it was a little hard to get a word in edge wise. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lynch seemed to enjoy match making and I found it a reassuring thing as a client. I wired them $1500 up front and paid another $1900 when I arrived in Bangkok (i.e.- $3400 total). The service is good for one a year term.
Criteria for the women I desired:
In the weeks before going to Thailand I racked my brain deciding what it was I really wanted in a potential mate. I did not want to be stupid and greedy by trying to get the very youngest, prettiest girl I could find. NO! I wanted a good wife for hopefully a life long marriage. I do not want to go through a divorce again. It would be pointless to bring home the wrong girl who would likely dump me later. Of course I wanted a thin, attractive, younger Asian gal who would at some level be that trophy wife we all SO richly deserve. I will admit to my vanity. BUT, I honestly did want a life partner. Someone who does not like to argue, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t gamble, not a drunk, will be affectionate without thinking she is doing you a favor, someone not looking to have a child, someone who will afford me a least a little bit of deference as the man of the house and someone who would appreciate what I do for her without always expecting more.
I wanted a lady who was modest, perhaps conservative, the old fashioned girl next door type. You know what I mean. I did not want to meet anyone who liked to argue or thought they were hot stuff. I could get that at home. It is important to know in your mind what you are looking for before you go, like how many kids she should have, her kids' ages, will you be open to having kids with her, her age etc…
With that in mind, I decided I wanted to meet ladies between 30 and 40 who already had one child. I cannot have any more children and a childless lady would certainly want a kid in the future and that would be a problem. I reviewed the ladies on the TPI website and sent Mrs. Lynch a list of the ladies I found interesting. It turned out that about 30% of the ladies were not interested in meeting me after learning I could not have kids.
Flying to Bangkok:
The flight from the east coast of the USA to Bangkok took a brutal 21 hours straight and $1300. The airline staff were great, but it's tough sitting still that long if you can’t sleep on a plane. Long term parking for my car at the airport for 14 days was $160.
I arrived in Bangkok at 11:00 PM on a Monday night not having slept in about 27 hours. I was met (as promised by TPI) by a taxi driver holding a card with my name on it. He took me to the Fortuna Hotel in Bangkok and charged me 1200 baht ($36). I thought TPI was going to pay for the taxi? Later, when Mrs. Lynch learned the cabby charged me, she promptly repaid me the money stating she would not use the thieving driver again.
TPI made arrangements for me to stay at the Fortuna Hotel in Bangkok. The hotel is located on a narrow alley of a road that is crowded with many small businesses. The hotel was okay (I’d say 2 1/2 stars) for $60 per night. The staff were wonderful, the food was good and the location great. There were all the services you need just steps from the hotel’s front door like a laundry, internet café, currency exchange, a sports bar! BUT for me the rooms were sad and the beds were too hard. I just could not get a good night’s sleep. After a few days I moved to the Swissotel Hotel on Wireless Road in Bangkok for $130 per night. This hotel is awesome and I liked the beds. You can get a much better rate by booking reservation through sites like travelocity, BUT if you check out early you will still be charged for the unused nights on the reservation.
The Fortuna Hotel and TPI seem to have a close business relationship. If you engage in dicey behavior while there don’t be surprised if word of your nocturnal activities gets back to TPI. You can reasonably expect TPI to advise any lady they have introduced you to of your questionable behavior. It is really only fair for TPI to look out for the safety and interests of BOTH the guy and the girl. I took solace in this knowing if TPI learned something shady about a women I was involved with they would promptly give me a heads up.
Meeting women in a bar:
One of the first nights there I had no plans and walked into the sports bar across the alley. It was a very nice place called Gulliver’s. Something amazing happened. When I walked in all the young attractive Thai gals really gave me the look. They smiled at me and made subtle jesters showing interest. This would NEVER happen back home! If I walked into a bar in the states such women would greet me with overt indifference.
Before I got on the plane to Thailand I made a vow to myself that I would NOT seek or get involved with any women I met in a bar or outside the TPI introduction. My research revealed 10% of the women who worked in the red light district bars in Bangkok were HIV positive. I was amazed to learn that other women who go to nice bars or hang out in shopping malls seeking to meet foreigners often are unofficial prostitutes and are estimated to have a staggering 30% HIV infection rate. <I would seriously question these figures – Stick> I did not come to Thailand to be a sex tourist. Why travel half way around the world for that? We have plenty of pros back home.
I was sitting at the bar drinking a beer and minding my own business when an attractive Thai girl of 26 sat beside me and struck up a conversation. She was very charming and spoke good English. She told me she worked giving massages and offered to go to my hotel room and give me one. I politely declined the offer. Finding an attractive younger lady in Bangkok seemed to be as difficult as finding sand on the beach. The problem is you have no way of knowing if you’re getting into quick sand.
Another attractive young lady sat down beside me and just drank water. She was alone and never said a word to me. I believe she wanted me to start a conversation. She sat there silently for a few hours while I drank my beer. I kept to myself, paid my tab and left wondering who she was. Was she a nice modest girl (not a covert sex worker or gold digger) hoping to meet a nice foreigner? I don’t know. Everything I’ve read about Thai women said that a good traditional Thai girl will NEVER approach you and you will only meet a nice Thai girl if someone she knows introduces you.
For the first 3 or 4 days I was severely jet lagged and dehydrated from the flight and not sleeping. You need to drink lots of water. I wanted to sleep at 2:00 in the afternoon and I was wide awake at 2:00 in the morning. I was suffering from insomnia even though I was exhausted. These things affected me mentally and emotionally. To break the cycle I guzzled six beers one night and passed out in an alcohol induced coma. It worked and the next day I felt a good bit better.
Don’t buy an electronic dictionary:
Most of the Thai women I met spoke very little English. I made the mistake of purchasing an electronic hand held translation dictionary for $200. The damn thing was very difficult and slow to use. Save your money and get a pocket sized English – Thai dictionary for $10.
The first day of introductions at TPI:
On Tuesday morning a very nice lady named Nang from TPI met me at the hotel at 9:00. Nang took me to the TPI office and showed me how the public transportation rail service worked.
On arrival at TPI I found a bunch of attractive ladies waiting in the front room. I paid Mrs. Lynch the outstanding $1900 in one hundred dollar bills. Mrs. Lynch is engaging and fully bilingual. I told Mrs. Lynch there were three very important things a perspective lady should know about me. First, I could not have any more children; second, I absolutely would not tolerate arguing or drama and; third, intimacy (YES I do mean sex) would be a very important part of the marriage and would need to occur multiple times per week.
So we sat down and the interviews began. Mrs. Lynch took the lead and spoke to the ladies in Thai explaining all they needed to know about me. If they were not scared off Mrs. Lynch would then turn to me and ask if I felt an attraction or interest. I met about 10 ladies who met the criteria I gave Mrs. Lynch prior to arrival. Of the 10, about 4 of them balked at the notion of having sex more then once a week, one lady was 41 and claimed to still be a virgin, one was a very attractive 28 year old virgin who thought she was hot stuff and expected a $27,000 dowry. The rest were otherwise very nice, compatible ladies.
I was however very disappointed that none to the top 6 ladies I picked from the TPI website were available to meet me. It seems that once a lady is matched with a guy she is no longer introduced to people, but her photo stays on the TPI website until she finally gets the visa and the guy takes her home. Do not despair, there were new ladies coming to the service regularly who were not listed on the website.
I met two ladies of interest that day. Lady #1 was a cute 28 year old who worked as a story clerk and had a 10 year old living up country with her mom. Lady #2 was a 30 year old who and had a son of 12 living with her. She worked at a hotel doing catering. Neither spoke English.
Lady #1 and #2:
I had a date with Lady #1 for a day. We saw the Grand Palace and temples. It was nice. I think she half liked me, but when I asked her if she could take time off work for a few days so we could really get to know each other she stated she could not. Based on this I figured she was not interested, so I moved on to lady #2.
Lady #2 seemed very interested and we went out a couple of times. She was thin, curvy with a nice figure. She was very affectionate in that she would hold my hand and snuggle up next to me when we were out and about, but no sex. We were just getting to know each other. She asked me questions about my house and how many cars I owned, but none about my daughter… Hummmmmmm!
Second day of introductions:
I told Mrs. Lynch I was very interested in lady #2 and I was not really looking to meet any more people. Mrs. Lynch cautioned me against settling for the first person I met and stated I should come to TPI and meet more ladies just to be sure. I found myself thinking of Mrs. Lynch as a sister determined to keep me for screwing up. I would later be very grateful to her for insisting on the second set of introductions.
The next morning I dutifully arrived at the TPI office as instructed and again found about 10 young attractive ladies in the waiting room. This time Mrs. Lynch threw me a curve ball. She went out side the criteria and introduced me to much younger women. I expressed my concerns and asked how a 20 year old could find someone like myself of interest? Mrs. Lynch told me I was an attractive man and looked good for 48. She assured me Thai women under the age of 30 would be interested.
I was introduced to several 20 year old ladies. They were very cute and very young. They seemed to be interested in getting to know me. The temptation to pursue them was great, but I did not want to be stupid and greedy. These girls were basically my daughter’s age. My daughter would lose respect for me if I got involved with someone soooooooo very young. Plus these girls did not have any kids and would surely want one in the future. I grudgingly passed.
On that second day of introductions I met a nice 23 year old. She seemed to be the quiet, modest, wholesome girl next door type. She had an 18 month old son living up country with her mom. Apparently, the boy’s father abandoned her before the child was born and never contributed a dime. She worked as an accountant and earned about $400 per month. The other girls I met earned under $300 a month. She was very young BUT she had a college degree and spoke basic English. Impressive! I set my reservations a side and asked her out.
We went to dinner that night. She was very pretty and I was very interested. She was extremely quiet and had nearly nothing to say. She did not make much eye contact. I did not know what to think. Maybe she was just very shy or I gave her the creeps? At the end of the evening I gave her cab fare to go home. She said she did enjoy meeting me and hoped to see me again.
I met another American client of TPI:
While at the Fortuna Hotel I met a fellow American named Mark who was an attorney from Massachusetts. He was 55 and never married. He was very personable and great to have a beer with. He told me an entertaining story about how the American woman he had dated expected him to buy her a beach house. No wonder he was in Thailand.
He stated he was very pleased with his experience. TPI introduced him to a very attractive 36 year old and they hit it off immediately. Mark states she never put the touch on him for money and she often paid their cab fares. Mark met his gal on his first day of introductions and he was content to stop there, but Mrs. Lynch also insisted he meet more ladies before making a final decision. He did, but settled on the 36 year old and he’s now working on getting her a visa.
Choosing between lady #2 or #3:
I called Mrs. Lynch and we discuss the two ladies. I came to relay on Mrs. Lynch for the female prerogative as to what I should do. I really liked lady #3 believing her personality, language ability and education would be more compatible with what I sought, BUT she was so quiet I didn’t know if she was interested.
I decided to pursue lady #2 for the next stage in the courting process and asked Mrs. Lynch to see if #2 could go to the beach with me for a few days and so we could get to know each other.
How I got engaged in the back seat of a Bangkok taxi :
Lady #2 and I went to the hospital and got blood tests for HIV and Syphilis. The results came back in an hour and all was well. I also paid for her TB and Hepatitis tests. Her tests cost me about $200.
Later lady #2 and I met for some drinks and agreed to go to Pattaya beach the next day. She said she needed 2000 baht ($60) to pay her friends at work to cover for her on the days off. I agreed. Pattaya was nice, but not a great beach town. It's 2 hours from Bangkok and therefore convenient.
We drove down from Bangkok to Pattaya in the back of her brother's cab. On the way down she writes me a note using the translation dictionary saying "we no sleep together until marry". Needless to say I was a bit concerned about what she was saying. Did she mean I can't get laid until after I return on the second trip and pay the dowry? If that was what she meant I was going to turn the cab around right then, go back to Bangkok and get another lady. She knew very well in advance that I expected to get horizontal while at the beach. Mrs. Lynch explained the job requirements to her 3 times prior to the trip and the need to get physical was covered in the initial interview.
I called Mrs. Lynch immediately and lady #2 spoke to her on the cell. Apparently #2 said she was concerned that I would screw her brains out for a few days and dump her when we returned to Bangkok. So she wanted to be engaged prior to sex. I said okay, what does she need to be "engaged"? I am told if you buy a ring or some expensive jewelry it makes things all right. That way when she returns to Bangkok and the family and friends ask her if she slept with a white guy she can show them the jewelry and say we're engaged, So, I proposed to her in the back seat of the taxi via Mrs. Lynch on the phone and #2 said yes. Cool, my intentions toward her were sincere.
We pulled over in Pattaya at a jewelry store. The clerk presented a number of bracelets of varying expense. Lady #2 promptly picked the most expensive bracelet and ring. I thought at the time it was a bad omen. Cost about $800 But now we're good for intimacy, right???? You should always try on a pair of shoes before you buy them.
We arrived in Pattaya, I paid her brother the cabby and gave him a tip. Lady #2 told me to give him an additional 1000 baht ($30) tip. I did NOT. <This request for a 1,000 baht tip is a REALLY bad sign – Stick> We checked into the Dusit Hotel in Pattaya, which is an awesome hotel right on the beach. We went to the room and she repelled my advances saying she was tired and needed a nap. I'm disappointed, but she did work the night before. So I went alone for a walk and a swim leaving her to sleep for a few hours. When I return to the room she wakes up and is noticeably distant toward me. What the hell is going on here????????? I'm getting pissed off now so I pointedly asked her if she wanted go back to Bangkok? On hearing this she gets the message and starts acting affectionate. We consummated the act as per the contract. She was very passive and pretty much just laid there like a corpse. At the time I figured she was a conservative girl who probably hadn't been with a guy in years. She was very attractive and it could only get better, right? Afterwards we went for a walk on the beach, stopped at a sports bar and I drank a few while she watched without complaint. I taught her some English and the rest of the night was fine, but NO more affection.
How I became un-engaged the next day
The next morning at about 6:00 I woke up in the mood and we were intimate or at least I tried to be. Again she just laid there and clearly had no interest in the activities. I was not sure what to think other than she might be frigid and sex was NOT what she wanted in a relationship. Perhaps she was just really nervous and would warm up in time? Did I intimidate her? Being frigid was a deal killer. I made it VERY clear when we first met that sex would be a BIG requirement for the relationship. She could not say she did not understand.
I asked her if she wanted to go to breakfast. She said no and advised she would just stay in the room and watch TV. I then went to breakfast ALONE! All she wanted to do was sleep and watch TV. At 10:00 AM I asked her if she wanted to do something that day. She replied she might want to go for a walk with me at 6:00 PM that night! Here we were at a 4 star hotel on the beach and supposed to get to know each other and do things. What the hell was I suppose to do “ALONE” for the next 8 hours????? Lady #2 not only appeared to be frigid, but lazy as well. What was she going to do if I brought her to the states???? Park her arse on the couch, watch TV and eat bonbons all day???? I was starting to see a frigid, lazy, gold digging and over weight woman in my future. Was I evil in a prior life and now the universe was taking revenge on me?
I tried to be intimate again and she repelled me! So much for all the affection I got when in Bangkok. I was really pissed off now and wondering what I had got myself into with this girl. I went for an hour walk ALONE thinking of my options with the limited time I had left in Thailand. When I came back to the room I could hear her change the TV channels just before I opened the door. When I entered the room she pretended to be asleep on the couch and totally ignored my presence! That was all I needed to make up my mind. I called Mrs. Lynch and told her the deal was off and the girl could keep the fucking jewelry. I just wanted out. Mrs. Lynch explained the deal to #2. Interestingly #2 did not even make an effort to repair the damage and try again. I checked out of the hotel having to pay for 3 nights reservation even though I was only there one. We got a taxi back to Bangkok together. During the ride we did not speak. I sat in the front and she in the back. In all #2 cost me about $1400 and wasted about 4 days of my trip! When we were in Bangkok she was very affectionate and all over me short of anything intimate. Once we left Bangkok to go to the beach it all changed. She became distant and stayed that way even after getting $800 in jewelry. She did not want me; she only wanted what I could do for her.
Prior to driving back to Bangkok I asked Mrs. Lynch if lady #3 would be interested in seeing me again. I was not feeling optimistic. I was running out of time in Thailand and I did not think TPI would be able to arrange anything else.
During the drive back to Bangkok #2’s phone rings and she hands me the phone. It was Mrs. Lynch, who informed me that lady #3 would like to see me again that night! It seemed poetic that #2’s phone would be used to hook me up with lady #3. Mrs. Lynch told #3 the entire sordid misadventure I had with #2 including the sex part, but #3 was still interested in seeing and getting to know me. I could not believe it. Maybe #3 really did like me?
Mrs. Lynch subtly mentioned that if I did the same thing with lady #3 I would be dropped as a client. Fair enough, I only had a few days left in Thailand anyway. It seemed I was being viewed as a shameless womanizer. Nice guys do finish last.
On returning to Bangkok I checked into the Swissotel and was assigned room #469 (I am not making this up). On seeing the room number I thought perhaps Buddha was looking out for me and my luck might change.
Lady #3 met me that night at the hotel for dinner and drinks at the tikki bar by the pool. She was much more talkative this time (I think Mrs. Lynch said something to her about being too quiet with me). Over drinks she related that she really was interested in me and was just very shy at first. We talked. She asked me meaningful questions about my daughter, my life and not how many cars I had. The next day we got medical tests and all was well.
In the following days we hit it off great! On one occasion we walked by a Buddhist shrine and she paused to say a prayer. She lit some incense sticks, which I, having been raised Catholic, equated to lighting candles in the church. I respectfully waited and then asked her what she asked Buddha for? She said she asked Buddha for me to be a good man and that things work out between us. WOW! What a wonderful compliment! I can’t say any broad in the states ever sought divine intervention regarding me, although I’ve been cursed a time or two. It’s my understanding you can technically be a Buddhist monk and Catholic priest at the same time, because the two ideologies do not conflict. Very cool!
We got know each other completely over the next few days (even prior to my having to buy expensive jewelry) and it all went very well. When I did take her to get engagement jewelry the clerk presented her with a range of necklaces of varying cost. She turned to me and actually had the courtesy to ask which she could have. I told her to pick anything she liked. She then picked one in the mid range. I thought that was a good omen. She never asked me for money or brought the subject up save the dowry. She paid for our taxi rides a few times before I could get out my money. That never happened with #2.
We are now engaged. She told me she did not want to do the Buddhist blessing ceremony since she felt that would be a needless expense on me. She asked if I would mind paying a 100,000 baht ($3,000) dowry to her mom who takes care of her son? I said no problem. It’s my understanding that a fair dowry is between $2,500 and $3,000 so she was not being over the top. She asked if she could bring her son to the states after a few years. I said sure. I like kids, do not have a son and I enjoy being a parent.
I’m nuts about this girl and I am working on getting her a visa to come to the states where, if all goes well, I intend to marry her during her 3 month visa time.
Cost of the trip:
In total I believe the entire trip cost me about $9400. That included everything from the TPI fee, air fare, airport parking, hotels, taxis, medical tests, pocket money etc… Do keep in mind that I wasted about $1400 on lady #2 and $200 on the electronic dictionary. Had I stayed at the Fortuna I would have saved more money.
I do feel that my trip to Thailand has paid off. At one point I thought I was not going to be successful. I was mentally prepared for that outcome prior to the trip telling myself if it did not work out I at least got a trip to Southeast Asia out of it. Okay, so I was rationalizing to minimize the disappointment of potential failure.
I am pleased with the services TPI provided. They genuinely did make more than an honest effort to find me a good girl. I believe they do the match making, because they enjoy it. No one can guarantee success since luck surely plays a big part in the outcome.
I fully realize the whole thing may yet unravel on me and my view of the final outcome could end up being negative. The trip was an adventure. I must accept it as just that. All adventures have a strong element of risk and uncertainty in them, otherwise they would not be an adventure would they?
Well there it is. I hope this has been instructive. I’ve tried to be honest. Gentlemen, PLEASE learn from my errors. A girl will give you small clues revealing their true motivations. LOOK FOR THEM! I wish all of you the best and hope you will do the same for me.