The How, Where & Why of My Thai Wife Story FINAL
My conclusions and thoughts follow in this final part which is broken down into relevant sections:
My mindset from the start
This is the path that I decided to take, therefore what I find, what I get and what I end up with is all of my own making.
I went in with my eyes wide open, was not looking for a fairy tale and my highly refined bull shit detectors were set to the maximum
I must keep an OPEN MIND always and at all times.
I was not searching for a ‘piece of meat’ during my wife selection period, rather a person who has their own thoughts and feelings, a companion to grow old with, an equal, someone to laugh with and love forever. (This may sound twee but I honestly cannot think of any better grounds on which to search for someone to marry and be your life partner.)
By the way, I had lived for 3 months in Singapore and 12 months in Hong Kong back in the early 90’s so had already acquired some appreciation of Asian culture and thinking.
Cultures (Mia’s and mine)
She is Asian, I am Western – it’s as simple as that. Keep this at the forefront of my mind at all times in our daily interactions within our relationship.
Her way (culture) is not the right way, the wrong way or the only way and exactly the same goes for me and my culture. Full respect is to be given from both sides on all occasions. There would be NO belittling or running down of the other's ways.
I knew that from time to time whilst living for the two months up in Thailand, there would be times when I would want to say to Mia “But at home we do things this way” or “You’d never find that happening that way back in Farangland”…
So I swore a promise to myself if I ever felt myself about to blurt anything like that out of my mouth, to instantly button my mouth, stop and think and refer back to the first paragraph of this culture section.
Then later on in a quiet moment simply ask her why things happen this way or that way with Thai people in Thailand and try to understand and appreciate her answer.
Now as the months together pass I have become used to Mia’s little quirks and ways. Now actually they are special, they make me smile very warmly to her because it’s her ways, it’s who she is and at the same time I feel that the same is reciprocated from Mia. (Sure, I have many quirky ways she finds strange, such as biting my nails!)
Interestingly Thai friends are not important to her at all. She realizes that if you ‘be friend’ some one in Thailand, sooner or later (usually sooner) they will ask to borrow money from you – and all it really would be is a gift and not a loan which you could count on ever being paid back.
I would appear to have chosen very well. Mia is well balanced, emotionally stable, has a fantastic self esteem, has a desire of the western world and eyes open. We do not and never could discuss rocket science but Thai news items, world new items and what’s happening locally for us we can discuss with ease.
Language (Thai & English)
In part 3 I discussed the fact that Memee had taught herself to speak, write and read English. This blew me away and I found it encouraged me to desire to learn to speak Thai. After all, is it not fair as if my wife had made a great effort to learn my language, should I not equally try to learn her mother tongue? As it happened from our first meeting together she was talking Thai to me calling me baa baa baaw baaw and ting tong! She had great fun explaining the Thai translations to me. Memee has not been one of those Thai girls who do not wish you to learn Thai at any cost, just in case you know what the yare chatting to their friends about you.
So now 14 months later, I speak Thai at an advanced tourist level. I make sure we talk in Thai and English at home with a 50 / 50 split. I try and learn (and remember them, that’s the hard bit!) 2 or 3 new Thai words every day. I shall take Stick's advice on out next visit to Thailand and start to read the signs everywhere.
The Sin Sot
Is it right or is it wrong or is it still applicable? Well there are many writings in Stick's readers submissions about this and most are negative.
However my view I think, takes a contrarian way of looking at this, a different thinking and logic and it goes like this (remember I am a business person);
Q) In life, what is the value to YOU of something you have not paid for?
A) For most people probably not much, maybe the item could be seen as ‘Disposable Goods’!!!
Q) Is it not true, that If you have made an investment into something that usually you are motivated to nurture and look after that investment of yours and that you desire to see a good return out of that investment?
A) Paying a sin sot gets you to put your money where you mouth is, or maybe that should be where your heart is. You would never invest in something that you did not believe in… Would YOU?
So for me, paying a sin sot has bought me a far greater respect for my chosen life partner. <I assume you meant what you say here, "bought" and not "brought"
– Stick> I do not wish to see that investment walking out of the door, ever.
Money has never created any issues between us. I wanted my Thai wife not to work when she accompanied me back home down under. I wanted a companion so we spend most of our time together. We are growing a small home-based Thai food takeaway business for Mia.
Mia tested me in the beginning, shopping trips etc and I tested her too. I give her money to pay a bill with and see if she offered the change back to me. If she did I would say thank you and keep the change. Then a little later sometimes I would say you keep the change, then next time take the change – just to keep her on her toes.
I provide for her parents each month. Just 3,000 baht a month – that’s it.
The buffalo has never been ill!! Never been requests for the parents needing an operation etc etc –
Mia is low maintenance; never asks for money, she does not like the fashion down under, so has bought minimal clothes over the last 9 months down under. <Take her to Sydney. Not only is it a fantastic city, the clothes shopping in Australia is MUCH better than in New Zealand. Most Thai women I know love New Zealand but there is one universal complaint and that is the selection of clothes available – Stick> We will spend up in Big C and Tesco Lotus when we go back and buy Mia her stylish Thai clothes to update her wardrobe.
Occasionally she goes to the ATM and draws a bit of her money left from the sin sot after she had paid for the wedding etc, to buy items she wants for herself.
We appear not to have any areas that are contentious in our marriage – NO NOISE!
I shall however ensure that I am always worth more to Mia alive than dead!!!
I’m sure most western men have witnessed the fascination and desire that Thai girls have for that precious of all metals; gold!! So after we were married and back from honeymoon, I thought it would be a nice thing to buy us both some gold for us to wear.
I set some ground rules, which went like this;
I will make an investment in some Thai gold jewellery (I realized that Thais use this as a currency and investment).
I believe that gold is going to appreciate, and there will be a day when I will want to sell the gold to see an appreciation of my investment in Thai gold.
We can enjoy wearing the gold until it is the right time to sell the gold.
I also felt I wanted to give my new Mia a subtle message about whose gold (money) it was. So I went ahead and I bought 3 Thai baht of gold – I wear 2 baht and she wears just the 1 baht!!
Once living back down under I used (past tense) play a game with Mia which went like this. We would go supermarket shopping and at the checkout I would say “If you can guess to the nearest rounded dollar how much the shopping is, I’ll buy you 1 baht of Thai gold. Well we played this game for a number of weeks, and then one week, yes you guessed it, she guessed right! Ha ha ha… So now when we go back in April this year – I will buy Mai that second baht of Thai gold.
Good to hear everything is going well. It's not my place to offer a suggestion into what you say is a very happy marriage, but if I may make one suggestion, that is to get the business up and running quickly so she has some income of her own to do with as she pleases. I get the feeling you drip feed to her as you see fit which may not give her the freedom she deserves.