Find The Gold In The Rubble
I am from Germany and always travelled, all my life. But I always avoided Thailand, because I thought it looked ridiculous to go there without a wife.
Everyone would assume I'm just a sex tourist.
As I turned 40 and still had no wife to go with me I reconsidered Thailand. Mostly because I ran out of interesting places. And because I hoped for some reason, that I may find a good wife there. I negotiated a little with my boss and suddenly had about 60 days off.
So I started my research in the net and found Stickyman and learned all I could about Thailand and especially Bangkok. Since I already read about Pattaya and Patong I thought Bangkok was my best chance for my quest for love. Sounded easy enough to start there and maybe find someone to explore the rest of Thailand with.
With my backpack, a guide to Bangkok and a clear destination (Khao San Road), I boarded my plane and waited for things to come.
Did not get far. Maybe some folks here fly with Emirates, you have to change planes in Dubai.
At 3 AM there was a big discussion at my gate and I went there to investigate. My flight was cancelled. No one knew for how long, some people with yellow T-Shirts just stormed the new airport in Bangkok!
Was stuck in Dubai for 3 days before I decided to go out to Malaysia and from there by train to Thailand. So after 6 days of travel I arrived at the place I wanted to go last. Or almost last.
The bus from the train station spat me out at Patong Beach.
This could be a white Patong newbie in tourist scam central story, but it is not. I travelled all my life and you don't do that without some experience. Yet Patong was not exactly my research focus and I did not really know any prices and locations.
On my first tour in daylight I talked more than in days. If you are a white farang in Patong, every few meters you hear “Taxi Taxi!”, “Want a suit ?” “Tuktuk!” and “massage massage !”
Being polite I said “no thanks” like some litany all the way.
Till one of the massage girls answered: Warum? (German for “why ?”)
I went back and asked if I looked that much like a German and then we talked like one hour. She was learning German and seemed to like German people and I promised her to come back the next day for my first ever Thai massage.
Which I did, and thus I found out, that Thai massage is bad for your health. Even in the famous Wat Po temple (that I tried for reference) it's more than I want to take. Or exactly, can take and relax at the same time. You have been warned.
Since oil massage is only like 100 baht more, I stuck to that one ever since (they can't get such a good grip with oil)
The shop was also a beauty salon and I cut my hair and had a shave there. Nathanee was very funny and reasonably good looking, so I remembered my quest for love and promised to be back the next day for an oil massage.
That night I hit the Bangla Road bar scene for the first time and was impressed. Even took one lady for long time.
Next day the oil massage was fun, much better than Thai and I talked more with Nathanee.
About better and cheaper rooms, prices in general and I also talked about what I wanted to find, a nice girl that I could take on holiday through Thailand and maybe even marry some day.
She seemed interested and I talked a little more with her outside of the shop at the table where the other girls sat around and waited for customers.
That was when I first saw Anny. I had already seen more beautiful girls in Thailand, but she was special, and I thought at once: this one I could fall in love with…
But I was already negotiating with Nathanee and to make matters worse, the 3 of us went to a nearby 7 Eleven where she wanted an ice cream… and Anny just took one, too. 2 ladies at the shop already did something for me and I had no problem with a little tip for Nathanee, but I just met Anny and refused to pay for her ice cream. (In the end I paid for it anyway and learned much later that she threw it away). Big fuss and hurt feelings (I angry you !) and that was possibly the worst start I have ever had in any relationship with a girl.
In the evening I went back to Bangla Road and wanted to try the lady from last night again, only to be confronted with an unexpected problem. I was hardly able to find the bar where I met her and all those faces looked the same to me.
I think there are about 9 different types of looks for a Thai lady. As long as they are from different types, you can distinguish them. If they all are from the same type, crawling about each other in matching suits like in Bangla Road, a newbie has a hard time to identify the right one. I am still not sure if I found her, but I did not go home alone either.
By now I was a little more used to Pattaya, and enjoyed the beach and the time. The night ladies never made it into the day and everyday I had to pass Nathanee's shop on the way to the beach. I would say hello every time and chat a little, sometimes even take a massage. I liked her a lot and still talked about my plans to travel the rest of Thailand, but I think she wanted a “better” man and did not want to come along (by now she had married some German DJ and is pregnant, expecting her baby any day). But she suggested Anny, and even though my heart had a clear opinion on that I said: “She is still angry, I guess she'll murder me in my sleep”.
It did not really improve matters that I walked into a disco (FBI) with some stunning beautiful lady and met her there. We had a brief conversation before I went back to my companion, but Anny was obviously not very happy.
BTW, that stunning beauty was just that. Beautiful. But she could not talk a single word in English and would only sit there and smile like some nice doll. I admit that this was the only girl I ever barfined and did not take home. I like to connect a little bit to the ladies and this was straight impossible. Of course meeting Anny did not really improve my mood, too.
Next day I went to the shop again, and this time I had a long conversation with Anny. She can speak good English and I found out, why she had something, that I did not see in any other face in Patong: She is from Laos.
Well, after some more trouble, drama and 2 more weeks we set out and really had a good time throughout Thailand. Seldom have I had better advice than: bring your long haired translation book…
Actually, it went so far that I wanted to take her home to visit me. I wanted to make a tourist visa, but she warned me of the German consulate in Phuket. Looks like they are pretty infamous on the subject. If you are from Germany and consider a visit by your loved one, Bangkok might be the better approach. (Of course that can be hearsay, but I know that Nathanee tried to get tourist visas several times and the first time she actually got a visa was, when she opted for a visa to marriage.)
Since I was in the north already (golden triangle) we decided to go to Laos and make a visa there. The list of papers was easy enough and I was about to start getting them, when the embassy told me: Don't forget, that the invitation to Germany can only be obtained IN Germany.
I think most of the people that read to this point have the problem, that their loved one does not have a lot of money, but depends on a sponsor (yes, YOU) to get her home.
Well, if you are from Germany, and you just met the lady of your dreams, don't get carried away. You need an invitation and you only get it in Germany. And I would not set my hopes on an easy visa, if your love is from Thailand. The embassy in Laos was more relaxed on that issue.
By now Anny was in Germany 2 times and we married last month.
She is reasonably uncorrupted in spite of the shady place I found her and who am I to judge on her what she did before with her customers? Also, it seems that Laos girls have another advantage. I read about Thai ladies that do not appreciate gifts of love. That they discard them as soon as convenient. Anny still has everything I gave her, maybe because I made it clear that we are finished if she ever “misplaces” anything.
Everybody I know likes her and she has a fan club of girls in the neighbourhood that like to play with her. She wants to increase that number significantly on her own and I think it will be a hard fight to limit it to 2.
Anyway, that is my story. It is possible to find gold in the rubble. It's not easy, you need luck and caution and never forget that gold tends to slip through your fingers, after you have found it.
But it is out there…