Stickman Readers' Submissions May 21st, 2010

Westerner’s Wives in Northeast Thailand, A Dismal Lot?

Jayson has stirred some interesting debate, his views are deemed by some to be to harsh, in general I find them bordering on the brutally honest.

My views on his submission do of course not agree in total, some of his opinion of course could have offended me, but of course those things are water off a duck’s back.

He Clinic Bangkok

On Jayson’s scale of “Typical Thai women with farangs in. Thailand” my wife fits some of his criteria.

1. Yes, she is from the impoverished northeast

6. Potentially she could be viewed as unattractive or below average looks.

CBD bangkok

She is from the northeast, Udon in fact. Udon does seem to be one of the great bastions and producers of whores in Thailand.

Appearance, yes she is short, but not dark skinned, she has been spoken to in Cantonese, Japanese and Lao both in BKK and overseas.

She certainly pales in the looks department compared to the girls you see on TV and she would not be a sought after girl in a hi-so Thai orientated BKK soapy. She lacks the looks of the dark skinned super, sexy whores which some farangs find so appealing, but she gets many glances from both Thai and western men.

Whilst on holiday near Rayong, a Chiang Mai grandmother of a holidaying dynasty consisting of her children, their partners and children, staying at the same Thai orientated hotel, said to my wife, words to the effect of “it is good of you and your husband to bring your maid and her son to the beach”. The “maid” is my wife’s sister, a school teacher, but who is much darker skinned than my wife. It could have just been a superb case of Thai one-upmanship, or just that skin tone bias Thais proliferate and propagate, through the media and their ingrained snobbery.

wonderland clinic

On Jayson’s list 2 where he defines “normal Thai girl” my wife is full pass on all of his criteria. She never dreamed of marrying a farang and her father certainly never thought of his daughter being involved with one. My foot in the door was my daily visits to his house during our first meeting and introductory phase, courting phase and now virtually constant presence when in Thailand, it is not easy to impress a traditional girl or her family.

List 3, resonated around the “normal Thai women’s preference in men”. I agree with him on most of his priority sequence, but also with the proviso, a farang with some Thai language skill can break up a couple of grades, and if his manners, actions and some understanding of Thai culture are of a very high standard he can move up.

I shall describe my wife a little. I am only doing this so readers will gain some insight to her character, and the way a girl from the northeast, does not have to fit the stereotypical woman involved with a westerner from the “impoverished northeast”.

She was vocational college graduate, did university by distance learning, was a virgin until her wedding night, never had a boyfriend Thai or western until I blundered upon her little world.

Never smoked or drank, was never allowed outside the house at night, does not gamble and certainly would never be seen unchaperoned in public with a man not from her immediate family.

Dresses highly conservatively, she now has liking for 1950’s style floral print dresses, complete with hat and gloves on some occasions. She saw the fashion in one of my mother’s old fashion magazines and photos from the internet of the way Asian women dressed in that era. Sometimes she looks like the backbone of the Country Women’s Association in Australia or the Women’s Institute in the UK and her current hero is Audrey Hepburn, so trawling the charity shops is her hobby looking for clothes to compliment her style.

An usual style for sure but I would rather she looked like that than somebody who had just been patrolling Walking Street or Suk the week before.

A highly conservative girl, who is highly intolerant of bad manners in others, especially those she deems who degrade her, and by that I mean the what seems to be the majority of wives or girlfriends of westerners in her home province.

Are They a Dismal Lot?

What will follow will upset some readers no doubt, but it is from my observations and obviously will have some generalisations as its basis, but step back and look at the type of woman I will be commenting upon.

Some westerners are involved with women who fit Jayson’s stereotype and mine, that shall follow. These westerners are happy with their choice of partner and some no doubt have wonderful relationships. But it is not their hidden qualities I am discussing but how they appear to other Thais and more observant westerners.

They look like whores or ex-whores. It is just a look they have, their skin colour, their speech, mannerisms, walk and style of dress. It is not hard to spot them – they dominate in Thai / farang relationships you see, they do not move, like, for want of better words, a better class of Thai girl and they walk in a certain way.

A terrible splay footed walk, seems predominant. It looks like they never wore shoes until they put on their first set of thigh high boots as they grabbed the chrome pole for the first time, dreaming of a fortune, not about the unusual sexual tastes of their future customers, naughty Klaus, Stem or Nigel. Watch the way girls who work in government offices / banks / university walk. It is not that terrible splay footed walk, common amongst the target group.

Why do so many in the target group, still dress like whores, when they do not have to? Short dresses, shorts, tattoo visible, some try to make the effort to dress up but their lack of fashion sense and style seems to bubble to the surface.

Of course some of the whores can carry off dressing in style, but that is mainly due to their western partner creating a style for the girl – if he has the knowledge and she has the raw material to make it work

Some Thai girls not in the target group wear short shorts or dresses, but they are in company with Thai men, so are safe from the judgement that those with farangs suffer. The girls might be loose, or too sexy for polite society but they are safe from the stigma of being a whore.

Whilst at the land office to buy a piece of land my wife wanted, my wife’s father commented on the clothes being worn by a girl at another counter – very short shorts, shirt without sleeves, the shorts were so tight, her mons venus was prominently displayed. No doubt in Pattaya or Nana a sight for any monger, my father in law said the girl looked like a whore. The girl was an ex-partner of a western bar owner in town, so I said to my father in law, yes, she is a whore.

She looks like a super sexed up 14 year old. When she was a go-go girl in Pattaya she would have certainly appealed to that end of the market who desire that look, but walk with her in BKK and you're not going to be invited to the Bangkok Sports and Social Club morning tea.

The lady my wife was buying the land from is a loyal domestic servant for Thai-Chinese family and her big haired boss was there to help her domestic complete the business correctly. She had never met my wife or myself before. She said to my wife that she did not look like a mia farang. What does a mia farang look like I thought? I looked at mons venus girl and knew the answer immediately.

Speech, that great divide of Thai society. Talk and everybody puts you in a pigeon hole. Yes, you are classified that quickly.

The target group seem to speak such revolting Lao language. It really is gutter talk, so horrible it makes better educated Thais cringe.

Why do these couples in the main not seem to have developed better language skills in each others' language? Their conversations seem to be of the level of whore and customer from their first meeting. Banal conversations, held at a level equal to that of semi literate children, what is worse is if the farang in question's first language is not English. Was Peter Sellars impersonating a comic Frenchman the role model for these men?

Is it because of education level of the woman, her lack of real desire to speak English correctly or just plain laziness, or that whores general standby theory of don’t let your farang / customer know too much, that is something only those couples know.

Language can open and shut doors so quickly in Thailand. Speak like a whore and you’re a whore. Speak like a farang who learnt his Thai language around whores and you’re a monger. No way out of it and never commit the ultimate mistake of mixing a Lao word in a Thai language sentence.

A treat for Sunday lunch at the very good Irish Clock appealed to me. During the quiet times during the mid week it is a very good place to eat in a provincial town, but on Sunday it is the equivalent of a whores and ex-whores and their partners impromptu meeting. It is terrible! You could be sitting at any of the farang bars in the promised lands further south, the conversations are woeful between them. If any westerners and their non whore or ex-whore partners were there, I apologise, if I did not spot you in my 10-minute stay.

The theory that the bar life seems to prematurely age these women seems to hold true in most cases. They look pretty ragged compared to women of a similar age who work in a bank or government office.

Watch the posture when they sit, unless they seem to concentrate. It seems like they will suddenly slouch in their chair, with their legs apart, advertising what her customers and partner used to pay 1000 baht for.

I am not a whore or ex-whore hater. It is just the majority seem to have an unwritten mandate to devaluate “normal” Thai girls married to westerners.

As westerners, it seems to crack the “normal girl” market you must put considerable work into it. Ok you might be a very handsome man and can pull a girl somewhere on RCA, but moving up to the step of being invited to her family home is going to be a huge step for us less than handsome or rich types. It is hard work and plenty of effort.

Whores are easier by far, their standards are lower. “Lower you say, it cost me 20,000 a month to keep her out of the bar”! Yes, remember last week she was being done in the back door by a fat farang or 3 punters playing water sports. Yes kindly forget that part of her past as you pursue your lives together and good luck.

As my knowledge of things which are acceptable to “normal” Thai society increase, I am sure I could upgrade to a more up market model than my current wife, if I desired, but she is the one who redefined me, she made me acceptable for a “traditional girl”.

Stickman's thoughts:

While your observations would be valid for some couples, I thought they were a little on the harsh side. Slagging off use of the Lao language as you did seems particularly harsh. Would you say the same to someone from Newcastle, Manchester or Liverpool in England or perhaps Georgia or South Carolina in the US? I bet you wouldn't!

But I am with you when you say that some of these women are very sloppy and carefree and don't make an effort to respect THEIR CULTURE. Once out of the bar many seem to make no real effort to improve themselves, in fact some seem to almost make the effort to let people know that yes, they did use to work in a bar! It's one thing being poor and working in a bar, but if you marry a decent guy and have a chance to improve yourself and perhaps slowly shed your past skin, it's amazing that some don't. Or perhaps they can't?

nana plaza