The Unexpected, Part III
In reference to the request for where are they now stories, I give you The Unexpected, Part III.
If you recall, I met Fon by chance on the social networking site, Facebook. For those out of touch with reality, Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the world with over 500 million users, not an internet dating site. We struck up an immediate friendship. I was not looking for a girlfriend, especially from another country, and especially not from Thailand, as I had travelled to the LOS many times and had learnt enough about Thai women to turn me off their wicked ways.
Out of pure bored interest, we started talking every day, mostly on MSN and Skype, and our friendship quickly developed out of mutual respect for each other. Fon has a University degree and works in the financial sector in Bangkok, is of Thai-Chinese decent and comes from a respectable Bangkok family. She has a car (supplied by her father) and drives to work each day.
After three months our friendship had developed to a point I decided to bring forward my planned trip to Bangkok. I go to Thailand 2 – 3 times per year, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. These days I have no interest in the bargirl scene, and simply go for the cheap accommodation, good food, cold beer and the chance to escape reality for a few weeks on one of the many islands. These days, I don't go near the naughty nightlife. I've never had a problem getting laid, so I prefer not to screw prostitutes, but, if it’s your thing then I say go ahead and screw your brains out, whatever makes you happy I say.
As mentioned in The Unexpected, Part II, my trip to Bangkok to meet Fon was an amazing adventure, and we had a fantastic time together, and both quickly realised we had something worth pursuing and plans were made for future trips to Bangkok so we would get to know each other more thoroughly. During that first trip, she didn’t stay with me at my hotel, not once, and this was fine with me. We spent every day together (nights after she finished work at 5pm) and she went home every night.
Over a 12 month period, I visited Fon three times, and we spoke ever day on MSN or Skype, and once or twice a week on the phone. I met the family and spent time with her friends, who are all of similar education and social standing and all in long term relationships, although not with westerners. Fon is the only one of her friends to ever date a western man. By this time we had made a commitment to each other and formed a relationship.
After 12 months it became obvious a decision had to be made, if we wanted to be together we had to do something about our living arrangements. I was in Australia, she was in Bangkok. I don’t care how “solid” a relationship is, no relationship can grow if you’re 7,000 km apart. After little debate, it was obvious our only chance at success was for Fon to relocate to Australia. It was at this point things started to become real, and serious thought had to be put into this next step.
So far, I calculated the main reasons for our successful relationship related directly to a number of key points. I wasn’t blind to this, I knew the success rate for western and Asian relationships was low, especially western male and Thai female, but I started to write down some key points for success, and this is what I came up with:
Very good English skills
Never been involved in the bar scene (Little to no knowledge of the scene)
Her age was close to mine (I’m 34, she’s 28)
University educated (possible employment opportunities in Australia)
No children – never married before
High moral values (Traditional Thai)
Not from Isaan (I don’t have anything against Isaan girls, but I have no interest in a girl who lives / lived in a third world village)
I don’t have to sponsor her visa; she is financially able to support herself through her current savings
Never, ever asked me for a single baht
Solid, supportive family
Not a drug user – not a smoker – very very light drinker
Of course, I also thought she was a fantastic girl, who made me laugh and made me feel like the luckiest man in the world. Oh and she was stunning, I mean thoroughbred stunning. Tall, light skinned and without the surfboard body most Thai girls seem to be dealt.
Fon agreed our best option for a successful future was for her to relocate to Australia. The next step was to tell her family, and to be honest, I was dreading this. She went to her grandmother first, as this woman is the top of the food chain in the family, and has a bond with Fon I have never seen before (more on this later). Surprisingly, Grandma was all for it, actually, she was all for anything that may give her granddaughter the opportunity to succeed in life, and I’m not talking about “marrying a rich farang”. I’m talking about the opportunity to further study in Australia and gain her Master’s Degree.
So, with grandma out of the way, it was down to mum and dad. This, surprisingly, also went well. They said they expected this to happen as they knew we had become close and knowing their daughter, and the fact she hadn’t been in many relationships, they could see she had “found the one” and would want to make a life of her own. Her parents supported her move to Australia, and her father gave her 100,000 baht as a little help for travelling expenses.
The next stage was the visa, we knew we needed to do this properly, as we expected to be looking for a number of different visa options in the future; we wanted her first visa to be 100% on the money. Where to go from here, as there was any number of “visa agents” on the internet. Well, I went to the only man I knew that could probably point me in the right direction. I emailed Stick and was informed of an Australian Visa Agent who was of respectable character and offered a professional service.
I won’t name this person here, if you want to know this person’s contact details email me or Stick, but let me assure you, this is some of the very best service I have ever received. 100% professional at all times. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending him to any Australian looking for a visa for their Thai girlfriend. It was worth every cent, I had no idea there was so much involved in the visa process. Take my advice, don’t tackle this alone, pay the money and hire a qualified visa agent. He does EVERYTHING, all you need to do is supply HONEST information when he requests and the rest is taken care of.
The Tourist Visa was secured, we went for a Tourist Visa as we thought it was important for Fon to visit for 3 months to experience Australia and decide if she liked the country and my city first, before we go and apply for anything more permanent. As a result of Fon’s unquestionable character, and the fact she was able to financially support herself in Australia, she was also appointed a “multiple entry visa” along with an option to “extend her visa without leaving Australia”. I am told these options are rare to unheard of for single Thai females.
Note: I paid for the Visa and Visa agent.
The next step was to secure a return plane ticket; the decision was made to stay in Australia for 3 months (the length of her tourist visa) and then return to Bangkok to visit her family and then make a decision as to whether she liked Australia (and me) enough to return.
At the time of writing, her 3-month visa is about to expire and we are both going to Bangkok next week for 10 days to visit her family. I contacted our trusty visa agent, and he has assisted us in applying and securing a 3 month extension to her tourist visa, this was all done on-line without Fon having to leave Australia. This now allows her to stay in Australia until the very end of the year, at which time we will again make a decision regarding our next step.
Note: She paid for her initial return ticket on Thai Airways.
Note: she paid for her ticket back to Australia on Air Asia
It became obvious from the very beginning this was not a girl who was happy to sit at home while I was at work every day, which was good, because that is not the girl I want in my life. We are lucky in the fact I own a small business, and while she is unable to work due to her Tourist visa regulations and we intend to adhere to theses regulations, she comes into the office with me three days a week and takes care of me. The other two days she is at home. My apartment has never been so clean, and for a girl who has never cooked in her life, she has discovered she has a real skill for cooking and is always coming up with something new. These days, it’s actually a struggle to get her to cook Thai food, she loves trying different western food every night, although she does get her spicy Thai salad every Sunday for the local markets. For all this I give her $300 per week to do with as she pleases. She saves some, helps with the groceries, helps with incidentals and sends a little to her mother. I think this process works better than me just paying outright for everything, it gives her some independence and lets her feel she is contributing to the home, which I have worked out, is very very important to her. When she eventually secures a more permanent visa which allows her to work, she will become a part time employee of my business handling the administration and accounting duties, and also study part time.
I remember the day she arrived in Australia; I live in a regional city so I had to fly to Brisbane to meet her at the International Airport. I really can’t describe the feeling I had while waiting in the arrivals lounge; it was one of excitement and to be honest, a little apprehensive. I watched a couple of “less reputable” Thai females arrive before her, and I started thinking, what have I done. But all my worries were put to rest when she walked through the doors.
We spoke at length about possible issues she may have on arrival in Australia, mostly with bitchy, overweight female bush pigs working in Immigration. I had heard many stories of these giant water buffaloes giving young, slim and attractive and solo Thai female a hard time on arrival. But, as luck would have it, she was seated on the plane next to a Thai gentleman in his 50’s who was travelling to Australia to visit his son who was at university in Brisbane. They spoke most of the 9-hour flight; Fon informed him it was her first trip overseas and was worried she may get lost or do the wrong thing on Arrival. This Good Samaritan told her not to worry, that he would keep an eye on her. As such, she followed him through immigration and I suspect would have looked like his daughter, and she didn’t have any problems, although she did ask me why the fat lady in immigration looked so angry all the time, I just laughed and told her it’s because she's hungry.
So that’s it so far, she has been here for nearly three months, my family just adore her, she has struck up a good bond with my mum and her English, while excellent, is getting better and better every day. When I get some time I will put together a submission on life in Australia with Fon so far, which will include how I saved her from a run-in with a dodgy individual who tried to grab her and get her into his car, a terrifying experience for an Asian female in a western country, and how she found herself face to face with a 5m snake in the North Queensland rainforest, how she overcame her inability to understand "right of way" when driving and how I overcame the most frustrating thing of all, the "Thai Silence" I get when she is faced with a question she doesn't like.
I will say one more thing, since meeting Fon, I have found there is a plethora of single, respectable, clean living, employed and educated women living in Bangkok, who are only too happy to meet a single western male (of similar moral and social standing). Get out of Sukhumvit and expose yourself to the real heart of Thailand. Meet different people and don't be afraid to take it slow.
I assure you it’s not all clear sailing; we have had some ups and downs, but mostly ups.
Wonderful positive story – may things continue to go well for you both!