Roller Coaster Part 1
Having finished with my marriage to a Thai lady having met some 13 years ago in Europe as well as the pressure of the financial climate of 08, I was not expecting what a roller coaster ride that I was to take in my personal life.
I had been doing business in Thailand since the mid 80s and been traveling there many times every year since. It was a surprise having travelled back and forth, and having a high-so Thai girls lodging at my house in Europe that it was on my home turf that I would meet my ex. It was not the lodger, her sisters who came to stay or my lodger's friends.
The ex spouse Thai Chinese came from a middle class family who had a good job. Her family had a factory and shops and was the head in her department and a virgin when we married. We met on a project on her short visit here, a romance takes place, a mother to win over, a sin-sod to sort out, all with the help of another Thai mother I adapted from a high-so family. The story of how it was worked out, engagement, and ceremony will have to wait for another time as it was not straight forward and had its own excitement. We married lived in Europe and produced a child. Over the proceeding years our business, investments, and standing in the community were all going in the right direction – up – and then when you sit back and relax all hell breaks loose!
When things are going well you think you can handle anything but you just do not know what is coming around the corner. For me it was a family disaster, hit me, near killed me, another story in its own right. So bad were the days I wanted to die, I was a zombie in action, and when I laughed it was not felt inside, the depths of despair I had never felt before. I fall into a depression that clearly affected our marriage and where my ex could not totally understand and could not handle. It was a difficult situation for all the family. My direction out could have easily been drink but instead it turned out to be work and inner containment, not a good cocktail. I should have had professional help. I can see that now but not then.
When the money disaster of 2008 happened one major client closed his cheque book and left us high and dry. I put some major options to my ex as to what we could do to overcome things and ride out the storm. She clearly did not like them as after hearing the options within a few months she filed for divorce which then I did not want or agree with. We have assets in Asia and Europe so she was going to come out of it very well. I recall one comment during the settlement that she said she should have done it some years previously as we were worth a lot more then! The facts are that any girlfriend, spouse from any nationality or from any country, not only Thais, will always come down to security and money. It's a basic prime female instinct. We, the hunters, cannot live with them but cannot live without them. The only option is turning gay and that's not an option for me.
I sailed the storm of the divorce and 9 months later has a lot less in the pocket. There were assets still to sort out but single again, I had to start to rebuild my personal life.
Having been doing business in Thailand since the 80s, twelve years before I met my ex and entertained many a clients in the high Thai fun club, as well as the three fun streets for foreigners, there is very little I have not experienced or seen from the very low in the back streets early morning clubs (dives) to the very high in girl entertainment. Single again and with one of the largest projects our company had which we hoped would weather us from the uncertain business involvements of the coming year, I started for another order to the factory in Thailand.
Working with Thai workers is not easy but it can be rewarding. You just have to approach things differently, especially with the factory visits to get the quality and service you want. On this project I would make five visits and spending no shorter then a month to six weeks per visit over ten months to sort out all that was going to go wrong, a total lost in profit and time. Not totally the factory's fault but their suppliers. I could have left it with them, but I know if I did not put the time helping in sorting it out, they would put it aside the day I left hoping it would disappear. The Thais do not like pressure and thinking outside the box. At the same time I was getting lots of pressure from my ex as she wanted the lion's share of the assets and this major project was going belly up. All good fun if you can handle it. Beam me up Scotty, every day I asked but he never did. I just had to handle it day by day and work through it.
It was on my second visit on this order with two weeks in that this story begins…..
After the second factory visit, I could see the extent of the problems and did not have any good solutions. I left the factory for the evening despondent, needing some time to think about why it was all going wrong and where to go from here. I needed to clear my head and a beer to relax. Having had dinner I went into a well known bar area and started to take to the bars one by one. Having one drink per bar, on my third which I had previously been to many times, I sat down. The service girl asked what I wanted and went to get my drink and placed it in front of me while I was looking up at the gogo girls on the stage. The service girl stayed beside me and after a short time bent down to my level and said "Hello, can I sit here?"
I turned and looked into a wonderful smile which capsulated me and I froze…
And it's all going to be downhill from here! Hehe, we can see where this is going – and we will enjoy reading about it as we always do!