Another Thai Love Song
I met up with my Thai woman last October for a week in a small seaside town. The hotel was clean, near the beach, with cable, and wireless, there was a nearby restaurant which served excellent Isaan food. It was a good set-up. I only saw her twice, at
most three times, a year, in the 3 years I had known her, so I tried to make the time we had together fun. In the meantime I was sending her money as requested, and bringing her the gifts that she requested. It wasn't cheap.
The previous holiday in the same hotel had been excellent; afterwards I felt more committed and thought that if she wanted us to have a baby that it would be a good idea. This time though was different. She was uninterested in what I had to say. After day 2, the intimacy stopped. She spent most of the time watching Thai TV. I tried not to overreact – I may have sulked a little – and thought: I will allow her the time to show herself.
One evening we were in a restaurant and there was another farang / Thai couple nearby. She said,"You see. Old man with old woman. You lucky." I'm 52, she's 33.
Funny, I didn't feel lucky, I felt bored and alone.
The little insults which she liberally gave which I used to find charming and proof we were close: cheap, lazy, smelly. These started to grate.
"You skin same like pork. If have baby, not want baby have skin same you."
It's not easy being a freckle faced frying pan. My deep thanks to my Irish ancestors for giving me a skin best suited to a bat cave.
At the end of the week she went off to Isaan for a quick visit. I caught up with her in Bangkok for a night. She was much kinder, much more needy and urgent. I don't know if it was the days spent back in the village that reminded her of the poverty and why she was doing this, or if she only had to deal with me for a day, or if she had sensed that I was slipping from my moorings. But I had seen how things were and wouldn't change. I didn't decide straight away. It's not that easy to end a relationship, no matter how pointless it is, when you have nothing to replace it with. She would call me almost every day back in Oz. I avoided the calls. I ended up switching off my phone. As time passed, I became coldly rational and realised I had made the right decision, and took a bleak satisfaction from having saved myself a lot of pain and money. The 100,000 baht or so a year I gave to her now rested snugly in my wallet.
This isn't of course news to anyone with a passing interest in such matters. Still, it's surprising how many of these stories are nearly identical. Yet there's a hunger to hear more of the same because there's something very amusing about Western losers being taken to the cleaners by crafty little Thai foxes. You look for the differences in the details, for the slightest change in the MO. I admire them for their pluck and their ingenuity and their wit. I like them very much. They don't get the credit they deserve.
Something I am unclear of is how, having managed me so carefully for so many years, that she would end up fluffing it so close to the big prize money. It puzzled me, and didn't make sense. One explanation I have is that she thought she had it in the bag and could now relax and treat me as I deserved to be treated. It may be simpler than that: she found someone else, someone she found attractive, and now having to be with me was too unpleasant to hide. I'm grateful she made it so easy to end it. It felt like being a bad chess player playing another bad chess player, and suddenly finding I could check mate in a single move. I had to look at the board a few times. Was there a catch? No catch. She was only concerned with making her own moves. But I was also playing the game. We shouldn't cast ourselves as the innocent party, as the victims.
Perhaps the girls don't know that we have been exchanging notes. No one is telling them that we are! <Don't count on it – Stick> Perhaps it doesn't matter, because even when forewarned and forearmed, en masse we still keep making the same mistakes. Besides there is always another planeload of fresh dopes to arrive. Like lambs to the slaughter. It's best for the girls not to second guess themselves, if the formula is working for them.
A last observation: Thai hookers love to over-order food in restaurants (if you're paying, natch). They can't help themselves, if there's 2 of you they'll order a family sized portion of fried rice, a plate of barbequed chicken, som tam, kao neeo, a large and expensive fish in broth, prawns in batter. You'll be lucky to eat half of it. When the bill comes, they'll say something helpful like,"Cheap! For you!" This is of course how they'll go through your bank account. When you see this happening, best run for the hills.
It has been my observation over the years that girls with no genuine interest in the man they're with actually show signs of that disinterest or insincerity very early on and a guy merely needs to open his eyes. When things go pear-shaped, with honest reflection he can often see that the signs were always there and it was doomed from the start.