Have you heard the one about the Kiwi, the Canuck, the Bok, the Dane, the Brit, the Yank and the Brussels Sprout? No, it is not a shaggy dog story but actually a true tale that I’ve been meaning to write for over a year now and an hour to kill
here in The Chicken Farm that is the Soi 7 Biergarten gives me the chance. Here goes…
…I wrote a piece last winter about how I’d met a girl – usual thing, TLL and the normal games – who had turned out to be a little less perfect than I’d wanted to believe. Stickman wrote a nice little footnote, saying that he suspected this lass had weaved a merry web over the years and that whilst he would never publish names, he was pretty sure my tale was true. It was, and is…but what I posted in January last year was only the beginning.
Quick summary – internet romance, plane ticket, jumped too fast and since it was 20 years since I’d first set foot in Thailand and I’d been back a myriad of times since you’d think I’d know better yet before I knew it, a nearly marriage certificate and happy Bali honeymoon. Spoiled only then by finding a few pictures and posts on the inter-web-thingy when we got back that didn’t add up, including the wedding pictures of my beloved with some handsome if slightly older Kiwi guy. All Hell broke loose, boys in brown involved and I exited stage and Thailand rather sharply although not before she had already done a runner from Hua Hin, last seen heading… where?
Who knows? Who cares?
I got home and thought that was the end of it until… emails started arriving. I’d cracked her password – capital city of the United Kingdom, indeed capital city of the world. Not too hard to guess then since one of her TLL pictures had been taken in my home city – and I had farmed the list of would be suitors and were already as they thought husbands, sent each one a personal email advising them of the situation and suggesting they might want to check out, in all senses.
The Kiwi and I went at it at length – I’ll skip the details – but he reckoned he’d spent a million baht and then some on the lass over a couple of years, including a set of diamond earrings last seen floating down the toilet in a hotel in Chumphon – I have a temper when it takes me, can’t deny that – plus a couple of diamond engagement rings. He was convinced he’d be able to turn her right though and from the odd email I still get, I think he thinks he still could. I got the rings back to him last year, quick exchange of goods in the airport around June time or so.
The Canadian was a strange one… he was my link into her past in the first place as he’d posted on the web some scare stories about her and the dating agency – not TLL – that had first alerted me to the fact that all was not well. His English wasn’t that great and he was rather intermittent in his contacts but the general message was that he’d been introduced to her through this agency and she’d tried to scam him for money. A pattern starts to appear… as you will see below…
The lad from Denmark was the one and threw me the most… he was sure he was engaged and that despite the fact that he’d not seen her for 18 months and they’d only actually met the three times, she and he were betrothed and set fair in his book. He wanted evidence although he’d seen the pictures on the ‘net I’d also seen and been told this was just a cousin’s farang husband and had some suspicions but let it go. Yeah, OK… now we start to see the picture.
The older guy from Belgium was cool about it… sent me a few emails that had been exchanged and whilst it was clear that he was being lined up, he was wise enough to keep things at an arm’s length and then some, so he merely smiled I guess when I told him about the various characters in the loop and we wished each other well. Same with a couple of other guys, all decent folks who’d wanted to meet but in the end she’d been too busy… enough said.
The mystery guy was the chap from South Africa… I’d copped a clue about him from, of all things, a name badge she was wearing on a shirt in one of a thousand pictures I’d scanned through a couple of times, looking for stories. I’m not claiming any great brains here – in fact by now you should have me down as a real sherbet dip – but I’d seen a few telephone numbers and once it clicked that the access code for a number in her diary was actually the country code for South Africa I had my in and there I was, talking to the guy’s Mum of all people!
She’d met the lady in South Africa a couple of times, thought she was sweet as heck but didn’t believe that her son and this lass had been married, just close and good friends. The mystery deepened… I then got to speak to the guy himself once but he just reckoned that he’d started to hear whispers and pulled the plug himself early last year. No money gone, she’s paid the tickets to South Africa herself. Then he went very quiet, won’t talk any more.
There we are then… the list grew longer and longer and being the idiot I am, I didn’t stop turning rocks. The one that did my head in for a goodly year was the internet reference to a half marathon in Hawaii – boy this lass gets around! – where her name appeared with a reasonable race time and no reasonable excuse for being there. I laugh now… I practiced this story on a friend back in the UK and they got the answer in seconds, it took me as I say best part of a year… why didn’t I type the finish time into the records and see if anyone else finished in the same time who might be another husband? Sure enough, same time and same bib number minus one, some Sino-American guy who really ought to have known better at his age, going on 67 even then.
One spooky trace left and that was a fellow countryman or so I thought… through various routes I had realised that she’d been married once before for real in the UK of all places, just down the road from where I was getting my passport renewed. On a whim I jumped the tube and the registry office played a blinder… found the certificate in a whisker and there was the address of her and her husband. Walking distance away so off I wander… and this next bit does give me the shivers still.
It was a shitty, and I mean really shitty, set of one room bedsits in north London. The place was deserted but with a little bit of a second row shove the door, shall we say, eased and there was a pile of post I swear two meters high, no-one had lived there for years by the look of it. The next bit you can guess… I stick my hand into the middle of the pile and yes, first and last letter I pull out has her married name on it. I thought at this point I’d scarper and I swear the door closed itself behind me as I ran out of there.
I spoke with the neighbours… they all knew the guy concerned funnily enough although he’d disappeared about a year previously. They thought he was a) a Kiwi and b) batted left handed at the plate, if you know what I mean (although isn’t that the same thing?). He would have been pushing 60 by this point judging by ages on the wedding certificate, all seemed to fit in an arranged way.
That’s the list then, at least as I know it. I’ve hit the 800 words limit so I can send this through to Stickman and get it on the internet. How to close though…?
I wonder where she is now… ?
Actually this is all cock.
I know exactly where she is.
She’s at college studying where I dropped her off this morning and I’m waiting to go pick her up and head back home out of Bangkok, where we’ve been commuting in to for the last six months or so since we got married last September. You can find us on the sexpress bus out from Ekamai every Sunday afternoon.
Come on, you knew the punch line all along, right…? Well, as I said I meant to tell the story – the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and I guess I need to share some more stuff now.
Firstly everything above the dotted line is 100% true and the fun and games through last year are worth a page of anyone’s time I think, if only to laugh at me. I’m no angel and the matters concerned have been discussed, verbally and otherwise at length but to be fair to her she’s pleaded guilty to it all, save the trip to Hawaii, with extenuating circumstances. She knows the guy who entered her name in the race, that name I also now realise I knew from a nurse friend of hers… but it’s one of those anally retentive race sites that even has pictures of the finish line and I’ve checked them all out, he is visible but not a sign of her. I genuinely believe she never went, maybe just was invited as a bit of a fantasy for this tubby old Chinese guy.
And this is where I am going with the story. I swear again everything I’ve written is true and it hardly bears a lot of credit to me other than being a bit obsessive and unable to let a story end. Who knows where it will all end up in a few years from now? It’s the perspective from her side that I wanted to close with as I think it is one that might be of use to a lot of folks who read these posts. In the piece I did last year I accused her of being a fake medico and all sorts. I know that is not true now… I’ve seen her give emergency fluid drips in the most foul conditions up in the mountains and revive a flagging family member in a matter of hours.
She sailed onto this pukka Masters degree course in Bangkok alongside a judge and vet and her scores are monumental. She actually is a bright lass who simply came from so far out in the country she never had a chance in the ultra-status driven Thai system. She got her nursing degree for free from the Thai government and had to pay that back with some pretty horrific location work over the years. this I also know now is true. Mea culpa.
What about the guys she’s ripped off, I hear you ask? Well, ermm… who has ripped off whom? Take this all with a pinch of salt of course but with the one exception of the Kiwi, not a single guy has actually claimed she took a penny. The South African laid a humungous sin sot on the table apparently and the lass walked away from it by choice – and good call too, of all the people I spoke to he had the most resemblance to a brown floater I’ve ever encountered. The Danish guy was just one of the many, many delusional guys who think they can come on holiday here once a year and have a cute and professional Thai wife waiting for them for free, ready and willing to do the deed when they are around. Same with the Canadian, turns out he had a few issues and a chink appeared in his story towards the end. He was obviously as fond as her as heck but she’d been honest and said no.
What about the Kiwi I hear you ask? Verdict out on that one I’d suggest. I’m sure he spent a goodly chunk on stuff for her but in return he got taken care of for a couple of years as and when he wandered through Thailand. He’d lied about his age big time and – this seems the killer – he was firing blanks which he only admitted late on in the process apparently, well after they had been together long-term.
I said I’d gotten the rings back to him… what I didn’t mention was that this was actually a three way session at the airport. After all the shit that flew through email at the start of the year – and some of it was foul and nasty stuff sent in all directions – I was keen to meet the guy and see what the two of them said to each other.
The meeting wasn’t what I’d expected… to be fair he was very reasonable once he got his rings back and he handed back some of the stuff of hers he’d taken as ‘security’. What was quite clear however was that the two of them could barely understand a word the other said to each other and that they had little if anything in common. It got tearful… and yes dear readers, I was the first to shed a tear but we all had a turn… but when she went at him and asked him to say to her face she’d taken his money, he went very, very quiet. He couldn’t cough to the accusations when called face-to-face.
So who is right and who is wrong then? I claim diplomatic immunity in the story – I’m Welsh and hence only from a principality for Heaven’s sake – but is she wrong for trying to better herself or are we wrong for wandering
in, picking up girls half our age or more and leaving them to fend for themselves as our ‘wives’, sending no money through nor living with her but simply turning up once in a while to stake and steak our claim?
I’m lucky, I’m in a position where I can stay here full-time or close to it and bless her cotton socks, she is the most loving and caring little minx you could wish for. I have to go back to the UK once every couple of months for a fortnight and with the miracles of Skype and mobile phones it is as if you are still here kind of… certainly she is scared to go out much in the admittedly grotty town of Pattaya where we are effectively based and just waits around, studying hard, until I get back.
What is she studying? I can’t go too far here as people can track this sort of thing down but the clue is in the title. I have been quiet for a year on the readers' submissions and who knows, I might never be heard of again if she does master the arts of what she is studying. It’s a kind of double jeopardy investment I’m making but heck, if you are going to get fed to a crocodile then I’d like it done by a professional and I am 50 next birthday and largely knackered meat anyway… but at least I’m not firing blanks it seems and this is appropriate place to end this ramble. Update due late in August, big argument over baby names under way.
Summary then is by all means take a Thai wife but not the monsters I now see with my beer goggles off and out of the bars, with their last six conquests names tattooed across their arses.
I suspect there are some real gems out there still, although it is increasingly a seller's market. Stickman mentions this evening that TLL is no longer a great place to meet folks but read it carefully and the point he makes is that the decent girls are finding it as disappointing as the guys. I guess the idea is to be prepared to commit honestly and fully – don’t think this is a short-time game. It isn’t in our home countries, be it the UK, US or wherever… we all screwed it up at least once before, why should it be any different here?
Regardless, good luck to you finding yours; I’m off to collect mine from school.
I could not stay with a lady who has obviously played a few games in the past. I couldn't live wondering what she was up to when I was away. I just reckon that life is way too short and that is no way to live. Still, it seems A LOT of guys in Thailand have relationships like that….but it's not my idea of happiness.