Letter From Norway
There have been some really ugly stories lately about Thai relationships amongst some of the citizens of my country. Norway.
You have referred to the guy who killed his wife and kept her remains in a dustbin for years. Probably scared to death of what would happen to his resource base, if she was declared dead instead of missing. Her brothers would take over his houses, his land and his businesses. All was written in his wife's name. A really bad story. Period.
I had a fellow I got to know a few years ago. He was a newbie in Thailand and at the age of 50 he fell in love with a 19-year old beauty in Patong, Phuket. He returned back home, and I tried to explain to him that it was most likely a relationship motivated by money, and that I could, the next time in Thailand, see her, put down the payment, and do the same stupid thing to her as he did, simply have sex with her.
He stayed home in Europe suffering for a couple of months, and finally left for her hometown where he had decided to spend the next six months with her, her brothers and her family, in a village close to Surin. After five months of drugs and drinking, he found out she was already married to a young Thai guy, and the reason why she slept away from home regularly, was not because of working overt time, or visiting her sister, but because she slept over at her husband's place.
Broken-hearted and disillusioned, this guy's next stop was Hua Hin. An easy victim for a new bar girl. At 24 years old, after three months of booze and drugs in that place, he sobered up suddenly, just to find out that he was a lot less wealthy than three months earlier. He threw out his new girlfriend and was later the next day found heavily injured, set on fire by someone pouring gasoline all over him! The conclusion from the police was a suicide attempt. Who knows? He lived for a few days, was flown back to a hospital in Europe, where he died, just days later. Another ugly tragedy.
Then, there was another guy I have known for years. He was invited to visit Phuket by one of his best mates who was married to a lovely Thai lady. His mate had earlier had the opportunity of being presented to an investment on one of the beautiful, rather remote islands, towards Burma's west most border with Thailand. They soon saw the potential of developing a resort over there and make a reasonably profitable business catering to rich farangs. His pal put the lady in charge of papers and ownership, while he as a good husband, took responsibility for the funding. He did not have the funds himself, so that is where my friend was invited into it. He sent over money in his buddy's bank account, while he kept in touch with both the guy and the project as it developed. At one point his mate had to leave for Europe to do some work. My friend went out to the resort which was nearly finished by now. His friend's wife was there too. They came to talk about the future of the now multi-million project. He was talking about the plans for his investment. That is where the story turned ugly. She considered herself the owner. He was, in her opinion, presenting claims on her property. Her husband had never told her about him being an investor. Her husband had been lying to her! She got hold of the local Police who kicked out my friend from the island, while she, at the time being, is terminating her marriage with her husband. She cannot go on with such a dishonest man and liar!
That is how business is done in the Kingdom.
As time goes on, I see almost no success stories, neither concerning love, nor business. Tons of stories are running around in the expat community. But only very, very rarely a story of success.
So when you wrote your column about the authorities wanting to put an end to Thai-Farang relationships, it would certainly benefit a lot of new born idiots who will introduce themselves to the land of smiles. Protecting them. But at the same time I would feel sadly uncomfortable if it was not an April Fool's joke.
I have, thanks to my introduction to Thailand through your columns, from the very beginning of your weeklies, from your guide to the nightlife and the very first submissions, been well prepared for what to meet along my path.
A last quote from a guy I met last week. He is 75 years old, has 52 years of experience living and working in South-East Asia, and for the last seven years he has been in a relationship with a lady 40 years younger than himself. I asked him "How are you able to make that a success?" He answered, "She had no brothers, no kids and no ex husbands. Those are the three basic factors of success in a relation with a Thai lady."
I could not agree more.
I don't wish to be negative, but the truth of the matter is that I see and hear of things going wrong more often than I do of foreigners in Thailand finding success in love and business, just as you say.