Stickman Readers' Submissions December 20th, 2012

Advice for Lost Kiwi

After reading your submission I felt compelled to offer you advice based on my experiences in Thailand. These thoughts and opinions are my own observations and of course others might agree or disagree, but I think of myself as a pretty decent judge of character and having lived and worked amongst many different cultures I can draw comparisons between our “Western” way of thinking and what I refer to as the “Turd World” mentality.

But firstly remember that EVERYONE and their mother is going to tell you what an idiot you are, how you are stupid for ruining your relationship with your Kiwi girlfriend and all the rest of it. But you don’t really give a damn, right?

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EVERYONE has told you that it can only end in tears, that she is only using you. But AGAIN – you don’t really give a damn, right?

How do I know this? Because I was in a very similar situation, although my girl was not a bargirl. Let me rephrase that – I had no evidence she was ever a bargirl, but in Thailand you never know. I have long since accepted I will never know the truth although I had my suspicions.

We met at a nightclub I had shares in, we clicked and everything was going great. Then she moved in with me and I was expected to pay for everything. She often disappeared and would come back high on coke and drunk as a skunk, all at the expense of other men. She drank for free at my club and even bought drinks for other men. Mate, she put me through hell but because I cared for her I continued to accept the abuse. I basically became a person who lived to please her. I was weak like I had never been in my life – those big brown eyes, I couldn’t say no to them.

My final straw was when my business partner caught her in a hotel room with another man while I was away. After bottling in so much anger I let it all out and it was over. Let me tell you I was hurt but relieved at the same time. It sucked, nobody likes to be heartbroken.

So what advice can I offer to you?

1. Understand the “Turd” World Mentality

Third World cultures in my observation have two discernible differences to First World Cultures. First is what I like to call the “eat today” mentality and the other is “Empathy vs. apathy”.

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“Eat today”. This mentality I believe has its roots in the evolution of cultures. See in Europe our ancestors knew that winters were harsh and summers were the time to grow crops. They could not grow crops in winters because of the conditions. This meant they had to PLAN AHEAD – they knew winter was coming so they would plant surplus crops so that they could survive during the lean winter periods. Those in sunnier climates never had to PLAN AHEAD, they would simply use up the resources in a given area and once complete they would then move into the next area. There were no harsh winters awaiting them, they merely had to live for today.

Now understand the above and apply it to a Isaan bargirl with no education who is living off instinct. She does not think or plan about tomorrow, she wants instant gratification and she wants it yesterday. Think of you as her host – she will use up everything you have and then move onto the next host.

“Empathy vs. Apathy”: In Western culture we place emphasis on empathy. We believe that we should always put ourselves in other people’s shoes, and we have been indoctrinated into this mode of thinking from a young age. When we see a starving child on TV we empathize with that child, we think to ourselves “that could be us”.

While we value empathy the “Turd Worlder” sees it as a weakness to be exploited. Allow me to expand upon this from a global perspective if you will. How many illegal immigrants have been granted asylum in First World countries? Plenty have because of our inherent need to empathize with those less fortunate – they also deserve a piece of the pie we think to ourselves. They exploit this empathy to gain entry into countries where they contribute virtually nothing. Do you see many third world countries granting political asylum to refugees?

Those who are granted asylum are treated like dirt by the local inhabitants. One only needs to look at my country South Africa where xenophobic attacks are the order of the day. First world empathizers celebrate multiculturalism yet their third world counterparts promote a strong sense of nationalism and look at foreigners with a sense of trepidation and lash out manifesting itself into physical acts of violence. Think of your own experiences – the double pricing for “farang” for example.

The “Turd Worlder” on the other hand has nothing but apathy in the heart. They cannot put themselves in your shoes. They are happy in their own shoes, thank you very much. This is apathy you have clearly experienced. She gives you the cold shoulder and acts like you are not there. You are not important to her unless you are needed (“eat today”).

You think to yourself “she has no heart”, but the fact is she literally cannot see herself in your shoes. You are dispensable.

They exploit the empathy vs. apathy game all the time! She will prey on your empathy – tell you her mama is sick and she needs money for example. Now tell her that you have run out of money, you cannot pay for her sick mama and watch the eyes go cold. She is apathy personified.

Now that you understand her mentality, let’s get closer to home.

2. Step outside yourself

You’re probably an intelligent guy which makes this whole process all that more annoying, right? You need to stop for a second looking within and change the scenario.

Imagine for a second if you will your best mate back in New Zealand comes to you for advice. He tells you he is breaking up with his girlfriend of 10 years but then drops the bombshell – he met a prostitute at the local brothel in town and has fallen head over heels for her. What would your advice be? I’m sure it would be pretty much: ARE YOU F*CKED IN YOUR HEAD YOU STUPID ARSEHOLE!!!

Oh but wait…this is different, right? You spent some magical moments together and she’s different. Let me say something – from Bangkok to Timbuktu: IF YOU ACCEPT MONEY FOR SEX YOU ARE A PROSTITUTE. That’s the basic definition.

Let’s imagine yet another scenario. Now this will hit a bit closer to home but that’s the point. Imagine you have a son – imagine that son behaved exactly as you had. He had broken up with his girlfriend of 10 years and left her for a Thai prostitute – what would you think? I’m almost certain that the vast majority of parents would question what they had done wrong! I am sorry if I am hitting close to home, but it is vital to face the harsh realities rather than bargaining.

3. The 5 Stages of Grief

Well now that you understand the mentality of the person you are dealing and you have stepped outside yourself it’s time to understand what process will follow from here. You can take the 5 stages of grief and apply it to virtually any scenario and I will do so with your Thai bargirl experience. I’m sure the stages will resonate quite strongly with you.

Stage 1: Denial

You convince yourself that she is only doing it because she cannot do anything else to support her mama back in Isaan. You tell yourself when she is going with other men she hates it, that all she is thinking of the whole time is you.

Stage 2: Anger

You begin to feel an inner rage at how she just doesn’t care. She ignores you, she flirts with other men in front of you. You cannot handle it anymore and your head is all over the place.

Stage 3: Bargaining

You tell yourself if that you make more of an effort she will change. You tell yourself if you make more money and support her she will change. You tell yourself if you fly back to Thailand she will see how much you care and run into your arms and you will both go off into the sunset.

Stage 4: Depression

You cannot get her out of your head. She is always on your thoughts. You wonder if you will ever love or trust again in your life. You think of how you ruined everything on such a silly mistake. This is a dark period.

Stage 5: Acceptance

HOORAH – You finally see that you made a REALLY stupid mistake. You finally are able to laugh it off and warn your friends about it. Once you get to this stage I guess you may just become a regular contributor to Stickman.

The Cure

Believe it or not I have found the cure for ALL of life’s problems and the secret is this: we all have it at our disposal.

It can cure the death of a friend and it can cure a broken heart.

It’s called TIME! I promise you that it will sort everything out – if you need to get angry, get angry. If you need to cry, then cry. But I guarantee that even if it takes a month, a year or even a decade eventually you will have totally moved on.

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