Stickman Readers' Submissions January 17th, 2013

Settling into Bangkok Life

It’s been almost two months since my last update, so time to write in with a new one. Life in Bangkok is still great and living up to my expectations. Previously, I lived in Sydney, probably one of the most fun places in the Western world. Yet, being there seems positively dull compared to my present lifestyle. Maybe this impression will change, and the new always feels more exciting than the old. But now I’m enjoying the novelty of being a Thai resident.

I’ve completely slowed down in my dating life and have settled on having two girlfriends. I haven’t been out on a date with a new girl since my last submission. I often think I should, just to keep things interesting. But life is hardly boring at the moment, and I guess I’m settling down. Having two girlfriends has its challenges. It recently came uncomfortably close to blowing up in my face … but I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Girlfriend number 1 is X. I wrote about her briefly in my last submission, having just met her then. She’s a medical professional who moonlights as a lingerie and bikini model. She makes a lot more money in her modelling career than she does in her normal job. Her daily rate for modelling can be a hundred times her regular job. Yet, she wants to maintain the respectable reputation that her job gives her.

Despite not putting in a full effort, she’s already advanced as far as it’s possible to go as a bikini model in Thailand. She’s appeared on the cover of international magazine local editions. I’ve talked to other models about this and they told me these magazines get thousands of hot girls applying, and even getting an audition is extremely difficult. X has also appeared on magazine covers in Hong Kong and had job offers in the US. She’s still young enough to make it really big in this field, but has put it on hold because of how her mother feels about it. I can’t imagine many Western girls making the same choice.

She is really sweet and always trying to make me happy. She has many other guys contacting her, which is inevitable for a girl like that. But as far as I can see, I’m the only man she’s sleeping with. She’s refreshingly honest about her past, and I know she’s had farang boyfriends and lovers before.

Girlfriend number 2 is T, who I’ve written about many times before. She’s a medical engineer who I’ve now known for more than 6 months. She’s also worked as a lingerie model in the past, but that life is over and she’s concentrating on her main career and building up a business.

I’ve had problems with her being in contact with other guys before. Many times I’ve thought of dumping her, because she treats me like her boyfriend, but behind my back she arranges to meet others. We separated briefly after I got fed up with this. Now it seems to have stopped, and I haven’t seen any signs of other men for a long time.

T definitely has some problems with honesty and I can rarely be sure whether she’s telling me the truth. This is a shame because in every other way she’s perfect. Everyone I’ve introduced her to has been utterly charmed. She’s beautiful, sexy, intelligent and funny. She also does everything she can think of to please me. Most of her lies have to do with hiding other men, or trying to meet me when I want to be alone.

Many times when I want to spend time apart from her, she’s called me about some traumatic event which requires us to meet immediately. It’s not pleasant wondering if someone you care about is telling the truth about a close friend dying in a car accident. Are those tears for the friend, or because I didn’t want to meet her earlier?

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But of course, I’m a hypocrite, because I too have become an expert liar. Having two girlfriends is nice, but also stressful. I have to clean out all signs of the other girl from my apartment before either of them arrives. This becomes ever more difficult as they leave more and more of their possessions lying around the place. They are super-vigilant for the tiniest sign, and I have to spin tales constantly. Where is my toothbrush? Why did you use two towels yesterday? Who keeps sending you messages?

I am, by nature, an honest person and not used to having so many lies in my life. It makes me uncomfortable and constantly afraid that I’ve missed something crucial. Perhaps this is an inevitable consequence of living here.

Things almost came to a crunch when one girl managed to convince security to give her access to my building. She was banging on my door and calling out my name while I was in bed with the other girl. They were within one minute of bumping into each other in my corridor, one of them witnessing the other walking out of my condo. I dread to think what would have occurred, if that had happened. But the situation was bad enough as it was. Amazingly, I managed to talk my way out of it, and both of them seem satisfied with my explanation.

In reality I need to choose, and despite her problems, T is the obvious choice. Everyone who’s met them both thinks T is the best one, even despite the lies. She’s such an amazing girl in every other way that I just can’t give her up. But stoping with X up isn’t easy either. They are both sweet, fun girls who are keen to please. They never ask for money or expensive treats. There wouldn’t be many places where they weren’t the hottest woman in the room. As the old saying goes – be careful what you wish for because it might come true.

On the money issue, the horror stories one hears about Thai girls haven’t been part of my experience at all. I’ve dated over a dozen internet girls now, and not one of them has ever asked me for money. Even Thai prostitutes I’ve been involved with have been mostly pretty honest and not too greedy.

One example that pops to mind is following the 2011 floods. I was in regular contact with two freelancers I knew at the time. I asked both of them if they had been affected. The first told me she hadn’t. The second, my favorite who I almost lost my heart to, said her entire apartment had been flooded and she’d lost everything. After much soul-searching, I decided to take her word for it and arrange to send her some money to help. She thanked me for my offer, but said she wouldn’t feel right taking money from me.

Of course, there are greedy girls out there and I don’t doubt the stories you hear. But I can’t wonder if the problem isn’t with the girls that men are choosing. I’ve come across plenty of money-hungry women here, but they out themselves pretty quickly. I find such women to be a complete turn-off, and quickly leave their company.

Perhaps I’m just naive, and both my girlfriends are setting me up for a financial fall. But I doubt it. They know me pretty well now and must realise their chances of extracting money from me are extremely low. Besides, they are both choice girls who could easily find softer and more lucrative targets than me. Their jobs alone, give them access to rich and powerful men. Why bother with little old me if money was the goal?

I also need to point out that the sums I’ve heard of men having stolen here are peanuts by Western standards. I have many friends who routinely spend more in a month on their women that the total amounts quoted in the “Thai girl did me wrong” stories. A divorce lawyer I once met told me million dollar payouts to wives were common in Sydney. How many Thai girls are making that kind of score? Not many would be my guess.

I was lucky enough to get invited to a Thai wedding a few weeks back, which was an amazing experience. In the morning was a traditional ceremony involving a few different rituals which were really interesting. There were monks in attendance and everyone knelt while they blessed the wedding. A large sin sot was placed on the ground and covered with flowers. Then all the guests offered money and water to bless the wedding. I was made to feel really welcome, despite being the only foreigner there. The groom’s family even paid for my four-star hotel room.

At night was a reception which was similar to a Western-style wedding. The bride even changed into a white wedding dress. There were about 150 people at the night reception, and the only thing that made it distinguishable from weddings I’ve been to at home was that Thai food was served.

While I’m not an expert in Thai marriages, this wedding went against some of the claims about demanding Thai men that I’ve read here and elsewhere. The bride was definitely beautiful, but at almost 40 years-old and previously engaged, I doubt she was a virgin. I heard that she’d previously had a foreign boyfriend. The groom’s family was well-off, with a large modern house and nice cars parked in the driveway. The groom himself, who was young and handsome, had a well-paid job as an oil engineer. They happily handed over a sizable sin sot, and no one I spoke to seemed to think this was unusual.

I’m going to another wedding soon which makes marriage number three for the Thai bride. Apparently the groom is also a respectable middle-class guy.

While I haven’t seen too many decent Thai men walking around with 100+ kilo women who have children to other men, which is common in the West, they do seem to be willing to make more compromises than is often claimed.

One thing that’s become ever more apparent as I’ve lived here is that the Thais are a people who like to take risks. They routinely take physical risks that would be considered insane at home. Girls on the internet will agree to spend the night with men before they’ve even met. Go to the Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai and see the way the Thais run up to aggressively hug large tigers, while the farang visitors are much more cautious. And we’ve all been in vehicles where the driver thought nothing of taking crazy risks with his own and everyone else’s life.

Both of my girlfriends have told me stories of risk-taking which would make our sisters at home cringe with fear. T was involved in a counterfeit good smuggling operation for some time which generated so much money her ex-boyfriend was able to buy multiple condos in Bangkok. It all came to an end when they were caught by European customs, who seized the boyfriend’s assets and threw him in prison. X had an ex-boyfriend who was a drug user. He convinced her to steal drugs from work. She came uncomfortably close to being caught, with the inevitable consequences, but fortunately never was.

I’ve had a few visitors over the past few weeks and that’s given me an excuse to explore a bit more of Bangkok. Crepes & Co in Thong Lor is recommended for breakfast, as is Fat Gutz and Iron Fairies for relaxed live music. I agree with Stick that Ambar at Four Points Hotel is a great place to take a girl. I even saw a certain internet-celebrity who shall remain nameless entertaining a young lady there. Taking one of the canal boats which Stick has previously written about is also a great experience.

Because of my lifestyle I’ve been spending more than I wanted to. I hoped to spend around 3200 baht a day, but have been averaging more like 4500. I could definitely cut down, but I always have trouble saying no to anything that sounds fun, including a 7200 baht Christmas Eve dinner at the Sky Bar. I once entertained the idea that I could retire here and never have to work again. That is still a possibility, especially given that I got a 13% return on my investments last year. But I would either have to cut back a bit on lifestyle of continue to be lucky in the money game. I can’t see either realistically happening, so it’s back to work for me sometime in the near future.

And that’s all from me at the moment. I have a hundred other stories I could tell, as could most other expats in Bangkok. But I don’t want to bore you, dear reader, so I’ll leave it at that.


Stickman's thoughts:

It's great to hear from someone who is really enjoying life here and making the most of opportunities. With a positive attitude, good judgment and a little luck, almost anything is possible.

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