Mia Noi With A Gun, Knife, And Connections
I’d like to know if you think I’m actually in physical danger and if you have any advice on what I should do. I recently spent about three weeks in Thailand and Cambodia and returned to the USA in early November.
After an organized group birding trip to Thailand last February with my wife, I wanted to return and have more time to enjoy the culture rather than have every minute scripted by the group itinerary. Since I have more vacation time than my wife, I was to go solo. She said I could do whatever I wanted (we, ahem, did sample some of the naughty nightlife together on the birding trip) as long as I told her about it.
I had a great experience skiing in Argentina in summer 2012, meeting for part of my trip a female friend I’d made on Facebook. She introduced me to her friends and it was really wonderful to experience a foreign country more as a local than a tourist. We were just friends. So I thought that was a good model for my trip to Thailand.
I read about ThaiFriendly on your site, so I joined, but made clear on my profile that I was married and I was just looking for friends to either travel with or meet to experience Thailand more like a local than a tourist. I got a lot of interest, but quickly learned to filter out the apparent freelancers and ladies I didn’t really want to meet. Ultimately I made five good friends, ladies I regularly emailed, Skyped, and Tangoed, including two who became Facebook friends (I’m very picky and personally know all of my FB friends).
E. became my best friend of the five. She’s mid-40’s, well-educated (advanced university degree), good looking, speaks good English, is divorced (two kids in college), has a good job in healthcare, and lives in Isaan. She also agreed to spend a weekend with me near Khao Yai. We had talked and joked about sharing a room, but I let her make the arrangements so if she wanted two beds she could do that or if she wanted to book a cheaper hotel and get separate rooms she could do that, too. She and two of her friends picked me up at the bus station in Pak Chong, so we got to know each other in person on the way to the hotel. We really hit it off and had a wonderful weekend, which was great in many ways especially since she had decided on one room, one bed.
She had to go to a funeral on Monday. I had no set itinerary and I asked if I could attend, since I’d never experienced a Buddhist funeral. She was very happy with the new plan and as we drove the several hours from the hotel to her town I got to know more about her. Like her ex-husband is a big regional police boss, at a level where people had to call her “Madame.” Really? On the drive there were a lot of police checkpoints. I asked why and she said it was near the end of the month and the line cops were short on their payments to their bosses.
The cops were selective in stopping vehicles, but eventually we were stopped. The cop was a pretty mean looking guy who eyed me suspiciously before curtly asking for her papers. She didn’t put any bribe money in her papers, which surprised me a little. She spoke to him in rapid-fire Thai and the blood practically drained from his face before he quickly handed back her papers and let us go.
“I tell him my ex-husband name.”
Then she told me more about her ex-husband: jealous type, owns many handguns, including an unregistered one, “It kill many people.”
She said after the divorce he’d shot up her workplace, blasting a hanging pot here, a flower vase there. I know enough about firearms to know it’s not easy to hit a target in real life, and told her that.
“My ex-husband, he good shot. Today you meet him at funeral.”
Oh great, but I figured it would be really bad karma to murder someone in a temple.
Since E knew just about everyone at the funeral and was helping out, I acted like the boyfriend of P, one of the chaperones. I noticed a tall man, one of the few people in a suit other than the family, sitting front and center. I asked P who that was.
“That E ex-husband.”
Buddhist funerals are long, but eventually the fireworks started. Then I heard BOOM, BOOM, BOOMBOOMBOOM!!
“What was that E?”
“That my ex-husband, he shoot gun. Here he come, I introduce you.”
Indeed, the tall man in a suit who had sat in the place of honor was walking towards me with a gun in his hand. A big one, with plenty more bullets than the five shots I heard. He had sort of an enigmatic smile on his face and carried himself like someone with plenty of power. As he got near he moved his gun hand up. I just smiled and stood there knowing there was nothing I could do now, but he just ejected the clip and handed the gun and clip to his subordinate to reload. E introduced us and we had a bit of an awkward hi how are you chat before heading to the feast. So far the stories E was telling seemed to be true.
“Does he always carry a gun?”
“Oh yes, always. I have gun, too. It just lady gun.”
“Really? Why do you have a gun? Can I see it?”
“Yes, later. I alone and drive a lot, at night too. I have knife too.”
After the funeral, complete with in-place cremation by pyre, she took me to her home instead of the guesthouse she had mentioned.
That evening she took me to her older sister’s house for dinner.
Later that night she said “I love you, darling.”
I hesitated and she said “I know say love different for farang, but say you love me.”
“I love you, sweetheart.”
In the morning she showed me her gun and knife, a ~4” switchblade with a powerful spring.
I met her younger sister, who scrutinized me with a serious look. I met her nosy neighbor.
The next day was the kathin festival at her temple and there was a lot to do. I was living in Isaan.
E, her older sister, and I prepared the money tree, got dressed and headed to the temple. I was getting used to being the only farang.
After the ceremony E introduced me to many people. She was a prominent citizen in the town and I was a curiosity. Of course everyone was very nice and the food was spectacular. The head monk recognized me from the funeral and gave me a nod and a smile
(of course I know to give monks a high wai).
The next day she had to work at the traveling health clinic in a nearby village. She insisted I come along. Again I was introduced to many people, including her boss and her boss’s boss. Many of the conversations were sort of like this “thai thai thai thai thai thaiMiaNoi thai thai thai thai thai.”
“What are you talking about sweetheart?”
“My boss ask me if I your mia noi.”
Hahahaha, I’d chuckle and smile and point to my wedding ring and say “We’re friends.”
Yeah, right, I got the feeling they knew exactly what was going on.
Oh, did I mention that yes she’s divorced from the police boss, but is currently married to a guy in South Africa? She apologized to me for not being honest about that, but they’re sort of going through the motions of getting a divorce.
Actually, I was sort of glad she was married. But people were very open about asking/talking about her being my mia noi. And many of them want her to be their mia noi, she said, but she’s not interested in them.
So one day turns into the next into the next as Thai time moves slowly on. I headed to Bangkok to have dinner with K and P (second dinner), then traveled to visit J and help build her little pig farm, with E unhappy I’m visiting my other friends since she says Thai ladies can’t be friends with farang. I promised I would behave and I did, but kept in almost constant contact with E. Eventually E and I flew to Siem Reap and spent several days doing the whole temple tour thing.
I’ve never been asked “you love me?” so many times, nor been clung to so strongly. I still can’t believe how strong petite Isaan women are and how much they can eat.
Finally we had our last dinner, joined by a friend of hers (A) and A’s fiancé. They were getting married in a few days. He’s an Englishman living and working in Germany. Super nice couple, fun dinner.
After dinner the two ladies talked in Thai and E told me A wanted to hug and kiss me, since I look so good (it was a bit awkward, what with the fiancé there, but I went along and accepted). I’m no George Clooney, but while spending time with
E I realized, and was told frequently, that I seem to have a lot of attributes Thai’s like* and that E really really likes. Since the groom’s parents couldn’t come to the wedding, A wanted E and I to stand in for the groom’s
parents at the wedding. I had to fly home two days before the wedding, but this anecdote shows how well I’d been accepted by friends and family. E had already told me both of her sisters approved of me and said we make a good couple. I
regularly reminded E that I’m happily married (and she is too, well married at least), but a “you still love me?” and crushing hug and kisses always followed. And a "I know you married, but I you Thai wife."
My flight was at noon, boarding at 11:30, so for international flights I typically arrive over 2 hours early. She was in no hurry, because she says she has friends in the immigration police who will usher me through: “You my VIP.” Another story?
We got to the airport about 9:45 and sure enough we’re met by two immigration police officers. Since there’s “plenty” of time, E insists on taking one to breakfast (though we had just eaten); the other needs to work. A long
breakfast ensues. Turns out he’s in charge of all five international airports in Thailand. As 11:00 nears, he orders coffees to go for some co-workers and finally about 11:15 we amble to the 4th floor. I’m trying to stay calm, thinking
maybe she wants me to miss my flight. But sure enough, he personally escorts me directly through security, with the other security staff fully deferring to him. I’d forgotten to fill out the exit section of the Thai visa, so the immigration
officer on duty actually filled it out for me. I cleared security in a matter of less than 5 minutes.
Earlier in the trip E told me the story of a person who tried to scam a friend of hers on Facebook. She researched him, found his real name, reported him to her friends in the immigration police and then told the scammer that he needs to stop the scamming and that if he ever comes to Thailand “he in big trouble.” She also says she knows a big wheel in the Bangkok police (who wants her to be his mia noi). Although I can’t confirm the story, almost every crazy story she told turned out to be true.
I arrived home and it turns out “you can do what you want, just tell me about it” wasn’t really true. My wife of 22 years was pissed off and told me to delete my personal Gmail account, Facebook account, and cut off contact to E and my other friends (with whom there was no romantic contact). I sent out a quick last round of emails to say goodbye, then shut it all down. Before everything was deactivated, E sent back a sort of sad/angry/pleading email, not wanting to be cut off, but with no threats. I was able to reply quickly, but have had no contact with anyone in Thailand for about 1½ weeks.
Not sure I’ll ever go back to Thailand anyway, but if I do return do you think I’m in physical danger? I’m concerned because she’s probably lost face. And she clearly has connections, and a gun, and a knife. She often said “I crezee ladee” and “I you crezee ladee,” but in all the time I’ve known her (including before the trip) she didn’t really seem crazy. Any advice on what to do now?
While you're not in any danger, a woman like this could potentially cause you problems if the two of you were to fall out. However, she has probably already forgotten about you and I imagine she will be on to the next guy already. She has no real reason to be angry with you so I don't see anything to be overly concerned about.
Senior officials in Thailand have more power than their equivalents in the West and they are not people to cross. I have always said to guys who don't have the best intentions with a Thai lady (and I am not implying you in this instance) that getting involved with a woman who is a government officials and / or those with government official friends or family should be careful. Hell hath no fury like a woman takes on a whole new meaning when the woman is Thai and connected!
Finally, it is a small point, but I have found that Thai women who describe themselves as crazy often are – and should be avoided.