The Last 6 Months, Am I Losing It Or Have I Found My Soulmate
I write this from my condo in Bondi after probably the most turbulent 6 months of my life. No, this is not a bargirl done me wrong story, but rather a life experience that I am still in the middle of and maybe writing about it will give me some clarity.
Where to start?
November 2014, just completed an Everest Base Camp trek with my wife looking to find myself and find some purpose in life. A Bangkok stopover on the way back to Sydney. I have written about a previous escapade in Bangkok 'Bangkok with the wife October 2013' which will give some clarity on the fact we both enjoy the delights of Soi Cowboy. Now after 18 days of trekking we were ready to have some fun. After a long night we found ourselves in a Soi Cowboy bar where we had been before and enjoyed the extra-curricular activities.
On arriving we were treated as old friends, not surprising considering how much we had spent on a previous visit some months ago.
Anyway, my wife was up to party and was quickly downing Tequilas at the rate of a seasoned bargirl. She, farang, never worked in the industry, enjoying the company of the 3 or so girls. I was still struggling with the fact I had walked for 18 days to find myself and was in the same place when I saw her, in my mind the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Yes, I know it's a cliché, but I feel there might be a few in this therapy session. I promptly arranged for her to come over and spent a delightful 2 hours with her drinking and enjoying her company without getting too hands on. I was completely besotted – I had not felt like this since being a teenager and at the age of 40 that was a while ago.
I could see my wife was getting frisky and she had selected her 2 companions. I knew who I wanted to make up the numbers with, but she was nowhere to be seen. Soon I discovered my exotic princess was unavailable that night due to ladies issues, so I selected another. Despite having 3 ladies and my wife in the short term home, all I could think about was the one that got away. I won't mention her name as I am sure she will be well-known by regulars of the bar in question. To come down from the hotel to see her there buying food was the highlight of my night. We had inadvertently taken 2 of her cousins off and after a brief discussion I had to leave her as my wife reasoned she might be able to drink like bargirl but she can't hold it like them.
Back to Australia and I couldn't get her out of my mind. I had (maybe still do) it bad. At this point I will note that our marriage of 15 years was reaching its end, at least it was for me. I orchestrated a trip on my own back to Bangkok for Christmas. My wife to the UK then meeting me in Bangkok for New Year. I really thought a couple of days with my Thai beauty and I would be ok. Work was suffering as I could think of nothing else. It all went to plan and I arrived on December 21st on my own with a plan of finding her then spending some time diving in the south before New Year. I can remember getting ready that evening – I was nervous like I hadn't been since I was much younger, the excitement and the anticipation, I had waited 5 weeks to see her. I spent some time in Country Road for Dutch courage, chatting to a girl who I don't remember but used her company to calm myself down before making my excuses and strode purposefully to the bar.
Yes she was there. I hadn't planned on working so no make up on outfit – I didn't care. She remembered me, I was flattered (like bargirls ever forget anyone). We drank and we talked. Looking back, I fell in love that night for the first time in a long time. We did the hotel thing only, short time and I said I wanted her to stay long-time the next day which we did. I loved everything. I could see no faults and even when money was discussed, the response was 'Up to you'. Like I didn't have to pay if I didn't want to. Again, looking back I see the play here. It worked and she got top dollar.
Breakfast and then the revelation that she would not work that night. What was I to do? I was devastated! I spent the night back in the bar without her. Every lady offered their services and I declined. I thought I would come back the next day – then she would be going off with her sister and husband. I was totally in love by now and would have given her anything to spend the night.
Too many beers but still no other ladies. We then spent the next 5 nights together, going to temples, talking, partying. I thought I had a girlfriend and that's how I treated her. I bought her a necklace, completely my choice 40,000 baht (I know!). Then reality set in….my wife was due to arrive so there was a tearful goodbye. My wife knew there was a problem as soon as she arrived, although I would take her drinking I couldn't take her to our usual places. I remember sitting at Shadow Bar and watching my Thai beauty walk down Cowboy with a fellow bargirl and a customer. I felt physically sick. That night I drank more than I ever had….and then told my wife everything. That was the end of 15 years. It is not the fault of my Thai beauty but she certainly helped me make the decision. What was I to do with my last night but go straight back for more lessons?
We did the trip to the airport, exchange of Line IDs and a promise never to forget each other. Even as I handed over the 3,000 baht for the last night I only saw her as my girlfriend, not a bargirl.
The trip back was horrible. I was sending her Line messages within 10 minutes of getting off the plane. I had to be back with her as soon as I could. I started trying to stay up as late as I could so I could chat. I was awake until 2 AM Sydney time and waking up at 5 AM just so I could stop her going with anyone else. I was a mess. I lied at work and got some time off at the end of January where I booked us a trip to Krabi. Chatting was good and I continued to count down the days. I couldn't see the lies until so much later. 3G ran out one night so I couldn't talk then went to the shop in the morning. She went longtime with someone. I was in too deep to see it.
Krabi to start with was great except she slept so much. I bought her a Tiffany bracelet for her birthday, 100,000 baht. Again, she never asked – I was buying a gift for my girlfriend.
2 days in to the trip the first bit of honesty. She had a boyfriend, an Englishman of 3 years.
Again I felt physically sick. How had I been so stupid?! Did I ask for the bracelet back?! Did I put her on a plane to Bangkok? No, I loved her! Her boyfriend, it turned out comes in her words 'One time one year'. After interrogating her it was not a boyfriend. Yes, they spoke on the phone everyday but it was more so she could say that she has someone, some photos on a phone to show around at the bar, photos giving her hope. It was very easy to get rid of him and install myself as the boyfriend – which I did following her trip back home to the family after Krabi.
I thought I was set….the cat that got the cream. The love of my life was my girlfriend. We would chat on Line and talk 2 hours every morning when she finished work and I woke up. She had told me she wouldn't go with customers, so other than her getting drunk from time to time and giving me a hard time I believed my life was set. I was planning trips to Thailand, looking at visas to Australia.
Looking back, I was an idiot. I just couldn't see what was happening around me. I didn't have to stay up to 2 AM as she had told me I was the only man for her.
The next trip – 6 weeks later – in Chang Rai was the happiest I have ever been. Boyfriend and girlfriend, it was perfect except for the phone. The phone was always hidden from me and there had been a call she refused to answer one day and she just kissed me instead. This was the first time I started to question things. It took me 4 months and many hours on a plane and on the phone and many hundreds of thousands of baht before I really questioned anything.
I came back from that trip with my spider senses tingling. I began Facebook stalking, sending friend requests to farangs on her page. I could not stop being suspicious. I had started sending money in March and I had thought that would fix everything – but it made me possessive. I have never been like that before.
She went home after our trip and has stayed there other than a trip to clear out her room for 3 days. I give her 35,000 or 50,000 baht depending on if I would see her or not, and she has given notice and will provide no more lessons in Soi Cowboy.
You would think this is the end and everyone lives happily ever after. I know I did.
I enjoy talking in the day, no drunken chats at 6 AM Sydney time, no worry of customers. It should all be good but it's not. I know she's at home, I have someone keeping an eye on her and the family are never far away when I call as I can hear them. So what's the problem? The love of my life has left the bar and is at home with family waiting to marry me. Perfect? Not.
As things have become more serious, discussions about the past have come up. It all started with me suggesting we both go get tested to make sure we are clean. Sensible, I thought. Interesting to note, this particular bar only tests once a year – scary and not a good lesson. This led to the fact she had been with 2 customers in the last few months. To be honest, I lost it. If in your mind you don't see her as a bargirl, when she acts like one it hits you like a freight train.
Luckily, a few days later I was due to go see her and we were going overseas. I sat on the plane only a few weeks ago not sure if I could look at her the same. Personal integrity is important to me and (here it comes), I thought she was different. Anyway, the trip was ok, but I was so suspicious I did an awful thing – I went through her phone for 7 days, every time she was in the shower. I looked at Line, Facebook, Viber, her SMS messages….the lot. It was very confronting, to say the least.
She has been in the bar for 3 years. Yes, too long, but she doesn't have the distant bargirl look. She has protected herself. 3 years in the bar gives you a lot of history, an awful lot – and I wasn't ready for it. I started off with questions around what I had read, thinking a lot of this was before me but if she tells me the truth I could get over it. Well, for 3 days I got what I like to call the 'Thai Truth' – part of the story. When we got back to Bangkok I confronted her and it was not pretty. She was shocked at everything I knew. We parted on reasonable terms and are still trying to fix this.
So what are my issues?
1. I think she cheated on me twice. She thinks she was just working and if she didn't go the manager would give her a hard time. I can't understand how someone gets to work in a bar, let alone giving a reason as I was working as an explanation.
2. Whilst now she has stopped everything, she was still chatting to customers up until a few weeks ago. With one customer looking to have been her Bangkok boyfriend. I don't understand how you can talk about marrying someone in the morning after spending short time with someone else. I have read about the different views on sex but I just can't understand.
3. She has been in the bar 3 years, has 900,000 baht in the bank – pretty clear what that means – she's been a very busy girl. I'm struggling to deal with this. This is my problem I know. Maybe I should think she is an entrepreneur, or maybe I should ask why she needs 50,000 baht from me.
4. Can I ever really trust her? She is doing everything she can to fix this mess but can you ever really forget the past.
I sit in Sydney now after a big argument with the love of my life torn between walking away and regretting it or giving happiness another go. I am more skeptical now than before and my defences are up – will this protect me? I know I will check the phone again. I know I check her FB friends – all Farang have gone, only me on Line and Viber deleted. Am I still not seeing clearly – am I not the right person to have an ex bargirl girlfriend? How do you leave the past behind?
I believe her that she has moved on but can I? If I had gone with other women, kept talking to ex girlfriends and meeting them and spent 6 months lying how would she react?
Where to from here I really don't know. I love her dearly but sit here emotionally broken.
If I was commenting on this story 10 years ago I'd probably have written something completely different and suggested that this woman cannot be trusted, was not worthy of your affection and support and you should walk away. Bu I have changed – I'd like to think that I have matured – and my comments reflect a different attitude these days.
I think checking someone's phone is reprehensible. If you have to do that, you should not be in a relationship and you're better off just walking away. You obviously don't trust her and if you don't trust someone you cannot be in a relationship with them.
Every woman who has worked in the bar industry has a history and that history almost certainly includes some wild and perhaps deviant sex, unprotected sex with multiple (perhaps many dozens of) partners and with the numbers girls clock up these days, many of these girls really have had more pricks than a pin cushion. If you cannot deal with a lady's past – and many cannot – I would recommend you pursue a lady whose background might be a little more palatable to you.
The sad part is that it seems this lady has actually eventually committed to you, but your trust issues are what has destroyed it.