Online Dating – Can It ‘Work’…? – Part 1
After reading about online ‘dating’ on this site, and seeing an ad. for ThaiLoveLinks here, in May, 2011, I decided to give it a try. For new readers of my meanderings, I have been in Thailand on & off for twenty years, married to a Thai lady for the first eight, after which we agreed to go our separate ways – her to return to the West, where she had a fourth punter set up, ripe for plucking. I came out of it remarkably unscathed, not a lot poorer and, after a sojourn touring Europe for a year or two, I decided to return to the peaceful existence I’d subsequently enjoyed in Hua Hin… and I’ve been here ever since.
I have to admit, and having previously barely even heard of ‘P4P’, my arrival in Hua Hin was rather eye-opening and I soon dived into the murky waters of temporary and superficial Thai/farang relationships. Over the following several years I met and chatted with well over 200 bar-girls, often for hours at a time (when the bars were quiet) and, with some, over a period of several years… even to the present, although I now spend very little time in the bars…
I also met several very nice ladies in the bars, most of whom were far more honest and honourable than my ex-wife, and I’m sure she’d be horrified to hear me say that… but, although most ladies ‘on the game’ are ready and willing to execute a scam to our disadvantage I found them much less deceitful than my ex- in going about it.
NB: I must reiterate that all my comments about bar-girls relate to those working in Hua Hin who I believe, at least in the past, are rather different to their sisters elsewhere in the Kingdom.
For seven years I enjoyed my unexpected freedom and had no intention of ever marrying again (I do believe some people just aren’t suited to marriage and the scorn often heaped upon them is more the result of jealousy than morality…). I frequently had ladies visit my home, sometimes when they were lonely or hungry, but mostly when I paid them to do so. Some stayed two or three nights, and a few only lasted two or three hours.
After a few years of these social delights the excitement slowly wore off. Most of my bar-friends gradually moved away – some back home, often saddened by the experience, and others to foreign fields with new beaux, often to have their expectations, equally sadly, dashed. At the same time the Hua Hin bars changed, from relatively quiet, peaceful havens in a sexual tempest, to noisy, raucous, tempestuous sexual asylums.
Conversation (rather than idle chit-chat) became impossible, as music levels rose and bar owners and mama-sans pushed their girls to be more forthright. A simple and sincere question generated a brusque reply (‘Come inside me…’), soon followed by a curt dismissal (‘Just one drink…!’), which could turn into a surly demeanour that was almost hostile (‘Why you not like me…?’).
Maybe if I arrived in Hua Hin now I would have some good times but… it would not be the same as I had before – I just wouldn’t know it… I’m sure I’ve changed as well but… well, maybe don’t change as much as environments.
So, in May, 2011, I decided to try other fields of social endeavour…
On ThaiLoveLinks I look at the profiles of 72 ladies (I count them in the History file), and click on ‘Show interest’ for several of them, to see what will happen… and it does. Some of the ladies return my interest along with many more who have been awoken to my recent arrival on their shores… but, at face value, most seem to be ex-bar-girls, or ex-wives of other farang, or ka-toey wanting gender surgery, or young students desiring teeth-braces, iPhones and/or nose-jobs, none of which come into my catchment criteria.
I try to send a message and come up against the first hurdle in this whole business… as a ‘standard’, non-paying member, I am able to search the database, and express an interest in any of these ladies but… in order to send a message, I have to ‘join’ – i.e. pay… which is hardly surprising (why should I expect all this to be free…?) but why didn’t they make this more apparent up front. Well, of course, we know why…!
I whiz the necessary cash from my bank to theirs and reply to ‘Nataree’… (All names have been changed…) Many ka-toey use Western female names, hence, ‘Natalie’… I also have interest from a 57 year-old matron, looking for assistance to marry off her five children… and perhaps a world cruise to follow.
Some messages I have to translate but others have done it for me… which often leaves me bemused. One lady writes: “Everything that men should be made to decay woman you love.” – and that is all I ever hear from her. Several ladies declare they want/desire/need a man to help them out of a problem – at least they’re honest. Several photographs of ladies claiming to be simple farm-girls, looking for a quiet life, depict them in the West, or on a plane, and even working in bars. They are inadvertently honest… but do they realise what they’re revealing…? Others have clearly cropped a farang from the side of the photo, but leaving his arm around her shoulder…
I prepare a few words about myself, to go with my ‘han-sum’ photos. I write in English first, translate online and then, to check, translate the Thai back to English, and most of it seems to work well. I discover short simple sentences work better. ‘I live in Hua Hin. I want a lady to take care of me. I do not smoke. I do not drink. I do not like sex. I am not rich.’ is better than a chatty: ‘I am just a poor boy… and I live in Hua Hin… I need a nice lady who can take good care of me; but not sexually, and I don’t smoke or drink either…’ The translation is easier and there’s a better chance of being understood.
There are two major failings with my system, which deal with proper nouns. When I write: ‘I can speak some Thai, but cannot read or write Thai,’ it comes out as: ‘I can speak English but not read and write English.’
I also have a lady write to say she is in San Francisco. I ask why she is writing to me when I am in Hua Hin… She retorts: ‘I don’t understand you.’ Another lady asks when I will be coming to Hua Hin… but what she presumably writes (in Thai) is translated (online) as: “I come to Cincinnati.” – go figure…
‘Luilly’, writes from ‘Germany’, as if we’re old friends… so I send back: ‘Hello – who are you…?’ I just receive: ‘I’m Lucy…’ ‘Fast & loosey’ is more likely, and she also gets zapped…!
Another lady tries to ‘IM’ me, but I don’t have a clue what ‘IM’ is, nor which button to click… She also likes scuba-diving and rock-climbing… Give me a break – I am looking for someone to change my light-bulbs because I can’t climb a ladder any more… And many ladies, ostensibly looking for someone a lot younger than me (40-55) seem attracted to my natural beauty and my greater age fails to deter them. To my reckoning the difference between 40-55 and 55-70 is bigger than a bungy-jump…
And you thought it would all be easy…
Incidentally… the title of this piece has the word ‘work’ in commas. The reason is that there is no way I can determine what might, or might not ‘work’ for others. I have read that many guys (and of course women) use these sites for ‘hooking up with hookers’ – i.e. for sex, plain and simple – maybe for free; maybe for dinner and a movie. That wasn’t my main desire so that aspect didn’t work for me simply because I didn’t try it. I also suspect that younger guys than me have more sexual success with online dating than I might.
Other guys are looking for a wife, and mother, and the love of their life… I wasn’t looking for this either, so I cannot say how this ‘works’… What I wanted was a good soul, who wanted a ‘job’ taking care of me, changing my light bulbs, keeping my garden growing well, and the house clean enough to deter ants. Hopefully we would also become friends. I would do my best to take care of her but point out she would have to take care of her family, and not expect extra payments for the 101 other little problems that invariably curse the average Thai’s life…!
Nevertheless I do realise that few Thais can save (and most daily-paid workers have little to save anyway) so I hoped to pay a smaller allowance each month (or weekly, if that was preferable), which would allow me to occasionally make those expected additions… but, if the lady wants too much up front I suspect all bets will be off… I became quite adept at avoiding making additional payments with my ex-wife – never a problem with buffalo horns but I was always amazed (and amused) by the devious ruses she came up with…
Online dating offers many possibilities for the many different people out there. I will be writing about what happened with my particular type of search…
That’s all for now folks… Pip, Pip.
Hua Hin Harry
to be continued…
Very nice start and I look forward to watching adventure unfold.