Online Dating – Can It ‘Work’…? – Part 13
Part-1 outlined my basic reasons for investigating ThaiLoveLinks.
Part-2 detailed my first two meetings with tender Thai damsels.
Part-3 covers two further meetings with less tender lasses.
Part-4, in which I investigate a ‘company girl’, and take a break.
Part-5, where the ‘company girl’ gets another break.
Part-6, and I meet with two bored, and boring, ladies.
Part-7 wherein we limber up to meet three ladies in two days.
Part-8 where I fail to meet two out of three ladies, and check The Plaza.
Part-9 and I fail to meet the third lady.
Part-10 continues the search, closer to home.
Part-11 and the first actual audition in the home.
Part-12 and the local talent comes home to roost.
Another month of naive bliss passes until April, 2013, when ‘Pin’ (not her real name) pops her head above the balustrade… and, in four days declares her desire to come to Hua Hin this very day, to take care of me. We chat happily for ten minutes but… she suddenly cannot come until next month… and wants me to meet her in Bangkok first, and bring her back with me… I can understand this but… she’s not a baby, so, as I’m about to make a visa-run via Bangkok, we arrange to meet in Bangkok on Friday afternoon, about six o’clock, or should this be evening…?
Meanwhile… ‘Nisa’ (not her real name) also declares her interest, at the same time, and speedily supplies ‘her’ phone-number, but her ‘sister’ answers, in English, although she doesn’t sound as bad as the previous ‘sister’. I ask to speak to Nisa and am told Nisa hasn’t arrived yet(?). She says she’ll give my number to Nisa tomorrow.
Later Nisa phones but speaks so softly I’m not even sure there’s anybody there. I send an SMS to say I’ll try tomorrow… but she responds entirely in Thai… I fear she’s going to be difficult but she has a nice manner.
Overall I still feel Pin has been around the block… and will know exactly what she wants… whereas Nisa almost certainly hasn’t, and will have little idea what we can achieve together…
Nisa phones again… It’s nice she feels able, and keen, to bother but… she (also) is unable to acknowledge my difficulty speaking Thai on the phone… Later, Nisa’s ‘sister’ phones to sort out where and when ‘we’ are going to meet, on Saturday.
On the same day that Pin and Nisa appeared I also have a message from ‘Paa’ (not her real name), and call her as well… She speaks very good English, has previously had an Austrian husband… and says she’ll call tomorrow, about ‘when’… and, as she signs off, asks my name again – I have a negative vibe here…
Paa phones again, very late… and continues to display strong possibilities that she isn’t right for me… She says she has loads of questions to ask and I tell her she can ask tomorrow… because otherwise she might ask too many questions, and get confused, and end up not meeting at all.
We agree on Victory Monument on Sunday morning at eleven o’clock… but… I’m sure she’s the type to simply not bother unless she can first determine by phone that I am the one for her…
There is a lot of traffic today and it takes four hours to get to Victory Monument… At the hotel I shower and lie down. Nothing happens today until I meet Pin at six o’clock. I send an SMS to let her know I’ve arrived. She says she’s on her way home from work, and asks me to wait. At five o’clock I have my usual lunch in Coffee World and, at six (now no more eager than the average Thai lady…), get the train to On Nut, and stroll around a market area and open-air cafe complex, until Pin calls… and we have supper in one of these cafes.
Pin seems to be a nice person, claims never to have dealt with farang before (though I’m not so sure…) but seems quite at ease with me. We order drinks (water) which cost more than in a Hua Hin bar… I ask the boy for a slice of lime and he curtly says they don’t have any. That’s his tip gone… He returns with lots of small change… and waits. I am talking and, as Thais never interrupt themselves when someone is waiting, I carry on… as Pin picks up a 20, for me, leaving 25 as a tip… Before the boy can remove the tray, I take the other 20, and allow the kid to have 5 ฿… This doesn’t seem to miss Pin’s attention, but neither of us says anything… I don’t want to pay 75 ฿ for two 10 ฿ bottles of water, but I’m also hoping she will realise I’m not happy to be taken advantage of…! If she instantly writes me off as a miser, so much the better. Best to get it out in the open.
The meal is very nice, and Pin is polite and pleasant, and says she lives nearby but works in Ayutthaya where the factory buses them in… I ask why she doesn’t work in one of the many Bangkok factories and she says there aren’t any… What…? She also asserts it is ‘dangerous’ for a lady to live alone in Ayutthaya… but there will be hundreds of other women up there… and why choose to live on Sukhumvit…? She works an eight-hour day and travels 3-4 hours a day, which explains why she has turned up in her factory outfit… which looks very smart.
We then go for a walk, ‘shopping/looking’… and every time she pauses to look at shoes or handbags I ease away before she can make any suggestions… and then we cross the road to Tesco where we have a drink in the ‘coupon-cafe’… We continue chatting about Hua Hin but she is now very reticent… and still insists that I must come here to escort her to Hua Hin. I totally refuse… She’s nearly 41, and has met me… If it’s a ‘test’ I’m happy to fail.
I show her the toothache-photo on my phone and, uninvited, she starts flipping through the rest… which is a damned liberty, and I quickly retrieve the phone… There’s nothing on it I would mind her seeing but… it’s a bloody cheek, and I don’t care if that’s what ‘they’ normally do. Even bar-girls in Hua Hin ask if they can look at my other photos.
Incidentally… three times this evening Pin asks if she can come to my hotel this very night. I instantly refuse, and ask why she wants to do so. She never answers, but continues to ask… I find this somewhat odd, especially for someone who has allegedly never had dealings with farang…
Pin informs me she is bothered about her future because the government has apparently decreed that women over 40 should get an automatic wage hike… which has caused many women over 40 to be fired – allegedly. I have also heard that Yingluck’s wizard wheeze of raising the minimum wage by 50% has resulted in many factories utilising fewer women, to work longer hours, who get the higher wage for their basic hours, and peanuts for the enforced overtime.
At eight-forty we politely depart, by Skytrain, waving at each other from opposite platforms… I have no idea if I’ll see her again, nor if I want to. If she offers to come to Hua Hin to visit I will probably accept… but I’m not sure she’ll receive another invite…
After an early night I am up early for a visa-run to Poi Pet… my last for a while. Incidentally… the ‘Thai-Visa’ service is excellent throughout, although heavy traffic on the return gets me back to the hotel at ten to three, having previously told Nisa I hoped to meet her at MBK by two o’clock.
I would like to shower and lie down for half an hour but Nisa’s ‘Big-Sis’ calls to say: “We are here…” She doesn’t apologise for being an hour late… I shower and change, and dash off to MBK… where I quickly find them… at three-thirty… Why do so many Thai women take an hour and a half to do the same journey…!? Fer-gedda-bow-dit…!
I have difficulty working out which one is Nisa – because neither looks like the photo… I understand very little of what Nisa says, and she understands little of my Thai… We sit side by side, with ‘Sis’ opposite.
‘Sis’ is far too full of herself: Danish husband; two children with him; one with a previous Thai guy; two divorces (pronounced: ‘dai-worss’…); and she drove to Bangkok from Petchabun in her own car… at which I’m probably expected to say, ‘Wow…’ but I change the subject, and ask why she didn’t use condoms with her farang… which at least gets a laugh…
‘Sis’ asks when I am going to visit Petchabun. I ask why I should go there when Nisa works in Bangkok… She suggests Nisa could have a little business there and take care of me – Ho Ho, here we go… I ask how she can take care of me there when I’m in Hua Hin… Nisa then asks if I want to go back with them to see her room in Chaeng Wattana. I would love to but feel somehow uneasy with these two… and I decline. She asks five more times. This is possibly the most persistent Thai lady I’ve ever known for asking, asking, and re-asking, with the infantile intention of eventually having me say, ‘Oh, all right then…’
Then she wants to take my photo, which I put up with, until the fourth one, and ask her to stop. Then ‘Sis’ tells her to take ‘our’ photo and comes round to sit beside me… Why should Nisa’s sister want a photo of me and herself…? I certainly do not…! I tell Nisa to desist and she part ignores, and part argues with me that she wants the photo… After all, ‘Big-Sis’ has spoken…! Four times I tell her to stop until I lean forward, gently take the phone from her hand, and put it in my pocket. If I wasn’t so tired, and therefore likely to lose face by being irritable, I might have come close to walking out. Nisa has a simplistic approach to such things – if she wants it, and if ‘Sis’ wants it… then they want it, and my feelings/opinions/attitudes/desires are irrelevant… Well, not today Josephine…!
Nisa works in an office serving refreshments to clients… She seems unlikely ever to be much of a conversationalist, although she’s very jolly, and I’m sure a good soul at heart. She says she can do massage but isn’t trained. She also insists on showing me photos of her sons – 18 and 13. She’s been in Bangkok for ten years and gets two trips home, of a few days each, per year… Like Pin I suspect she’s about to get fired (being 40…) and is also looking for salvation – and ‘Sis’ is coaching her…
Nisa suddenly finds she has another phone and proceeds to chat with ‘friends’… When she’s finished I ask why she has two phones. She replies this is her old one… But it still works… so… I ask (and I find this a reasonable question…) why she needed to buy a new one. Nisa doesn’t offer any sort of answer or response…
Then three other women turn up (Am I good…? I am…!) – an over-weight and over-50 teacher and two young students… I make no offer to feed them but, as Fatty hands over 200 ฿ to the girls, Nisa generously offers them the 50 ฿ change from our lunch… I say nothing. When they’ve got themselves sorted I ask Nisa if she wants to go for a walk. She asks, where to…? God give me strength…! as my mother used to say. I tell her we need to see how poorly we can communicate on our own…
We walk past a stall selling wrist-watches, which she stops to view. As I move on she explains the object on her wrist, which she’s been consulting quite happily up to now, isn’t any good… I still keep walking.
Nisa continues to look… at shoes… and handbags… (much as Pin did – perhaps they all do…!) so I find somewhere for us to sit… and talk… but sadly, we get nowhere… By six o’clock I am fading, having been up fourteen hours (and these meetings can be very wearing), and Nisa says they need to get home as well, so she phones the others, who join us… and then the five of them just walk off… I stand my ground – I don’t like being ignored but it’s inevitable when these women get together… I ask Nisa where she’s going. She doesn’t know. One of the others looks at me as if I’ve never done ‘shopping’ before, says they’re, ‘going along here’, and sets off again… and they all follow again. I call Nisa back and tell her the Skytrain is behind me, not in front of them… so ‘Sis’ decides they must all come with me… so… I ask again, of Nisa, where she’s going, and again ‘Sis’ interrupts to decide that we should all go together… in the end I tell ‘Sis’ Nisa and I need to communicate – without her – and I now discover all my messages on ThaiFriendly were dealt with by ‘Sis’, alone, up in Petchabun… while chatting on the phone with Nisa in Bangkok… which is just crazy… Nisa now interjects she can only visit on Sundays, and wants her sister to come as well… I tell her, “No…!” adding they should now wander around and do whatever they want… It was very nice to meet them all… but I’m off now… and, as the others wai me, ‘Sis’ pretentiously gives me her hand to shake – such a conceited little . . .!
That’s all for now folks… Pip, Pip.
Hua Hin Harry
to be continued…
This whole series makes interesting reading. I do think it's time for me to say what I have long been thinking: I wonder how compatible you and the average (read: typical) Thai woman would be with regards to having a mutually satisfying, loving relationship. Thais aren't great when it comes to compromise – and there's a decent argument that when they're living in their own country they should not have to bend too much. Conversely, there are some foreign men who are set in their ways, who may not be willing to compromise, and who have little ability to speak the language of the country they live in who, it has to be said, are always going to struggle to meet a local lady. This is certainly not a criticism, but I do think you being stuck in your ways and not willing to bend on some things could be a major barrier to finding happiness with a Thai woman. Some things I absolutely agree with you on – such as women arriving hours late, but some of the small stuff I'd suggest to just let go. Also, while I admire those who are careful with their money, the impression one gets is that you're rather tight – and that can be a barrier to meeting a woman in the early days.