It’s (Almost) Always About The Money
….Even when you cant get your hands on the money!
On a recent visit to Thailand I had a dreadful experience trying to get some cash from my credit and debit cards while in Pattaya. I had preloaded my credit card with cash before I left home and notified my bank of my travel plans as this is usually the cheapest, safe way to access cash abroad. Six separate ATMs operated by six different banks refused to give me even the basic 10,000 baht daily transaction limit and when I approached bank teller counters with my passport they too couldn't give me a cash advance. As the clock ticked towards bank closing time on a Friday afternoon, my plans for a weekend splurge in Pattaya were fast going up in smoke as a mild panic started to set it in. Then a series of text messages started with the security department of my bank back in Ireland who it appeared had 'flagged' my account due to the number of aborted transactions that day. It seems that most Thai banks can't deal with the chip technology that most western bank / ATM cards use. At least that was the explanation that I was given. I eventually got my hands on some (of my own) cash but wasted a complete afternoon and became quite stressed in the process. It's bad enough to get mugged for 180 baht each time you use an ATM in Thailand but being denied access to your own cash is really taking the p*ss. Surely the Thai tourist authority should be applying their minds to this issue. <In fairness to them, it sounds like the problem was with your bank in Ireland – Stick>
Meanwhile ,I had been reading Hua Hin Harry's occasional online dating tales on Stickman with great interest. As a mid fifties internet dating newbie / virgin I decided to finally give it a try on my recent visit to Thailand just to see if I could break the usual habits of indulging in the naughtier side of Thai nightlife. The idea of subscribing to an online dating site in my own country at my age did not appeal to my sense of privacy but the chances of being spotted by somebody that knows me on a Thai website seemed suitably remote to tempt me online. So I signed up with Thai Love Lines about one week before my departure to the Land of Smiles, deducted a modest five years from my real age (everybody lies online, right?) and set myself a modest target of three dates over the three weeks I would be away. After all, I'm no longer in the first or even second flush of youth even if I am regularly assured of my 'hansum' looks when in Thailand. And then the fun began.
Based on anecdotes from Stick and the online successes of his 'manwhore' pals I anticipated instant success but it took me a while to get the hang of things. Expressions of interest would frequently arrive from lovely looking Thai females of all ages and sizes (the good the bad and the ugly) but when I responded I must have been pushing the wrong buttons as the online silence was often deafening i.e. more often than not, no response ! And when responses did arrive they inevitably pointed me towards another website, Thai Friendly, where apparently its easier to video chat. So of course I joined that site too. Others wanted to do Yahoo Messenger or Skype, neither of which I use. It seemed that nearly all of the ladies that responded wanted to meet on some platform other than the one we were using! I guess that must be a Thai thing? Eventually, in frustration, I contacted the website for some guidance in where I was going wrong. To my surprise it emerged from their feedback that only 1 in 5 of my outbound messages were being opened by the intended recipients and only 1 in 10 attempts to chat were successful. However, I persevered and eventually met and with minimal fuss, managed to line up a date with a 40-something year old hairdresser from Bangkok whose profile looked decent but maybe not exactly 'hot'. Let's call her Nan. I was really more interested in meeting somebody about ten years younger but at that stage beggars cant be choosers and I was just happy to have any sort of a date in the diary.
We met at the appointed time and place and went to a nearby hotel garden restaurant for a very pleasant if slightly expensive Thai lunch, that I paid for, of course. All went well with lunch and we had an enjoyable afternoon chatting about our likes and interests. Nan's profile picture did not do her justice and I was pleasantly surprised at how pretty she was in the flesh (so to speak). She looked like a very classy, if slightly mature, Thai lady that I was more than happy to be seen with and spend some time and money with. Then she told me that she would like to see my (Thong Lor) hotel! It would have been impolite of me to decline this request so off we went to 'inspect the premises'. Fortunately I had been offered a free upgrade on arrival from the budget / economy room that I had booked (a money thing on my part to help defray travel costs) so the hotel received the satisfactory stamp of approval. Then Nan decided to 'phone a friend.' Probably a wise thing to do for any Thai lady on a semi-blind date with an unknown quantity / farang male. I was asked to exchange pleasantries with the friend which I duly did in a combination of my pidgin Thai and her pidgin English. Then the real fun started. Nan told me she had never been with a farang before so we set about fixing that! I was reminded of a line an old friend of mine had used many years previously when we were in our 'scouting for girls' heyday. I had asked him over coffee about his escapades the previous night when he had copped off with a late night lovely in Dublin, while I went home alone. He responded by saying that he 'didn't get the actual ride but had gotten all sorts of other goodies! ' And so it was that sort of afternoon that made me feel a bit like a schoolboy copping his first grope. Given that Nan was of the 'good girl' school of dancing I was happy not to push it any further. Besides, we had gotten on really well and would surely be seeing each other again, wouldn't we? I escorted Nan back to the BTS for her long journey home to the suburbs of Bangkok and offered her some cash to help cover her train fare / expenses. She gratefully accepted the small wedge of notes I proffered (the money thing?) and we promised to keep in touch and hook up again when I got back from my short trip to Jakarta the following week – a whole other story for another day.
Meanwhile, buoyed by my moderate success, I kept trawling the TLL and TF websites for further suitable matches. Then I discovered that I was no longer able to chat with any of the ladies on the TF site! WTF? When I contacted Admin they calmly pointed out that they did not support chat via an iPhone (my sole means of communication while in Thailand). By now they had also auto-renewed my one week trial subscription and debited me for a one month membership (the money thing again) that was now about as much use to me as tits on a bull !
Anyway, I persevered with the TLL website and before I knew it, I got an online poke from a real hottie whose profile indicated that she lived in Bangkok. With a night to spare before heading to Jakarta I suggested we meet for a date and I would gladly wine, dine and romance her as her profile indicated that she was a girl that liked to have a good time. Her response about two days later informed me that she did not actually live in Bangkok and would need a little more notice than that to get to Bangkok in time for a date. Oh and by the way how much would I be prepared to give her for her taking the time and trouble to come and see me. 10,000 Baht per day? (definitely the money thing). I considered this for all of about a nano-second and responded that I didn't think 10,000 baht would be nearly enough for such a hot lady and suggested that we make it 100,000 per day – and added a polite but firm PFO and told her that I was considering reporting her to the site administrator. Her two word riposte – 'You funny' – was not quite as I had anticipated…..
Meanwhile, another young lady in Pattaya with a very fetching profile was by now blitzing me with flirt messages and requests to chat and as I was scheduled to visit there the following week we arranged for a provisional date. By now I had returned from Jakarta and was scheduled to meet Nan for lunch again in Bangkok and was looking forward to sampling some further 'goodies' and afternoon delights but to my dismay she emailed to say that she was feeling ill and could not come to meet me. Oh the disappointment! I emailed back to let her know that I understood and invited her to join me for a day or two on Koh Samet when she was recovered and where I was headed next. She immediately rallied and told me that she liked Samet and was I sure about this because she was a very hot lady and would come (sic !) if I could pay for everything! (It's definitely the money thing again : ). I assured her that this would not be a problem and that as my invited guest that of course I would be paying for everything. Next day and a change of heart as she emailed me that she would join me in Pattaya instead, where I was headed after Samet. Hmmm. Now I could see problems on the horizon and diary conflicts emerging but sometimes when I'm in Thailand I feel a bit like I am James Bond as I always have amazing adventures and excitement, can wriggle out of any situation, always get the girl and the story always has a happy ending (LOL). So I told her to come on down to Pattaya and we'd have some fun. I decided to place my trust in the universe that everything would work out all right on the potentially conflicting dates. A nice problem to have in some ways….
As the week progressed the plan changed, derailed and ultimately fell apart. Nan was having difficulty getting tome off work and decided that it would be better if she waited for me to return to Bangkok. The hottie in Pattaya had some sort of a personal crisis and had to leave town for a few days. All other overtures to the ladies on TLL fell on deaf ears / blind eyes or became a series of missed IMs or misconstrued signals and before I knew it I was up to my goolies (literally) in Pattaya's bar girls, bad girls and naughty girls again. Sigh. Well, I did try.
But there was still potential redemption on the horizon with the final night date in Bangkok with Nan before I flew back home. I tried contacting Nan in good time to tee up a potentially romantic / hot final night liaison but now she wasn't answering her phone or her emails. (I never got to the bottom of what was going on with Nan, perhaps she had met a better prospect online. As soon as I got back home there was a barrage of requests from her to chat that I ignored. I simply sent her 'HH Harry style email to sign-off and let her know how perplexed and disappointed I was by her behaviour). Anyway, I decided to revert to type and contacted my 'go to girl' who works in a certain skanky Bangkok bar. I hadn't even let her know I would be in Thailand (as I was determined to change my usual holiday dynamic) but she welcomed me with open arms and we spent a very pleasant final night together. The next day we went for a late lunch as I had some time to kill before my evening flight. I slipped her the usual amount of baht for her (long)time but she made a disappointed face at me, pushed the money back and said that she saw me more as a friend than a customer! I insisted that she take the cash and buy herself something nice with it. She reluctantly accepted but insisted that I at least allow her to buy lunch which she duly did and was disappointed when I didn't order more than one dish!
I am not quite sure what the moral of this story is but after all my wasted efforts to find and meet a good Thai girl online (IMHO the online reward to effort ratio is ridiculously poor), I ended up resorting to 'bar girl' type, having a great time on holiday and eventually having my faith in humanity, or in this instance Thai ladies, somewhat restored by a generous gesture from a genuinely good, bad / bar girl!
Note to Stick. If your pals genuinely have a lot of success with internet dating and meeting Thai ladies for a no frills romp then they could probably make a fortune by coaching internet dating newbies such as Harry and I in their success methods.
The Dublin Dude
It's hard to know why some guys have great success with online dating and others don't, and why some are approached by girls who are obviously money girls yet others aren't.
It's been 5+ years since I was in to online dating and things may well have changed in that time, but from what some friends in Bangkok tell me they still have great success. Back when I was in to it, very few ladies approached me looking for money – very few. Maybe I look poor?
I do have to acknowledge at the same time that there are more reports like yours and Hua Hin Harry's which suggest that there are a lot more money girls on the dating sites these days. I guess girls looking for $$ use whatever means they can.