Well a little surprise when, on Stick's site, I read the comment of an ex-pat who after 7 or 9 years has decided to leave the country, fed up of being a citizen of second order here. What a spurious idea to feel to be a citizen in Thailand even of second order for a foreigner? For me it is very clear from the start, we are simply ex-pat or long resident! Citizenship is for real Thai people or a foreign spouse of a Thai man, period. In fact, in the morning, I don't see an Asian man in the mirror but a simple Belgian guy with a big nose (compare to an Asian of course! :-)). There are rules here for the different visas, the possibility to own a condo legally or for working. The rules are known and thus quite simple to know our restrictions, I mean legally, of course if you are a dreamer, hoping for changes or a cheater, up to you. Evidently I don't ask anybody to share my personal view here, of course, I have nothing to teach or counsel to others, I am a Belgian NIP.
The first time I came here was for 3 weeks (diving) then 3 months the following year (dive master) then 6 months last year (dive instructor) and now I am here for 9 months (how what a new-bee! yes I am!) I will not say my stays become exponential, some of you have learned mathematics… but now I am retired I expect to stay here 9 months each year and 3 months in my country.
I like a lot of the advice I have received in Stick's papers and I have also read a lot of subs. I like the subs very much, the pleasure for me is not really to be informed by the stories (well, a little of course) but to discover the profile, psychology of the writers, the cleverness or … you have an infinity of categories here : The most pathetic? The guys who want to educate the others and the « classifiers » who dissect the different type of farangs or bars or bars girl etc. Their reasons to write seems often to have more to do with an inflated ego than willing to help people (in short They know! :-)). We have also grumpy old men, sexual performers, mongers or the defender of the Thai again the so obvious, for some, white supremacy etc.
But after reading 2 or 3 thousand submissions I never have encountered in them someone like me and for a good reason: we are all different, different origin, education, family, land or region, personal interest etc. So the most I can do is to share some personal observations which have value to me but not forcibly to you, share observations simply because a lot of people like to read the subs (even the bad ones :-)) and even if English is not my mother language (you didn't know until now, I am sure :-)), I need to give a little bit too in exchange of all I have receive from this site. Some guys preach in the desert but here is the good news: even if you are not sure to be acknowledged, you are almost be sure to be read.
So as a light foot of 67 years, I find myself in a relationship with a Thai woman of 39 (finally something interesting is coming I heard…) and this from November last year. In fact, I was not in search of a relationship, My mother died when I was 13 and solitude doesn't scare me, alone but never feeling lonely, my best friend? Well, it's me! When I think of all the guys not having the chance to be me… Okay I stop joking! What? Yes it's good to be me but no, I am not autistic! :-). The previous seems stupid but fundamental is the fact that if you are in constant search for friendship, relationships, chasing others at any price or can't stay 5 minutes alone in your condo without turning your radio or TV on, or jumping out to the first bar to find a soul, could it be that you have a problem and definitely a big vulnerability. Two words I don't like to associate are vulnerability and Thailand.
So, coming back from Belgium, entering my little bar, I met this woman that we will call Gin (We? Of course, mate, I know it's me who holds the pen!), she was not there at my previous stay for sure. As she has very little knowledge of English and asking her name I followed directly, using my finger as a pencil, writing her name in Thai on the table for confirmation. So Gin and I were very happy to have a common language (so many hours, breaking my ass, learning the Thai script… Don't dream too, I have a lot of progress to do) but as a joke she tested me writing some Thai words and I passed the test easily. In a bar as farang I landed immediately in the upper league.
From that moment our language will always be Thai (I am sure I gave her lot of headaches :-)) and realizing her conversation was interesting, mature is the right word, I offered her a drink and she sat next to me. For 3 consecutive evenings we met and had long chats, sipping my beer, sipping her lady-drink (what? Okay we both where sipping our drink! My god!), She will always insist for long sipping so the chat… she pleased me very well and when from time to time she walked into the bar I examined hmm well you know ; everybody has a taste for a type of woman body (Ups! Sorry! I forget the gays here…) it was right my taste!
So Gin explained that she was married for 9 years, she came in her new family and everyday was : cooking 4 plates for her new family, housekeeping and at noon go down to the familial atelier and sought pillow until 9 PM, (now you know why sin-sot is paid to a Thai spouse…) She laughed when I told her « So if I understand well, after 9 years making pillows you work on it now! « .
I am not a detective, I don't press questions, calmly I chat and listen but I keep, like the pieces of a puzzle, all in my memory, with each conversation the new pieces will fall into place if they fit! After 11 months with Gin, I never have a wrong piece! If you press somebody with embarrassing questions you will force the person to lie, the person wanted simply to be mute. (I speak about an honest person here… think of Adolph, some are pathetic liars…) If you don't suffer from Alzheimer's, in short have a good memory, wait and the majority of the pieces slowly will come, remember also that like you she has right to have a previous life, a passé. Almost from the start, spontaneously, we knew the pin-code of the other (Sorry? no mate! of the GSM not the bank card :-)). If I ask Gin to look into my phone I must always first remember her my pin-code :-), for her phone I have never made a search into, if I don't trust a woman I don't see any interest of having a relationship with.
So time came for the first bar-fine of my life (300 baht! I hear now the sound of guys of Bangkok fainting to the ground… :-)), the boss is a Thai woman (Pun I will call her) of around 40, no farang boss, no cota lady-drink or bar-fine for the girls here. Of course I knew most girls work for that but will Gin agree my offer? and be refused is not always good for your ego! (some stupid guy when rejected continue by asking why? My god! :-)). So leaving the bar the third day I pay and say to her « Wow! one off this day I need to remember to propose you a bar-fine! « She replied by « Do you want to pay it now? « « No of course! You already know I'm here for six months, we have plenty of time! « (what a hypocrite am I :-)). I was decided next time I have a free day of diving I will bar-fine her. Pun knowing my intention by Gin, very surprised, replied : Him??? Now Pun knows that a true gentleman can be naughty some time…
To be continued…
As Alexandre (Dumas of course!) I will write episodes and call the next one « Before Gin » (if you prefer episode's name more subtle like Gin-1, Gin-2, Gin-3 etc. let me know!, I will never have to break my ass to find such wonderful episode titles…