Returning To Farangland Part 6
It was interesting to read your take on taking the missus to Kiwi Land.
We are now nearing our last month of 6 months in Canada and will soon return to the LOS.
I believe we farangs fall into the trap of thinking that all Thai women are alike and I have found that to be far from the truth. It is the nature / nurture issue. Nature gives them the luxurious long black hair, entrancing eyes, beautiful smiles, and slim bodies, but nurture gives them their personalities, good and bad traits, and world knowledge (or lack of it).
As an example, my wife worked high construction when she was 16 during school holidays in Bangkok, carrying pails of cement and water during a 12 hour day. She also rode on the back of a 125 cc motorcycle for 45 minutes while in labor to the local hospital. She often did not have 20 baht to spend at the school cafeteria during lunch and went hungry. Her 16 year old sister looked after her in the village while mom and dad worked in Bangkok, sending back 1,000 baht a month. Her father was killed by a drunk driver when she was 13.
I could go on and on, but my point is, each Thai lady has a story to tell, and each story has shaped the Thai lady into what she is as you take her to Farangland.
My Thai lady does not have a mean bone in her body and shops frugally and never asks for a Gucci handbag, like many Thai women I know. She knows where she has come from and is thankful to be where she is now. She does not put on airs and pretend to be hi-so. At this moment in time she wants to live in Canada full-time and when asked why, she states, ‘To give our son the advantages that Canada has to offer’.
What I find interesting is the feedback and suggestions she gets back from family and friends who have no experience outside Thailand. Many Thais base their knowledge of the outside world on what they hear from friends or read on Facebook. One of my wife’s friends has been trashed by other Thai women for dressing lo-so despite having a farang husband. Of course dressing appropriately is tied to brand names that can easily be recognized by Thais as hi-so. If you find yourself in the company of a Thai women who is obsessed about how she is perceived by other Thais I would suggest you run as fast as you can.
The Thai village gossip network is atrocious. The old hens sit around on bamboo platforms in front of their homes and compare notes on how much they receive from farangs via their daughters. I take great pride on being smarter than most farangs about how I spend my money. The average Thai is working for minimum wage (9,000 baht a month) for often a 12 hour day. Why would I give one of these old hens more than that for sitting around on their ass and doing nothing! I will never run out of money as I enjoy an indexed pension, but I refuse to be stupid. If your Thai sweety is demanding more for her family, again, I suggest you run!.
I don’t mind being described as a poor farang or a farang cheapskate. I prefer to be a realistic farang when it comes to handing out money to my Thai wife. Many of my friends give their Thai sweety 30,000 baht a month, which is $1280 Canadian a month for spending money! I don’t spend that kind of money on spending money a month so why would I pony up that amount to my wife, who has no expenses. However, that amount seems to be the gold standard for many Thai ladies looking for a farang to ‘look after them’. I can only think that the people who do so end up as leapers, or end up returning broke, to their home country. If your Thai sweety loves you, she won’t want to bankrupt you. Educate her re: your finances, and if she dumps you, look elsewhere.
I make sure my wife always has $20 in her purse for Starbucks and a credit card for emergencies, but other than that, she has to make a case for more money. Good cases are money to buy school uniforms for school, birthdays, etc. My Thai wife wants for nothing, but she wants nothing stupid like the aforementioned Gucci hand bag.
As my wife learned English I have stressed what makes you hi-so is your education, how you speak, how you act, and what you know. Education is the only thing you will never lose. You can lose your wealth, your health, your good looks, etc., but you will never lose your education (apart from Alzheimer’s).
One example I emphasized is manners. In Thailand, you take your life in hand, crossing in front of a car. A Thai in a car automatically considers themselves above a person walking, and should therefore go fist. I warned my wife that in Canada, it is the opposite. Pedestrians have the right of way and cars will patiently wait or wave you across in front of them. At first she said ‘bullshit’, but has since seen the light. Think about it, it is 100 degrees in Thailand, and the person in the car is sitting in air-conditioned comfort, and the person outside is sweating, so what is the rush.
Manners! Holding the door open for a person is not common in Thailand. In Canada, it is commonplace. I would think, that ‘after you’ does not translate well into Thai. My wife is starting to understand that money does not automatically make you hi-so. She is surprised that many middle-class Canadians take the bus or bicycle to work. I explained to her that saving the planet comes ahead of Gucci bags and she gets it. She understands that appearances are deceiving and understands the concept of one week millionaire farangs passing through Thailand. However, her peer group back in Bangkok does not get it. They won’t get it until they get out of Thailand and experience life in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the US.
Her eyes have been opened and she will never be the same back in Thailand and I suspect the Thai rose colored glasses will have disappeared and she will no longer view Thailand as the best country in the world.
However, we are looking forward to our next six months in Thailand and will enjoy the nightlife, family and friends. My favorite expression is, ‘If you can’t have fun in Bangkok, then there is something seriously wrong with you!’.
I would remind you, that my wife did not speak English when I met her. Much time and effort on my part has been rewarded by a truly outstanding young woman. We are over 6 years into our relationship and it just keeps getting better and better.
My Dad was wont to say, ‘Never shop for groceries when you are hungry, and never buy a car when you need a new one’. Take your time exploring different Thai women and you will discover they are all different and their stories define them, but like a flower, they will grow and blossom with the right care.