by Paul Garrigan
Of course I will wait for you…….
don’t forget to send the money!
This might seem like I’m being a bit over-the-top here, but it really does appear like some tourists to Thailand have left their brains on the plane.People who otherwise appear savvy and not lacking common sense begin doing strange things when they arrive here!!.
I have lived in Thailand for almost eight years, but I’m still amazed at how naive many tourists can be.
The usual scenario is that a foreign man arrives in one of the beachresorts where he meets a Thai lady – usually in a bar. They can barely communicate, but the man becomes convinced that he has found his perfect match!.
He develops this desire to protect his new love and has no qualms about going along with the suggestion that he send her money every month to keep her waiting for him.
The man then goes back to his home country where he starts up a standing order with his bank for a few hundred euro to send to his new girlfriend; more than a nurse or teacher would earn here.
Later it transpires that he is not the only one sending her money, and that she is already married. The man gets angry and for years later feels bitter with the people of Thailand for this trickery!.
Well, the truth is that this wasted money should be considered as a type of idiot-tax. If people listened to their heads instead of their hearts this thing would never happen.
What do you think is the likelihood that a person you met on a short holiday could be your ideal match? How much less likely is this to be the fact if you can hardly communicate with them?. A Thai woman involved in meeting westerners in one of these tourist areas is going to meet thousands of them!.
Of course it would be easy here to blame the people of Thailand, but that would be similar to blaming the people of France for the actions of the fruit-sellers at the French Disney-land.
The vast majority of Thai women do not go anywhere near bars with the intention of meeting foreigners. In fact many Thai people can be a bit old-fashioned in their views about women in bars. No, the truth is that many of these tourist areas attract the small percentage of the population who are out to make a fast buck.
Please don’t think that I am picking on men here, because there are an awful lot of western women being just as foolish. You will frequently hear from fifty-year-old women complaining bitterly that it was only their money that their twenty-year-old boyfriend was after.
At least though,she will be spared the humility of people back home thinking that she is some type of sex tourist; this label is only reserved for men. Women refer to what they do as a romantic holiday; what a fair world we now live in.
People do find love in Thailand- I did. Mind you I didn’t come here looking for it. The trick is to not give your heart to the first person you meet in a bar – you are unlikely to find true love there.
You are also unlikely to form a normal relationship with someone who you can barely communicate with. If you don’t speak Thai then your partner should speak good English.
It is also important to realise that cross-culture relationships are difficult if you don’t try to understand the other culture.
I don’t mean to give a high and mighty attitude here. I made plenty of mistakes when I arrived in Thailand, but luckily didn’t have much money to lose.
Author: Paul Garrigan