My Thai Girl and I Part 1

Me and Pookie 2007

A little while ago I got an e-mail from Catherine over at and she would be the impetus for this series of posts. Catherine wrote:

There are way too many cliché’s going around about expat men and Thai
women. I’m guilty of it, and I don’t like seeing myself that way. But I guess
it is because I don’t understand. And I want to.

But no one really writes about the real, honest to goodness caring
relationships. We read about how many difficult some are, etc. And little bits here
and there. And of course, we read tons of the cliché’s. But not the real parts.

Sure, there are posts stating why some guys like Thai gals over
Western gals, but they are used to slam Western women more than
anything else.

So would you be open to writing a post about it? To put things into
some sort of perspective? So that we can have something to point to
amongst all the cacca out there?

A tall order if there ever was one. In order to write about the relationship I have with Pookie,  my Thai girlfriend, I’ll have to write about myself  honestly which is never something I like to do because,  honestly, I’m as flawed as any other human being out there and we never like to look at ourselves that closely. Not to mention the fact that it could get long and boring.

As far as cliché’s go,  there are a lot of them out there concerning western men and Thai women as well as a lot of bad stories and bad feelings. The fact is most cliché’s are born out of truth and there are a lot of truths in all the cliché’s about western/Thai relationships. I can only speak to my knowledge of the situation and what I’ve learned. In order to explain the relationship I have with Pookie I guess I need to start with a little about myself…you know, the unflattering bits.

I found Thailand not too long after my 40th birthday. I was doing very well in my job, had no debt and had some serious pocket change looking to be spent. I have always wanted to travel but up to that point in my life I had never been anywhere. Since I was little I had always wanted to see South East Asia, this was most likely due to the fact that I grew up watching the Vietnam war on the T.V. and,  being young, glossed over the death and destruction and focused on the beautiful back drop.

Long story short ( yeah, right) I looked into Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Thailand won hands down as the travel curve didn’t seem as steep as the other places. Thailand is easily adaptable to the western lifestyle if you are only visiting Bangkok and Pattaya. And to be honest I have always had a penchant for Asian women and the stories I had heard of Thailand’s night life intrigued me.

My first trip to Thailand I spent 16 days between Bangkok and Pattaya. I can’t say I saw much of Thailand but I did see every bar on soi Cowboy and most of the bars in Nana Plaza as well as a good bit of the beer bars and Gogo’s in Pattaya. I wanted to see Thailand but waking up at 3pm every day isn’t conducive to sight seeing.

Like most men that had found Thailand I was back within 6 months for an extended stay. Pattaya is a funny place, most people think the only allure is the young available women but from my experience it’s much more than that. Most men from the west have their close circle of friends but because of marriage or jobs they don’t get out all that much anymore. Pattaya is like being 20 again and friendships and camaraderie are as much a part of the Pattaya scene as the bars and the girls.

I’ve made a fair few good friends in Pattaya but for me it was all about getting away from the stress of my job and America and actually relaxing and enjoying life for once. I wasn’t looking for the proverbial submissive, nubile, young Thai woman to satiate my every need because I had been forgotten by American women or hated them. I love American women and have had very good relationships in the west…I love all women, I was just looking to have fun.

I met Pookie 1 week into my second trip and have been with her for the past 2 years. There have been some ups and downs and the learning curve regarding culture and language, while not being all together too steep, have been a challenge.

Pookie is from Issan and she came to Pattaya the same time I did looking for work. She had given birth to a daughter 6 months before and the Thai boyfriend disappeared from the village when he learned of the pregnancy. It’s a common story of a lot of women from rural Thailand. Pookie comes from Issan which is the North Eastern area of Thailand on the Lao border. Specifically she lives in a small province called Mukdahan. There isn’t much prospect for work in Mukdahan for the average Thai much less a young mother with a limited education. A lot of women from Issan will head to Bangkok or Pattaya in search of work in the tourism industries. Hotels, restaurants, malls and yes the bars. Sending as much money home to the family and children as they can every month and usually living on very little themselves.

I don’t want this story getting too long so I’ve cut it up into several parts. Tomorrow I’ll delve a little further into the background of the relationship and hopefully let the air out of some of those underlying cliché’s.

sig1 My Thai Girl and I Part 1
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14 Responses to My Thai Girl and I Part 1
  1. Malcolm
    June 16, 2009 | 11:50 pm

    Talen, so far sooooo good , can’t wait to read “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvry would say. I am glad you are happy and have found your soul mate . I could write a book about my life with Ciejay , everyday is as it were, a gift from God , I have never been happier , my life was not a mess in America ,I was a work aholic, and just waiting to retire and spend as much time doing nothing as I could , AND then along came Ciejay and I did not want to spend another min alone , and it was her I wanted to spend all my time with .My kids ,my grandkids and friends , even my ex-wife from 14 years before, thanks the world of her. One of my first post has the story of us if you would like to go back and read and you may repeat any of it you like . Malcolm
    Malcolm´s last blog ..RIVER TRAVELS AND SIGHTSEEING My ComLuv Profile

    • Talen
      June 17, 2009 | 10:18 am

      Malcolm, I’ve read your blog front to back and it’s quite evident in everything you write just what you and Ciejay have.

  2. Catherine
    June 16, 2009 | 11:55 pm

    Talen, this is great! Thank you so much for taking the time (and for being so brave :-)

    ‘Pattaya is like being 20 again and friendships and camaraderie are as much a part of the Pattaya scene as the bars and the girls.’

    This I totally understand. To be fancy free just like we were back in our 20’s would hold a heavy allure. I would LOVE to feel 20 again.

    ‘I love all women’

    Which reminds me, I forgot to nod to our getting together when you are in Thailand next :-)

    ‘Pookie is from Issan and she came to Pattaya the same time I did looking for work. She had given birth to a daughter 6 months before and the Thai boyfriend disappeared from the village when he learned of the pregnancy.’

    So sorry to hear about the position Pookie found herself in. Having to leave a young baby must have been a most difficult decision to make. Of course, her having a close family as a backup helps, but it does not replace the lost years, the bonding that goes on between a mother and child.

    I struck out on my own with a young child but it was not the same. No matter, I can certainly imagine the fear, lonelinees and overwhelming homesickness Pooke felt once landing in Pattaya.

    Pookie is so very lucky to have found you Talen! And one day, I hope to meet her too.
    Catherine´s last blog ..FREE: Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary Download My ComLuv Profile

    • Talen
      June 17, 2009 | 10:09 am

      Cat, There is a fine line between bravery and stupidity :)

      Feeling 20 again is a huge draw for many men I would suspect. It wasn’t something I was looking for but something I found welcome.

      I look forward to getting together when I get back to Thailand!

  3. Martyn
    June 17, 2009 | 12:51 am

    Talen your story and indeed mine is a very similar one that could be gift wrapped in a box and given to many a tourist who visits Thailand. I know from reading your posts that like me your box is not empty and that it contains a lot of love, commitment and hope for a growing partnership or in your case family. So many falang carry around a box that is either empty or as with so many one full of lies, dishonesty and disrespect. They become bored with their new “Pattaya toy” and the butterfly spreads its wings. Face as we know is a “major” in Asia and so many falang think nothing of dumping a girl and walking away. The loss of face to that girl is probably something that we westerners will have never felt. Look forward to the next part of your story.
    Martyn´s last blog ..Sober Days In Thailand – Nong Nooch My ComLuv Profile

    • Talen
      June 17, 2009 | 10:14 am

      Martyn, Well said. I had a similar conversation with a friend when I was in Pattaya last time. He has a Fiance.

      It’s funny because we found the only reason we keep coming back to Pattaya is to see old friends. If not for them Pattaya wouldn’t see us anymore I suspect.

  4. Jon
    June 17, 2009 | 1:44 am

    I too look forward to the next part of the series.

    Good on you for broaching a subject which many steer clear of. Two years is a long time and suggests your relationship is much more than a farang-Thai cliche.
    Jon´s last blog ..Playing the numbers game with Twitter My ComLuv Profile

  5. Keith
    June 17, 2009 | 5:29 am

    Good work Talen. It’s always interesting to read about other thai-farang relationships.
    Roll on part 2!
    Keith´s last blog ..Election Time My ComLuv Profile

  6. Mike
    June 17, 2009 | 7:40 am

    Talen I have just sat a while figuring out how I might comment on this heartfelt post. I have mixed feelings about the way many farang treat Thai women and the way some Thai women treat farang.

    I am lucky in the sense that I have a partner half my age who has a lot of sound Thai values in her character. Back home I am afraid that finding a similar relationship would be impossible.

    I actually didn’t come to Thailand to live with a Thai lady but thats the way things have panned out.

    Look forward to your next installment.
    Mike´s last blog ..Thai Visa Extension Marriage My ComLuv Profile

    • Talen
      June 17, 2009 | 10:19 am

      Mike, I don’t think a lot of us came looking for a relationship but it sure found us!

  7. Lloyd
    June 18, 2009 | 7:32 am

    Great post.

    Personally I dont believe Thai women are any different to other nationalities, sure there are cultural differences but their feeling, wants and desires are “much of a muchness”. I lived with a great lady from Spain before I met my wife and if it wasn’t for the language I would say the cultural difference are nearly the same, although I found learning Spanish so much easier than Thia.
    Lloyd´s last blog ..Today My ComLuv Profile

  8. Pete, frogblogger
    June 18, 2009 | 12:52 pm

    Great start and oh so familiar, I guess, to many of us. So far the only difference with my situation is that my gf has two kids and headed for Chiang Mai rather than Pattaya.

    Brave blog, not easy getting into the personal stuff, but it’s good to dispel some of the cliches Catherine mentioned…
    Pete, frogblogger´s last blog ..Thaivisa: Founder of Thailand’s largest online community answers the critics My ComLuv Profile

  9. Catherine
    June 18, 2009 | 6:32 pm

    ‘’s good to dispel some of the cliches …’

    Absolutely. I know a couple of you guys write on the subject already, but it would be great to read more about the real relationships out there. It won’t drown out the rest, but…

    Again, thank you Talen.
    Catherine´s last blog ..FREE: Quick & Dirty Thai Vocabulary Download My ComLuv Profile

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