My Thai Girl and I Part 2

My Thai girl and I

Sorry about the lateness of this post. I had to upgrade the back end of the blog yesterday and once upgraded a slew of problems attacked. All fixed now. So, on with the story. We last saw our young hero and heroine of the tale in Pattaya.

As I said before I came to Pattaya for fun and Pookie came for the promise of work. When we met she was to begin work at a bar her cousin worked at. She had just arrived in town and the Mamasan of the bar promised to show her the ropes for the first two weeks. When I walked into the bar it was just to have a beer with a few friends and then head on to other bars that night. When I saw her for the first time she had the biggest smile I had ever seen, so I smiled back and she came over and sat with me…and that, as they say, was the end of me.

Although her English is very good she was very shy that night and couldn’t get a lot of English out but we managed to talk a bit and even understand each other. As we were about to move on I asked her if she would like to come with us but the Mamasan wasn’t too keen on that. After some talking everything was ok and we left together. That’s not the easiest thing to admit here but it is what it is. Technically I was her first and only customer and watching her reactions that night to the bars we visited there was no question she was very new to Pattaya.

Later that night we shed the remaining friends who were still bar crawling and headed to a restaurant for dinner. I was very surprised at how much better her english had gotten through the evening and we had a very enjoyable conversation. I eventually found out that other than learning English in school she also had access to an English teacher in her village who she learned even more from.I had also learned about her daughter Fa and everything that led up to her coming to Pattaya to work. The women of Issan take the brunt of all responsibilities in their families and to further that point all you have to do is look at all the women in the sex industry in Thailand.

Before I go any further I guess I should bring up a couple of initial cliché’s. The first being that Thai women who work in the bars are only after your money. While they are after a living they aren’t all after your money…trust me I have none and Pookie and I are still together 2 years on. I have quite a few friends in bar girls and their stories run the gamut. Some come for the allure of a quick buck, some come looking for a foreign husband and yet others come because they have no choice and desperately need money because the jobs they can get back home don’t pay enough to take care of a family.

The second cliché would be that of the foreigner taking up the mantle of the white knight swooping in to protect and take care of the Thai woman. That may be the case in a small percentage of falang/Thai relationships but from what I’ve seen it’s not indicative of the majority. I am certainly in no position to be anyones white Knight and I sometimes wonder if I can even take care of myself… I usually can but you have to remember I have the mind of a 12 year old sometimes.

I guess this also brings up the biggest cliché of them all…Western men are looking for young submissive Asian women to do their bidding in every way from the bedroom to the kitchen. I would say that is probably the worst of all the cliché’s I have ever heard and unfortunately it is usually propagated by western women in my experience. While A lot of Thai women do pursue that role of taking care of their man and family I find that most western men in Thailand are like me. We grew up in families where everyone pitched in and there were no clearly defined roles for men and women.  I can tell you for a fact that their was no man happier in the 70’s when the women’s movement took hold in America and women took to the streets burning their bra’s…Although, I was too young to understand feminism.

As for myself and Pookie I can tell you that our first niggle came early on in the relationship when I decided to do the dishes after dinner one night. She saw me doing the dishes as her being a bad caregiver and I saw it as just doing the dishes. I started to learn a lot more about face and perceived roles in Thai society that night but I still stood my ground. I let her know that night that Any woman I was with would be equal and not be there to serve my every need.

The first thing Mamasan taught her at the bar was the English phrase “Up to you” . When a falang asks what you want to do respond with the obligatory “Up to you”. Whenever pookie would say that I would say ” No, up to us”.  It took her a while but eventually it sunk in. Nowadays I long for the “Up to you”  days because now when she dumps a pile of green vegetables on my plate I hear her say “Up to me teelac…you eat”.

Pookie and I ended up spending 5 weeks together after we first met. We did all the tourist stuff and most nights we spent talking until the sun came up. She had already decided earlier that she was leaving Pattaya and unlike most Thai women I have met she doesn’t care much for Pattaya and absolutely hates Bangkok. She knew of at least one job she might be able to get making 3000 baht a month ( roughly $90.00) . I told her I thought that was a good decision and that I would like to keep in touch and see her again.

This is where the next cliché comes in…”The Sponsor”. While I didn’t pretend to be rich I did tell her I would help her from time to time if needed. Rural Thailand isn’t like Bangkok or many other more westernized areas of Thailand. The people are very poor for the most part but also very rich in community and family. The needs of all are taken into consideration. The majority of men who are in relationships with Thai women from rural Thailand are helping take care of the family one way or another. Sometimes it will be monetarily but there are many other ways from taking care of the children to helping out on the farm.

The average education level reached in rural Thailand is 9th grade. Due to school expenses and the fact that labor is needed, either on the family farm or in the house taking care of the family, most children don’t receive a high school education. This by no means makes them stupid but when it come to job prospects they become severely limited.

Many stories are told nightly in the bars of Pattaya and Bangkok about “The Sponsor”. How he sends money because the buffalo is sick , the family is sick and of course because the children need milk. The stories often find our poor sponsor being suckered out of money because the Thai women are giving it to their husbands/boyfriends. While I know there are many cases like this there are also many that are not. I am very happy to tell you that Pookies water buffalo’s are fine, the family is well, and Fa has her milk. I send a little bit of baht here and there to help out and make sure Fa has milk and when I am in Thailand I help out on the family farm and help with some shopping too. I do what I can to help out but I am never asked for large sums of money or big ticket items.

Now that all that is out of the way it will make it a little easier for me to explain our relationship as it is today and what I get out of what some would percieve as an unequal relationship. All that in the next part.

sig1 My Thai Girl and I Part 2

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Comment by MikeNo Gravatar
2009-06-18 21:28:54

Talen like you I firmly believe in equality. However I still have problems getting MTF involved in decision making.

For example I currently want a new gate, I like a particular style but I want to know what she thinks, I am sure you know the answer i.e. “up to you.”

If I do the washing up she now begrudging accepts I can do it OK and recently since we have had Doy staying with us she will let me cook farang food (which Doy likes).

Since I have no wish to try and change her cultural upbringing I tend to accept that there will always be an element of “up to you” in our lives.

I will be interested how Doy develops with her now daily exposure to a different cultural viewpoint provided by me.
Mike´s last blog ..Thai Marriage: Tong Mun and Sin Sod My ComLuv Profile

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2009-06-18 21:41:20

Mike, sometimes it is a push me pull me type thing when looking for decisions. Pookie does have firm answers for certain things but others it’s like pulling teeth.

Maybe you will break Doy of the cycle…seems you have a good chance if she likes falang food.

Comment by pregnancyNo Gravatar
2009-06-19 03:17:43

I just drop to your post by purpose!!.. no i shall say by accident! lol :) I am Thais too and really happy to know that you and Pookie are happy together. Many cases aren’t happy as you are.. ok gonna keep reading on part 2 now. :D

Comment by Pete, frogbloggerNo Gravatar
2009-06-19 09:53:19

Thai girls submissive? Hardly :-D Yes they are often happy with more clearly defined, traditionally feminine roles compared to Western relationships, but that’s not the same thing. As you say it’s one of the cliches, they certainly stand up for themselves in my experience! ‘Feisty’ is how I would describe the Thais I have known…

Damn, I should be packing boxes and suitcases for the imminent move back to Thailand… must turn my laptop OFF.
Pete, frogblogger´s last blog ..Thaivisa: Founder of Thailand’s largest online community answers the critics My ComLuv Profile

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2009-06-19 10:01:25

Feisty is definitely a good description!

Have a safe trip back Pete…

Comment by CatherineNo Gravatar
2009-06-20 04:38:48

‘Western men looking for young submissive Asian women to do their bidding… I would say that is probably the worst of all the cliché’s I have ever heard and unfortunately it is usually propagated by western women in my experience.’

And I totally agree! But all of the western women I’ve heard say that have never lived in Thailand or Asia. Either that, or they have never opened their eyes.

The Thai women I know are not submissive – lordy, lordy, not by a long shot! And any man going into a relationship with that as a given is going to get a rude awakening. Or pleasant, depending on how you look at it.

And while I have met some shy Asian women, it is usually a matter of age. Some Asian women, just like some Western women, take a bit longer to come into their own.

A couple of weeks ago a Thai friend called Home Pro from my home phone. My, my, I’ll bet the Home Pro staff member’s ears were burning from the talking to she gave them.

Women are basically the same all over: desires, wants, needs… Their upbringing and culture just adds to it all.

Before I sign off, I just wanted to say what a beauty Pookie is. You both look extremely happy, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
Catherine´s last blog ..Webster’s Thai to English Crossword Puzzles My ComLuv Profile

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2009-06-21 20:18:55

You are correct about the submissive comment Cat I should have qualified it better. I have never heard any well traveled woman say such a thing but have heard many untraveled western women declare it decisively.

Comment by WindmillNo Gravatar
2009-06-20 06:37:31

Hi Talen,

I enjoyed reading both Parts I and II.

Beautifully written and plain honest. Way to live my friend. Glad for you.

Windmill´s last blog ..June 13th, Confucius says… My ComLuv Profile

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