By Paul (from the UK)
In 2007 'Alex' was to meet the Bangkok girl of his dreams - at a party hosted by a couple of his good friends in Croydon, South London. Having been divorced for more than a year his friends, James and Kerry, felt it was time they tried a little matchmaking on his behalf to reintroduce him to the dating game.
At the time Kerry was working in the civil service with Pang, a Bangkok girl, who had moved to London to work. She thought that Pang and Alex would be a great match and so set up a not too subtle meeting between the two of them at the party.
Despite Alex’s awkwardness after being out of the dating scene for more than twenty years, the two of them did indeed get on incredibly well. Watched by Kerry, not very discretely, from across the room, Alex and Pang exchanged mobile numbers and started to see each other regularly. Alex was forty-two at the time they met and had two grown up sons. His divorce had been relatively amicable and he felt that his life was starting over. Meeting Pang proved to be just the kick-start he needed and, after just a handful of dates, the two of them became virtually inseparable.
Alex was a London lad through and through; he’d barely left the place in his whole life, except for the occasional Mediterranean holiday. Just meeting an exotic Bangkok girl and learning about life in Thailand was an exciting new experience for him. The more he heard, the more he felt like he had been missing out on something for the last forty years or more.
Pang, who was twenty-eight, gave Alex a fresh zest for a life and it
made him happy to be alive. He was a self-confessed “Steady Eddie” and
Pang had started to really bring him out of himself.
After around nine months of dating, Pang and Alex started living together in a small flat in Battersea. Life seemed pretty idyllic for both of them during this time and all Alex’s friends commented how happy he seemed. Life continued that way for around six months until, one Saturday morning over breakfast, Alex received a bombshell from his girlfriend. Pang told him that she didn’t want to be in London anymore. She said that she was a Bangkok girl at heart and she missed her life in Thailand just too much to stay in Britain any longer.
Alex was stunned. Thinking that this was the end of the best
relationship he’d ever had, he sat in silence for what seemed an
eternity. Eventually he was able to speak.
“Does that mean the end of us?” he asked.
“I can’t ask you to come with me Alex; that would be unfair on you. Your friends are here. Your whole life is here,” replied Pang tearfully.
“Then don’t ask,” he replied immediately. Acting on instinct, probably for the first time in his entire life Alex got down on one knee. “Let me offer to come with you. I love you Pang and want to spend the rest of my life with you. Marry me and we can be together for always in Bangkok.”
Pang couldn’t speak; she just started crying and nodded her head. She had hoped against hope that Alex would come with her back to Bangkok. And so that was that. The decision had been made and over the next two months they sold most of their belongings, gave up their jobs and said goodbye to friends; and in Alex’s case his family too. His sons were grown up and understood their Dad’s desire to start again; tough though it was to accept.
Their move to Bangkok went amazingly smoothly and in next to no time they had found a house to buy, got themselves jobs and were continuing their lives more than six thousand miles away from where they had first met; in the sunshine and friendly atmosphere of Thailand.
Pang had a big family and, although they were initially unsure about her choice to marry a Farang (foreigner), they took to him on their first meeting and the wedding went ahead with everyone’s blessing. Although she was from the modern Thai generation, Pang was still an old fashioned Bangkok girl and wanted a traditional Thai ceremony with all the trimmings. Thai weddings tend to be incredible social occasions and this one was no exception. Hundreds of guests saw Pang and Alex go through the various stages of the traditional ceremony including the feet washing and shell rituals.
Almost as important though was the eating, partying and fun which
followed. Alex described it as endless food, drink and smiling. He had
never seen anything like it in terms of scale or level of enjoyment. It
just made him fall in love with Pang even more and appreciate that
although they had done all the normal English things of buying a house,
finding jobs and getting married, his life was incredibly different now.
Alex had become part of the wider family; and mum, dad, aunties and
uncles all adopted him as their own.
In 2010 Alex and Pang had their first child; a little girl who they named Pemika. At first Alex was nervous about starting a second family but the moment he held her in his arms for the first time all his doubts melted away. Pang gave up her job to stay at home and bring up Pemika while the extended family could also be relied upon to help out when needed.
In many ways they have now become a typical Thai family with life revolving around food and spending time together with relatives. When it comes to food Alex always jokes with his incredibly slim wife about her size. He wonders how she manages to eat like a horse but still have the body of a model. She explains that most Thai girls are like that, it must be genetics. Despite being just six years old, Pemika is already displaying the same traits; she looks just like her mother and has the exact same appetite.
Alex has never returned to England since they left in 2008. He says
there is nothing he misses there. His two sons come out to visit
whenever they can and that is all Alex needs. They have really taken to
Pang too; mainly because of how happy they can see their dad is because
of her. They have also taken to Bangkok; visiting dad is a great excuse
for a free holiday in the sun where they can enjoy the sights, sounds
and smells of an exotic city.
Alex’s Thai language skills are still very limited and he still doesn’t know his way round the manic Bangkok streets yet. This has left him very dependent on his wife for lots of things, but he couldn’t care less. He says he isn’t bothered as having a Bangkok girl as his tour guide is just how he likes it and gives him another reason to love her. He even jokes that it just means he couldn’t leave her even if he wanted to.
In many ways Alex and Pang’s story is like that of millions of other couples. Boy meets girl, they fall in love and live happily after. The only difference being that in this case it was a cockney boy meeting a Bangkok girl, and they moved thousands of miles away to live happily ever after.
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