Mark (from the UK)
Along with several other Thai girls that I knew at the time, Mo had been living and working at a bar in Phuket for a number of years. The money that she made from working in bars and massage parlours helped to support her family and her baby back in her village.
I am fairly well travelled, particularly throughout SE Asia. I retired to Thailand in 2004 and initially stayed in Bangkok. However, my liking for the beaches and the coast soon drew me to the bright lights of Pattaya.
I had a number of Thai girlfriends during my stay there but nothing really felt right with each of them. That is not a criticism of the Thai girls that I was with at the time, maybe it was a sign that I was not looking for anything serious myself at that point. Many of my friends told me that it was unwise to fall for a Thai girl. There are so many stories about how western men lose vast amounts of money being cheated by their Thai girlfriends. Of course, horror stories such as these are usually the ones that reach a wider audience. However, there is always another side to every story and I hope the following events will help to balance opinions somewhat.
After living in Pattaya for almost four years, I decided that a change of scenery was in order. I studied my options and concluded that Phuket would be the location of my next home. I always rent property in Thailand. Indeed, it is impossible to own land or a house in Thailand. OK, there are some loopholes but I have always found renting to be a much simpler solution. Phuket has an abundance of rental properties available. It is slightly more expensive than renting in Pattaya but still cheap by western standards. Phuket is very similar to Pattaya in many respects. There is a large farang community so making new friends is never a problem. There are literally hundreds of bars and restaurants to visit and explore whilst the beaches and nearby islands are all worth a visit. It was during one of my many visits to the beach that I suffered an accident that would have a profound impact on my life.
I had already become friendly with Mo by this point although nothing romantic had happened. She worked in one of my regular watering holes in Phuket. I had actually begun dating her friend, Nang, who was very attractive and, admittedly, a little young for me. I was 54 at the time and Nang was 23. Now, younger Thai girls are all well and good for a brief fling but after the thrill of the first few dates, you quickly realise that topics of conversation are somewhat limited.
I was returning home from a day on the beach with some friends. I had enjoyed one or two beers and felt OK to drive my motorbike back to my condo. It was just starting to get dark and I had a date with Nang that evening so I needed to get home and shower so that I would be ready in time. I was involved in an accident with a taxi and broke my leg in three places and dislocated my shoulder.
At the hospital, I called Nang and she promised to come and see me. Twenty four hours later and Nang was still nowhere to be seen. I kept calling but all I got was a brief chat with one of her friends to say that Nang had gone to visit her family back in Bangkok. I felt very upset by this. Not a call, not a visit, nothing. OK, we were only dating but I thought that she would care about me enough to check if I was on the road to recovery. She had seemed to enjoy our dates together and there was talk of a long term relationship. She obviously did not want the hassle of nursing me back to health which hit me hard. It struck me that I was going to have major problems taking care of myself when I was released from the hospital. With no real close friends to rely on, the situation looked bleak and I actually considered returning to the UK.
On the morning of my final day in hospital, I received a very welcome visitor. I was feeling sorry for myself and still undecided as to what my plans were. There was a knock on my door and in walked Mo, her smile as beaming as ever. This immediately lifted my spirits. She had heard about my accident via the girls at her bar, and about Nang leaving me to go back to Bangkok. Unbeknown to me she had organised a raffle in the bar with all the proceeds being donated to me; a fantastic gesture by the bar and its many patrons. Mo stayed with me for the rest of the morning and promised that she would help me settle back into my condo, cook food for me and do my shopping and laundry. I was taken aback by the generosity that she showed to me during those difficult times.
Mo did everything that she promised and more. As I mentioned previously, there had been no romantic intentions or even a sign of a blossoming romance. Mo and I were friends who enjoyed playing pool together and having a joke together in the bar where she worked. However, I slowly began to develop feelings for her. She was in her mid 30’s, relaxed and sensible. Compared to some of my other Thai girlfriends, she was not the most attractive but her warmth, kindness and happy nature more than made up for that. I think many western men who enter into relationships with Thai girls place too much emphasis on looks. I had learnt the hard way that an honest, well natured Thai girl is a much more sensible choice for a long term relationship.
My romantic gestures were initially rebuffed by Mo. This was another indication of the type of girl that she was. She valued our friendship greatly and was worried of the impact a broken relationship would have on that. During all her time visiting me during my recovery, she never asked for money or appreciation. She was also working at the bar so she did not have a lot of free time but she visited me every day. After a number of weeks, I eventually persuaded Mo to give me a chance. She wanted to take things slowly and not rush into an intense relationship. I could understand that but it was a total contrast to my previous relationships. Thai girls can be a little immature in their approach to love. They live in the moment and can change their minds from one day to the next. Mo was not one of these girls. She was always thinking about the future and the consequences of her daily actions. I admired her greatly for that.
I have learnt many lessons from my years living here in Thailand. Undoubtedly, the most important one was during my time in that hospital bed in Phuket. There are so many stories about the negative side of dating Thai girls, the problems that they cause, their devious and cunning behaviour, their cheating and of course their ability to quickly reduce your bank balance. These thoughts were at the forefront of my mind as I recovered in that hospital bed. I had lost faith in the girls from the Land of Smiles and was ready to give up and return to the UK. Mo restored my faith and showed me that happy endings are indeed possible. Choose your partner wisely and consider personality just as much as appearances. Mo and I are proof that a happy and loving relationship is possible between a Thai girl and a farang man. Choose an angel, not a devil.
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