After 10 minutes into this book, I began to wonder if I should get Ms. Hillary to review it, rather than myself. Chuck Wilson’s Guide to romantic adventures in Thailand (ISBN 978-974-357-252-4, Bamboo Sinfonia, 2010) appeared initially to be a primer for lovesick swains, or how to survive one night in Walking Street. However, since the octogenarian lady was not kindly disposed to me that day, I ploughed on regardless.
According to author Wilson, there are four romantic adventures:
1. Being single
2. Having a girlfriend
3. Getting married (and staying faithful)
4. Getting married (while having extramarital affairs)
Wilson is described on the back cover as a travel writer living in Thailand and who can read, write and speak Thai, thereby giving suitable credentials for someone to be an ‘expert’ in Thai-farang affairs. However, it is unlikely that a non-Thai can judge Thais in these situations.
In the early part of the book, author Chuck Wilson states, “The name of the game of romance in Thailand is fun. It’s all about enjoying life to the fullest… The game of romance should be played out so that both you and whoever you are romancing at the time, for however short or long, win.” Anyone with even a modicum of regard for the people around them would agree. This is an excellent premise to accept before going further into the book.
Taking his first “adventure”, Chuck Wilson states that being single means that your life is self-centered, you do what you please. One of the attractions of Thailand, he opines, is the never-ending supply of attractive women, and many of them can be found in South Pattaya – but remember that these are bar girls.
Some of his other touted “advantages” in being single is that life is cheaper as you only have to feed yourself, and not a wife and children as well. This is a rather obvious fact and someone who couldn’t work that out by themselves should not be allowed out without a nanny, let alone go to a go-go bar.
A chapter is included written by a private investigator, as it is strongly suggested that a check be done on any girl the likely lad has designs for long term associations. The figures quoted are sobering. Out of bar girl liaisons around one third make the grade, but two thirds do not. The attraction of the easy money in the sex industry is too strong.
There are several color plates in the center of the book, all of Thai girls, but many of them are of the same Thai girl. I remain confused as to why this is so. With “So Many Girls!” in the title, why was it necessary to publish repeats?
At B. 485 on the Bookazine shelves, it is not an expensive read, but I did find some of the advice rather repetitive (like the subjects in the photographs); however, there is enough food for thought for those contemplating cross-cultural marriage, though there will be many who will say that all marriages are a minefield. And they may just be right!