The voice of reason speaks
Having been married to a Thai for about 10 years and seen many other relationships between Farang and Thais, here are my 5 pieces of advice:
– Her family – are her priority and probably the reason she is with you – supporting them, putting a brother through university etc. They will always be her priority, you will never be. Get used to it!
– Money – agree a monthly allowance with her to cover ALL her expenses. These include the accidents that seem to happen to rice-growing families from Isaan – “mama fall down well”, “brother crash motorbike into buffalo” etc etc. Also, if she wants to buy land or build a house, she can save up from her allowance.
– Her friends – will adore you and laugh at all your jokes (however boring you are) as long as you keep buying the food, beer and Thai whisky.
– Never, repeat never put anything in her name – not the house, the condo, the car, the motorbike or even the dog. Once it’s hers, it’s no longer yours even though you have paid for it.
– Age difference – if you’re 65 and she’s 20, then this is probably not going to work, though the first few weeks might be fun. The usual rule of thumb is to divide your age by 2 and then add 10.
Hope this helps.
What your five pieces of advice really comes down to is really a Pre–nuptial agreement. Now, while Pre–nups are big in the States, they are not so common here. And there is the problem for farangs that any agreement such as a Pre–nup must be written in Thai, the legal language in Thailand. There is also the problem in getting her to abide by the rules, especially where it means she has to pay for something. It is amazing just how many wells there are to fall down in a rice paddock. And she spent her allowance last month on vet’s bills. A straight out financial agreement has every good chance of becoming an NPL. Some good advice there, Petal, but can they be agreed upon?
Not school holidays again!
Have you any suggestions to keep school age children interested during these school holidays? There seems to be about 10 weeks of them! Some schools have “Summer School” but the kids tell me they don’t do much other than play. They are also expensive.
A big calendar sheet on the wall with one movie a week marked off. Make a day out of grocery shopping after cleaning out the fridge. They do the work, you just record the items. There are many tourist attractions you can use, and again make them one a week after the movies and domestic chores. Washing the family car will take up one day and they are paid for this, since you don’t have to go to the car wash you usually use. With a little imagination you will fill your calendar. Enjoy the children!
Analysis of the working girls
One of your writers was wondering if his wife (or GF, I can’t remember if it said) was cheating on him. Thai women have cheating down pat, and you can tell the ones who are going up country and have up country friends staying down here, that they are all covering for each other. The ones from the bars slip into it more easily, but there (sic) sisters then follow. If it’s OK for Lek then it’s OK for Mon. They have completely different morals and different ideas on what’s right or wrong. The crime here is in being found out, not in the cheating.
Reading between the lines, I think you are writing from experience, and still hurting. Honestly Petal, there are just as many honest ones as there are cheaters. But you are right that if the girl comes from the bar, that is a cheating environment (big word for a Friday!) and remember that “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” If they work in a bar, they follow what bar girls do. They have to start somewhere and once they are in that circle, it is very rare that they will leave it totally.
A bad attack of the hungries
We are coming over your way again, after five years away from Thailand. We have kept up to date by reading the Pattaya Mail, and we always read your column first, Petal! There have been many new restaurants in that time, can you recommend a few we should try?
The Globe Trotters
Dear Globe Trotters,
Thank you for the nice words, but you neglected to tell me just where you will be going in Thailand. I also suggest that rather than coming through me, go to Miss Terry Diner in Pattaya at [email protected].com