Today I have been sober for 95 days.
Today has been punctuated by a serious disagreement with Bob on the best way to handle Dave and his recent relapse. More on this tomorrow.
By way of a little light diversion, I will digress slightly, and post a comment I received from “Big Skippy”, and my lengthy reply thereto.
Submitted on 2009/12/03 at 5:17pm
Mobi, you write a hell of a story. In fact, I think it might be genetic – the English have quite a talent, even the amateurs.
I have to disagree with one small generalization you make about Thai bar girls and “respectable” girls. Although there are no absolutes, you are far less likely to meet a conniving, lying, cheating type if you dip in the respectable pool than if you dip in the bar girl pool. In fact, it sounds like Noi gave you fair warning at the beginning by telling you “You don’t know me. I’m not really like this – you don’t know what you’re getting into”
Congratulations on 94 days – I wish you continued success, Mobi.
Submitted on 2009/12/03 at 11:18pm
Thanks for your comments.
Yes, I was expecting that my “generalistion” would cause a bit of a kerfuffle.
It is often a very sensitive subject amongst the farang community in Thailand, and is frequently subject to heated and unpleasant debate in forums and suchlike.
There are those farangs who are so defensive as to the origins of their spouse, that they will go to any lengths to hide the fact that the met her in a “house of ill repute”, and then there are others who proudly declare from the rooftops the facts of their spouse’s unsavoury origins, swearing by all that is holy that they make the best and most faithful wives you could ever dream of having.
Then there is the third category who really did manage to find a Thai bride who was untainted by exposure to the seedy side of life, and of course those farangs are usually the most vociferous in protesting that their wives are as pure, well educated and untainted as any you may find anywhere, and the proud husbands will often direct disparaging and hurtful remarks towards those who found their companions in less than salubrious circumstances.
Of course, no one would dispute the fact that you are more likely to hit the jackpot in terms of good wifely behaviour from a girl of respectable background than one from the bar girl pool. The point I was trying to make that is by no means a guarantee that a respectable girl will behave in a respectable way, no more than every bar girl will behave in a dis-respectable way.
What I was trying to say was that many so-called respectable girls, often from very good families, will sometimes behave like bar girls when married to farangs. There are many who would claim that the percentage of Thai women who suffer from some kind of bi-polar condition is extraordinarily high, and I have no idea if this is true, but I have certainly seen some extraordinary and frankly, some just plain scary behavior by so-called well educated, respectable girls in family situations. We all decry the Thai Soaps where there is so much screaming and fighting amongst the female stars, but I sometimes wonder if they are that far from reality. Obviously exaggerated, certainly not in every family, but possibly more common than most would like to believe.
As to the subject of fidelity. Well I have told you the story of Noi, my fourth wife, who decided to sell her body to get together a little nest egg. She was certainly a complex and very difficult person, but I can say that once we moved to England, there was never any hint that she was in any way interested in repeating this kind of behaviour, and I truly believe that for the remaining 20 odd years of our marriage, she was completely faithful.
There is one other anecdote I would like to share.
When I was working in Soi Asoke, back in the seventies, with Dave, the alcoholic ‘muso’ and recording engineer, we somehow acquired a secretary who, while not hi-so herself, had a wide circle of hi-so friends. I always remember the day she arrived for the interview, as she pretty much interviewed herself, and told us what she would do and how much to pay her. She was an extremely extrovert, bubbly and crazy lady, came from a good, but not hi- so family, but such was the power of her outgoing personality, that she had been accepted into highest social spheres. She wasn’t interested in the money we paid her ( which was a pittance) but she seemed to gain some status from working for a farang recording studio who recorded some of the young Thai pop bands of the day and had many major advertising agents as clients. Her English was excellent, and just like the girls of today, many of her working hours were spent glued to the telephone. Of course no mobiles in those days, so maybe that was another reason she wanted to work for us. She had free use of the office phone all day long, and she wasted no time in calling all her friends to discuss the previous nights escapades and planning her forthcoming social activities.
Inevitably, some of her friends started to drop by for a chat and coffee, and it became clear, very early on that most of these friends were the genuine article; hi-so ladies in their late twenties to mid thirties, dressed in original “designer – fashion” clothes and accessories, dripping with gold, and the obligatory Mercedes Benz, often complete with uniformed chauffeurs, waiting outside . Upon introduction, many turned out to be minor royalty, “Mom Luangs” and the like..
Well I can assure you that during the months that these ladies were passing though our office, I came to learn about their private lives, and in particular, their frequent infidelities. Indeed the office even occasionally acted as a rendezvous for an illicit affair or two. I forgot to mention that all these ladies were married to hi-so men, many leading businessmen. As a rule the affairs would take place outside of Bangkok – sometimes on shopping trips to places such as Hong Kong, and on other occasions when they took off for a few days up-country. But any suggestions that these well educated, well raised ladies, (many in English public schools ) were faithful wives, belied the behaviour that I witnessed with my own eyes. Of course the husbands were no bastions of virtue either, and many had ‘mia nois” and spent their spare time in up-market massage parlours, and the like. I guess these ladies decided that what’s good for the goose….
So all this, my dear Big Skippy, is why I regard the suggestion that “good Thai ladies” don’t play around , with a healthy degree of skepticism.
But we are all entitled to our opinions….
Big Skippy Says:
“Thank you for the very clear and thorough reply to my observation. I don’t think our opinions on this matter are really any different – it’s fair to say that girls from both ends of the social strata (with bar girls on one end to the hi-so types you describe on the other end) can have shocking mores. I guess the “good Thai ladies” I’m referring to are the middle class office gals (usually Chinese or Chinese-Thai), although there are loads of exceptions here as well.
“Although a perfectly western-compatable girl is probably impossible to find in Thailand (thank goodness), most success stories I hear of usually involve a middle-class “good Thai lady” with a university education and with some exposure and interest to western societies. No surprises there though I suppose.”