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Ryan Hendry is a former detective and lawyer from the UK. He is now a freelance writer living in the Philippines. Ryan has a Filipina partner and hopes to be married to her later in 2016. He has traveled extensively in Asia and is a veteran of the Asian online dating world. He has experienced online, and physically met, some scammers, including unscrupulous ladies from Thailand and the more obvious scammers from Nigeria. Ryan is keen therefore to share his experiences and uses this platform for his blogs as CLM and ALM is committed to hunting down all scammers. Ryan, despite some of his experiences, respects Asian culture, loves Asian food and is now happy in the Philippines!
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International Dating: My Story - Bridge on the River Kwai    

By Ryan Hendry
1162 Views | 5 Comments | 9/8/2016 10:12:28 AM

Photo Credit: Bridge Over the River Kwai by User:Mjanich CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27988

This was my first trip to Thailand. My first real experience of Asia and Asian culture. Many years before, I had a two-night stopover in KL on my way to Australia. I don’t count that as truly experiencing Asia. I wasn’t there long enough. I stayed at a Shangi-La hotel catering for western tourists and ate western food in their fine restaurant. I hardly mixed with local people apart from a tiring walk through the thronged and narrow flea market at Chinatown’s Petaling Street.



This was an enjoyable first trip to Thailand. I learned a lot and soaked up the atmosphere. I watched, observed and listened. It was important to me to learn about Asian culture and adapt where necessary. In my later travels in Asia I came across a strange philosophy. It was one espoused by more than one westerner. Their view was that because they had a tanned appearance, perhaps some Spanish or Italian in their bloodline, that they were indistinguishable from the local Asian populace. Balderdash! Once a foreigner - always a foreigner, is my own philosophy.



I had about two weeks remaining in Thailand with Noi. Finding somewhere to live was now starting to prey on my mind. The internet came to my rescue. I searched for any online site that was offering houses for rent. One search result caught my eye and I called the number.



It was an English speaking lady who answered my call. She was a university lecturer in Bangkok. An Australian married to a Thai man. Yes, she said, the house is still for rent. It was located in Kanchanaburi. I was vaguely familiar with that town through reading my guide books. It was reputedly the scene of the railway bridge in the WW2 movie ‘Bridge on the River Kwai.’ The Australian lady sounded nice and so did the house she wished to rent.



Noi agreed to my suggestion that we take a look at the house in Kanchanaburi. My GPS told me it was about a four-hour drive. We decided to take Kamon with us. The drive there was pleasant and largely traffic-free. There are many backpacker budget accommodations in the town and I chose one to stay in overnight. The Australian lecturer was unable to meet us until the following day owing to her timetable commitments. She planned to arrive in Kanchanaburi Friday afternoon using the train service between Bangkok and her home.



My first impressions of Kanchanaburi were mixed. I liked the town and its location on the river. It wasn’t too large but had supermarkets, a hospital and many restaurants. The long road alongside the river was full of budget hotels, bars, travel agencies, money exchange booths and restaurants. 



There was one bar that operated a swap shop for English language paperbacks. I made a mental note for future reference. The downside was that on my first day I collected two police tickets. On the morning of my second day there, I saw the paper on my windshield flapping in the breeze. It was the two tickets! One for passing a red light and the other for a parking violation. Welcome to Kanchanaburi!



My fines were paid the next day at the large central police station. I checked the scene of the stop light violation and it would catch out all new visitors to the town. The stop light was set up high, way above the intersection. And, so was the spy camera. The signal and the camera were out of any driver’s normal line of vision. Unless, of course you, as a driver were expecting low flying aircraft to impede your progress! I asked the desk officer about the parking violation. He spoke good English. Parking is allowed on that street but only on one side. The side changes on alternate days. He told me that there were signs to that effect. I refrained from any reply about the signs only written in Thai. Perhaps, owing to my pleasant surprise that he used an official receipt book when he took my money!



Noi and I were due to view the house on the Friday. We spent Thursday evening in the bar at the front of our riverside hotel. It was a good spot for people watching. The bar was mainly used by foreign tourists with the odd expat resident who popped in from time to time. In due course I got to chatting to two of them. One a German and one an Australian. The German guy was about my age and lived about twenty miles north of Kanchanaburi. He had lived in Thailand for about 18 years. He seemed to be an interesting character. His calling card was his arrival outside the bar in his beat-up motorcycle with sidecar. Dismounting the machine, he would cry out, “I need a beer. It’s tough living out in the bush.” It always made me smile.



I got to know and like him until Noi told me something about him. Sometimes he was accompanied by his daughter. She was fourteen years old. An attractive girl who looked more Thai than European. I never heard her speak English but I heard her and Noi chatting in Thai on several occasions. Noi informed me that the German expat was having sex with his daughter. Or, at least that was what the girl told Noi. I had an inner sense that this serious allegation was true. The other expat, the Australian, was a nice guy. A gentle guy who had decided to convert to Buddhism.



He had just come through a difficult stage in his life. His wife had died from cancer back in Australia. He had found a new partner through online Asian dating. She was a Thai lady who owned and ran a beauty salon a few doors down from the bar. He was in the throes of selling his home in Australia and moving permanently to Thailand. We had much in common.



He, too, was about to sever the umbilical cord tying him to his mother land.


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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#2016-09-08 10:12:09 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

You had some good experiences on your initial trip, both getting to meet locals who were not bar girls in Bangkok or Pattaya, which I think is the first experience of most foreigners arriving in Thailand, including myself.



I eventually did have some non-touristy experiences, but not until my fourth visit. I miss Thailand, and judging by the recent news, I may be missing it for some time to come. It sounds like there is a developing backlash against foreigners, orat least Westerners, that is becoming ugly and violent. Hopefully it will pass, and hopefully Westerners will learn a deserved lesson from it too.



Because there are too many Westerners landing in Thailand who fall into the category of the German you met, and they give the rest of us a very bad name. I am afraid if I had been in your situation it would have been almost impossible for me not to call the guy out on the accusation, and yet all that would have done is get a denial from him and a likely beating of the girl once they got home.



I would be interested to know how you dealt with him once you had heard that story?


#2016-09-09 07:16:56 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

The German guy is the lowest form of human life in my opinion. Ex-pats in Thailand are 'disappearing' at an alarming rate. I hope I get to read about the German 'committing suicide' by slashing his own throat whilst hanging himself with his hands tied behind his back!

 

The Thai authorities seem to have zero realisation that shooting oneself in the foot could possibly result in blowing one's toes off !

 

Ex-pats who have lived there for nigh-on 20 years, who have families, kids, even grandkids, are being denied visa renewal for ridiculous reasons.

'We need a police clearance check from your own country because the one we have expired 6 months ago'

'But I haven't been there for 20 years'

'Doesn't matter, we need one'

 

Nothing other than little men with 'small-dick-syndrome' doing their best to make life as difficult as possible.

If you need a police-clearance certificate from the Thai police it's reported that you must go to Bangkok to get one. They say it takes 'about 3 weeks' and you should just call back to see if it's ready.

Great....I'll just do the 10-hour trip from Chiang Mai to BKK and then just 'pop back' in around 3 weeks then, shall I ?

And if it's not ready when I 'pop' back, I'll just do the 10-hour trip back home again and 'pop' back down to BKK in a few days.

 

Considering tourism is responsible for a huge percentage of their GDP, the Thai authorities appear to be completely brain-dead by doing their utmost to kill the tourism industry completely.

 

Thailand used to be my favourite holiday destination. I have now discovered Vietnam, a country where tourists are welcomed with open arms as opposed to hostility and bigotry. I hope to return to Thailand one day, but I honestly can't see it being in the foreseeable future.

 

For anyone interested, you can read about 'disappearing Ex-pats', as well as dozens of other reasons why Thailand has become a 'no-go zone', at www.thaivisa.com

#2016-09-09 08:35:17 by RHendry @RHendry

@JohnAbbot I put the accusation into the back of my mind. When all is said and done, it was merely an accusation. If I had flipped and made a scene, what was the likely outcome? He would have flat denied it of course. So what was the point?

None of my business was my motto. And it wasn't that shocking to my ears. Through my life's work expreriences I know how common incest really is. In some communities it's almost the norm.

C'est la vie!

#2016-09-09 14:02:06 by RHendry @RHendry

@paulfox1 I am in total agreement with your sentiments about the difficulties imposed by the Thai authorities on visa renewal. It's the main reason I am now no longer living there. I love the country but not the red tape concerning visas etc. As you say, tourism accounts for a big percentage of its economy. Yet, they don't really give a sh**. Thailand has an insular mentality that has helped it to survive over centuries. For example, it never became a colonial outpost of any of the empires ancient or modern. It even accommodated the Japanese in WW2 without losing any sovreignty through a convenient "non-aggression pact." It's a part of their history that most Thais seem unaware of.

I don't totally agree with your comment about the German. It was an accusation so how do you know it was true?

#2016-09-10 13:58:54 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@RHendry

I don't totally agree with your comment about the German. It was an accusation so how do you know it was true?

 

My words were written as if it were true and if it is, then I stand by them. However, in your position I would also have ignored it as being just an accusation. If the girl wanted to report it to the police, they would do nothing since most of them are screwing 14-year olds anyway!

 

The insular mentality that the Thai's possess may have got them this far in history, but in our ever-changing world, we all need to adapt somewhat.

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