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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 - Chiang Mai

By Ryan Hendry
340 Views | 3 Comments | 6/13/2017 5:52:09 AM

The more I read about the Chiang Mai company, the better it got. It was owned and operated by an American guy. I know that in itself did not prevent being ripped off but there was something reassuring about dealing with him. I did not relish spending money on a car with a Thai dealership. That isn’t a racist sentiment. It is a fact. There are too many cross cultural issues and the language barrier in dealing with Thai businesses.  Besides, I was looking for a used vehicle. If it had been otherwise, then I would have trusted the Thai main dealerships to buy a new car. Warranties are warranties, right?



There were two cars of interest to me and they were both advertised on the website. One was an Isuzu D Max and the other a Nissan Navarra, both pick-up trucks with a double cab. Both came with diesel engines. There was a full description of both with accompanying photos and videos. They were in my price range. I called the American and made an appointment to view the cars the following week.



Noi and I flew up to Chiang Mai. My first impression of this small city was favorable. The taxi fare from the airport to our city center hotel was a mere one hundred baht. It would have been ten times more in Phuket! I had made a reservation for three nights in a hotel close to the night market. The appointment to see the cars was not until the next day, leaving time to explore the night market area on our first night.



Chiang Mai’s night market is popular with locals and tourists. There is something about a night market. They seem to have a special atmosphere and Chiang Mai’s was no different. There were stores and bars alongside the market. I spotted a sign for an Irish pub.



Clearly Irish pubs were part of Asian culture! It didn’t remind me of the sex tourists on my last flight from London but it did make me think of Guinness. Noi ‘deposited’ me at a table outside the Irish pub. She had already found out that I did not like shopping. She knew I liked Guinness as I had sent her a photo of my pint from Heathrow airport. Before Noi left I inquired if Guinness was available. “Yes,” came the welcome answer and I beamed. Noi said, “You look like big kid!”



I guess Noi was right. I am a big kid at heart. A big kid inside an old body. I still harbor dreams of driving a big semi truck or a steam train. Never a diesel or electric train - where is the romance in that? In my big kid’s mind, I still want to play sport. Above all else I wanted to return to those days of having no responsibility, no worries and no fear. In any case I didn’t consider myself as old. As Francis Bacon put it - “I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.”



Noi shopped. I sipped Guinness and watched the world go by. My thoughts were a young man’s thoughts. Another quote came to mind, this time by David Niven, the English actor, - “I wonder why it is, that young men are always cautioned against bad girls. Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against.” That thought did make me think about the Irish guys in Pattaya. I wondered how they were faring. It also made me think of who was right and who was wrong. Indeed, if there is a right or wrong? Is it better to chase the notion of finding a ‘good girl’? Or simply having relationships with ‘bad girls’?



As a believer in fate, I decided the answer was blowing in the wind. Or to parody the words from another song, ‘que sera sera.’ I was enjoying doing nothing sat outside the Chiang Mai Irish bar. Nothing included my own idle thoughts and my favorite pastime - people watching. I called for another pint of Guinness.



Chiang Mai is a popular tourist destination. It is also a popular choice to live for expats. It has a cooler climate than much of Thailand and that in itself attracts western foreigners to settle there. The night market was a microcosm of the city’s population. There were many Thais. They were mainly scurrying about knowing exactly where they were headed. Other Asians, mainly Koreans, Chinese and some Japanese were wandering as aimlessly as the western tourists. Stopping at stalls, picking up items and shaking their heads when asked to buy. My beer arrived and I heard an American accent.



“I’ll get that.” I turned to my right and saw a younger man sat at the next table. He had a laptop open in front of him. He was a thirty something writer. His story was shrouded in mystery. It involved him being former US Military but now assisting foreign armies with intelligence gathering. He did not care to elaborate on this. He was an interesting and intelligent companion for the next half hour or so. I dare say he remained both intelligent and interesting after our dalliance. Our conversation turned to life in general but in a light hearted way. I was a little sorry to see Noi return as I was enjoying the discourse.



But, return she did. Noi had three shopping bags with her that she didn’t possess when she left me. Thinking I had better feign curiosity, I inquired what was within. Tee shirts, shoes and shorts were produced one by one for my approval. Some for Noi and some for Kamon. Certain aspects of life in SE Asia were no different than back in the UK.



I nodded and ordered another Guinness. “Oh, and one bottle of Leo,” I called after the waitress. She turned and nodded with a smile.



“You shop tomorrow, Ryan,” Noi said. “You buy car.”



Do you have an Irish pub in your part of Asia?


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(Showing 1 to 3 of 3) 1
#2017-06-13 05:51:45 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

In answer to your question, I suspect there are very few countries that don't have Irish pubs in the centers where expats tend to settle or visit.  In each of the three cities in which I lived in China there were a couple of Irish pubs, and most of them were high quality and true to the traditional form of an Irish pub.

The one in Shenzhen and the one in Guangzhou served up some amazingly good western food, and while I am not a Guinness fan, they all served it along with a host of other beers and drinks. You have me missing some of the good friends, and good times shared with them, back in those days.

I am curious, and maybe you're going to get to it, but what was your plan as far as obtaining a Thai driver's license and insurance for the car. If it is coming up in the next article then no need to answer, but if not, I am very curious to know what the situation is in Thailand on foreigners owning, driving and insuring their vehicles.

I have always heard great things about Changmai and still hoep to spend some time there in the not too distant future.

#2017-06-13 22:52:49 by anonymous16159 @anonymous16159

you three pints in, an american writer, Noi, 3 shopping bags and a Leo...hmmmm interesting plot twist coming I think. Who ended up paying for the 3 shopping bags full?

Both vehicles mentioned are good but I think the Nissan has a better reputation than Isuzu overall. I could be wrong on both lol

I have not been to thailand as of yet and your words about the evening market as enticing, I am hoping to get there in the future as well as see Vietnam....

#2017-06-15 10:05:57 by RHendry @RHendry

@JohnAbbot I can't say because it may be a spoiler :) 

@anonymous16159 Too late! I bought the Isuzu lol. Nissans have a great rep for the best aircon. But the 2.5 liter diesel engines in the Isuzu and the Hilux for that matter, are bullet-proof - virtually indestructible. The night bazaar in Chiang Mai is great. But so are most night markets in Asia.

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