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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 - Cross Cultural Issues

By Ryan Hendry
251 Views | 3 Comments | 10/10/2017 4:43:29 AM
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I guess that some cross cultural issues are the same no matter where you are in the world. How many weddings take place every week throughout the globe? I have no idea but it’s safe to say there are many. The scene I was now part of was not unique. Many a bride or groom (or both) have been ready to retire to the privacy of their nuptial bed following the day’s ceremony and festivities. Yet, on this occasion it was me that was ready to call it a day. I had drunk a fair amount of beer and Thai whisky during the day but wasn’t drunk. I didn’t intend to get drunk now that we had returned to the resort hotel.

Yet, it was proving difficult to extricate myself from the mini-party that was now developing. Noi was completely relaxed and thoroughly enjoying the company of all, particularly her brother, Frank. On one hand I didn’t want to be a party-pooper, but on the other I wanted to be alone with my beautiful new bride. Frank was also in a party mood and insistent on chatting to me about English football teams. The trouble was that he was drunk. Not in a nasty drunk way. He was just too over-familiar. Frank would constantly hug me and call me his “new brother.” Kind of charming if he had restricted this show of affection to one or two occasions. But every five minutes was annoying me! I wasn’t sure if this was a manifestation of the culture of Asia or merely a sign of drunkenness.

The next development was someone suggesting more food. I should have seen that one coming because I had already learned through dating Asian women   that eating food can take priority over everything. Frank’s cousin, also a Bangkok taxi driver, was with us and wasn’t drunk. I gave him my car keys and some money. Everyone gave him their food order. He was to drive into town and pick up some street food. He returned within thirty minutes or so with the food and another bottle of Thai whisky!

The partying continued. It had now got to about one in the morning and there was no sign of the ‘fun’ ending. My patience was wearing thin. Partially caused by my wanting to finally reach the nuptial bed but also by the troublesome mosquitoes. We were sat outside perched on the side of a hill. Our position overlooked the rice fields. Rice fields means water. Water means mosquitoes. Mosquitoes seem to love my blood. Maybe because it’s foreign blood? The local Thai people didn’t seem to be affected by the pesky things. Enough was enough. I dropped some heavy hints to Noi about bed. If she heard me, then she did a great job of pretending to be deaf. This was the first time I was well and truly annoyed all day and evening long. I stomped off to our room alone.

Sleep soon arrived. I awoke next morning to find Noi next to me in bed. I had no idea what time she came to bed. I didn’t hear a thing. My feeling of annoyance from the previous night swept over me again. I couldn’t control it. For me, the whole experience of the previous day, a joyful day, was spoiled by Noi’s insistence on carrying on partying.

Now was the first time I began to think that Noi and her family all had an alcohol problem. Frank was clearly a drunk. I already knew that the ‘black sheep’ sister in Bangkok was a drunk and a drug addict. Som, Noi’s sister was a drunk and a gambling addict. The father was a drunk. He was drunk at eleven in the morning on the day of our marriage. Even more worrying was the fact that Noi had poured a huge amount of alcohol into her small body on the day of our wedding. These were thoughts that were never to leave me. For the time being, I pushed them to the back of my mind. It was better for them to be silent in my subconscious mind.

The following couple of days were taken up by dropping in on several folks and saying thank you’s and goodbyes. It was time to hit the road again and make tracks to the far south of Thailand. First stop was Kanchanaburi to collect our belongings. The drive to Kanchanaburi was uneventful except that I split my head open! Many doorways in Thailand are not built with six foot plus foreigners in mind. Most of the time I remembered to duck. A visit to the urinal at a gas station was one occasion that I forgot to duck my head. I ended up with a cut on my scalp and a headache!

We reached Kanchanaburi about four in the afternoon and decided to stay overnight at one of the backpacker hostels alongside the Kwai River. I called Helen, the Aussie landlady, and arranged to collect our stuff early the next day. I then popped into the local 7/11 store and bought some nylon twine. I figured I would need it to strap down our things in the back of the D Max. I also bought a waterproof sheet. That turned out to be fortuitous.

Helen’s husband greeted us when we arrived at seven the next morning. Noi was uncomfortable once again in his presence. That was one of the reasons we didn’t stay at the house the night before. I shrugged it off. He helped me load the back of the pick-up. I was grateful because some of the items were heavy such as the refrigerator. He also helpfully sheeted over the back and tied it down with the nylon twine. Good job! It started to rain as I drove away from the house in Kanchanaburi.

 

 

 

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#2017-10-10 04:42:18 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Hmmmm...  I am thinking back to my early years, and both my first and second weddings, which were a lot like the Thai wedding you described, in that there was copious amounts of alcohol consumed, including by many family members of both my first two brides families and my own. Not to mention countless inebriated friends. I myself did not consume much booze, but had it been anybody's wedding but my own, you can bet I would have.

And while we weren't drinking ourselves, my then brides and I were the last people to leave each of these wedding parties. We didn't expect anyone to stay sober, didn't mind the idiocy of the ones who were drunk, and didn't have any expectation of the party winding down early.

Now, at my current age, I would not have had the patience for it all, and would definitely have chosen to cut out early, and get distance between myself and the drunken behaviour of friends and family.

Which leads me to two observations:

1. In most cultures that I know of, there are segments of society that view a wedding as an event that demands a loud, long, fun filled drunken party and other segments that view a wedding as a solemn event to be taken seriously with no partying at all.  It seems pretty obvious which segment of Thai society Noi and her family belonged to, but I am curious as to which segment of society you come from. Being a hardened ex-cop, who we know from earlier blogs and this one, enjoys a few drinks himself, I would guess that you weren't surprised that Noi's crowd was going to do some serious drinking at your wedding party.

2. At my current age, which is roughly your current age, I would have had the same desire to bring things to an early end and would have had trouble being patient with some of the drunken goings on, such as your repetitively loving new bother-in-law (typo intended). I can understand how difficult it must have been to hang in there.  But it seems to me that Noi is a great deal younger than we are, so it probably wasn't much of a surprise that she was enjoying this big moment in her life and wanted to make it last; or was it?

I guess what I am leading to is that maybe, just maybe, you were being a bit of the "grumpy old man" during this event in your life. Having said that, I strongly suspect I would have felt exactly the same way so it isn't intended as criticicsm, just as an observation of how the age gap can be huge at certain times.

However, I am also assuming from what you wrote that we're going to learn more about how Noi's family, and perhaps herself, being heavy drinkers went far beyond your wedding celebration and would come to affect your life in more damaging ways. I am anticipating it in a bit of feeling of dread, as it is bringing home some bad memories of my own.

This was a telling read though, and I hope our members who read it do so with open eyes.

#2017-10-10 08:24:25 by anonymous16582 @anonymous16582

Ryan, great writing! It is clear, flowing and very engaging. Even the sad moments are punctuated by a great sense of humour.

#2017-10-15 23:33:39 by anonymous16583 @anonymous16583

Oh my, the whole time I was reading this entry I was getting a feeling of dread. Almost like you are the deer and she and her family are the pack of wolves and no matter how fast you run you will be caught and eaten. I truly hope I am wrong!!

I agree with the point in which I do not like it when drunk people hang on to you like they are your blood brother. 

Why did Noi not want to leave the party to be with you alone on her wedding night? Are friends more important to her than her first night with you as your wife? I know when I got married my then wife dam near dragged me from the wedding reception to our hotel room to boink my lights out!

As far as Noi being uncomfortable in front of Helen's husband, I can only surmise there is some bad history between the two of them or she knows something about him and it is not good. If you are noticing her unease around him don't shrug it off, it is your inner self picking up on trouble.....talk to her about it.

It amazes me how many people are alcoholics and can survive each day and not be on the streets. My ex sister in law for one was able to do this for years.

 

Looking ahead to your next entry..

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