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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 - Thai Prawns

By Ryan Hendry
629 Views | 5 Comments | 12/13/2017 12:44:41 PM
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I felt relaxed from the previous night’s sleep. Good job as still a long drive ahead. Noi seemed to become more excited the closer we got to Songkhla. The weather also improved the closer we were. The previous day’s monsoon rains had abated. Now the only source of irritation was the constant flapping of the tarp covering our belongings in the back of the truck. No matter how many times we tied it afresh or rearranged the tarp, it insisted on making a noise like a machine gun. A small price to pay for keeping our stuff dry. This exercise reinforced my impression of how Asian women got busy in helping out. I don’t know many western women prepared to dirty their hands in tying down a rogue tarp. It seemed to come as second nature to SE Asian women.

 

Now the main highway seemed to roll gently downhill towards Phattalung. Noi told me we needed to turn off Highway 4 after Phattalung to get to our destination. I had come a long way and travelled a lot of miles. I saw the familiar Tesco Lotus signs and a store at Phattalung. That reassured me I was still in touch with civilization. We were heading for the small village where Noi had stayed when I was last in England. She had stayed with her friend’s mother and seemed to be fond of her. She called her ‘Mama’ although not related.

 

I stopped the truck at the Tesco Lotus store. Noi told me we still had about an hour’s drive in front of us. I needed to buy a gift for Mama. I followed Noi into the fresh food department. She planned to buy some food to cook when we arrived. There, I spotted the fresh flowers. I decided to buy some for Mama. Mistake! Again, it is one of those lessons learned in Asian dating rituals. Noi saw the flowers in my hand. “Thank you,” she said. I explained that they were a gift for Mama. She burst out laughing. “You buy Mama flower, she think you fall in love with her.” One of those cross cultural issues, again!

 

We turned off the main highway and made our way eastwards towards the coast. Our final destination, a small village about ten miles from Songkhla, and a few miles inland from the coast touching on to the Gulf of Thailand. The surrounding countryside was flat. No surprise really, as we were now on the coastal plains. The rice fields abounded on both sides but interspersed with lakes. But the lakes seemed man-made as they all took on a uniform rectangular shape. What’s more they all had strange looking contraptions sticking out above the water. “What are they?” I asked. “Prawn farms,” came the answer from Noi.  I soon found out this is an area noted for its prawn farms. It had a huge frozen prawn processing plant just down the road. I also learned Thailand is one of the world’s largest exporters of frozen prawn.

 

Mama’s house was the last in the village. Maybe that the village had fifty houses? It had two small general stores and that was it. I forgot, it also had a Buddhist temple. The house backed on to the large inland lake known as Songkhla Lake with the island of Ko Yo stuck in the middle. Out front there were grazing meadows and banana trees. I liked the location and could understand why Noi liked it there. Mama was a widow and lived with her two adult sons, Pee Ning and Wirat. Her daughter, Nit and son-in-law Dorn, lived about 20 miles away.

 

Mama greeted us warmly. She hugged Noi. We sat down at the front of the house and drank a welcome cold beer. Mama spoke no English so it was a case of nods and smiles in place of conversation. But I felt comfortable in her presence and could sense a warmth about her personality. The next door neighbor popped around. She was being nosy and wanted to see the new farang on the block. Farangs, foreigners, were not a common sight in these parts. After she saw I had a head, two eyes, a nose and mouth just like her, she left.

 

We still had our belongings on the back of the truck. We decided it best to remove the refrigerator and leave that at Mama’s until we found a place to rent. Pee Ning had by now arrived on his motor bike and helped me unload the refrigerator and a TV set. All the cooking utensils got taken indoors too. Next step was to find somewhere to stay until we found a place to rent.

 

That was easy. I used an app on my phone to find and book a nearby hotel. We made our way there after leaving Mama’s. Once settled in, we started to make plans. I confirmed to Noi that I felt happy settling in the area and she smiled and kissed me. I think that made her happy to know I was okay with the new surroundings. What she couldn’t know, because I didn’t tell her, is that I trusted her. I simply fell in because I believed in her and thought it’s fine - everything will work out. I placed my future in her hands.

 

That future got talked about. Both that night and the morning after at the hotel. We planned to find a room to rent first of all. It would be too costly to stay in the hotel for too long. The next part of the plan was to be executed simultaneously. To set up a restaurant for Noi to run as her own business and find a plot of land. We planned to build our own home on that land.

 

These were serious commitments. I had done my homework and knew as a foreigner I could not own land. I moved forwards in trust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Showing 1 to 5 of 5) 1
#2017-12-13 12:44:22 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Ryan, you startled me with the disclosure at the end of this post indicating you intended to build your own home with Noi on a lot in Thailand, especially in a location in the far south near Songkhla.

The part about settling in the far south startled me because of my understanding that there has long been a lot violent skirmishes in the southernmost parts of Thailand between the Thais and Moslem intruders from Malaysia. I am not sure if that violence reached as far up as Songkhla, or not, but I imagine it got close enough that you might well have been nervous had you been aware of it.

The part about building your own home on a lot startled me because it seems, somehow, incredibly romantic. It is an adventure to be shared between two people, newlyweds, as they build their life together. And from your POV it was doing so as a stranger in a strange land, almost like the settlers of old who travelled halfway around the world from your country and many others to open and build the countries of the US, Canada and Australia.

It has never occurred to me to do such a thing, but when I read it here, I felt instantly jealous and wished I had thought of doing it, and had made the effort to complete such a feat. That in spite of the foreboding manner in which you mention how much you trusted Noi in this project. 

So I am left in a position of feeling two conflicting emotions. One is the sharing with you the feeling of joy that you must have felt in embarking on this wonderful project, while the other is the feeling of intense angst from recognizing that the moment is coming much closer in your story when the shit is going to hit the fan!

I am waiting now with baited breath to read the coming parts of this series.   

#2017-12-13 23:59:31 by anonymous16723 @anonymous16723

I have noticed with my chinese woman and her female family members that they will dive into and pull their own weight no matter the task and not complain which too shocked me as I was used to the western girls crying bloody murder at the thought of getting dirty doing meanial physical work tasks, they have no problem getting dirty doing outdoor sporting activities as that is more PC with western girls.

As far as you buying a plot of land, building a home and setting up a restaurant for Noi to run I am extremely dubious myself as she knows plain well she will own everything and you wont, but you seem to trust her at this point in the relationship which is your choice, I truly hope it will work out for you....

.

#2017-12-14 22:39:15 by woaizhongguo @woaizhongguo

Another intersting entry. The plot thickens. Having spent a good amount of time in Thailand, there is much that is familiar to me in your saga, though I never got as deep into the country and its women as you. I look forward to the continuation of your saga.

#2017-12-19 21:24:09 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Westerners in Thailand are like sheep to the slaughter

Maybe 10% get a good deal, but 90% get screwed (in all ways, lol)

#2018-04-02 21:14:52 by autumn2066 @autumn2066

All the customs  will strictly prohibit tourists from bringing exotic animals and plants into their country, since the alien species may cause unpredictable loss or even great disaster to the local ecology. I think this rule also applies to our human beings.....While two strangers ( especially two different culture people ) meet, it seems a bit hard to predictable what might happen, so keep an eye opening with self-protection at the beginning is necessary.

Love blinded you, you forgot that you are travelling in a jungle which full of alien species which you are not familiar with and should not prompt drop without belay sling.

Optimist usually are romantic.You are a romantic man whom believe in love. Wish you still keep your romantic heart, and take good care of it. 

 

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