I have developed an ethical limit on my behavior in Thailand that I never hear about from other male visitors to the Kingdom. You would think with all of the farang-Thai web sites and all the chat rooms and all of the essayists and storytellers and the millions of words that have been written on every conceivable aspect of the farang-Thai experience that this subject would have already been covered but I never see it. Maybe it is just me. Maybe I am the odd man out. Maybe I am the lone ranger. Maybe I am all wrong. Maybe my personal ethical opinion on a certain subject has no merit. Here is the subject and my ethical opinion / behavior that I have adopted. What do you think?
I do not believe that male tourists to Thailand should spend time with ‘good' Thai girls. Holy Moly–what am I talking about? Am I crazy? Have I lost my mind? Have I joined some weird religious order? Isn't this the conscious or subconscious desire of many farang: to meet a nice Thai girl and fall in love? Maybe get married? Maybe have some kids? To mate successfully? To die happy and respected with a heart full of love?
Aren't these male dreams of successful coupling valid and beyond reproach? Don't these tourist farang dreams of meeting a nice Thai girl represent all that is best about adult civilized sensitive people? Well, Yes and No. The dreaming part is the nice part. No one in their right mind would negate the value and importance of successful coupling and a life filled with love. But the practice that has to lead to the dream is the bumpy part of the road. And the practice that leads to the dream involves meeting nice Thai girls. I strongly believe that tourist farangs should not do this. Let me explain with a little story.
Last time I was in the Kingdom a friend set me up on a blind date with a ‘good' Thai girl. He knew what he was doing because the two of us hit it off immediately. We just fell into each other. She worked in a massage parlor and gave me a foot massage. I think all massage is bunk and junk and fraud but I submitted to this shame of Thailand so that I could spend time with her. At the end I told her that I was going to Pattaya for two weeks but that I would come back to see her. And I did.
When I walked in two weeks later and she saw me her smile was huge. Happy eyes. Another silly foot massage and then we went to lunch. It was magic. And different. Walking back from lunch I tried to put my arm around her and she pushed me away. I tried again to put my arm around her and she pushed me away again. A good girl. 'Slow down mister.' Across from the massage place was an Internet place. I paid to have her get an account so that she could send me emails, etc. We talked. Then it was time for me to go. We did the awkward goodbye. I didn't want to leave and she didn't want me to leave. As I was walking away she called out my name and ran after me with something to say. Just an excuse to prolong the contact. Then it was over.
Leaving I realized I had made a mistake. I had wasted a good woman's time. I was going back home. I would probably never see her again. It had all been false hope and a silly dream. I had wasted her time and been irresponsible with her emotions. She is a human being. I didn't have the right to do that. I had done wrong. I vowed to never do it again. I vowed to never waste a good Thai woman's time again.
I believe that if you can not follow through with a good woman in Thailand in a responsible adult meaningful future orientated way you should not be spending time with her. So there it is: the kernel of my ethical / behavioral point-of-view when in the Kingdom. Taking up her time and her emotions without the ability or the intention of possible future action is wrong. Not wrong as in incorrect or inappropriate; but wrong as in morally wrong. Animals can not and do not make decisions based on virtue or ethics; but humans can make decisions based on virtue and ethics and should try to. That is what separates us from the dogs and the chickens and the snakes. We have the ability to do better when mixing with other members of our species: to make finer distinctions and more meaningful decisions. If you are not treating the good Thai woman in a virtuous and ethical way then you are behaving irresponsibly and disrespectfully.
I do not see any compromise on this issue. I don't think you can have it both ways. You can not be taking up the time and the emotions of a good Thai woman and telling yourself that you are really a good guy. You have to make a choice. You already know what kind of a woman she is or you would not be thinking about it: so what kind of a person are you? This woman that my friend introduced me to had a son, a life, dreams, needs; if a man is not local and a resident and in a position to make a commitment he should not be talking to her. I hope she found that man. She is wonderful.
Now, if you are thinking while you are reading this you might be saying to yourself:
"Oh come on, Dana: are there no exceptions? Are there no lights in the twinkling firmament of our emotional existence that have value? Is it all so black and white? Is there no hope for a farang man? What about the well known fact that sometimes a woman just picks a man. It certainly does not happen very often but it is a fact that sometimes a woman acts in a way that surpasses understanding or explanation and picks a man. To use Margaret Trudeau's autobiography title, she acts Beyond Reason. Somehow she knows in the bone deep marrow of her woman's being that you are it. You are the man, the future, the buried treasure at the end of the rainbow, the X that marks the spot, the future half of the rest of her, the father of the children, the everything of her life. It is a personal knowledge that exceeds her own understanding. It is something that goes beyond lust, or social mating rituals, or desire for security, or peer pressure, or sex, or anything else that a friend or a neighbor or a psychologist would use to describe her behavior. She just knows. You can not talk her into this idea and you can not talk her out of this idea. Most especially you can not talk her out of this idea. It isn't about reason or being articulate or being educated or anything else. She just knows. You are it. You are the man.
In that case Dana, isn't a non-local, non-resident farang excused from your draconian rule about never having contact with a good Thai girl? Isn't this a case that lends a little humanity to your idea through the hope of exception?"
My answer to this and my behavior that proofs my answer is NO. No, I do not believe this sometimes exceptional behavior of women gives you carte blanche to spend time with local women. The statistical anomaly of the good Thai woman who has decided against all explanation because of some star dust buried primal reason that you are IT is such an infinitesimal percentage in the game of successful mating that its very exceptionalness works against you.
Obsession can be a beautiful flower when it is all about love and successful lifetime mating: but you can not will it, or buy it, or steal it, or earn it. It has to be the woman's idea. You are the recipient but not the influencer. It is all about her responding to internal mysterious messages that impel her towards you and blind her to anything else. And the odds of you being included in this theatre of life are so small that you have no rights. Long odds and small percentages do not give you the right to treat every good Thai woman as a chip in your gambling love game of life. Leave them alone.
Right now even as you conjure this text and mull over these ideas and even as I am pounding these keys there are thousands of relationships in Thailand between non-local, non-resident farang and good Thai girls where both parties have now had the veil lifted from their eyes and both parties are peering ahead trying to discern the future. But that does not mean that both parties are equal. Every single month the woman is reminded through her period of all that she is and of all that she can become. The only way a male visitor can match this level of practical maturity is to recognize all that she is and all that she can become and realize that he has no right to be at her table. If he wants to throw dice in the casino game of life it is not to be with good Thai girls. It is not right. It is wrong. Leave them alone.
So that's it. My story and my conclusion and my new ethical limit on my behavior when I am in Thailand. When the plane lands and I am walking down the long hallway to Immigration I remind myself of this. I am not a resident. I am going to tell the gentleman at Immigration that my purpose in the country is Tourist. I am going to visit and then I am going to leave. No geographic commitment. I grace the Kingdom with my farang presence but I'm not stickin' around. I'm not putting down Asian roots, or applying for long time visas, or researching ways to buy homes or buy businesses or transfer funds to Thai banks, or enrolling in a two year learn-to-speak Thai program, or joining the Pattaya Expats club. I'm simply a human airplane doing a 'touch-and-go' on the runway of Thailand for my own amusement. I have no business holding a good Thai woman in my arms. If there were a law it should be criminal to do such a thing. And if your name is Hans or Ragnar or Zia or Marcel or Peter or Boris and you are doing such a thing than I think you are a criminal visiting a crime upon women who do not deserve it.
All of this I mentally review as I walk down the long hallway on the way to the Immigration line. I am so so glad to be back in the Kingdom that I feel like crying. I feel as if I am coming home. The bag is weightless in my hand, and the trauma of the long flight is forgotten, and my feet seem to not even be touching the floor. Suddenly I feel younger, and stronger, and leaner, and more hopeful and clever and handsome. Like a lover with his love in sight my system is pumping chemicals into my bloodstream that are traveling to every part of my body. But in the euphoria of the moment I do not forget who I am and who the other players will be. I will set ethical limits on my behavior. The only women I am qualified to responsibly spend time with in Thailand are whores. That is all I am good for.