I’ve had a chance to date a few Thai ladies who’ve never worked in a bar and have jobs way outside the nightlife industry. I call them ‒civilians” as a shorthand term. As expected I have had good and bad times as with anyone else. This is a story that is funny in retrospect but was annoying at the time.
A good way to meet civilians is to be introduced by someone else. That way she knows I’m not an axe-murderer. It saves time compared with random meetings in Starbucks or Robinson’s. My friend ‒M” introduced me to her next-door neighbour whom I’ll call ‒P”. P is 25, has a degree and works in an office for a modest salary. M told me P hasn’t had a boyfriend in over a year but is good fun and likes to go out and party.
Civilians don’t tend to go out with a man alone on a first date. So M arranged a dinner with me and three of her friends, one of whom was P. P is very attractive,dresses very sexily, is good fun and loves to flirt. Her English is limited and my Thai is worse, but we got on well. I got her phone number but confined myself to sending her a text message thanking her. She replied sweetly.
We had a few more dates like that, always in a group. P always sat next to me and her body language said she was interested. I was a perfect gentleman and didn’t push anything. Of course P and M talked (P surely intending a message get back to me via M.) M reported that P really likes me and was interested in spending time alone with me. She even told M that she wanted to ‒take care of me on the bed”. I thought that was a charming phrase. This was the right time to make an invitation.
P and I only corresponded by text message as she was shy to talk on the phone and her written English is streets ahead of her speech. I invited her to dinner the following Saturday.
P replied that she was busy, but definitely another time. OK, she’s playing a bit hard to get, I thought. No problem: I will be patient. Then out of the blue I got another message from her saying that she wants to improve her English and wants to buy a ‒Talking Dict” – one of those pocket-sized electronic dictionaries that do Thai-English-Thai and speak words and phrases using voice synthesis. She claimed poverty and wondered what I thought.
I replied carefully saying I’d ‒help” her buy one as it is great she wants to improve her English. I proposed we go shopping at MBK one weekend. By ‒help” I was thinking of sharing the cost. I wasn’t thinking outright gift. She replied, and I quote: ‒helo! I’m afraid I can not go shoipping owth you because I am not available. I would like you to buy it and I believe you know what I want. I shall meet you some days after this. Love P”.
Ok, so I’m meant to go and buy her a 5,000B electronic gizmo and in return she will meet me (not necessarily alone) some time in the future. I didn’t think this was a great deal for me. I imagined her meeting me with a chaperone, accepting the Talking Dict and giving me a peck on the cheek before she scooted.
I called my friend M and asked her what she thought. Is this normal behaviour for a civilian? M said that P had been talking to her co-workers. They’d said something to the effect that if she’s going to date an older farang she should get something for it. M was sad that P made such a blunt approach – but she’s young.
I replied something evasive to P and our interactions petered out. M was angry with P for treating her friend like that, so they fought. I think they’re still not talking to each other.
The incident got me thinking: P was thinking exactly like a bar girl: willing to trade sex for money or goods. She just wasn’t honest with herself about it. I know most Thai ladies don’t think like P but when they get in range of a farang the temptation is strong.