Thai Wives Revisited
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
As with any story, there are different sides.
Most men, when they first arrive in Thailand are captivated by the Thai woman's charm and undeniable beauty. They seem subservient, pliable, incessantly pleasant, not to mention exotic. How could any male resist? Most of them don't, and they fall under this overwhelmingly attractive spell.
I have been studying this general state of affairs between the Western male and the Thai female now for several years. Observing, gathering information and tales from both sides, it's been a mild obsession that I hold from afar. Anyone who wanted to make a movie or write novels regarding this phenomenon would have fertile ground to do so.
There is always the first stage, where the Western man, battle fatigued from the war between the sexes in his own country, comes to Thailand. He's probably nursing wounds of various sorts - disappointment that he's not unfathomably rich (a seeming current requirement from many Western women), perhaps re-covering from a divorce or emotional breakup, or generally tired of being alone.
Now before cynicism blocks your ability to hear me out, I ask that you indulge me and read on.
I have seen strong, barrel - chested men brought to their knees in emotional agony when a Thai woman quietly states that 'her boyfriend' has returned. "Returned? Returned from where? I thought I was your boyfriend!" they wail... At other times, you can hear women chatting about finances. One has 500 baht a month coming from this man 'to help her family' and 1,000 baht from another. They each tally up the score.
Many Thai women are happy to remain a 'girlfriend' so long as they are young, which means under 30. If not married by that time, it is tradition to believe that the woman's life is over - no chance of recognition, power or children. Sometimes at this point the pursuit and capture revs up a notch.
This is business, wrapped in the cloak of fantasy. Thai women are amazingly good at business. Men and women both, are astonishingly adept at fantasy.
Seems that things work well without too many wounds from engagement if both sides maintain a sense of fun with no idea of commitment. Most men approach it this way in the beginning, until their illusion kicks in full force.
In public, having a beautiful woman implied as your companion is a drug to men's ego. Having that same woman serve you, feeding you from her own plate, bowing in a respectful wai as she accepts your gifts increases the addiction. It takes a rare man to see clearly in situations such as these...
I have found myself conflicted between humor and pity when I see these interactions.
My husband always tells me that men are simple creatures. All they want is approval, to be noticed for their efforts (and to have 51% of the pie...!) If Western women only knew this fact, he sighs, the world could be at peace.
I'm kind of an East-West girl myself. I'd be a fool to let noticed skills pass me by without close examination. Perhaps that is why my husband and I can boast of over three decades of marriage together.
The steely strength of the Asian woman wrapped in velvet is an alluring package. It is obvious every day here in Thailand. This doesnít mean I fully understand it. To be perfectly frank, I have numerous Thai girlfriends myself. The combination of being delicate yet potent -- brilliant, capable and enduring, yet impoverished, eternally grateful for the smallest gift,Ö Iím telling you it takes discipline not to fall into the well of my own unconscious fictions.
So, what to do? Take my advice. Give
what you want, enjoy what you can, proceed slowly before jumping all the
way in, and donít give up your day job.
Like this? Read the original
Like this? Read the original Thai Wives
Free Newsletter, Subscribe here
Billy and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their world travels.