Sex and money make the world go round. Add power and the combination of the three makes up the ideal recipe for success, be it in business or pleasure. Is that a cynical view? Maybe.
but when a sanctimonious English female reporter asks the question: Why do Thai girls want to marry foreign men? I think that's a pretty daft question. The reasons are obvious, but let's look at the route to the pot of gold.
Many Thai girls, particularly those from the rural north east, can have a fairly rough time in both childhood and in their teens. Go into any bar in Bangkok and the bar girls will repeat the same story.
They had a Thai boyfriend, who got her pregnant, he then did a runner, and she was left with baby and probably mother, father and a few lazy brothers to support.
Often the male contingent of that family and even the mother will tell the girl there is one solution: "Go to Bangkok, get a job in a bar, make money using your feminine charm and send us the money you make".
Simply put, go and have sex with as many foreign men as possible and give us the money.
This is the reality of the situation and no matter how it is dressed up and had spin put on it, this is simple fact in Thailand, It has been for decades and I see no sign of it changing, no matter what the 'do gooders' and politically correct females of the west may think.
They have not had the same pressures put on them as these girls have.
There are choices of course and I know a few girls who have moved on from the bar scene without grabbing a foreign husband. One went back to grow and pick potatoes, and as far as I know she still sells them at the roadside, and is doing OK.
Some try the factories but find the money paid by the foreign manufacturers just isn't enough to support their family as well.
In the true tradition of worker exploitation, these manufacturers are treating their female staff with as much disrespect as any foreign sex tourist.
Working on the farm is the other option, but again, it's not enough to sustain a whole family, so it's off to Bangkok and use the most valuable asset they have to lure a nice foreign guy.
There are no shortage of takers, but as in any job, some effort has to be made to be successful. It's no good just sitting at the bar every night and not learning how to communicate properly.
Let's face it, some of the girls are not the sharpest knives in the box and they will always have trouble in achieving their goal
Some are just downright lazy and would struggle wherever they worked. And some are cunning to the degree of deliberately getting pregnant and using this as a lever to get the man. But this is not just Thailand, it happens the world over.
In contrast, some are bright, learn and pick up English (the most common language used) and are fun to be with. This is important as many men will not want to be sat there with a bored looking, dim, sad girl.
That's not why they came to Bangkok. If the signs are good, and after a few nights of pleasure, the guy is still keen, then the girl from the North Country may well have cracked it. But the driving force behind all these relationships is money.
After a while the sex can wait, but the money has to keep coming in a steady flow.
Eventually they may marry and both go to live in a new house built in the home Isaan village, where the Farang and his beautiful Thai wife live and maybe have children.
The teenage girls in the village will see the new house and look with envy.
They may ask: "How come Lek have big new house like this?"
The answer : "She go Bangkok and find Farang man – I think I do same"
The circle is complete, and off we go again with some more of the beautiful girls of Isaan looking for their man. That's why many girls from Isaan look for a foreign man. Security and money.
Simple – Yes?
So having answered one question, our dim British TV reporters then come up with another daft question:
Why do western men come to live in Thailand
This one maybe even more stupid than the first, but I have my own experiences to fall back on and I don't think I'm alone in this. I now live in Thailand, but I traveled all over for 20 years.
I worked in the US, South America, China and most of the countries of Asia. I come from the UK, and at one point I was almost commuting to Asia.
But Thailand was always on my itinerary no matter where in Asia I worked. I managed to make Bangkok my ‘home base'. for years, before coming to live here.
It was inevitable I would leave my family back home ( who I love dearly - well , my 2 grown up lads anyway), and come to live here. Why?
Well, because Thailand is a great place to live. Yes but why?
My reasons are largely selfish, and have much to do with lifestyle, and I think many foreign men come here for the same reasons. We must not forget there are many Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Singaporean and Indian guys make a home here as well, but I cannot speak for them. But, taking the European scene, the simple fact is that there's no fun in these countries any more.
The women are so far into their own self esteem and so intent on handing out their version of the world as it should be, it becomes almost unbearable. They want to dominate, issuing orders at will, and are just as manipulative when it comes to money as any Thai girl.
Can anyone tell me the difference between the Western girl who stands her man outside a jewelry shop and basically says "Buy me that necklace and you can sleep with me" and the Thai girl who, after a night of wonderful sex, may say "My family need some money" ? For me, the Thai girl is far more decent about it than the western girl.
A Thai girl very rarely demands money and it's never upfront. "Up to you". So you give her 2000 Baht to help with the family expenses, her sons school fees, the sick buffalo or whatever.
Is it money for sex?. Maybe, maybe not, it can be a night out with a beautiful lady and no sex. It happens.
In comparison to their Western counterparts Thai women, that is those who have the intelligence, have a great sense of fun, can help in all manner of ways, and offer their benefactor much greater respect than any Western woman.
I had a long relationship with a girl from Sakon Nakhon.
I considered her drop dead gorgeous, and judging by the heads which turned when she walked into a bar, so did many others.
She is intelligent, and has a couple of languages under her belt, including Japanese (for reasons which I will explain) Did we fall in love? I'm not sure, and we parted with as much drama as a bad soap.
But at the end of the day, I just enjoyed being with her, and this is one reason many men come to live in Thailand. They can relax, have a good time, enjoy the great food and be relatively well off compared with home.
My friend was manipulative but I knew it. The problem some Western men have is that they do not see this from the start.
For the reasons in the first paragraphs earlier, Thai girls are only going to offer their undoubted charms to men who they see as a good investment.
The Farang is the answer to their problems, mainly financial but this can extend to security and health as well.
A decent Western man, maybe in his forties or even fifties can offer security, money and if needed, a helping hand to the family back home.
He can pay for hospital bills in good hospital, he might buy a car and build a house. It's security and money, which in turn leads to a relaxed and healthy life.
For the foreign man, the Thai lady is the answer to his dreams, but the Farang also has to realize, that whilst he might believe he is Bradd Pitt when he looks in the mirror, the simple truth is that he's more like Homer Simpson.
But the saving grace is that he has money and as long as that is never forgotten, then all will be OK.
Going back to my friend from Sakon Nakhon, within the space of five years working in Bangkok she had acquired two houses back in Isaan, both bought by foreign boyfriends, and had a decent bank balance. All from her work in the bar and in hotel rooms., but she was quite choosy.
I was in exalted company with an Swiss ex- pro soccer player, and a high flying Danish businessman as her regular friends.
She had an older (64) Japanese friend who actually flew from Tokyo to Bangkok just to bring her a birthday cake, then in the same day flew back to Tokyo (The Japanese language reason answered!). In all she had some 4 good friends, and I was one of them.
Was I upset at sharing this woman with others? Not really.
Was she a prostitute? I don't think, so if the term is used correctly. Not once did she demand money in return for sex.
The only time she actually asked me for money was when she needed 7,000 Baht to finish off the installation of a new toilet in one of her houses in SK.
She also asked me to buy her an English –Thai computer dictionary, which she called her "Talking Dick" As I say, the girl had humor to add to her many charms.
She ran her schedule to perfection and whilst I would be in China, Mr Switzerland was in town, or Mr Danish, or Mr Japan.
When she and I were together we would play pool, go to live music gigs and get hideously drunk - she often threw up in the hotel waste bucket.
She smoked and drank like a fish. But she was just brilliant company. The last I saw of her was some 18 months ago.
She told me she was interested in Christianity, and that I was looking for something I couldn't find, As I discovered she could be quite profound and had good insight.
A few months later I was told she had " Gone to temple" I've not seen her since, but will always remember those nights when she would strut in wearing her sophisticated clothes and looking a million dollars.
I would ask myself "Is she really going out with me?"
It's a good enough reason for any man to come and live in Thailand and it's not to difficult to understand….. is it?