Hi everyone, that’s me back again with the next instalment of my life story. So its time to whiz back to the year 2003 !*!*!* where you will recall from Part 10 that I had just started to search for my dream man on the dating website.
When surfing…. On the www that is not the ocean! I found that by chatting to people online from all over the world again sparked my interest in travel and I felt more than ever that I would like to move to another country where being successful appeared to be easier and people seemed to be more prosperous.
When I started to receive the numerous messages from potential matches from all over the world, I realised to my horror that I could not really understand them to any degree, as my English was still so poor. I had so many messages that it cost me a fortune to have them all translated into Thai, as I no longer had access to an interpreter through the business although I had a teacher who helped me. Not only did I have to get the messages that I received translated from English to Thai, any replies that I wanted to make, I also had to pay for them to be translated from Thai into English so that I could send them.
Now I don’t know if you have ever tried a translation service but what you say and mean in one language does not always necessarily translate properly into another language and could end up meaning something entirely different? It was all very confusing for a simple Thai girl!
The UK had always fascinated me so I thought that I would try my luck there and started to respond (via an expensive interpreter of course!) to a particular man who lived in Scotland. When I received my first message from this man in Scotland, something appeared to click with me!
His name was Brendan McIntyre….. now what a coincidence as McIntyre is my married name now J. He told me that he was divorced and had a son and two lovely daughters. I also found out that he was a successful Chemical Engineer working offshore in the oil industry and that he didn’t really have much time to meet people as he was away from home so much.
From Brendan’s profile on the Dating Website, I saw that he loved the outdoor life such as walking, flowers, birds and animals and that he was hoping to meet someone with similar interests. He looked like he was a very down to earth person and just the type of person that I was hoping to meet as I thought that it was time that I sorted out my life properly.
Even at this very early stage and despite the fact that I had never met him, I had a feeling that he could be the right man for me, I only had to make sure that everything was ok and hope that it would work out for us. Obviously I had to make sure that I felt comfortable with him when we met and I’m sure that he would be feeling exactly the same way.
We exchanged emails and photographs and I thought that he looked very handsome. As he had stated in his Dating Website profile, he told me that when he was not working, that he loved to go for long walks over the hills and he asked me what my interests were? Naturally, I was aware of his likes and of course being a totally truthful person, I said that I also liked to go for long walks over the hills in Thailand……….
In truth being of course, as the weather is so hot and humid in Thailand that walking anywhere is the last thing that you would want to do….
It was really only a tiny, tiny white lie although it was one that was to backfire on me when we eventually did meet up!
I told my brother-in-law who was a Geography Teacher in Thailand about my cyber friendship with a Scottish man and he immediately researched what Scotland was like. He told me that it was similar to Thailand in so many ways with beautiful beaches and mountains although is was possibly a bit cooler…..
What an understatement that was to be!!!
Brendan and I first started chatting on line in late 2003 and as he was already interested in taking a holiday in Thailand, it was agreed that we would meet up in person and spend some time together when he was there.
In my email to him I also attached a couple of photographs of me.
‘I haven’t really changed a bit, have I?’
I was so excited about my apparent success on the Dating Website that I showed my Mum and my sisters his photograph and they all thought he looked handsome and had a kind and nice smile.
In the emails that Brendan sent me, he mentioned that he was going to take 2 months holiday in his 50th birthday and would be spending part of that in Thailand before moving on to New Zealand and Hong Kong. I suggested that when he was in Thailand we could arrange to meet up and I would be his ‘tour guide’ and could show him the sights.
Of course at that time I had no idea if Brendan had arranged to meet anyone else when he was travelling on holiday as when a man meets someone on a Dating Website, they often arrange to meet others as well just in case! L Because of this I thought that I had only one chance to ‘capture my prize’, sorry I mean to impress him with my knowledge of Thailand and my charms
The next problem was that as I had claimed to be very knowledgeable about Thailand and had offered to be his tour guide showing him the many tourist sights. This meant that I only had a very short time myself to research about them as coming from a relatively poor rural background, I really knew very little about them…...
Yet another ‘white lie’ that was to come back and bite me! J
It was arranged that Brendan would travel to Thailand arriving on the 27th of January 2004, so that gave me very little time to research and prepare for his visit, as I had to impress him and not only show him the tourist sights but also the ‘real’ Thailand! I studied hard to learn as much as I could about every aspect of Thailand and of course what I needed to know about being a ‘tour guide’
As I had run a successful Dating Website myself I knew from other ladies who had been my clients how important it was for me to make an initial good impression if I was to have any chance of having a successful relationship if I was to ‘win the game’!
I was however worried that although I was making plans to make our time together as good as possible, I knew that in reality, I had no money. I was so excited at meeting Brendan for the first time and kindly my sister kindly gave me a loan of 30,000 Baht and that was a fortune to me, in fact it still is worth over £700 at today's dismal UK exchange rate! L I have since paid her back!
The next stage of my plan was that I had to draw up a V.I.P itinerary for his visit in order to make his visit an occasion that he would never forget, with the added benefit of course that he may be even more attracted to me!
I thought that I would show him the Khao Yai National Park where I could tell him everything that I knew about it, even though I had never actually had been there before and everything that I knew came from books! Of course being a very keen hiker with loads of experience of walking long distances, I had to buy my very first rucksack and trainers in preparation for this epic expedition!!!
The 27th of January 2004, finally arrived and Brendan was due to arrive so I went to Bangkok Airport armed with his photograph just to make sure that I met up the right man! I remember being so excited when I saw all of the people coming through the immigration check but despite a lot of searching I could not see him
I looked at the photograph again just to make sure, then I realised that it was only a photo of his face. When I looked back at the crowd again I then immediately recognised him as what had thrown me was as the photo was just of his face and I didn’t realise that he was bald! He still looked handsome though J
The next problem was of course that I couldn’t speak or understand much English and he certainly could not speak any Thai, other than saying the obligatory ‘Swadeka’!!!,
However, we managed to communicate.
We spent a few lovely days in Bangkok getting to know each other and I took him to many of the wonderful places that I did know as I had previously lived there. Although Brendan wasn’t particularly a city loving man, he was amazed by the busy life and of course the culture of Thai Massage that was on offer in every street.
Soon it was time to start our epic tour of the Khao Yai National Park to begin and being a professional and experienced ‘tour guide’, I was kitted out in my new trainers and backpack! Brendan of course had told the truth about his love of walking and was wearing a very professional pair of walking boots…...
That was when I realised that I could be in a bit of trouble here!
Well, on that note, its time for me to leave you again and get back to my business empire here in Scotland. It has been lovely chatting to you and I look forward to meeting you again with Part 12, next week.
Posted by Noi McIntyre on September 30, 2019