Well, that’s over two months now since I first started to give you the weekly instalments of Noi’s Journey from East to West . I have been absolutely surprised and delighted with the number of readers that are following my life story so far and also for the many supportive comments that I have received.
You may remember that when I finished the last time, I had just left my husband Rung after I found him with another woman and then of course, I had to return almost immediately as I had so many business commitments and responsibilities to deal with. In addition to that, I had to clear up the smashed glasses and crockery that I had ‘inadvertently' smashed as I left!
Well after that first short break up for a while things got back to normal again between us and we tried to recover our relationship after Rung had strayed. I continued to work hard in order to build on my business empire, well perhaps that is a slight exaggeration but it was my shop and agency business anyway!
For a number of years things were ok between us and we managed to stay together but it was always the case that Rung wanted children. By that time I had found out that I could not have any children naturally and this tended to cause a great deal of tension between us.
Eventually, it came to a point that I felt that the fact that I could not have children was always going to cause a problem between us and this combined with the fact that I had never truly trusted him since the time that I caught him with another woman,
(the b-----d!!! oops, sorry!) added to our difficulties.
I decided to finish our relationship but this time, I planned my departure much better. Before I left Rung, I transferred the shop and my business over to my older sister for her to run and then left him for good this time. I don’t really bare much of a grudge towards Rung, (the b-----d!!! oops, sorry again J ) I just felt by separating I was giving him the freedom that he wanted and the opportunity to have a family with someone else.
This time, rather than heading to the unknown of a city life, I decided to return home and stay with my mother for a while as she had eventually forgiven me for having a relationship with Rung in the first place, all of these years ago.
While I was staying at home I helped my mother in and around the house and farm although I still regularly travelled back to Bangkok. When in Bangkok I continued to look for work that would eventually sustain me living there and that would give me the opportunity to develop a career for myself.
My sister and her husband were living in the city at that time but unfortunately the apartment that they lived in only had one room so there was no room there for me to stay there. Although I had some money, I found myself going to an internet cafe and staying there during the night as it was open 24 hours a day and was safe and during the day, I went to my sister's house to rest when they were both out at work.
I was actively looking for work and saw a job advertised in a Karaoke Bar so I applied. I was asked to go to the bar at 6pm that night and when I arrived, I was told to stand in line alongside a number of other women. I thought that this was a bit strange and then a group of men were ushered into the room, obviously expected to take their pick from the line of women that were there.
Despite being a rather naïve country girl, I slowly began to realise what I had got myself into and that the work that these ladies were there for was not behind a bar or serving as a waitress!!! Fortunately, unlike the majority of the other women there, I was not looking particularly attractive dressed in my normal clothes and not any wearing makeup. Consequently I was not chosen and I was told to come back the next night when I may be chosen. I could not get out of that place quick enough that evening and needless to say, I did not go back!
I eventually managed to find legitimate night work serving coffees and snacks in the Internet cafe and this gave me my first opportunity to learn a little about computers. Working there at night also gave me the bonus of being able to sleep during the day in my sister's house when they were both at work.
Sometime after that, Dao, who was a good friend of my sister, suggested that I move in with her. She had a good job in an Accounting Office and lived in a one-bed room apartment near to the canal in Bangkok. It was so kind of her to let me stay there and she even said that I could share her bedroom. I happily accepted the offer of accommodation but only on the understanding that I sleep on the sofa in the living room so that she could still have her own space.
As I was still looking for permanent work, Dao did not expect me to pay rent and provided me with my food and anything else that I needed. I will never forget her generosity and the kindness that she showed me. She very soon became and still is my true friend.
Not long after I started work in the Internet café, I became one of the first people in Thailand to see a real life drama unfold. At first I thought that people in the café were playing a computer game but I soon found out that it was for real. The date was the 11th of September 2001, and the disaster was of course, the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York.
Although everyone in the café started to watch what was happening, it was hard for anyone to really comprehend or understand what was actually taking place in front of our eyes. That event, which of course is now known as 9/11, will be a day that no one will ever forget.
In time and while working in the Internet Café, I met a man called Dave who was married to a Thai girl. He was very friendly and helpful towards me and as I knew very little about computers and the Internet, he helped and taught me some of the basics. At that time I didn’t even have or understand what an email address was so he helped me to set up my first ever email address. Dave explained to me what it could be used for and how valuable computer knowledge was. He even bought me a laptop so that I could practice on it.
I had been working in the Internet Café for some time when I then met an Englishman called Ian, who was a Computer Engineer. I got on really well with him and in time, he suggested that we worked together as he always needed to source computer parts. As I was Thai, he said that I could make the contacts and arrange for the parts to be collected or delivered to him. He also promised me that he would teach me more about computers and that eventually, I should be able to build them myself.
This seemed to be a good arrangement and it worked well and in addition to the business arrangement, eventually we entered into a relationship together and moved into a small apartment in Bangkok. Although Ian was working in Thailand as he only had a tourist Visa, he had to leave the country and go to neighbouring Cambodia every month so that he could apply for another Visa and then re-enter Thailand.
While I was living and working with Ian, we discussed the possibility of setting up a Dating Website and we eventually did. We named the dating web-site and arranged to find and publish the information and details of Thai ladies who wanted to leave Thailand for a better life. We signed up the ladies and published their details on the website so that men from all over the world could make contact with them through us.
We designed and operated a high quality website where Thai ladies would pay around 60,000 Baht (around £1,800) to be a member and we would take care of everything including translation and guidance on obtaining a Visa should couples want to actually meet. The business was very successful for some considerable time and many couples met through us, including at least three that went on to marry.
Now this seems to be the perfect place to leave you in suspense until next week when I will come back to you with Part 10 of 'Noi's Journey from East to West
I better get back to work now as my next customer will be arriving soon for her Traditional Thai Massage treatment, see you all soon!
Posted by Noi McIntyre on September 17, 2019