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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
I am one of this board's most optimistic members, I believe. And I have been Happier Abroad, on and off, for a few years now. During my travels I have gotten to know quite a few people, and while in my country of birth from behind my computer screen, have made quite a few international connections. I've seen a lot of positive stories, success stories, stories of good fortune. But now I have also seen, sadly with my own two eyes, a man who was less fortunate...
This man is a few years older then me, in his mid-twenties now. In his home country he used to make a living flipping burgers at McDonalds. In the weekends he would go out with high school friends and co-workers, and drink heavily. He had one serious relationship with a European girl for two years, but was dumped at 21. The years that followed, he mostly spent pissing away what little money he made. His father was a middle aged car mechanic who worked for the company of a Belgian man. Said Belgian man, in the words of my Happier Abroad comrade, "looked like the cartoon character Shreck". Nonetheless, he proudly told the burger chef's father, he had a cute Filipina wife. The father and his boss talked about the matter, and Mr. Shreck was feeling in a helpful mood. "I met my wife through a penpal service, we married two years ago. She was happy to marry me and we have it good. But her best friend, in her hometown, is still looking for a good man."
Now the mechanic knew his son was miserable, had no direction in life since he had become single and started dating the bottle. He talked to his boss, who talked to his wife, and sooner rather then later the young European man was writing his first letter to a Filipina in a tiny village on the other side of the globe. The response was enthusiastic, in the letters that followed they really hit it off. Could this be the one? Our young friend started saving up, becoming more fiscally responsible. He no longer drank to excess and started living a healthier lifestyle.
The young lovers met up about half a year after the first exchange of letters. They met in Singapore, where she was working at the time. She was 25 years old, had studied finances in college and had a fairly good career. He was 23, a simple fastfood employee. She was a shapely, curvy 5'2" with light-brown skin and a somewhat Polynesian look to her. He was 5'6", skinny, pasty-skinned and rather homely looking. A more cynical mind would have thought, maybe she saw him as a meal ticket? But I honestly cannot see it as having been anything but genuine chemistry, since he had very little to offer her and with his country's strict immigration policies, a green card or it's local equivalent was not exactly an option. Long story short; they roamed around Singapore for a few weeks. They had fun, so much fun in fact she took off from work and they took a cheap flight to her home town where they met with her family. This is where he went down on one knee and proposed to her... a bit soon, you might think, but when you don't shit gold and flights are expensive, you have to make do. "It just felt right", he later told me.
They got married a while later, in early 2013. Around this time, her contract ended. Our young hero went back to flipping burgers in his home country, moving back in with his parents to save money. His new wife also went back to her country, having found a new job in Baguio which also gave her a decent income. Both worked, and both saved up. In their free time they started looking up paper work and requirements for permanent visas, as he planned to take his new bride to his country. Things did not go smoothly, and soon he discovered he could not possibly bring her to his country because he did not meet the requirements... to take her with him, he would have to make a certain amount of money and he needed a long-term contract. He told her, she was not very pleased, but they agreed they needed to be together and promised to "make it work no matter what". So, change of plans! She could not come to him, so he would come to her! They did a 180 and he decided to go for a one year visa in the Philippines, which he would renew every year. In order to do so, he would have to give up his job, his contract and any benefits his government might have given or owed him. He loved her, he needed to be with her, and no price was too high. So he did exactly that.
Fast forward a few more months, and it's February 2015. The young European guy, now 25, flies to meet his Filipina wife, now 28. He quit his job at McDonalds for her, and she quit her job as an accountant in Baguio for him. They put their savings together and decide to make a living in her home town. Since they cannot afford a house of their own, they move in with her family; her 60 year old father, her 52 year old mother, her two younger sisters and her alcoholic, college dropout younger brother. About a week later, they are told that the two nieces that are staying "for 1 week" will be dumped there permanently as her mother leaves for a job as a maid in Dubai... Surely, this setting seems like a recipe for success, no?
The tiny village is lacking in a few things, and the young entrepeneurs seek to provide the villagers with them. One thing the village lacks, is an internet shop. Another, a restaurant. There are little food places but no Western fastfood. So the young European guy decides they should buy a grill and start a little burger joint! His wife, who knows a thing about computers, will take the internet shop as her responsibility. They put together all of their savings and have a small shop built next to her parents' house, close to the center of town and next to a fairly busy road that leads to the local Catholic church. He buys a grill, looks for a place where he can purchase the cheapest meat patties and the most affordable bread. She purchases a few computers, has internet installed (pricey!) and also buys a printer in installments so people can copy and print documents. Shortly after, they're in business! The burgers, which are very low in price, sell fairly well but make little profit. The internet shop does not exactly make them millionaires either as the connection is very slow and only the main computer (the one operated by the wife) has any decent internet speed. Either way, the shop makes them enough money to live, to eat. It leaves them with little to save up, but even though they don't make much the young European man is dreaming big plans... he wants a big restaurant down town, he wants to set up an annual festival, a pub... so many plans, so little funds.
By the time I meet him, a few months after his move, he is extremely happy to see me. So happy is he to see a fellow countryman, he immediately offers me a free burger and does not stop talking. My wife and daughter, who I brought with me for the occasion, are hardly dignified with a response. I am struck by the impression that this fellow is a bit odd, that he may be somewhat socially awkward and not awfully clever. At the same time, he is jolly and sometimes funny. His accent makes him hard to understand at times, as he comes from a very rural far-away place of my country. His knowledge of the English language is rather appalling, and I have heard rice farmers who would sound like Shakespeare next to him. Overall, my impression of him is not too bad. He's a well-meaning simple mind, trying to make the most of his life. I invite him to the house of my in-laws, in which we are staying. He arrives the next day, sans wife. He comes over a few more times, and we talk a lot. He talks to me about his life. About his relationship. And about his in-laws... they are very shy, silent people and uneducated. The guy is equally uneducated, but is very talkative to the point that he never shuts up. The only person he sometimes talks to besides his wife, is a local carpenter who's also made some woodwork in my wife's room. And then there's the alcoholic brother-in-law, who has started displaying very erratic behavior after hitting his head on the road a few weeks prior. The guy feels lonely, and after we share a few beers he convides in me that he started drinking again. Alone, by himself in his in-laws' house and sometimes in the shop after closing time... he tried joining his brother-in-law and his friends, perhaps hoping to find some drinking buddies, but "they're all shy to talk English to me... and I feel they make fun of me sometimes".
I feel bad for the guy and so I invite him over a few more times. I feel he is leaning a bit too heavily on our friendship... sees me as some sort of savior. So I decide to introduce him to some new, local friends. I advice him to take a more active role in the community, show up in Church more often. When we celebrate my daughter's birthday party, I invite over a hundred people and one of the guests is the priest, who I introduce to my fellow foreigner. I also introduce him to my wife's uncle, who is a very bright man and an excellent musician - the European guy likes to play music and used to be in a band with his father as a teenager. I feel he is starting to become more at ease, and becomes more familiar with the village. Bit by bit, he is coming out of his shell. I'm happy for him. But he keeps coming back, and when he does he shares stories with me about his family, his wife. Apparently his wife is not pleased at their life situation at all. She thinks he lacks ambition, she says at this rate they will never have a house of their own and that he should have just taken her to his country... she points out that the wife of the Belgian factory owner "has nice things". A garden, a house, a car... and she has nothing! No ambition.
But my new friend, he is fine with the way things are. He does not need much. The problems, however, keep adding up. For one, they cannot conceive. Despite being married two-and-half years, the wife has still not gotten pregnant. My own wife has given birth already to a healthy daughter despite us having been married roughly a year after them. She questions his manhood. His ability to provide for her. His drive to succeed in life. One time he goes to Manila with some of his new-found friends I helped him meet, and he decides to have a few drinks. Drunk, he stays the night and arrives home later then expected. His wife is furious, yells at him, accuses him of cheating on her... he storms out, goes to our house and says he cannot handle it any longer. He takes a few breathes, we give him a cup of coffee and some food. He thanks us, leaves and books a hotel in the nearest city where he stays for three days. Then he returns, talks to his wife. Kiss and make up. The stress of dealing with the overcrowded household of his new family, the European proclaims, is the sole reason for their marital woes. His solution? They go to the nearest city, rent a small appartment for two and leave the shop in the hands of her parents and siblings.
For the time being, the situation seems to have solved, their problems behind them. I fly home to work some more, save up some more, before embarking on my own permanent adventure abroad... I stay in in-frequent contact with the European guy and his wife, we Facebook a few times and my wife keeps me informed on some of the more saucy details she's heard of. Apparently her siblings are less-then-stellar at handling their affairs, the shop fails to make as money as expected and the appartment and cost of living in the city proves higher then expected. The wife, meanwhile, keeps nagging and they fail to conceive, thus far, the much-desired half-white baby as Mrs. Zeitola and I already plan number two. As it turns out, the foreigner had an accident that messed up his spine and he cannot work any longer. His wife tries to pursuade him to return to his home country to claim benefits, and send those home so he can "at least be useful some way". He gets lonelier and lonelier, without the social life I helped him build in the village. Every week he goes home for a day or so, and spends time with my wife's uncle playing music and having jamming sessions. Last month, he decided, at last, he would return to his country. He plans to claim benefits for a year or two, and have his spine operated on while he is there. I warn him, he may have given up his right of benefits, but he says he will "find a loophole".
Today he was supposed to fly home. He had everything packed and was ready to go. Passport? Check. Credit cards? Check. Cash money? Check. Any official documents required? Check. Also with him were most of his clothes and personal belongings in a bag. He walks to the nearest bus stop, late in the evening trying to catch the night bus to Manila. Half a block from his house he is attacked by three men on a tricycle. They beat him up badly and take all of his belongings. He crawls, stumbles home to his wife, who berrates him before fixing him up. With no money to even get on a bus, and without a passport, he is forced to cancel the flight at the last minute and unsure he will even receive a refund as he has no travel insurance. He sends me a facebook message in the morning, while I am at work. We chat and he tells me the whole story. I sympathize, offer to help out in small ways wherever I can. If he feels lonely at Christmas, his wife and him are very welcome to join us in our celebration. He sends back a bittersweet smiley, and I know the face of the man hitting "enter" is all but smiling... to make matters worse, I hear his grandmother back home is dying and wants to see him one last time. His back pain worsened by the attack, his passport gone and having lost hundreds of dollars on a cancelled flight, his future seems bleak.
I don't think I need to point out the mistakes he made, the things he should have done better. Some of it is stupidity, a lot of it just plain bad luck. For a while this man thought he had found paradise on earth, but he was brutally hit over the head with reality. While me and Mrs. Zeitola meticulously planned our every move for more then a year in advance and have a good chance at succeeding, this man's happy-go-lucky approach and lack of preparation backfired on him. A few months from now he will return home with his tail behind his legs, a broken man, and considering his marital woes I am not even entirely certain he will come back to his wife.
One man's heaven is another man's hell. Let us all hold a moment of silence for our fallen comrade; the Happier Abroader who didn't make it.
Well, mistakes, which mistakes? He was just unlucky. It's a 50/50 situation. It could work out but it did not. Not all was his fault, a typical case of misinformation.
Nowadays it is not so easy anymore to bring into Europe legally a foreign woman from a developing country without proper documentation of her, and the Western groom has to fit certain requirements too.
To live as a Western foreigner permanently in a Philippine village is not easy either, even dangerous. - There is not really a problem about visa, but there is the typical scenario of running out of money and being a target nevertheless for criminals. He got his lesson and for sure some mistakes he will never make again during the rest of his life.
Good for him, he is still alive and he will find a cheap flight to get out of Philippines.
To advice such young men from Western countries - I also meet them frequently - is more or less hopeless. They do either not listen or it is too late already.
I still have a postcard I received some years ago, from UK. I met this young guy in Thailand. He was a very friendly young man, but .... failed.
'Yohan, thank you so much to bring me to the airport and buying me a meal before departure, I was pretty down, but I made it back home' is written on it.
I met him accidentally far outside of Bangkok while driving a rent-a-car. He had nothing, zero money, no luggage, except his passport and surprisingly a non-refund discount ticket to Europe, departure within a few hours. A typical 'yellow fever story'.
Being plopped into the middle of nowhere where you can't relate to the locals will leave anyone lonely. Hell I have that in my own country.
I found this interesting.
"She thinks he lacks ambition, she says at this rate they will never have a house of their own and that he should have just taken her to his country... she points out that the wife of the Belgian factory owner "has nice things". A garden, a house, a car... and she has nothing! No ambition. "
I guess they are not different than girls in China, Japan and the West. He seemed to be doing the best he could, he can't bring her to his home and he just has high school and I am assuming lacks English and Tagalog or whatever local dialect they have there. What does she expect.
I'd also have to wonder if my lack of interest in having kids [I'm so getting snipped before I go overseas] would be a dealbreaker once the dollar signs stop flashing before the eyes.
There is no clear advice for that.
Some people want children, others do not. There are a lot of Asian women who do not want children or for some reason cannot become pregnant. It depends on individual circumstances. - Same also about men and women who have already children out of a previous relationship. Some people can accept those children easily, others do not. This all has to be discussed carefully before entering a relationship.
I've read somewhere 10 or 15 years ago that a lot of Viets don't want children. However the Philippines seems much more traditional and are sex nuts and retard strong for that Jebus fellow. I would guess it would be much more of a barrier there.
Fortunately for me my lack of desire for kids is linked up with more of an interest with an egalitarian type relationship.
Sadly I'd guess often those girls who don't want or can truely live without kids are also those who are more keen on their career which isn't a bad thing but also that makes it harder to play the wealth game in second and third world countries and in first world nations they would make more than me which doesn't tend to fly very well. I know 2 exceptions but in both cases the guy is quite good looking and not in a bad boy way [one has a STEM phd and is a hard core board gamer and fanboy] But still generally speaking not promising.
The chicks I want I can't get and the chicks I can't get I don't want. Yes I wrote that right.
On a unrelated note I have to laugh at all those profiles on POF of girls in their 40's who have no kids and want some.
Oh honey... no. Well maybe but not bloody likely.
This thread needs to be immortalised. While it's a sad and unfortunate story, there were some mistakes made. Not just 100% bad luck. Usually I wouldn't comment on a topic like this, but given its author and the content I figured it wasn't really negative so much as it was realistic. Hopefully the OP's friend gets out okay. Think, think, think people.
As for this . . .
Agreed 100%. At this point, the world doesn't need more people so you get props for that.
Self-improvement addict. Always striving for perfection.
If buddy makes it back to his home country and goes on the system, I really hope he doesn't send any money back to his wife. Not as if there are any kids there.
Telling him to GTFO and go back home because at least then you would be of some use is extremely insulting and diminishing. As desperate as I am, I'd never put up with that. Why bother sending money back, she basically sent him away as some sort of bitch ass ho to bring her the money. Talk about blatantly being used. Usually when you are nothing but a meal ticket you get a bit of the old in and out from it and companionship. She is asking for money for nothing.
If he does, that is all on him.
It is all on him if he complies. The female relatives in my life are getting zilch from me for their constant disrespect. The most recent being a few days ago. I told one of them not to complain about the dog's waste if she goes in the house because they told me to walk her in the backyard, where she hunts for lizards instead of doing her business. The relatives response? "I don't see why you get upset at people. You aren't even working, so you have no right to get upset". Or when I inform them that they aren't entitled to benefits that are paid for by other peoples' money. "You don't believe or you'd be in a better financial situation". Always taking jabs at the money. That chick's line about "be of some use" would have been immediate grounds for dismissal for me. I understand that all women are like that in one way or another (the one thing MGTOW is correct about), but still, too much of something is bad. To me, that's too much nature in such a small window, coupled up with adding stress to stress.
Self-improvement addict. Always striving for perfection.
I really don't like babies and don't like older kids enough to put up with the financial demands and the risk that they will turn into hellbeats like in those super nanny type shows or the ones I see when I go out and about. I am sure for some people it is a wonderful thing and sometimes it works out fine. I am not one of those people and wouldn't want to take the risk of having hellspawn for kids. They say it is different when it is your own but considering how many parents beat, neglect and even f**k their own offspring, it is not something I'd count on. Odd thing, I think I'd actually be a pretty good father. I'd do my best to find the best methods, I am not an animal, I'm pretty reasonable and come from a stable upbringing. Hell that alone would put me in the top 25%.
I am not one of those people who don't want kids for the environment or for ZPG reasons so I don't really deserve your props, if I must be honest.
I respect for the Zero Population Growth though.
Oh, if it weren't for the depleting resources I'd be game. I'd be a great father. Even if I weren't as stable as I currently am, just being the opposite of the idiots and degenerates I grew up around would put me in the top 25% of healthy parents. It's sad that doing almost nothing these days makes you a better parent because people are becoming scummier by the hour. Either way, you aren't adding another one so you get props. Unless you don't want them. I can always return them and get my money back.
Self-improvement addict. Always striving for perfection.
I am sorry about your friend and wish him well. I would say that many of his (and their) issues aren't just about being abroad, they are also about being married young. Issues like money and life direction, friends and commonality all are issues that can impact anyone, but particularly a young person/couple.
Check out my blog @ http://www.marriedafilipina.com
His biggest mistake was not knowing the financial requirements needed to bring back a Filipina. From then on, it was a downward spiral. Setting up a business in the Philippines as a foreigner isn't usually worth the effort as making a decent living over there is difficult not to mention the legalities, and then to hand it over to his Filipino family who probably didn't have any kind of business nous was the final nail in the coffin so to speak.
I feel sorry for the guy, because it was his father's idea who put him on the wrong path for not knowing the biggest pitfalls when entering this process - money. Not earning enough as in this instance is one. Not knowing when a potential partner is after it, is another.
More marriage fail.
Bloke brings back a slag over 30 years younger, a friend of his ex wife.
She ends up doing her boss without birth control, her boss of a different race from either of them and gets knocked up.
That marriage went south really fast.
She got knocked up 2.5 years before getting married a bit over a year after they met. That's not a good sign.
I doubt she picked up too many western bad vibes, she wasn't there overtly long.
Also partly at least seems to be a case of financial problems blowing up a marriage. Seems you gotta get your paper right as the kids would say.
More fail, Canadian style.
In short. Marry someone, bring them back to Canada, they can leave you right away and you are on the hook for 3 years of government payments down from 10. Some getting hit for a 100K somehow. [I assume over 10 years, the dole isn't that rich]. One guy got nailed with abuse charges.
1000 cases every year out of 45K marriages. At least those are the ones reported.
Some were cases where it was obvious, also look at some of those wedding photo, talk about sadness.
Others you would think they did everything right. Indian guy arranged marriage to a girl hhis family knew. Usually those situations last.
It might not be likely but considering my history with women or lack thereof and with people in general I'd think I'd be at a higher risk.
If that did happen to me I'd be crushed. Crushed financially at least.
It would be a pity if the choice was living in a country I love as a forever alone or living overseas where I don't belong and roll the dice there.