Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Foreign Affairs

I got chatting to a Swiss in a bar one afternoon. He was travelling for a few weeks with his Thai wife; they live and work in Geneva but come back twice a year to visit family. We got to discussing the reactions of people, both in Asia and back home, to people with Thai wives. They’d been married a few years, but he said they still get a few odd looks and whispering people in Switzerland.

I said it’s unpleasant, but people have that preconception. Little Britain obviously didn’t help. And there are plenty of mail-order brides. But there are plenty of genuine couples.

Dominic told me they’d met in Geneva. He had the same preconception straight away, and told her on the first night that he wasn’t a man of means; of his ex-wife and imminent divorce; the kids. Be upfront and watch her face for fading signs of interest. They had a pleasant evening anyway, and she said she’d call him the next day. She didn’t; a friend of hers called to say she was laid up in bed, but would call when she felt better. That’s the end of that he’d thought, with a wry smile. But ring back she did, and they’ve been together ever since. Which is nice.

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