After my divorce in 2005 I decided to live as single for the rest of my life and I was very firm in my decision. At that time I worked as taxi-driver in Copenhagen area, Denmark, loving the free life with no strings attached.
It really surprised my friends and family, when I suddenly in the spring of 2008 announced that I was about to make a major change in my life and that I had met the woman I wanted to spend my life with. Actually I had NOT met the woman other than on the internet.
What happened was that 7 month earlier I had been together with some colleguages at a little party and as the hours went on I became quite drunk – we had a lot of “mantalk” about women, about marriage and about being single, and out of nowhere a friend suddenly suggested that I should join a dating-site called “thai-kisses.com”! My response was immediately “WHY???” and added that I had been married for 33 years with the same woman, that was enough for me! And I had never been to Asia/Thailand and had absolutely no intention of going there. But then he said: “you have to cos it is fun”!
The next day, when I was sober enough, I checked the site out and it was easy to join, no fee if you accepted some restrictions! During the next 14 days my inbox was filled with 93 messages from mostly beautiful women all over Thailand, some with more dress than others, ranging from 18 – 60 years, all basically just inviting me to come to Thailand to be their husband and promising to take care of everything for me! Funny they did not ask me to bring my ATM-card with me but that issue would probably come up soon enough. Of course I replied most of them, but it did not move my own solid intentions of staying single.
Earlier the same year, 2007, I came to the conclusion that the next year where I became 60 years old I had to make a big U-TURN in my life! I just did not know how. As a single guy with a lot of spare time as taxi-driver waiting for customers I had time to wonder about my life and everything.
But on March 3, 2008 I noticed a message from a girl called Nonglak and she wrote only: “Hi, my name is Nonglak, I am 37 years old and I live in Thailand” followed by a lot of smileys! As usually I always checked the attached photos to a message and when I saw her photos I knew instantly that THIS woman was more than special! One thing I specific noticed with the photos was that they were pure natural, no set-up, no revaeling or anything, just normal holiday shots.
My free membership only allowed me to reply to her on the site.s simple chat-program so I hurried up writing a short message and after that I had to run to the postoffice nearby to pay for 3 month membership, which gave access to chat directly to her and to receive real mail-adress and phone-numbers.
She responded very fast with a sweet message and revealed that she usually went by the name “Jew” and soon we were chatting several hours a day via mobile or Skype.
We both knew very quickly that we were “soul-mates”, needed each other and it had to be us together for the future, despite the age-difference.
Shortly after our initial contact I wanted to give her a bouquet of flowers, but because it is a little tricky I transferred a little money and asked her to buy her favourite flowers and a little thing she might need or want for herself! When I told her about the transfer she said: “I dont want your money! I only want your big heart!!!” When I told her my reasons to send them she accepted. Later she showed me what she had bought and she was happy! On Skype she showed that her very tiny room was full of flowers, all over, very beautiful.
As a thai of course she was buddhist (95% of the population in Thailand is buddhist) and short time after we got in touch she asked for my “permission” to go to a special Temple and stay there for 30 days as lady-monk! I knew by then that she had been in Temple before many times so of course I didn’t mind, but out of curiosity I asked her “why?”. She then told me that she would go praying for me, my big heart and for a future for us together and with me in our own “Paradise”. Jew sometimes stayed in a Temple for shorter or longer periods. Later we have laughed a lot about it cos after 16 days she left Temple, she missed the close contact with me on chat with web-cam, even if we could talk together several times every day by the phone – but only when she was outside, collecting groceries for the Temple.
For me there were little or no doubt in my mind that she was “for real”, a pure nature/country girl (called herself a “jungle girl”) with a clean mind and very good caring heart.
So I decided to go to Thailand in August for holiday and Jew invited me to her birthday on August 1, 2008 in Bangkok. We agreed that there was no reason in waiting longer to get married cos we knew we had to be together for the rest of our life!
It was the only path for me to walk – and when I saw her in the airport on July 31, I knew we both were in love! Is that wrong? Is it crazy to feel love so strong that it hurts? A love that has grown with so much power so fast and still is growing!
The first meeting
Thursday, July 31 was a very strange day! I had just been through a long exhausting flight with Aeroflot (I never do that again!) and landed early morning in Bangkok, and the air outside was extremely hot and like walking into a hot wall hitting me in the face. After collecting my little trolley and coming out from customs I was almost in chok! Seemed like there was “millions” of small thai.s around me and all over and I walked around to see if I possibly could find Jew.
Lot’s of taxi-drivers offered their service by walking up to me pulling in my sleeve, and after 5 or 6 guy.s pulling my sleeve I started to get quite annoyed. Furthermore there were an awful lot of mostly thai women standing behind a railing, some holding signs with names on.
Suddenly a little “elderly” whitehaired guy (actually he is much younger than me I learned) was pulling my arm and I said firmly “no taxi” and almost pushed him away, but moments later he came to me again and with a smile pointing for me a picture on an old Nokia mobile phone and that was a picture of myself! He laughed, said “Jew” and pointed with a finger up on the next floor, and while walking together with him a little woman came from behind pulling my sleeve saying: “Hi Djen” (for Jens – but thai.s can’t spell “s” in the end of a word or name) and it was Jew! The guy who “caught” me was a Brother-In-Law “Gorn”, who was helping Jew with transport to the Airport and driving us to Bangkok to our Hotel “New World City Lodge”.
After visiting Bangkok and seeing all the major attractions and getting to know each other much more (what a magnificent city, City of Angels!) for a few day’s we drove by bus from Mochit Busterminal all the way op to Isaan, Udon Thani, 650 km away. From Udon Thani we took another bus to Sawang Daen Din, 70 km east of Udon Thani, where we were picked up by some other family and brought to a “meeting” at Jew.s sister Nong.s internet cafe there.
Before I came to Thailand we agreed on being married and after Jew had consulted an important monk they found out that the best and most lucky day to be married was August 8, 2008, in other words 08-08-08, that must be for happiness (and easy to remember for me).
So Jew and I came to the “meeting” outside the internet cafe in order to arrange the marriage a few days later! The family made a budget based on the little amount of money I had brought with me and after accept we were brought to one of Jew.s brothers home. I had never ever been inside a typical countryside thai home and it was very very strange! I was “commanded” to go take a shower and was handed a big towel, toothpaste and all and shown to the bathroom! Never seen anything like it! It was a quite big bathroom. Along the opposite wall was to the left a huge high bassin filled with water and at the right end a lower small bassin also with water. In each bassin was a plastic bowl with handle and at the end of the wall was a squat-toilet and I thought, how do I take shower here, no showerhead on the wall or anything I was used to – and I actually considered some tactic to go into the big bassin, but thought that that might not be a good idea, so I had to call Jew and quietly ask, what to do? She laughed and laughed and told me just to pour water from the bowl in the big bassin over me, use soap and pour water again to rinse! I also thought that I might make som excersize with the use of the squat-toilet – a thing I will never get used to!
The next day went with all the preparations, picking up everything you need for the wedding which I learned should be at the house where Jew was born.
On the evening before the wedding we drove around with one of Jew.s brothers, Garn, and his wife in their black Nissan pick-up and what I remember very clearly was the tour around on the small, bumpy country-roads picking up ordered flowerarrangements etc, while passing the all the open farmland with the ricefields, it was getting dark and Jew and I was sitting behind on the truck listening to Jew.s mobile singing “The Eagles Hotel California” as laud as we could while enjoying the dark country and thousands of fireflies swirming around us, a fantastic evening.
9 days after my arrival in Thailand we was married the traditional “thai Buddhist way” – a very beautiful and spirituel experience and we will always consider August 8, 2008 – 080808 – as our “real” weddingday.
I must say, a Buddhist Wedding is a long long ceremony, first I had to (in my wedding dress) walk away from the house together with a lot of family and friends. I got instruction on how to walk back to the house like a statesman and had a guy to hold a pink umbrella over me. When we started our little procession with me in front a truck behind us played traditional music and it was soooo loud. At arrival to the house again I had to pass three “chains” that blocked my way. There was a kid in each end of the chains and with a little bribe (I had prepared 6 envelopes with money in my pocket) they lowered their chain and let me pass. After passing the third chain “my bodyguard” (9 years old “Book”) took my sandals off and washed my feet before I could enter the house.
When you are not used to sit on your knees and is a little older than young it is really really hard to participate in a buddhist ceremony. It is okay to change and sit on the floor once in a while but you can not just put your legs in front of you, the feet are not “allowed” to point at a Buddha-statue or elderly people, so it was both a long spiritual, interesting and heartwarming ceremony (where I actually did not understand anything) AND a painful ceremony – coming up again from the floor and on my feet again I was aware that I almost lost any kind of balance.
After the (from my point of view) incredible Wedding we had a few days of relax in the village. Our “Bridal Suite” was just a 3 x 3 mtr wodden room on 1.st floor of a traditional thai house, attached with a little and not safe balcony – the floor was just planks above the terrasse underneath, we had no real bed, no chairs, no table, just three mattresses on the floor and a mosquito net! The fun thing is that it was actually Jew.s room from when she was a child and until she had finished school.
By bus we went back to Bangkok and proceeded to Phuket where we stayed a few days at Rawai Beach – and one day we took the ferry to Phi Phi Islands for swimming, snorkling etc but we got soon tired of all the stinky fast food restaurants so we decided to go to Krabi/Koh Lanta instead and THAT was beautiful, so we stayed there until we had to drive the long way back to Bangkok cos I had a plane to catch for Denmark.
Yes I was in Thailand just for 36 days, but the only thing that matters was being together so there was no reason to visit all the main tourist attractions! In stead we went to the places Jew wanted to show me i. ex. temples, friends and family and I learned a lot of thai way/buddhist way of living and thinking!
Maybe I/we are crazy but the sign above it all says it all: “Love through cyberspace” – and the love for eachother and nature is still growing now almost 9 years later.