I appreciate that you are not a lawyer but perhaps you
know the answer to my question. I held a wedding party in my girlfriend’s
village but we did not have a legal wedding with the wedding license. Are we
still married? Can I get a visa based on this? My girlfriend thinks we are
married but I am not so sure. I read somewhere that Thailand does not
recognize defacto relationships.
Married or not?
You are right, I am not a lawyer! But I have lawyer
friends and I asked them and the answer is yes and no. Immigration does not
recognize de facto relationships and will not issue you a visa if you do not
register your marriage at the District Office. To do this, first you must go
to your Embassy and fill out a form that states you are not married, then
get this translated, take it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (I don’t
know but I don’t think this part can be done in Chiang Mai but any dear
reader who knows the answer please do email me!). You get this paper
certified and then you can get married at the District Office.
However, apparently this does not necessarily apply
when breaking up and dividing assets and they may or may not decide that you
had a relationship like a husband and wife. So, if you want the visa and you
love your fianc้e, then you had better get married but if you have a lot of
assets you may want to see about a prenuptial agreement first. And while
Emma realizes that it pays to be practical about marriage your fianc้e might
Car seats for kids?
We are expecting our first child and being the safety
conscious Western half of our partnership, I want our baby to ride in a car
seat. The thing is, I am not sure where to buy them. Do you have any
First of all congratulations on the soon to be new
addition to your family! And don’t feel that you are being overly cautious,
even the strongest person could not hold on to a baby in the event of an
accident. So, if you want to give your child the best possible
opportunities, a safe ride in the car is one of those things.
Now, I must confess I don’t know where to get car
seats. However, I believe that Central may be able to order them in for you,
or perhaps Robinson at Central Airport. They may even carry them, it is
worth looking as those are sure to be of a good quality. Alternatively,
contact one of the big auto dealers such as Siam Nissan and ask them if they
can order one for you.
And finally, if all else fails Mothercare carries
them, you can find them at mothercarethailand.com. They have branches in
Bangkok only, unfortunately; at Siam Paragon, Central Chidlom and a few
other of the Centrals in Bangkok as well as the Emporium. Emma had a look at
their website and sadly it does not seem as though they deliver.
Best of luck with the new baby!
Touristy stuff to do in Chiang Mai
I have some animal loving friends coming to Chiang Mai.
Now, I know that they probably won’t go for the elephant shows or the Tiger
Kingdom and probably not the Zoo either as they say they prefer their
animals not in cages. Where would be good for them to go?
What do to
Dear To Do,
Three words answers your dilemma; Elephant Nature
Park. It is elephants not in the wild since these are domesticated animals,
but elephants that have been retired and give to live out their natural
lives in a safe, enclosed area where they can wander at will. K. Lek, the
wonderful woman who is behind it all, is a force of nature and one you can
see the elephants love very much. Their offices are on Moon Muang Road, you
can also contact them at elephantnaturepark.org. You don’t get to ride on an
elephant but you can get up close and personal with these wonderful,
intelligent creatures and bathe with them in the river that runs through the
property. Lek has also been instrumental in rescuing dogs during the floods
in Bangkok last year and, I believe, she has also taken in some dogs that
were rescued from the meat trade earlier this year. So, in addition to
elephants, there are a lot of dogs!
If your friends do want to ride an elephant then they
should also visit one of the elephant camps nearby. Elephant Life Experience
in Mae Taman is known for treating their elephants well and allows you to
not only ride but to bathe and brush the elephant you get to take care of
Alternatively, they can help out and/or donate at one
of the local animal rescues such as Lanna Dog Welfare or Care for Dogs.
Am I a cougar?
I met this lovely man, he treats me well, he is kind and
caring but he is nearly ten years younger than me and I worry that people
will think there is something wrong with me for dating someone so much
younger than me. The truth is, I find men my own age rather dull, usually
out of shape and of course, interested in women much younger than myself.
This man and I are quite compatible and share many similar interests. He has
a good job and is well respected at work so I don’t want to make any waves
for him if the fact that I am older is a problem
Hopefully not going to cougar town
It should come as no surprise that an older woman with
a younger man earns her the rather derogatory term of “cougar” while nobody
bats an eye at an older man with a younger woman. However, I don’t think a
mere ten year age difference would raise any eyebrows and certainly does not
qualify you as a cougar. Emma looked the term up to see what was the general
age range that determined a cougar and this is what she learned from that
font of all things pop, the urban dictionary and found over 2,000 submitted
definitions. However most of those said that a cougar is interested in sex
only and with men under the age of 25while she is usually in her forties or
Emma must say, she rather liked this one and feels
that you should just look at yourself this way rather than as something
negative; “A woman 40 years or older, in her sexual prime, emotionally more
mature, healthy and energetic. She dates, plays with or marries a younger
man that can keep up with her.”