girlfriend stole my car!
I bought a car a few months ago, with cash and signed what I thought were
the ownership papers. They were all in Thai so my girlfriend at the time
translated and told me that it was going into my name. Well imagine my
surprise when, after we broke up, she shows up at my door with the local cop
and drives off in my new car!
I took the documents to a translator and found out that I was signing away
my rights to the car and that it was in her name!
I can’t believe I was so stupid and don’t believe I can get the car back. I
do plan on going to a lawyer to see if there is anything I can do since the
seller did know I was buying the car but I just have a feeling I have not
only lost my girlfriend but my car and a whole lot of money.
So, to everyone out there, never sign anything you can’t read or understand.
Even if it takes a few extra days don’t mind that, take it to a lawyer or
some professional translator and have it translated into English (or
whatever language you feel most comfortable reading) and know exactly what
it is that you are signing.
If I had spent the extra few thousand baht to verify the contract I would
not be out of hundreds of thousands of baht. I trusted someone I shouldn’t
have and fooled myself into thinking everything was going to be okay. Call
me another one of those starry eyed fools who does something stupid in
Thailand that I would never do at home but I can tell you now, I will never
do that again!
Thanks for helping spread the word,
Foolish no more
Many foreigners that come to Thailand come down with this particular
disease; somehow common sense checks out and impulsive and poor decision
making steps in. Emma is very sorry to hear that you learned such an
expensive lesson and appreciates that you have been willing to let people
know of your experience so that they may perhaps avoid it too but Emma is
not hopeful. These stories are not new and she has heard them repeated in
endless variations over the years she has lived in Chiang Mai so whilst your
warnings are admirable Emma suspects that most will dismiss them and say
“yes but it will not happen to me”.
Until, of course, it happens to them and then they blame all Thai women or
even all Thai people as if somehow it is the nation’s fault they allowed
themselves to be conned and forgot to pack their common sense in their
suitcase when they came to Thailand.
Emma does dearly hope that you don’t fall into this trap as well, assuming
that all Thais are bad because you had a bad experience. But she also hopes
that you don’t also fall into the same trap again thinking it was just one
bad apple and that everyone else is wonderful. Some people are, some people
are not. One needs to use a single rule of thumb when considering decisions;
“Would I do this in my home country?”
If the answer is “yes I would buy a car without knowing what is in the
contract” then by all means go ahead but if not then, as you suggest, get it
translated and find out what is being signed.
My girlfriend is much younger than me, what do Thai people
I am much older than my girlfriend, she is Thai. In fact, I am a couple
years older than her father. They seem to like me well enough and treat me
in a very friendly way. However, sometimes when we go out I see Thai people
looking at us. I don’t speak any Thai, honestly I don’t see why I should, it
is quite difficult and my girlfriend takes care of things for me. But I
don’t understand what they say to each other so am not sure if people think
its good or bad. My friends at the bar tell me that Thai people think there
is nothing wrong with older men dating younger women and that I shouldn’t
worry about it.
But sometimes, I do wonder. What do you think Emma, is everything fine as
the guys say or should I worry?
Whilst there are certainly women who do like older men and certainly Thai
people who do not care, you are being misinformed to believe that all Thai
women like older men or that all Thai people think there is nothing wrong.
Like every country, Thailand is made up of individuals and whilst it is
certainly possible to make some basic generalizations due to culture and
custom, this is not one of them.
In fact, were one to do some research one would find that young Thai girls
tend to date and marry young Thai men. A recent study shows that the average
age of Thai females is now 24 whilst the average age for Thai males in their
first marriage is 27. This three year gap belies the notion that most Thai
women are chasing after much older men.
As for what your girlfriend’s parents think of your relationship, or as to
what others around you think well Emma suggests you ignore your friends at
the bar and learn some Thai. You will find that you gain far more respect
when speaking Thai and able to take care of yourself then when being
dependent on your girlfriend to do everything for you.
It is not that difficult and it seems you have the time to sing up for
formal classes. Emma has heard good things about the YMCA. You should give
that a try and learn a bit more about the country you have chosen to make
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