You have just married a Thai lady and are moving to the UK to live. The honey moon period is over and the fantastic time you had together in Thailand is now part of your fond memory bank. Your wife or fiance is now on her way to live with you in the UK and there will be a lot to learn on both sides of the cultural fence. Here are a few points that might help to make the transition run a little bit more smoother.
This very much depends on the time of the year that your lady arrives in the UK.
Arriving during the months between November and February will be a real baptism of fire with regards to the cold and icy conditions.Snow will be fun for a while as she has probably never experienced it before, but the novelty will soon disappear. The months of March and October will still have an edge of coldness about them , but certainly no where near as bad. If possible arriving here between April and October will be much more comfortable for her and give you time to tell her about the other type of weather we get.
Could be Missing warm days
This is massively important to Thai nationals.
Not having Thai food would be a major loss in the life of a Thai person, but things have improved a lot now. You will find that most average size towns and certainly cities will have an oriental food delicantesant . These could be Chinese, Thai, Philippine or Indian proprietors, but most will carry a fair product range. Of course if possible it is best if you can find a Thai proprietor as they will carry the largest stock.
Nowadays there are also plenty of on-line options. Some will deliver if there is enough product ordered. Having a few Thai friends order together would soon meet the required amount.
Would certainly miss Thai Food
Home Sick, Missing Family
It is of course normal when moving to a new country to miss people who you are fond of that are left behind, especially family members.. However with Thai people it is like losing an arm or a leg. Everything revolves around the family, it is in fact said that ”the family makes a Thai”.
It is a great idea if some one on your lady’s side like a sister or brother with some knowledge of computers can set up a communication avenue. Thai people are very interested and competent with computers and the internet and loved ones don’t have to be so far away in today’s world. Skype is a very popular way to do this.
Missing Mother So Much
The number one person in a Thai persons life is the Mother, she will be missed like no other. Reciprocation is the general rule.Mother or (Khun Maa ) (คุณแม่) has taken care of you through child hood and now it is your turn to take good care of her or the parents as a whole. Quite often when a daughter leaves the family nest to marry and live abroad, you can be sure that the main family bread-winner has gone as well. However it will only be a question of gone in a visual sense as the money and support will continue. See below.
All Those Lovely Vegetables
Money And Support
This is one area to a newly married or Thai/Western relationship that needs talking about straight away and to find an amicable arrangement for. This can turn in to a real problem area if left unsolved. Even though she may not live in Thailand any more the support for Mother and the family will always continue. The problems come from the different philosophies. The Westerner will say ” she cannot really love me as I have to buy her affection with money and gifts”. However the Thai will say ”sending the money and buying the gifts are an expression of true love.
This is known in Thai as showing naam-jai (นำ้ใจ) basically generosity (the flow of the heart), all Thai males are of course aware of this from the start and play the role without complaint. Your differences here as a Thai and a Westerner could be worlds apart, but on behalf of both parties, this little problem needs sorting out early in a mutually beneficial way.
Not true of every one of course, but of the majority is that Thai people are very group orientated and the Westerner very individualistic. The Thai will like to be surrounded by family, friends and good food. The Westerner quite often will find his own company and a take away enough. The Thai can be very curious and will like to know the latest gossip, whilst the Westerner can be very private and slightly aloof to the Thai.
What I am basically saying here is make sure when she is in the UK, that she has Thai friends she can visit sometimes. These may not be her chosen friends from Thailand, but it will help to smooth the path (whilst in transit) to adapting to life in the UK.
One thing I have often seen men do that is a big negative is to try to keep her glued to the house with nothing to do and no one to talk to. This probably stems from the reason of fear on the man’s part, fear of losing her perhaps. Loss is far more likely to occur in solitary confinement than by giving her a certain amount of freedom. She would have certainly been used to having freedom in Thailand.
Thailand is very much a face culture and things are done a little bit different from in the West or rather a lot different. As a nation us British are sometimes labelled with the tag of complainers.Well two things we are actually tagged with and that is complaining and the apparent liking of queuing. Goodness knows where this came from as I complain no end about having to queue .
Any way apparently we complain about anything . It is well worth bearing in mind that even indirect complaints to a Thai person can be taken as being directed at them. Do you have to tread fairly carefully and on broken glass? I would say yes, especially if you are skilled in the art of complaining, moaning or blaming.
The real problem occurs when there has been a disagreement between you both and the Westerner wants to get it out in the open and discuss it directly. It is the constant need for a Westerner to get to the truth, but it is also the need for a Thai to save face. However Mr Westerner please be careful as after a period of time the Thai will adapt to the direct discussions and then you could wish you had not said anything at all.
Missing Those Fantastic Markets
Beware Of The Queen Bee And The Know It All
I am sticking to what I said about her requiring time with friends and some freedom, but I would warn against one type of associate that might come inadvertently in to her path.
I call her the queen bee, the advisor and most Thai women groups have one. Most Thai women I have found are absolutely delightful, but there is usually one bitter, bossy type ,who things have not worked out for. She will leave a general trail of negative gossip and poison about all in sundry. You will know who she is and of course will subtly warn your lady of this woman. To be quite honest though Thai women are very adept at keeping these types of characters at arm’s length, without the need to fall out with them. I think it would be known as ”being on speaking terms but keeping her distance”.
Mind you just as annoying is the male British know it all. He was the chap that spent a month sat on a bar stool in Thailand recently and what he doesn’t know about Thailand and Thai women just ain’t worth knowing. Believe me it ain’t worth knowing. He will also be asking all the Thai ladies to talk in English now they are in England as he believes everyone is talking about him in Thai – they probably are. He does tend to overlook that the only utterances of Thai he came out with whilst in Thailand was ”Beer Chang”. Ladies do yourself a favour and stay clear of him.
A recommended book for great advice regarding Thai/Western relationships with great reviews and which I have read myself is
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