I love Thailand. It’s a great place to travel to and is brimming with gracious people, good food, rich history and amazing scenery. But one of the most disturbing things about Thailand is the sex trade, which is literally everywhere. Beautiful Thai women (and ladyboys) crawl over one another for the chance to ‘entertain’ fat, balding foreign men (or women!) who they believe can be their passport to a better life. It’s really heartbreaking.
A new book is coming out aimed at Thai women, which gives them step-by-step instructions on how to get — and keep — a foreign husband. The book, called “Foreign Boyfriend, Foreign Husband”, paints a romantic vision of Western men, claiming they are respectful and kind, unlike Thai men. Um, right. The point of the book seems to be this: Old, Western men might not be handsome but they’re loaded.
This is a tricky issue — on one hand, I think it’s appalling that women would be encouraged to marry for money and a passport. But at the same time, I’ve never known the desperation of poverty, and as a Canadian, I’ve always enjoyed all the benefits of a first-world passport. Is marrying for love a luxury that people in poorer countries can’t afford? Call me a romantic but I sure hope not.