By David (from Scotland)
One night last summer, one of Pattaya’s many Buriram girls brought a turning point in my life. For those of you who don’t know, Buriram is one of the main cities in northeast Thailand, and a lot of the working girls in Pattaya originate from there.
I had recently returned to the United Kingdom when I received a phone call from my girlfriend Nan. We had been together for almost two years and everything was going well.
Nan was my first long-term Thai girlfriend. I’d met her in a 7/11 store in Pattaya where she had been working for nearly six months and, as it was next to my regular hotel, I would see her most days during my holiday.
After asking her out on numerous occasions, she eventually agreed.
Up until that point I had been a regular on the bar scene, paying bar girls to accompany me when on holiday. I was content with that life for many years.
My previous time spent in Thailand had consisted of partying and enjoying myself. In the UK I was employed as a process operator on a chemical production facility. My rota allowed me 4 weeks holiday for every eight weeks that I worked, and that gave me ample opportunity to visit Thailand.
After four or five years of partying with Pattaya girls, as well as ladies from Phuket and Bangkok, the bar scene had lost most of its novelty value. I had watched my friends settle down with women from Thailand, many of them Buriram girls, and the possibility of doing the same had started to appeal.
Some of my friends work in the same industry as me. As soon as they had completed their rotation they would jump on a flight and travel to Thailand.
They enjoyed a normal family life and seemed settled, and I didn't see why I couldn't have a similar future with Nan.
Nan called me one day in July. I had been back in the United Kingdom for almost six weeks by then. I could tell immediately that something was not quite right... she seemed a little troubled and I wondered if she was having problems with her family back in the village.
She eventually confessed that she was pregnant and that the baby was mine. I was happy at the news.
We had already started to build a home near Pattaya close to my friends and everything was going well. Perhaps it was a good time to start a family…
Nan was pleased with my reaction. I think she had been a little concerned about how I would react as we had never talked about children.
I had heard a lot of stories about Buriram girls deceiving western men with regard to the paternity of a child. However, having carefully studied the dates, I was convinced that the baby was mine.
If the dates were correct then we had been together in Buriram visiting her family at the time the baby was conceived. The expat Buriram nightlife scene is small, but there are bars and discos in the city itself. I enjoyed the time I spent there and can vividly remember that we were inseparable during that month together.
In fact, I don’t recall one single time that we were not in the same room or building. We agreed that having a baby would be a good thing for our relationship and that she should go to see a doctor.
During the following months my trips to Thailand were spent taking care of Nan and visiting the hospital for regular check-ups and scans. The scan confirmed that Nan had conceived during our time together.
As the pregnancy got closer Nan began to become a little tense. Her attitude towards me changed slightly but I put it down to the pregnancy. After all, many western women get a little moody when they’re pregnant, right, so why should Buriram girls be any different?
I continued to be the doting boyfriend, providing for her needs...
My family from the UK came over to see us on a number of occasions during the pregnancy. My mother and father had already met Nan and they had really clicked. They had a good relationship with her and enjoyed her company. The feeling was mutual with Nan particularly friendly with my mother.
The first time that they visited us during the pregnancy, Nan seemed a little withdrawn. She would not interact with them in the same way and seemed a little distant. I could not really understand this.
My parents asked me if everything was okay as they had also noticed a change in attitude from Nan. Previously she had enjoyed going shopping to the markets with my mother, but this time she did not want to be alone with either of my parents.
Again, I put it down to the pregnancy...
I was not present at the birth of my son, being separated for long periods is one of the bad aspects of dating Thai girlfriends.
With a new baby on the way I had to ensure that we were financially secure, and the company that I was working for in the UK was going through a difficult period, there was even talk of redundancies.
I had to make sure that my job was secure… which involved making myself available for overtime as much as possible.
Nan gave birth to my son three weeks earlier than expected, which meant that I was still in the UK working. After a few days of concern she called me to say that everything was okay and that they were being allowed to leave the hospital.
When I had finished my rotation I immediately flew to Thailand. Nan was living with her family so I would stay there too.
I was traveling to Thailand with a friend of mine who was going back to Pattaya. During the plane journey he told me that he had heard rumors that Nan had been dating somebody else when I was back in the UK.
I could not believe this…
My world came crashing down but my friend emphasized that it was all just rumors, and that I should speak to Nan first because untrue rumors about Thai girls are not exactly rare.
That conversation with my friend put doubts in my mind with regard to my son.
Was the baby really mine? Had Nan been cheating on me?
I had seen pictures of my son and you could certainly tell that he had western features. The date of conception also reassured me as we had never been apart. Even so, I decided that I would organize a paternity test.
When I arrived at the village I told Nan of my concerns and her reaction told me everything I needed to know. She was so angry with me and refused the paternity test out of hand.
She had something to hide...
She tried to cover it up by telling me that I should trust her. That was why she was so angry but something just did not feel right. Her family came to try and talk to me, but again I felt like they were hiding something.
Adamant that I wanted a paternity test, she confessed it all…
During a visit to one of the discos in Buriram we had shared a bottle of tequila. We were both very, very drunk and Nan had been propositioned by a man on her way to the toilet, he was also from the UK.
They had sex in a toilet cubicle.
She had never seen or heard from him again but confessed that there was a strong possibility that he was the father. She could see some of him in the face of “my son”.
I arranged a paternity test and, as suspected, the result came back that I was not the father.
Nan pleaded with me to stay with her and I did try. I thought that I could forgive everything that had happened… it had been a mistake during a drunken moment. I wanted to give her a second chance. Unfortunately for me, every time I looked at the baby anger and jealousy came flooding back.
The relationship could not work, Nan was upset and I was heartbroken. I wanted to give her some security so I gave her a substantial amount of money to finish the house and take care of her family.
This eased the pain for both of us somewhat… probably more for her than for me!
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