The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

American woman gets financially fleeced by male Asian lover

Written By: herbrunbridge - Nov• 24•12

The Good Manner: Advice on Asia from WoWasis’ Pa Farang
Today’s question: Do women ever get financially robbed by male Asian lovers? 

Dear Pa Farang, 

We’ve all heard dozens/hundreds/thousands of stories about western guys getting cheated out of their money by Asian gals. I’m curious, does the opposite ever happen? Do western women ever get scammed during Asian love affairs?

– Robert in BKK

Dear Robert, 

Yes they do, and I have a story that illustrates that quite well. I also want to point you to Cleo Odzer’s book Patpong Sisters, in which she candidly discusses how a Thai guy took advantage of her. It’s a good read. Now, I’m going to tell you a story that happened quite recently. If you’re a woman reading this, listen up.

The story I’m about to tell happened to a female acquaintance of mine last year. Every word is true, but I’m changing her name. Let’s call her Nguyen. Nguyen was born in Vietnam, came over to California as an infant, and opened a successful small business in the U.S. when she was 20 years old. She’s roughly 40 now.

Three years ago, she met a man in Vietnam on her annual trip there. He was ten years younger, and she fell in love. She came back to the U.S., sold her business (her friends tried to stop her, but that train was already too far down the tracks), returned to Vietnam, and bought a large plot of land. On that land, she built a beautiful new three-story house, put her boyfriend’s name on the deed along with hers, and intended to live in Vietnam forever.

Six months after the house had been occupied, she came home one day to find a moving van in front of the house. All the furniture was being moved out, and her boyfriend was watching the proceedings. “Big problem,” he told her, “I gamble with the house deed, and now the mafia own the house. Sorry.” So everything that Nguyen had worked for was gone. Within a week, the boyfriend was gone too. She was flat broke.

Nguyen’s back in the U.S. now. She’s taken out a loan to start a new business. She has nothing, lost everything in Vietnam. Analyzing the story, I’m not even sure there was a mafia involved. Maybe the boyfriend signed over the house in return for a large sum of money.

But there’s a classic example of how a woman got taken to the cleaners in much the same way a man would have. In this case, Nguyen knew the culture and the language. But that didn’t save her. She fell in love, and “my boyfriend’s different than all the rest” was her litany for quite a few months. Where have we heard that before?

When in Asia, keep a wide gulf between your pocketbook and your love affairs. Rent, don’t buy: that goes for relationships as well as houses.

Above all, remember to avoid all scams, show the Good Manner, and have a great time in Asia. 

– Pa Farang 

Read Pa Farang’s other columns for more advice on relationships and scams in Southeast Asia

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.