The lure of the foreign boyfriend or girlfriend

On my trip to Vietnam and Cambodia over the past 2 weeks, I have gained valuable insight into the lure of a foreign gf/bf from a less-developed country.

As a solo traveller on this trip, I got chatted up by 3 men:
#1 a 28-year old tour guide in Hoi An, Vietnam,
#2 a 20-year-old student at the beach in Da Nang, Vietnam, and
#3 a 25-year old motorbike/tutuk driver in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Many of you may have travelled to the less-developed Asian countries like Thailand, China and Vietnam. It's common to see foreigners hanging out with the locals - usually Caucasian men with the local women. I suppose it's less common to see foreign women hanging out with local men because there are fewer women than men who would travel solo.

Man #1: 28-year old tour guide
I was on a half day tour from Hoi An to My Son holyland temples with the tour company that he was working for. He was the guide. He sat beside me on the bus because that was the only seat available. At the end of the tour he asked me where I am from and where I was staying. When I said I was staying at Da Nang, he asked me whether I like to come stay at Hoi An. Hoi An was very touristy and Hoi An's old town is a world heritage site. I figured it was worth 1 or 2 days' stay.

He made arrangements for me to travel from Da Nang to Hoi An. He called to book a taxi and to make a room reservation for me. I don't think he earned any commission from it because I paid the hotel the standard rate and the taxi was a standard price.

He met me for coffee on the day I arrived and pointed out the interesting spots to visit. I explored the places on my own. The next day, he brought me to the plantations in the countryside and to the beach in the morning. In the evening we had dinner and picnic at the beach. He said I am beautiful and he wanted to be my boyfriend. I said No, explaining that a long-distance relationship is not what I wanted. He then asked whether he could hold me. I said No and he didn't force me. He stopped me at the hotel entrance and he went home. He said he would meet me for lunch the next day if I was still staying in Hoi An for another day. I was leaving Hoi An to return to Da Nang so I did not meet him.

He's not really my type, we can't always understand each other and I don't want a long-distance relationship. But the thought did cross my mind that having a boyfriend/girlfriend in a foreign country to take me around to places unknown to tourists is a nice idea. Or maybe 1 boyfriend per country/city would be fun! And while I'm back in Singapore, I have the freedom to do whatever I want. Obviously that works both ways - the guy can do whatever he wants without my knowledge and he might even have many girlfriends.

Man #2: 20-year-old student
He was at the beach with his schoolmate having a quick dip in the seawater and I was walking along the beach in the morning. He went back to his bike to put on his clothes then came over to talk to me. I couldn't understand a word he said or pronounce his name correctly. We communicated by drawing and writing on the sand. From our communication, I gathered he was asking me to meet him at the same spot at 5pm that day. He had to go to school. But I had a flight to catch at 4 plus that day so I said/drew that I was flying off and couldn't meet him. He asked whether he could have my phone number so that he could call me. We exchanged emails instead. How were we supposed to communicate over the phone?? We needed sand or a drawing board to communicate!

He's tall and very cute but we can't communicate!

#3: 25-year old motorbike/tutuk driver

This guy wasn't a decent guy. I felt like going to the police before going to the airport.
I bought a ticket for a ride from the airport to town upon arrival at Siem Reap airport at 6pm. I was assigned a driver. It was already dark and I said I was looking for a guesthouse. This guy said that most guesthouses would be fully occupied because it was the high season. He called up his friend to enquire whether there were rooms available in his friend's guesthouse. He brought me there and his friend said the room without aircon was going for US$20 per night and a room with aircon would be US$25. It was already quite late in the evening so I agreed to US$20 with breakfast included.

The driver then asked me whether I wanted a tour of the temples for US$60 for 3 days and he would be a guide and tell some stories about the temples as we go along. I said I would only try 1 day. We agreed on US$15 for 1 day. About 10 minutes later, he changed it and said he was not available the next day and would assign his friend to take me instead. I wasn't so sure at this point because what if I can't understand a word his friend is saying? Then I would have wasted US$15. He assured me that his friend speaks very good English. He said he would call his friend out to go for dinner together and he would pay.

It turned out that his friend's English wasn't that good. I was prepared to still go along with it but then came the next change of plan. He said his friend is only a driver, doesn't know any stories and can't walk with me in the temples. I questioned why I was going to be paying US$15! I wasn't too argumentative because I still needed a ride back to the guesthouse and his friend was sitting right there with the discussion about why he wasn't good enough. Anyway I agreed in the end since it was just a 1-day engagement. Man #3 said he would take me around in the evening at no extra charge after he is done with other tourists. (I was trying to figure out what he wanted. Nobody gives something for nothing).

His friend was ok as a driver, could always spot me when I was ready to leave each temple, and brought me safely to and fro. Man #3 came looking for me in the late afternoon. He brought me to a place where the local families hang out. There were no tourists there at all. He paid for all the food and drinks (I offered to pay but he said he would pay). He brought me to a massage place that charges US$10 per hour. I paid for this myself. He asked me whether I wanted to buy some ganja for US$10. He claimed that he had never smoked it before (ya, right). I declined because I don't know him so it's not safe to smoke it with him.

Later back at the guesthouse public balcony, he told me that he regards me as his girlfriend. I told him that I'm not his girlfriend and we barely know each other. He got touchy and tried to kiss me. I said I was not comfortable with it but he still persisted. Then I said I was sleepy and I wanted to go back to my room to sleep. There was no receptionist at the guesthouse so he got me the key and opened my room door for me. I didn't want anything terrible to happen so I played it cool and said I would see him the next day. He tried to kiss me again but I managed to resist. I was glad when he finally left.

I got another driver for US$7 the next day. I only visited 1 area for 2 hours. While waiting for my lunch, I heard the receptionist quote a walk-in visitor US$10 for a non-aircon room and US$15 for an aircon room. I immediately asked the receptionist why I was paying double. He said he wasn't the owner so he does not know why the rate I was paying is different and I'll have to check with the owner. He made up some bullshit that the tourist belongs to some special organisation so he gets special rates and my room is different from the other rooms. I set off to look for room elsewhere. It turned out that other guesthouses were charging US$8-12 for non-aircon rooms.

I stayed out the whole day and only got back at 8pm to avoid Man #3. But when I returned, he was waiting for me. He apologised for his actions the previous night (I don't think he was sorry at all). I told him that his friend was charging me double the rate that other tourists were paying. He claimed to be unsure of the rates (ya, right. Act blur) and said he would talk to his friend about it. He asked me what I did the entire day. I said I went to the temples and was charged US$7 by another driver. He acted surprised that I paid US$7 (he charged me US$15 the previous day). I did not accuse him of anything. I had no proof but I was pretty sure he was profiting from the extra high charges that I paid - which explains why he didn't mind paying for food and drinks. Even the massage at US$10 was considered expensive because the market rate in town was US$6 or 7. I told him I was checking out of the guesthouse the next day. He asked me where I was going to stay. I replied that I didn't know yet, when in fact it's more like I didn't want to tell him where to find me!

I paid US$20 (including breakfast) for the 3 nights that I stayed there. I didn't think they would lower the rate - I tried but they refused. The receptionist still tried to ask me to stay for the 4th night at US$13 excluding breakfast! And this was after I told him that the guesthouse literally next door was charging US$8 per night. I did not stay the 4th night of course. I wasn't going to let them make another dollar off me and I really didn't want Man #3 knocking at my door again.

Man #3 wasn't good looking but he had a glib tongue. The things he said and his body language were very convincing. Regardless, I would never want to be anywhere close to a man who forces himself on me physically in any way after I verbally tell him straight not to do it even if it's just touching my hand or hair. But just imagine if he were charming and handsome, would it be possible that I wouldn't resist him physically and would gladly part with a few dollars out of "pity" for him (he's poor and has many siblings to support blah blah)? What more if a sexy local girl throws herself at a foreign man who is horny or usually doesn't get any sex in his home country? I think most of them would accept the offer! US$10 extra per night is really cheap to buy some "loving". I have a better understanding now as to why men can be fatally attracted to foreign women. The foreign women need only to concentrate all their energy on seducing the men and acting like they really love them men. Unlike the working women in developed countries, these foreign women don't have to worry about going to the office to work because acting that way is their job.

They will tell you their sob stories, tell you that you are good-looking/beautiful/attractive, paint a future with you, act caring, tell you that they love you, etc. but don't get taken in - they can put up a very convincing act but all they really see in you is a passport to a better life.

Related posts:
[Sarong party girl]
[African boyfriends]