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February 27, 2019 9:03 am Published by





The ring passes, trembling, from fingers to finger, the groom looks soulfully into the sweet, loving eyes of the bride to be as the holy man smiles benevolently (thinking of a late lunch of fries & sausage at YaUdah Bistro, washed down with a torrent of Euro-beer), and nods in turn at the bride & groom.

“You may kill the groom.” Oops. What I mean is “You may kiss the groom.”

Two very distinct cultures come together, encouraging (alas) misunderstanding.

What the groom is expecting and what the bride is ready for are, alas, objectives far apart.

Now among the merry throngs watching this typical wedding ceremony, the elderly, moderately wealthy Euro-expat marrying the chubby-but-sweet 28-year-old Asian lady (decoupled from a worthless first husband, and with a couple of squalling kids stashed away safely with grandma) there is a cold-eyed cousin from the village, a fellow with a quick smile, a smile that no one trusts.

Mister horny Euro-sucker, thinking (alas) more with his little head than the big one, please! Do not neglect to keep “Cousin” (actually ex-boyfriend, quite possibly) in mind. He is watching carefully, and five years down the road, when the party is over, andmerry, fun-loving bride has turned harsh and shrewish, bored with and tired of the retired engineer from Merrie Olde England… who in turn innocently thinks he has done his duty by buying her a car and the pickup truck (but she is still unhappy and wants more, more – and does not like to see him around…)

He has brought all of his retirement to his Asian hideaway, and spent the greater part of it on the shophouse and the villa on the hill with the pool and the garden (all the property and vehicles in her name, naturally, and already mortgaged up secretly with her family whining for more).

Now that the relationship has gone sour,“Cousin’s” lethal services might well be called on: a hasty private meeting and a plan laid, once the ten-million Peso or Baht or Rupiah life insurance policy is studied and confirmed.

[Caption]: Cold-blooded: Songchit Janon, 48, shows police how he clubbed and then stabbed to death the British design engineer

Hubby, you see, naïve as can be, comes from the olde country, where the law is the law and folks pretty much mind their own business; he came to Asia to meet his dream girl, one of those doe-eyed, submissive, eternally-grateful Asian women who know their place (sex doll / servant / nanny to children / interpreter) and faithfully stay in their place, unlike those rascally Western feminists.

How many sad cases where the expat ends up dead in a ditch.

It does not always involve violence. A wife will tire of a husband (particularly an old, worn-out one) as easily as the other way around. Here’s a moan from an expat about to get discarded:

“She has her own business, which I paid for.

“She owns 2 shop-houses in Happy Village, which I paid for.

“She owns another house in the mountains, which I paid for. Her brother lives there, with his wife and 8 children.

“She owns a 10-year-old Nissan that I paid for.

“She also owns one other house in the city, where her “cousin” lives.

“Most of her income comes from renting out one of the shophouses, as “well as renting the 2 houses in the village.

“Her first ex-husband also gives her 5,000 Shekels per month for his 2 children and 50,000 Shekels from me.

“Her business generates peanuts, so I think that she will be better off if she moves out to the village and then she can generate more rental income.

“Sure her life isn’t going to be easier when the 50,000 Shekels per month disappears, but well that won’t be my problem.”

So what is he going to do? All the wise advice on the wise & funny blog pointed to “Get what you can and walk away, as quickly and discreetly as you can…”

“Always be sure

you are worth more

 to your wife

 alive than dead,”

advice offered

with a smile.

But seriously.

Happily-married expats will protest. They will rise up in umbrage, declaring “Expat marriages are not all like that!” and that is true as far as that goes, at least until silly western hubby catches the eye of the driver’s teen-age daughter, lithe and seventeen, and feels that old urge bubbling up inside him again.

Get a good YaUdah Bistro meal and a few Euro-beers into the “happily-married expats” and they will also share that time-worn aphorism, as a friendly warning…

But alas you know how that turned out…


In western countries today divorce is a pretty streamlined affair – it has to be, since a painfully large percentage of marriages end up busted within a few years, with an odd collection like Cuba, Estonia, Denmark and the Netherlands topping 50% (Luxembourg being World Champ at 66%!)

Why is the simple, moderately friendly & painless divorce so hard to pull off? Often because of the history of the marriage… the children and their fate… property split, with each side hurrying to splinter off and stash away what it can…

Religion and culture can complicate separation and divorce. In some countries (notably western Europe and North America) the church keeps its nose out of the process and lets the courts work it out. In others, family pressure to keep up appearances and stay together, even when one partner is horribly abusive, means that a married partner (usually the woman) just cannot leave.

The difficulties of divorce in lawyer-swarming countries have encouraged couples to live together “in sin” – common-law marriages, so to speak. But those too can involve property-sharing conflicts when the couple splits up.

Smart richies like Donald Trump (alias “Agent Orange” alias “Prez ManBaby”) hire $1200/hour lawyers to whip up so-called “prenups”, legal contracts arranged before a marriage which most unromantically determine who-gets-what in the event of a divorce down the road. When this writer attempted to explain prenuptial agreements to his Indonesian students they reacted with disbelief, puzzlement and wonder. “If they’re that mistrustful of one another why are they getting married in the first place?” is the obvious question. The excuse is often something weaselly like “Well, I have to think of my children from my first and second and third marriages…”

Australia has famously-harsh divorce laws, which an Asian wife will soon discover with a little research (and an enterprising lawyer).

But if you are determined to get divorced, at least do so in style, with grand grub’n’grog at YaUdah Bistro, celebrating years of happiness in the past and years of freedom in the future.


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