My wife and I toasting in the beginning of 2009:  Approximately 3 minutes after the end of 2008.

My wife and I toasting in the beginning of 2009: Approximately 3 minutes after the end of 2008.

I married my Thai wife Jack (Supranee) on May 30, 2005, in the city of Udon Thani, Thailand. However, she did not join me in Canada until something like May 10, 2006 — almost an entire year later.

There is much to tell in how I originally met her on my very first trip abroad in January 2003 — the first time in my life in which I ever needed to acquire a Passport. However, that story is not for this page. This is merely a brief introduction.

When Jack joined me here in Canada — in Surrey, not too very far from Vancouver, B.C. — back in 2006, she came with the purpose of determining whether she would be able to adapt to life in the West. She had never before left Thailand — not even to visit the nearby country of Laos. I think the closest she ever came to doing that was when she may have once extended an arm or foot across the demarcation line that designated the Laos side of the Friendship Bridge from the Thai side.

That incident was before I ever met Jack. However, I believe it may have been the very same occasion on which this photo was taken:

Jack on the Friendship Bridge:  2002.

Jack on the Friendship Bridge: 2002.

I have a better copy of that photo saved somewhere, but I cannot at this time locate it. That is Jack in the rear, at the left. Believe it or not, I had downloaded the better image from an American’s website, for Jack never had a copy and did not know the photo even existed — the American was someone who knew Jack before I did. And in fact, he even gives what must be an account of that tentative “border crossing” at this website when he tells the story of his experiences in going to Thailand in 2002 to serve as photographer for a friend’s wedding.

It was about an hour or so drive to the Laos border, and after back and forth trips to the immigration office/border crossing we finally figured out that no visa was needed if one only wanted to walk to the middle of the Friendship Bridge across the Mekong toward Laos. The immigration guys were mildly perplexed why three western guys and three Thai nationals would want to go to Laos anyway. So, we parked near the bridge, scrambled up the embankment (after buying 10 baht liter bottles of drinking water, it was in the low-90’s before noon) and walked to the middle of the bridge. I hadn’t realized the bridge had been built by the Aussies. Keith the Aussie was incredulous: “The Australian government build the bridge and won’t allow an Aussie citizen to cross the bloody thing!”

On the walk across and while we were goofing around sticking our foot across the “Halt” sign, Chimai explained that Laos and Thailand have the same language with a few differences….

Jack has two sons, but when she came to Canada in 2006, she left them behind with her own mother in their Nong Soong village home. As I said, we wanted to be certain Jack herself wanted to live here.  If it turned out that she did not, then I was going to be eligible to retire in a few more years, and I would be free to join her over in Thailand.

That decision about Canada was quickly made — she loved life here. Unfortunately, a bid to bring the two boys here in 2007 was foiled by Canada Immigration. It was not to be until September 2008 that the two lads finally got here — just in time to enroll in school, even though neither of them had any conversational English.

Suvarnabhumi Airport, September 2008:  Pote and Tho awaiting their flight to a new life in Canada.

Suvarnabhumi Airport, September 2008: Pote and Tho awaiting their flight to a new life in Canada.

As I write this on September 1, 2013, the older boy Tho (Sirichot) is 18 years old and working full-time at a warehouse, hoping to be taken on permanently. He even has a driver’s licence, and is driving a car that his mother turned over to him when she changed models just recently. Tho will turn 19 this month, and is a high school graduate from a school here in Canada.

His younger brother Pote (Chaianun) is 15, and will turn 16 in November. He starts Grade XI (I think) this next week.

As for Jack, she has an ownership interest in a Thai restaurant downtown in Vancouver, so she is away from home far more often than I have liked. However, by the same token, I retired early in April 2011, so her absences do give me the time to work upon various websites I have. Maybe one day I will manage to somehow generate a second income from the Web — I have thus far failed, despite trying since at least as far back as the Fall of 2008. My small government Pension desperately needs supplementing.

Anyway, that’s the general look at who I am.

I must admit right here that I have never been to Iceland, and I have no relationships whatsoever with the country. Nonetheless, I do find myself drawn to it somehow — there is a strength and romanticism about it and its peoples that I strongly admire. And I know that even there, relationships have been forged between Icelandic men and Thai women.

Thai women seem exceedingly adept at settling all over the World with their foreign (Farang) husbands — quite the pioneers, bless them!

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