My wife and I toasting in the beginning of 2009: Approximately three 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 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.

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 that she wanted to remain and 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: Poté and Tho awaiting their flight to a new life in Canada.

Mother and sons were to become Canadian citizens at the end of September 2013.

My wife and her two sons ─ Canadian citizens as of September 30, 2013.

As I write this brief introduction in the wee hours of October 29, 2020, I can report that the two lads have become so Canadian that Poté ─ the youngest lad who is now 22 years old ─ can no longer read Thai. And when his mother and brother speak Thai amongst themselves, they often have to use English terms for Poté’s benefit.

Nevertheless, Poté and two Canadian friends travelled to Thailand early this year ─ and were there just in time to experience the start of the SARS-CoV-2 complications that became imposed upon the lives of everyone worldwide.

The older lad is now 26 years old, and late March / early April acquired a Harley-Davidson XL-1200 motorcycle which he looks very good on, for he is a brawny young man who has been an avid gym member now for several years.

Their mother has more Thai and Lao friends in our part of Canada than I can sometimes believe. In fact, some years ago I came to the conclusion that she likely has more friends here than I have ever had in my entire life.

I have been retired since early April 2011. Unfortunately, I never was a ‘big earner’ in my working life, so the debt situation for me now is such that spending any of my retirement life over in Thailand has become an impossible dream. And as I pile on the years, I find myself losing the confidence in myself of ever being able to manage the adjustment of living over there part-time even if I could afford to.

This was me on my very first trip to Thailand in January 2003 at the age of 53. I believe that I was to meet Jack for the very first time the following day ─ these were three friends of hers that I was with:

A picnic in Udon Thani’s Nong Prajak Park, January 2003.

I am 71 years old now, even if I likely do not quite look it. I have not been to Thailand since marrying my wife there in 2005 when I was 55 years of age.

Too much time has passed and been lost for me. The point is coming where I may no longer even want to go back ─ even to visit.

Anyway, that’s the general look at who I am. I am going to stop this exercise in reflection before I depress myself.

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, and are proving to be quite the pioneers, bless them!