‘Hunters’ of Asia

I turned on Facebook earlier this evening and – wait, wait, wait – turned on? That’s an odd way to talk, Dom. You sound like you’re a grandmother.

Alright, logged on then. Is that better?

Ehhh.. just say, “I went on Facebook. That’s all you need.”

… So… So, I went on Facebook earlier this evening… I mean, I go on Facebook everyday, multiple times per day. It’s not like today was a special day for Facebooking or anything. No, it was a regular day. Facebook is boring now. Have you noticed that? Maybe I’ve just exhausted my patience for other peoples bullshit. If I want to read about a bunch of bullshit I can just log onto my own site (har, har, har).

But anyway. I went on Facebook and I saw a “friend” of mine. We’ll put “friend” in quotation marks so you know this isn’t, like, an actual person I want to talk to or care about seeing again, but simply a person floating through the ether that I knew at one point, but is now relegated to being an Anonymous Facebook Friend.

We were friendly for a bit, but the problem became that she only ever wanted to hang out with me alone. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but  I quickly learned that we had nothing to talk about except the problems in her life and her past relationships. But I felt bad for her and so my bony shoulder became her favorite place to rest her tears. Eventually, she did allow herself to join the rest of my group of friends, and I was able to (gladly) pass off her friendship onto the them.

She was a consummate hunter. A consummate hunter of the male foreigner type.

It is an ever present issue when living abroad as a white male. Something that must always be watched for. I may sound a little paranoid, but after living abroad for two years I know I am not coming across nearly as paranoid as the actual reality. There are many, many girls/women in that area of the world who are looking – actively – for a foreigner boyfriend. I won’t go too deeply into this now, you’ll just have to assume I know what I’m talking about. Of course it isn’t all women. And of course plenty of men go to Asia to find wives. There are two sides to every couplet.

Anyway, so I went on Facebook earlier this evening, and lo-and-behold, my old friend has got herself a foreigner boyfriend! She put up a series of pictures which showed them traveling from the southern end of Vietnam to the upper north. (Actually a very cool set of pictures as they begin with the two of them in shorts and T-shirts and sweating, and as the pictures progress they continue to add layers. By the end of the album they are wearing heavy winter coats and standing in the snow! Interesting look at the wide range of climates in Vietnam.)

I’m happy for her. She seems ecstatic, he seems reasonably happy – cool! The album has tons of references to, “My Love,” and, “Love of My Life.” Cute.

As a former semi-permanent dweller of Saigon, I was part of a large group that hung out nearly everyday at the Cheap Beer place on the street in the main backpacker area of town. There were Americans, a New Zealander, a Brit or two, a Dutchman, a Frenchie, a guy from Senegal, and a large number of local Vietnamese. We had an interesting main group and we were constantly enjoying the company of travelers and couchsurfers and whomever else turned up that night. We were also in a prime position to enjoy seeing the revolving door of foreign men that the Vietnamese girls brought to hang out with us for the night. These guys were always kind of shell-shocked at their good fortune. Just imagine! They’ve been in the city for an hour and they already have a Vietnamese girlfriend! What good luck!

Of course, we all pretended to not know what was going on when the new boyfriends were around. We asked them the normal polite questions, and sometimes we even had a goodbye party, and sometimes the girls even spilled out a few tears. But then the next day – oh look, the girls all have new boyfriends! And the cycle begins again. We called it “fishing.” The girls set their minds on getting a guy, they bat their eyelashes, they giggle a little, they dance a little provocatively, and it’s over. The man takes the bait and spends the next few days bringing the girl out to dinner or buying drinks or whatever.

But the guys were happy, so who am I to judge? And just for your information, I highly doubt there was much sex going on. The girls weren’t that easy. They just wanted someone to fawn over them and buy them a drink every once in a while. What’s so wrong about that?

Everyone combats loneliness in their own way.

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