So I ended up in a local restaurant here in Bangkok, and grabbed a copy of "Bangkok Trader" from the rack near the door. It's your typical ex-pat rag - filled with advertising and classifieds, with a few poorly written stories sprinkled in.
As I was flipping through, I stopped at an article titled: "Thai Woman vs. Farang Woman". Fortunately I had read my guidebook earlier, and knew that "farang" is the Thai slang for "Western". They interviewed some movie "star" from Thailand who shared some pretty amusing thoughts about women. Ladies, here's an insight into men of different cultures.
I just couldn't resist sharing it. Think of this as the international version of Leno's "Headlines":
Thai Woman vs. Farang Woman
"We met Thomas Livezey at the recent Bangkok International Film Festival where he was promoting his two new films "Fangs" and Unchained", both directed by Gary McClurg.
The actor, who was born in Bangkok, has traveled extensively alongside his American father. He now lives mostly in the US. His background is Thai-American, but his ancestors come from both Thailand and China. One of three sons brought up in Bangkok, Thomas has played a number of smaller parts in films such as "Instinct" and "Bleed" in 2002, followed by "To Live is to Die" and in 2006, "Driftwood".
Thomas very kindly agreed to be interviewed on Love Rules! At first the questions were about the difficulties that can be experienced by actors in their love lives, but somehow the conversation drifted and he explained how he much preferred the companionship of Thai women to Western women.
Thomas, like many other "luk krungs" who travel for work-related reasons, has had relationships with a profusion of women from all different backgrounds. So what is his opinion on the relative merits of Thai women versus Farang women?
He thinks that American women are just too domineering and bossy for him. It seems that all the women he dated in the US were so overconfident that the relationships were strained and not fun at all.
"When you can't decide anything anymore in a relationship, it really gets daunting," Thomas explains. "She chooses the movie you go to, she chooses the restaurant, and if you're at home you're the one doing the dishes. Is this equality of the sexes? Not in my opinion... it's more like abuse!
"And that's not just the way I feel. Most of my friends who have either traveled here or live here think the same.
"In fact, my American friends think I'm really privileged to live in Thailand and not have to deal with American women!"
These words seem to reflect the view point of many - if not the majority of farang men in Thailand. We found it surprising that they come from a handsome leading man who has a foot in both cultures!
What Thomas really enjoys about Thai women is that they are refreshing to be around because they don't tell you what you can and can't do. They try to understand what you want and they put your needs before theirs which is something that he really appreciates without abusing their kindness.
"When you go out with them they take care of you and make sure you have everything you need," he says. "Not like American women who expect you to serve them. Thai women also know when to be silent which is a quality that I really like.
"After long hours of shooting, I don't always feel like entertaining long conversations about this or that."
Thai women epitomize femininity and sexiness for Thomas. He likes his women to be women and have fragile edge to them. Maybe it's because Thomas has a macho side like many Thai men and likes to protect the woman he is with.
He says Thai women give him the impression that they really care about his wellbeing and are not always making themselves the focal point of the discussion.
"They listen and show you their affection in many small and touching ways. That's what really endears them to your heart."
But there certainly is a wide range of opinion on this subject, and on the other end we have Joe (preferring to remain anonymous), who is also a luk krung, half-Thai and half-German. Joe has had many relationships with Thai women and agrees that they are extremely enticing. But he feels there's more to a relationship than just the physical side. He wants someone he can play sports with, enjoy food with and especially relate to emotionally and intellectually. This last point is what he missed most in his relationships with Thais.
Joe, having been raised both in Thailand and in Germany, but spending most of his teenage years in Europe, thinks that it is very difficult to talk to Thai women as they will not readily share their opinions on matters such as politics, economics or, worse yet, philosophy.
"I like reading books on many different topics," he explains. "But when it comes to discussing intellectual matters with a Thai woman, it's like talking to a brick wall. "
What Joe prefers about Western women is their readiness to participate in any sports activity without it becoming a drama over the dreaded prospect of tanned skin, smeared makeup or damaged hair.
Joe also enjoys all sorts of foods and thinks that it is much nicer to go out for a meal with someone who likewise appreciates different cuisines and doesn't always stick to seafood or salad for fear of putting on weight.
Indeed, what Joe considers as the Western woman's sexiest attribute is her brain and education. He loves to have endless conversations about literature, films, politics and most of all, philosophy. He appreciates a woman who shares the same culture and values and who can sand up to him intellectually.
The last point on Joes' list is a common complain among farang men in Thailand: he doesn't want to come in second place in a relationship after the woman's parents or siblings. That's a tall order in tradition-bound Thailand, but generally the norm for more independent-minded Western girls.
So... now that we've heard from Thomas and Joe, what will it be for you? We'd love for you to share your stories and opinions on the great Thai Women vs. Farang Women debate. Remember, we're not here to judge you - you're the one who ultimately decides what is best for YOU!
Alrighty then. Thai journalism at your service.