Letters to Bangkok is a story of love born on the internet between a practising Thai surgeon and an English University marketing manager. The initial Skype conversations and subsequent letters are true and exact records of written exchanges between two people trying to find love. Below is an extract pages 17, 18 and 19 of the actual book.
The Skype Connection
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, the famous throwaway saying in Casablanca brings me immediately to thinking with amazement how I first met sweet Pen. Reflecting on this momentous meeting, well momentous in terms of its life-changing impact on my small world, I often pose myself one question: How is it possible that two people, effectively total strangers, with widely different backgrounds and experiences can begin a conversation through a chance meeting at a moment in a time and place on a social chat forum called Skype and through that conversation set off additional exchanges leading eventually to two hearts beating as one? (See explanation of the term Skype below.) It must be said at the outset that both Pen and I came to the site with reservations and varying degrees of scepticism born from previous failed and disappointing encounters on Skype, where people come and go with regular monotony, like ships in the night or ghosts briefly haunting the ether space but soon to disappear without a trace. It is the nature of the beast called social Internet chatting that you may find someone interesting and then they disappear, never to be seen or heard of again, with no by your leave, refusing to reply to further communications, leaving you saying, Um, it was definitely something I said!!!! I had an early impression from what Pen said that she was more experienced on Skype in comparison to me, a relative newcomer. But why did Pen and I come to seek out one another in the first place? I was searching initially for company and solace, as I was suffering in a loveless, rather cruel relationship. Despite my experiences, I have always been an optimist, eternally inquisitive and open minded, a peoples person. Setting aside early negative encounters on social sites, I have been blessed with a strong belief in the goodness of human nature and a belief in destiny. Whether I believed that destiny could be found in such a chance and brief encounter is a moot point. I had just come through a long and difficult marriage which had ended de facto, and although I had not made the break physically from my ex-partner, I had signalled my intention to leave, and in mind and spirit, I had disassociated myself from intimacy or any future plans with this failed relationship. So yes, in one sense, although not consciously acknowledged by myself, I was searching for a human being to fill the emotional chasm left by years of mild mental abuse born of being married to an aggressive and sometimes violent alcoholic. I was seeking someone who might be sensitive, caring, supportive, loving, someone who could be my friend and confidant, someone I could trust with my heart, a lover that would be my love for always, not just temporarily, someone that would be my encourager and someone that would share my dreams and let me share hers, and most importantly, someone that would not betray my emotional trusta big shopping order, you might say! And in that respect, I had already decided to cast my net wider, beyond the shores of England, and sought an international partner to be my friend. I was already familiar with some of the attractive qualities that an Asian woman might bring to a relationship: loyalty, selflessness, spirituality, a caring, loving, and generous nature, and rarely abusive of alcohol. I was also physically attracted to the Asian look with their dark eyes, sultry looks, and long dark hair. For Pen, Skype perhaps offered, amongst other things, an opportunity to d