Last Sunday while I was at the LA airport, I had a lively conversation with a very sociable and humorous married couple. A half-hour into our airport terminal chit-chat, the topic of his wealthy brother’s Thai wife came up, whom they call “Thai Barbie,” because she is a stunningly beautiful Thai woman who was selected straight from a mail-order bride catalogue. Although her new American wardrobe wasn’t included when she arrived they did tell me that his brother has no qualms about picking and choosing her wardrobe and “dressing her up.”
They both agreed that she was exceptionally easy on the eyes, however there was an issue; “Thai Barbie, doesn’t speak any English.”
It wasn’t until the next day at the hotel when I noticed the handful of gorgeous, young women lounging pool side in the company of much older, balding men with protruding, jelly-roll bellies that I gave our airport conversation any more thought.
Based on those two back-to-back situations, I thought it would be poignant to write about two niche’ areas: the mail-order bride business; and romance tours. Both of these business models clearly state that the intentions are for men to meet beautiful women.
Within a few minutes on the Internet I realized just how abundant the mail-order bride business is (marriage agencies and mail-order bride publications are legal in most countries), as well as companies that offer romance tours, where men travel overseas to places like Russia, Colombia, Peru or Odessa, located in the Ukraine, as seen here in part 1 and 2 of these youtube.com videos.
Communication barriers aside, I can say that I myself have had flings with foreign men while traveling abroad on holiday. Yes, the sex was great but at breakfast the next morning there was not a lot of shared conversation going on, and frankly it wasn’t in my plans to bring any of these foreign flings back to Los Angeles as a souvenir, regardless of the spontaneous fun, steamy sex and exotic settings. Personally, I just didn’t see it in my own cards or for a sound future.
The mail-order bride business is nothing new. It has been reported that it goes back to the early settlers of the U.S. but since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the introduction of the Internet in the 1990’s, it has changed dramatically.
The History of Mail-order Brides
Mail-order brides are a global phenomenon from the red, white and blue shores of America all the way to Turkmenistan, where prior to June 2005, a foreigner was required to pay a $50,000 fee to marry a Turkmen citizen regardless of how they met. This fee was set up to protect women from abusive relationships. I‘m not sure what happened politically but in 2005, this law was scrapped.
Wikipedia Mail-order Brides
As one final bit of research into this subject, I did an Internet search for mail-order men and romance tours geared for women… worthy of noting, nothing turned up.
I believe we are hard-wired to seek companionship, love and safety. So, who am I to judge how people find their mate or date? As the old saying goes, “different strokes for different folks.” No pun intended here.
What’s your view on romance tours and the mail-order bride business?