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One of the biggest adjustments a male farang in Thailand must make is the fact that when he has a Thai girlfriend or wife his relationship isn't simply with her and her alone.  Oh, no.  He has a relationship with all of her friends and family as well.

I consider myself somewhat fortunate in that my wife's family lives far to the north of us — ranging from Bang Pa-In (between Bangkok and Ayutthaya) to Pa-Sang (in Lamphun Province south of Chiang Mai).  That means I only have to deal with the friends on a day-to-day basis.  Over the months, the sheer numbers of constant hangers-on has dwindled but it is still frustrating when I never know when somebody will show up for a visit (they never stay for short periods of time, either) or when they do visit they tend to stay for far longer than we consider polite in the West.

I tend to go through stages as sometimes I don't mind so much but other times I get sick of people "mooching" off of us (me, as there's only my income to keep the household going).

None of Dtim's friends seem to possess the quality of kreng jai (consideration for others).  They think nothing of drinking the last of our water/soda/beer without offering to purchase more.  The few items of food that I actually like to eat tends to disappear.  When they do buy food, I'm never remembered so I rarely eat unless I'm at work.

A few mornings ago I was awoken a bit before six a.m. by the sound of the downstairs TV blaring.  At first, I thought it was my wife but I found her asleep in Alex's room; apparently, one of her friends had let themselves in the house after we'd gone to sleep (I told Dtim when we moved to the new house that she was NOT to give out any keys to her friends).

I'd breathed a sigh of relief a week ago when Dtom (finally) got a job in Patong as I thought we'd finally have the house to ourselves.  She'd come down from Lamphun (I'm still unclear whether or not she's related to my wife by blood — she refers to her as her friend but calls her Alex's aunt) in February to look for work and proceeded to spend much of the ensuing weeks laying around doing nothing but eating our food and watching TV (once I purchased a second set for the downstairs).  Although she'd been offered numerous jobs she always had one excuse or another for not taking them.  Finally, Dtim told me that she couldn't get to the jobs because she didn't have her own motorbike (that never stopped Nadia as my wife drove her into Patong from Chalong every night for almost three months and then picked her up afterwards).  Anyway, we (I) bought her a secondhand motorbike a couple of weeks ago and she began learning how to do proper Thai massage at a shop on Nanai Road where she now has a room.  But she's still at our home, along with La, virtually every day when I come home from work.

I'm most tired of La hanging around.  I suspect she/he (I'm never sure what to call the ladyboys) is the person who's been stealing from us from time to time.  Some months ago, somebody stole money from Alex's piggy bank.  La and Nid were the only two people around; Dtim accused Nid and lost her as a friend.  A few weeks ago, coins disappeared out of a piggy bank I keep in the upstairs bedroom (I just throw 10-baht coins in there); one day it was half-full when I left for work and when I returned there was only one coin in there and the plug was on the other side of the room.  I began locking the room when leaving for the day.  When my camera turned up missing, La was the only one in the house (the case was sitting empty in my wardrobe).  But I can't directly accuse her/him or even hint it to my wife as both actions would make me lose face.  I can only point out obvious clues and hope Dtim comes to the same conclusion.  That may be helped by the fact that she had a 500-baht note disappear from her purse when La was sleeping downstairs a couple of nights ago.

Whatever her friends are doing here, the fact remains that I can never be alone with my wife.  I don't care so much if they're around during the daytimes in the week while I'm at work.  But when they are here throughout the evening, spend the night, and sit around all during the weekend as well that it's creating problems.  I'd like to at least have my house to myself and my family during the weekends.  I don't spend enough time with my wife as it is (not through lack of trying, either — we don't even get to sleep together the majority of the time because Alex can't/refuses to sleep alone).

What do I have to do to make her and her friends understand that I don't want them constantly underfoot?  I know that if I just tell her they need to go home, I'll lose face as I'm no longer being jai kwang (generous) and she'd probably leave as well.

I'm just tired of sharing my limited time with my wife's circle of friends rather than my wife and my son.  Yes, it is an integral part of Thai culture that the people are never alone and I accept that.  But I've also tried explaining that sometimes I'd like to do things with my family without an entourage.  And I certainly don't want any of these people staying in our home when we are away as I'm tired of things turning up missing (and also the increased electric bills; they think nothing of letting themselves inside late at night and then turning on the TV all night and I'm sure they have it on all day when I'm at work).

What can I do?