Home' Snap Shot Magazine : February 2010 Contents 12 snapshot magazine : snapshot.realviewtechnologies.com : february 2010
Cover story | Jason Bailey & Bee Satongun
"We e njoy the challe nge of unfolding the
mystery of each other and we are inspired
by the strength we give to each other."
"That took about ve weeks and by the time we
returned to Bangkok I knew there was something
more between myself and Bee.
"I immediately applied for a visitors visa to Australia
for Bee and she returned to my homeland with me."
The couple is quick to point out that it was not
love-at- rst-sight. Jason had his sights rmly set on
one goal, "to be the best he could be at Royal Thai
cooking". Bee said she thought Jason was "a bit too
skinny". But somehow the common interests of the
two forged the way for a strong and committed
"I don't think you need to be immediately in
love with someone to make a relationship work,
but a commonality of interests and dreams for
the future help you grow closer," Jason said. "It is
important to have a common connection because
lust and passion experienced in the early stages of a
relationship don't stay forever, and when that goes
you need something more to keep you together.
"The greatest part of realising a dream is the
journey and it is far more exciting when you share
that journey with someone else -- we keep each
other on track."
Jason said it was equally important to work
towards a better appreciation of each other
especially when there were huge cultural
di erences. "We fought a lot in the early days, which
is not surprising because we were raised in two very
di erent cultures," he said.
"We were well aware that about 70 per cent of east-
west relationships ended and one of the main causes
of these break-ups was the di erences in culture an
religion passed down through the generations over
thousands of years. "When you combine these two
very di erent cultures under the one roof it can lead
to intense frustration.
"Bee and I soon realised that we were never going
to understand each other in the same way as two
people from the same culture, but we have learnt
to respect each other's di erences -- we meet in the
The couple took a practical approach to coping
with their cultural challenges with a strong focus on
reading sociological relationship books about east-
west relationships and marriages.
"I also returned to Thailand in 2007 with the
intention of spending a year in the country learning
more about Bee's culture and getting to know her
family," Jason said. By the end of 12 months both
Jason and Bee knew they had something that was
"worth holding onto".
In a single day they made a decision to marry
and headed to a nearby registry o ce to o cially
seal their bond. They said it was a recognised
commitment that would also enable them to
continue to grow as a couple in both Australia and
But it is clear true romance is not lost on the couple
who followed their registry commitment with a
traditional Thai wedding. As far as both Jason and
Bee are concerned their "more practical approach"
to marriage is paving the way for a long and
And the couple is equally focused on immersing
themselves in each other's cultural and religious
beliefs. Jason has become a proud practicing
Buddhist while Bee has made a permanent home in
the Southern Highlands, with the couple working
together at their Mittagong restaurant Classical Thai
Jason is equally convinced that their di erences
add to the excitement of the relationship as they
learn more about each other. "The most exhilarating
part of an east-west relationship is that you get to
explore new horizons," he said. "You are no longer
dictated to by the boundaries of your own society --
you gain the freedom to look outside and question
what is considered the cultural norm. "We enjoy the
challenge of unfolding the mystery of each other
and we are inspired by the strength we give to each
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