From Denver, With Love

For American men tired of American women, Richard Beals knows how to Thai the knot.

At sunrise, he meets Scooby on Khaosan Road. Travelers who land in Bangkok quickly learn about Khaosan Road. The street is lined with hotels, street vendors, bars, discos, Internet cafes, camera stores and jewelry shops. You can get a one-hour massage for $5. Even at this hour, monks in orange robes are going door to door collecting food donations; transvestite prostitutes known as "lady boys" are trying to solicit sex from the last men standing from the night before.

Lee is ready to drop off the tour; he expects to love Nat by day's end. He'd like to propose to her, then spend the rest of his time in Thailand with her family, helping load water bottles onto the truck, happy just to be by Nat's side. "There's no need to look elsewhere when you've found what you're looking for. I already know I just want to talk to her," Lee says. "It's really difficult trying to make a life decision in such a short period of time. There's a good chance she'll get that little teddy bear today."

Lee pulls out a shiny new ATM card for an account he set up for his future bride. He plans to leave the card with Nat when he returns to the U.S.

We are the world: Seow and Richard Beals talk about 
the U.S. with Thai schoolchildren.
We are the world: Seow and Richard Beals talk about the U.S. with Thai schoolchildren.

At breakfast, Lee catches up with Greg, who had a good time the day before with a woman named Jum. After the visit to the Palace and the canoe ride, the two went out for drinks, dinner and dancing. Although Greg plans to see Jum again, he's going to continue with the tour -- as he promised himself and Richard he would. The next stop is Udon Thani, a town famous for beautiful women and their marriages to farangs. Jum knows all about Udon Thani and doesn't want Greg to go, but he's going anyway.

"And if she doesn't like it, too bad," he says. "I'll find someone else."

Bobby says he had a great time with Eve, too. After their date ended the night before, Bobby told Eve he'd call her. Now, much to his surprise, she shows up for breakfast. Somewhat reluctantly, he winds up spending the rest of the day and evening with her.

Eve tells Bobby not to go on to Udon Thani. She asks him to call her every day and not to get a girlfriend. She pulls closer and he backs off. "I'm starting to get a big reminder why I've never been married," he says.

Ben comes down to breakfast with Joy, a woman who is not part of Richard's tour. On his Asia friend-finder account, Ben had been talking to four women in the six months before the tour. He'd asked Richard if it was okay to invite them to meet him in Bangkok. Of the four, only Joy showed up.

Joy has a political-science degree and works in cosmetic sales. She was married for fifteen years before she lost her husband to cancer, and is raising her nine-year-old son alone. She's ready to move to the U.S. and hopes that her son and Ben's can grow up as brothers.

Since Joy's English is extremely limited, she and Ben have been talking through an electronic translator. Still, Ben likes Joy, and he decides he'll use her to set the bar. If he doesn't meet anyone he likes more, when he gets back to Bangkok he'll ask Joy to spend the rest of her life with him. "This whole process, I'm really just concerned about hurting women's feelings," Ben says.

Scooby and Sammy don't have any serious prospects, but they're enjoying their vacation anyway. They spend the day taking in as much of Bangkok as they can.

Ben and Joy, Bobby and Eve, Greg and Jum, and Lee and Nat spend the day holding hands.

Ben, Bobby and Lee head out for a triple date to an outdoor market, but then Lee and Nat go to pick up her fourteen-year-old daughter and her daughter's friend. The four pose for pictures. Nat tells her daughter to say "I love farangs" as the flash goes off.

Nat is Lee's number-one choice, but Nat has been number one before. Both times, the men have moved on to the next stop at Udon Thani, and both times they've found new loves, leaving Nat behind.

Back at the hotel on Khaosan Road, Lee and Nat stop for coffee. Nat's daughter waits outside. Through the window, she can see Lee, on the verge of tears, talking to her mother.

"I love you," Lee tells Nat.

Nat doesn't reply at first. She points to goosebumps on her arm.

"Nobody ever said that to me before," Nat finally says.

"Will you marry me?" Lee asks.

"It's too soon," she replies. "I need more time to think."

Lee offers to give up the rest of his trip and stay with Nat, hauling water, getting to know her.

"Go to Udon Thani," she tells him, adding that he should stay away from other girls.

Super Bowl Sunday is actually Super Bowl Monday in Thailand. The Steelers are beating the Seahawks as some of the men gather in Richard's hotel room for a pep talk from Seow.

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