Stickman Readers' Submissions July 31st, 2002

Go Home!

It seems to me that there is now an increasing number of westerners who want to come to live in Thailand for one primary reason (although they don't wish to admit it at least not in public). The only reason they are here is to sleep with as many women as they can, and in the process they are willing to take just about any job, do just about anything in order to stick around. Then when things get bad they blame everyone else for their problems except themselves. I think one of the questions that individuals who wish to reside in Thailand should do is to be honest with themselves and decide what they come here for. If it is mainly for the women, then perhaps they are better off staying home, because when the money runs out, all they seem to do is complain about life here in Thailand, yet they refuse to return home. The other night at one of the bar areas I met with some of these whining annoying fellows who seemed to be most interested in making a nuisance of themselves rather than allowing anyone else to enjoy themselves. Nationality doesn't matter here, as I have seen similar ilk from Yanks, Brits, Aussies, although can't remember anything from the Kiwis, although I haven't met that many.

At some point all of us foreigners in Thailand will become frustrated with the way things work here, and want to take it out on someone else. Of course, many of these folks would rather work off their frustration on others (whom they meet at bars) rather than putting their energies into something productive. Years ago I met a fellow here who tried his best to make it in Thailand. He was not successful at first, took a low paying (12000 baht / month) job teaching English – this was the late 80s – and he hated almost every minute of it. Whenever we got together he spent the time complaining about things, many of which I agreed with. But of course could do little more than listen. The problem was when we went out drinking his anger became directed against everyone else. This was no fun at all and I often had to drag him out of bars and threaten to go home. If we hadn't become such good friends, before he began teaching English, I would have never tolerated these actions. Eventually this fellow decided that he needed to rethink his reasons for living here. Keep in mind he was fairly well educated, had a Master's degree, loved Thailand, and also knew a lot about the country. His primary reason for being here was not to bed women, although he did plenty of that as well. He finally returned home and took a relatively low paying job (by Scandinavian standards) working in a gas station and saved up all he could for the next couple of years. He then returned to Thailand with a plan and some money to get by until he could make it work. Because he had a decent education, could write well, and could make a contribution to the economy here, he was successful.

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Perhaps many (maybe a great many) of your readers should think about their reasons for trying to stay in Thailand; why do you want to live in Thailand? Is it only for the women? Do you really have a skill that is needed here, or are you just slumming by having little education and few skills, but thinking that because you speak English, Thailand is interested in you? Did you come here with a well developed plan or were you just going to wing it and see what happens. Although this is a great place to live, it is not nearly as great if you have no money. In fact, I think it is a very tiring, lonely, and pathetic place to live if you have no money.

My impression over the past decade is that there is a gross over supply of people here who are trying to stay on perhaps because only Thailand tolerates these hooligans so well. Here they can live in a style that would never be possible in their home country, and the Thai are all too willing to give them respect which they simply haven't earned, only because of the colour of their skin (maybe this is one way that the Thai make up for their racist actions against farangs in other areas). Yes, if they dress well, as you have mentioned in the past, it helps to distract attention away from the real individual, but it isn't just dress, it is how they carry themselves, who they hang out with (bar girls?), and what they do. It seems that ever since the Asian economic crisis there has been an overabundance of 'tourists' who come here with little objective other than to live on as little as possible while bedding as many women as they can, and in the process they become mean, rude, and annoying.

My suggestion is for them to go home, yes go home.

Thailand doesn't need you. If you want to get angry at someone, get angry at yourself for not having the willingness, temperament, or resilience to develop your own abilities. If you can't find a job in your own country, why do you think Thailand needs you? Once you return home, you can begin to prepare for your return. You now know what Thailand is like and you can plan, improve your skills, get a real job, save some money, and look for options that will allow you to return here as more than just the flotsam from your own country, which you now wish Thailand to tolerate. Then when you do return you will be much more amicable and fun to be around. Those of us who wind up bumping into you in the bars, along the streets, and elsewhere will appreciate it.

Stickman says:

In principle, I agree with what you are saying…but then I can also see why these people decide to stay on here, but that is not to say that i think it is a good thing. I think the danger is if someone gets by on dead end jobs in Thailand for too long, then it becomes REALLY hard to leave, and one is forever on the treadmill, walking the road to nowhere.

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