Know Before You Go
I've done my share of world travelling and after a few years of going back and forth to Europe, Mexico and Canada. I thought I was ready to hit Asia. Thailand more specifically. I first came to Thailand back in November of 1995 and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I've now been living here for almost 6 years now. Beautiful young girls everywhere and they were very friendly too! Now I had never had any real problems with the ladies back home but these girls were different. It would be a while before I would realize just how different they really were. 1995 is not that long ago but it was still in the day when for the price of a bar fine and 500 baht, you could get a truly nice bar girl who did everything she was supposed to and more. After giving me a shower and a massage, a few hours of sex and fun, she would then fold my clothes, straighten up my room, give me another shower if I wanted and then give a nice wai and say goodbye. Those were the good old days and not many Thai working girls treat you this way anymore.
The first two years in Bangkok I went nuts. Got to know the bars and got to know the whores. Screwing every girl I could, drinking way too much and basically living the life that many people dream about. Well after a couple of years and a rapidly diminishing bank account I stopped letting the little head do the thinking for the big head and mellowed out a bit. I'd still do some whoring here and there but for the most part that has changed over the years. Now letting the little head do the thinking for the big head is not very smart but hey, it happens to the best of us.
Before I go any further I need to say for the record that I speak Thai very well and can read Thai decently. My writing is non existent however. So, it is possible for me to carry on day to day without speaking a word of English. I must admit though that some days or in extremely important situations I am lazy to speak Thai. In business situations worldwide, English is the language spoken in most cases and at times I flat out will not speak Thai as I want the Thai's to work and perhaps understand that speaking English in business is a must! There are times when I use UPS for business purposes or an Internet service provider and when I call them, most speak decent English. Some however are lost and have absolutely no idea what to say or do other than put me on hold (without telling me of course) and getting someone who will speak English.
I am not a rocket scientist by any means but I am not stupid either. I believe I have average to slightly above average intelligence. What does that matter? Well, some people may disagree, but most Thais, even those with a college education are flat out STUPID. This is not meant as a cut-down but as the truth. While some are smart enough to get a lonely or not so lonely farang to fall in love with them, or to cheat them out of money, the are basically STUPID! Ask a university educated Thai to carry on a conversation in English or about virtually any world event and they more than likely will not know what to say other than "I'm fine thank you." The bar girls may be shrewd when it comes to their customers, but put them in a nice restaurant and the rice farmer in them comes out. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of nice Thai people. Thais can and are at times very nice but so what? There are nice people all over the world. Their niceness doesn't overcome their stupidity.
I read another reader's submission and he hit it right on the head. Thais think they can compete on the world stage business wise? They gotta be high on Thai buds or Yaba. Take a look in a shopping mall such as the aptly named "The Mall" or Central or even the Emporium. Most places have a limited amount of customers but a huge sales staff. I understand the staff is cheap but why then is it so hard to get someone to help me at a mall or restaurant when there are no customers and a huge sales staff? To make matters worse, if you ask a sales clerk about a product, most have no idea about the product. When they do, I always think it is a nice surprise but perhaps all the time they spend giggling with their friends could be better spent learning about the product they sell or better yet, how to say more than Yes, No and I'm fine thank you in English.
So before you men (or women) make the decision to come and stay in Thailand for a few years KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! Stay a couple of months before deciding to stay here. I am now at the point where I wonder why it is I stay here. I make pretty good money here (average is around 300 – 400,000 baht) but really the main thing that keeps me here now is my wife (Thai and not a former HO) and baby which for me is enough. We are however looking into other countries to stay for 4 months a year or so and I have narrowed it down a bit but have yet to decide upon my second and / or third home. With a child to raise, this is a major consideration.
A few things about Thailand that the reader should note:
– Most Thais living in Thailand, especially where the nightlife is, speak atrocious, laughable English.
– For most people, Thailand is a better place to visit than to live. It is never as good as when you are on holiday and thing change once you LIVE in Thailand.
– You will never be Thai and for the most part, you will always be a second class citizen here.
– You will never be viewed as an equal to a Thai.
You don't have to like or agree with anything I write however, REMEMBER the absolute number one rule – NEVER FALL IN LOVE WITH A BAR GIRL! It's tough enough without all the baggage and bullshit some former whore brings to the table!
Chuckle, chuckle… On a bad day, I think like much along the lines of what you have written. On a good day, I look at it all a lot more positively.