Stickman Readers' Submissions May 25th, 2004

My Story, Thai Talk

According to the story I have read about “Are Thais Stupid?”. The author had told us about his bad experiences he had had and had seen. His story made me want to share my opinions and also my experiences.

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I am a Thai girl who was born and raised in Bangkok. I have never been a bar girl, but used to be a party animal. All I wanted was just going out, tried whatever I could. I have seen and done many things, both good and bad. They happened by my intention, and coincident. I am not saying that I have had a lot of experiences more than everyone, but I am sure that I had a lot more than you could imagine.

I will also start with flies. I have never tried to catch flies with my bare hands, but I asked an American guy who can catch flies, mosquitoes and all kind of insects wherever he goes with his bare hands. He told me about the abilities for catching flies.. “smarter and faster”. Well, for me that was clear.

A flyswatter, a can of fly killer, a rolled-up newspaper, or whatever are good for the one who has no “flies catching abilities”. I had problems with flies every time I was eating at open air restaurants or camping. I have seen in every fresh markets, especially, butcher shops, they have a clear plastic bag, filled up with water hanging above the meat. I asked one of the butcher, he told me that plastic bag is using for protect meat from flies. After that knowledge, every time I went to the beach or camping, I used that plastic bag thing… It works. (not 100% but it was good enough for me to enjoy my meal without waving my hands all the time.)

Humble dogs lie down and go to sleep in the middle of a crowded street. It is very normal in Thailand. There are thousands of street dogs in Thailand. They live nearby the roads which are their “home”. It is very easy for them to get hit by cars or motorcycles. I hit one once while I was riding a bicycle around my neighborhood. He was not a humble dog, but he was old, and I rode the bicycle very fast. The result, we both got hurt. Was I stupid? or the dog? or Was I very good to hit a dog by a bicycle? or It Was an Accident!!
I have been living in the USA for almost 2 years. I have never seen any dogs get hit by cars but deer, moles, raccoons and squirrels. Do you think they are stupid? My answer is NO… because they are animals… They have never been told what a car is? or How to use the freeway? The ones which got hit by cars and still alive.. I am sure that they will be more careful next time they want to use freeway. For the unfortunate ones who never have a chance to go back to tell their family and friends about the dangerous that could happen by crossing freeway. They still have no idea how to use freeway.

In the USA., dogs live in houses, and if they have a chance to go for a walk, they come with leashes around their necks. Do you think it is easy for them to get hit by cars? I am sure that there are many kangaroos that get hit by cars all over Australia, same as deer get hit by cars in the USA or street dogs in Thailand. Many times, I had seen street dogs around Siam Square, MBK, and the Victory Monument waiting for a signal at intersection or using pedestrian flyovers in Bangkok.

I have no arguments about “the careless drivers” who drive a car without safety belt or riding a motorcycle without a helmet, boots and gloves. All those things could protect the drivers from serious injury, but I have seen an accident which was happened to a guy with a helmet. The worst one I have seen was his arms, legs, guts, body and head were not at the same direction. Only one thing still together was his head in the helmet. That was proved that a helmet can protect you from brain injury..

8 years ago, my girl friend had a car accident. Somebody cut in front of her car. Fortunately, she didn’t have her safety belt on (not recommended), otherwise, she might have been killed at the scene. I was driving right behind her, so I saw everything that happened to my friend. (imagine the car in 2fast 2furious, 45 degrees inclined seat.) I found her top part was laid down at the rear console. Her hip was at the seat which the head should be. I saw a pole which was used for a fence in her car. She had a serious injury at the lower part of her belly button. The pole got through the engine. She got stabbed by the pole. If she had the safety belt on.. I don’t want to think about it.

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I had my own accident, it was not a serious one, no head or brain injury, nothing was broken, but my belly and the skin at my right collarbone got burnt by the safety belt. Will I stop using the safety belt? – NO!! I have more confidence with the safety belt… Am I stupid?

Safety belt might protect you from some serious impact but the best way is be very careful while driving or using the road. Careless drivers or drunk drivers are all over the place both domestic and international. Be very careful, an accident is an unexpected and undesirable event that might happened to anyone, anywhere and anytime. I have seen shows name “Stupid drivers” and “Stupid crimes”. They were all westerners. Have you ever seen those shows. I wish you had.

AIDS.. what should I say?? In 1980, HIV had spread to at least 5 continents (North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Australia) I agree that Thais are stupid.. we were not smart enough to develop AIDS by that time, but westerners. They did it well though. Nowadays, every 6 seconds someone new is infected with HIV. I am not making this up. I read from Do you think they are all Thais?

A friend of mine, who owns a bathing, steaming, and massaging business (Arb Ob Nuad) in Bangkok. He told me that the girls at his place and mostly in this business must have blood testing every 2 months. It doesn’t mean that they could protect themselves from AIDS 100%. Sometimes, they were asked to work without any kind of protection. I don’t think they have too many choices for refusing those kind of customers. Good news, they will get an extra money.. Bad news, they might get an extra virus.

About restaurants.. I have had the same problem, but not only in Thailand. I was a waitress in the USA. 4 months at a Thai restaurant and another 8 months at an Italian restaurant. At the Italian restaurant, I worked with an American manager. At lunch time, they use only 1 waitress, that was me. There was no problem, if I worked all by myself. Anytime, it was busy and the managers wanted to help me or at dinner time, there were 2-4 waitresses working altogether…. the magic (mistakes) happened. From my experience the mistakes happened by the chef misreading or he forgot to follow the “special” orders and / or the other wait staffs want to please their customers by stealing the same order from my customer’s order to be hers.. but it happened to be “the special” no onion, no tomatoes or whatever. Well… working as a waitress was not that bad, but many situations made me realized that being a waitress sucks, especially, whenever I got a**hole customers and co-workers. I think I won’t go back to work as a waitress again.. sucks, sucks and sucks…

Back in Thailand, the way you get treated by waitresses are totally different. I have never heard one of them introduce themselves, no smiling. Mostly, they come to the table, take order, and leave. They come back again with the food and then hiding themselves in the dark corner, waiting for the next order. When I was in Bangkok, I never cooked. I didn’t know how to cook. I ate outside or delivery everyday.

A building, I bought my own room at somewhere on Ratchada Road. There are 2 handy men who can fix everything. It was a service that the condominium gives to the owners. They will do everything you want for free, but you have to pay for the equipments… no service charge.. The first time I got their service.. It was not so good. (I was a new resident.) After a few months, I wanted to add more phone line, so I needed their service.. This time I got a better job. The house keeper told me that they liked me because every time I ordered a delivery food, I also bought food for them. Not only pizzas and fried chickens that they want, the job even better.. I mean “perfect” if I gave them an extra money. After I knew what they wanted, I got what I want.

About the government, I should not say anything much because I like the present prime minister, plus I don’t have any information of the news. In my opinion, he is the one of a few good prime ministers. He could make Thailand paid off its IMF debt before schedule. That was proved a lot for me. Compare to the ex-ex-ex prime minister who did nothing, but corruption.

I really don’t care about he appointed his relatives or whoever as long as they can develop the country.

About supporting the American troops. I believe that he had enough good reasons to do that and his relationship between him and the president of the USA. People like us never know.

The clampdown on the capital’s nightlife. In my opinion, it is not stupid. As I told you, I was a party girl, never come back home before 5am. (but not later than 6am. because of the traffic.) First time I heard that news, I didn’t like it, but when I had my second thoughts, I’ve no problem with that. If they want to close at midnight, I will start my party before 10pm. A few hours at public place, after that “private party!!”. Anyhow, Thailand is the Buddhism country. We have our good culture. It is not stupid if we want to protect that. We don’t have only famous nightlife for foreigners to visit. For the visitors who want to have fun with Thai bar girls, you should visit the Grand Palace and the Royal temple of the Emerald Buddha first, before you step in the bars.

The last opinion, nobody can’t be the same. They might copy the one they want to be, but there must be something that can tell the difference, even an identical twin. My brother and I are look alike, but inside are totally differences. I don’t like comparison, personally. Thailand is Thailand. The USA is the USA. The UK is the UK. All different people, cultures, and so on.

You might not know something, it doesn’t mean you are stupid. My uncle, an architect who has been living and working in New Jersey for over 30 years. 3 years ago he drove to see my mom in Maryland, on the way, he needed some more gas. He stopped by at a gas station somewhere out of NJ. He didn’t know how to get gas by himself because gas stations in NJ are not self-service, so did I. The first time I had to get gas by myself in the USA, I really didn’t know how. (I had my mom took me a photos, though, I wanted to show my friends in Bangkok) In Thailand, we don’t have to get gas by ourselves, so I was very excited for my first time here.. I will not blame you if you want to call me or my uncle stupid Thai people. I’ve no problem with that.

When I was working at a Thai restaurant, I saw many foreigners had a funny behavior eating Thai foods. To be honest, I thought it was funny, but I never laughed at them. I only thought it was my responsible telling them how to eat those foods in the right way and avoiding fresh peppers if they could not handle spicy stuffs.

What do you expect, when you are not in your “home”? – There is no place like home.. All the above are my experiences and opinions. I always respect everyone’s opinion. I didn’t mean and I didn’t want to have any argument. Everything I have read in “Are Thai Stupid?” are the same what I have seen, but I never questioned anything. Watch and learn from their mistakes. Every comment is more than welcome.

Have a great day!!

Stickman's thoughts:

It is always nice to hear from Thai readers and submissions from Thai readers are VERY welcome! Having said that, I think you'll find that much of what the author in the article you are referring to wrote was analogous.

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