Readers' Submissions

Exordium

  • Written by Stick
  • September 20th, 2004
  • 4 min read

Anonymous submission


The 'Cynic' submission certainly has stirred up a hornet's nest of, Love Thailand – Hate Thailand. While I have no wish to get into the ring with my two bits because it would probably only stir the nest much more, I can only respond to all those obviously unhappy people out there who have made, as they see it, valid comments in their submissions.

The Cynic in me asks and answers the following questions:

Q. If you wish to stay in Thailand and are unhappy with Thai ways and all that has to it offers, ask yourself this – What can I do to constructively change the way of life in Thailand?

A: Nothing. Your opinions matter not to a Thai! They are a proud nation while you in their estimation are considered a visitor, regardless of the length of time you have or will stay in THEIR country.

Q. Should you, (to borrow the words of the late great John F. Kennedy) ask not what Thailand can do for you but rather, what can you do for Thailand?

A. Apart from Thais taking your money and the low-lifes cheating you, scamming you and lying to you. Nothing! Your opinions matters not to a Thai, they are a proud nation and you, a visitor, regardless of the length of time you have or will stay in THEIR country. To Thai people the matter is very simple. If you are so unhappy with Thai ways, and have not succeeded in changing their ways to your ways, the planes that first brought you to Thailand will also take you back from whence you first came. How many of us can honestly say that when Thais go to live abroad the first thing they want to do is change their host country to their ways? They may have their own cultures and religious practices in that country but that’s as far as it goes. Don’t forget that nobody forced you to come and live in Thailand and Thai people do not need saviors to convert them form their established traditions, culture and way of life. I am curious to know if the same wish to change cultures and habits is the same elsewhere. I have lived and worked in Malaysia, Indonesia and obviously Thailand and have never heard the visiting community express the desire for the two former countries to change. Malaysia was colonized by Britain for many years. All that succeeded in doing was adding Indian and Chinese workers to the population. Once the British left, the country reverted back to their former culture with an added flavor from India and China. Witness what is happening to culture in modern Hong Kong today now they are once again part of the Chinese Motherland.

Q. What then can I do if I wish to remain in Thailand?

A. (borrowed words of wisdom again) You should seek to be granted the serenity to accept the things you cannot change in Thailand, the courage to change the things you can be changed in Thailand, and most important of all, the wisdom to know the difference. Strict adherence to this answer will ensure a long and happy co-existence with Thai people in the Land of Smiles. Thailand is Thailand, Thai people are Thai people and neither you nor I or anyone else is ever going to change that fact. Either accept it or leave.

I admire the comments from The Esthetician in giving us an insight to Thai thinking and how we both can learn from different cultures and practices. I do however take great exception to the statement which suggests “that many of you that read this site like to visit the “Thai ladies of the night”. First of all I believe that you can discount many of the people who contribute to this site and secondly, your “Thai ladies of the night” are probably the reason which brings a lot of people here in the first place. It is a pity that the person who wrote the submission lost it towards the end.

Please remember that Thailand today is a mixture of many past nationalities, cultures and practices – which were brought in from outside and adopted as Thai ways. I believe that Buddhism favors that which is practiced in India and Sri Lanka as opposed to that of Korea or Japan. Not being an expert in these matters, I stand to be corrected. I have been also informed that a lot of the world famous Thai food is also a mish mash of recipes brought in from India, China, Laos, Burma, Malaysia etc. So you see, Thailand can adopt other cultures and habits – when it chooses to do so.

In closing I can only state that I have lived in Thailand for the past fifteen years and never had a problem doing so. I lived my life as I see fit and Thais live theirs. I have many Thai friends and a few enemies among Thai people but the enemies are shallow people who I refused to lend money to. This by the way applies to expats as well. Thailand is Thailand, Thai people are Thai people and neither you nor I or anyone else is ever going to change that fact. Accept it, stop moaning about it or leave. Thailand is Thailand, Thai people are Thai people and neither you nor I or anyone else is ever going to change that fact. Either accept it or leave. If the time ever comes for me to re-assess living in Thailand, I shall do so and either stay or leave, whatever my decision would be, it will not make the slightest bit of difference to Thai people, their culture or their customs. My attitude and theirs will be, I came to Thailand, I stayed and enjoyed Thailand and I left Thailand.