Readers' Submissions

Humble Westerner

I read and read and I honestly don't get it. Why won't you people understand that Thailand is the country where Thais live, and your ways honestly don't mean shit. I am engaged to a beautiful Thai woman. Yes, I have experienced lots of things from her family I didn't like, things that that have been discussed here ad-nauseam, we all know about the "Thai way".

I just read "14 Years By Been There". This is great. Here is, what seems to be an American like me, talking about how the Western way is better than the Thai way, and how much more civilized and advanced we are compared to them. Then he goes on telling the story of how he was carrying 176,000 baht with him and got in a fight, where he seriously beat up a Thai taxi driver, because the much more advanced American didn't want to pay the driver 20 baht. Unbelievable! That poor taxi driver probably has never seen 176,000 baht in his life, and you don't want to give the guy 20 baht? That's the equivalent of 0.5 cents in the USA. Living in Thailand for 14 years you should know by now that in Thailand there are 2 prices – Thai price and Foreigner price. Don't you know like all products, foreigners come with VAT included! Same principal as, if you buy jeans made in Thailand they cost you 500 baht, buy Levi's and pay 1,000 baht. No discussion, just the way it is. That's where the great more advanced "look out for number one" American attitude gets you–> beat up a guy over 0.5 cents when you are carrying $4,500 dollars in your bag. That's how advanced we are.

billboard bangkok

Thailand is not as advanced as the USA, depending on what you mean by advanced, and where your priorities are. Are you talking about, poverty? corrupt government?, 60% of people with no health insurance?, one of the countries with the highest crime rate?, taking jobs to India?, 52% divorce rate? Well, then you can come live in the USA, we have lots of that! The first thing I saw when I drove to Hollywood, California, as I saw all the TV stations and movie studios, was a family living under a bridge as you enter Los Angeles. I saw a guy peeing on the walk of fame, all within 10 minutes of driving around there. Blacks against whites, whites against blacks, white supremacists, inflation, and on and on. Yes, we have that too. Yes, the USA is the richest country in the world, but so what? Some people, specially Buddhists, don't put money as a priority, at least in theory. Yes, I know, a lot of people have been hit for money by Thais. I take it as this: #1- because I have more money than they do and #2- it's not really how much you have, in Thailand what really matters (just the way I see it) is the appearance of having it. So, as you say, Thailand has made much progress, but it's aim as a nation is different than the USA. Thai Rak Thai, remember? So they will cling to their old ways, and try to advance without selling out to western bullshit. There is no such thing as an American. People born here are called Americans, but really this is a country made up of foreigners, all races from all over the world. As an American we will never understand what it feels like to be Thai, or Chinese for example. When you live in a country where everyone looks like you and your history goes back thousands of years. We just don't know what that feels like. I know, I know, Thais are mixed, but who isn't? You get my point.

Suck it up and shut up. Move out if you don't like it. What do I do? Well, first, I don't have sex with whores. Where I go, my Thai fiancée goes. If I have to buy anything, she buys it, she orders, she makes reservations, she talks to the taxi guy, she deals with her family and I don't tell her how to deal with them even if I disagree. I smile BIG, and say SAWASDEE KRAP and humbly wai. They all think "what a strange weird foreigner?". They were all ready to hate me before they knew me, and when they met me, they just love me. Her family cannot believe I act like a "Thai". I guess they mean, how can I be so humble and nice when foreigners are so rude?. Even my fiancée hates foreigners, and I can see why. How do you beat up a guy for 0.5 cents? When you bring America's (western) way to Thailand. As long as I'm happy with my fiancée (soon to be wife) who cares about who is right? Let them be right. At the end of the day I have shelter, a beautiful woman and money in my pocket. I let Thais and Thailand deal with their own and me as they see fit. I just don't care and don't get involved. I enjoy it for what it is, and eat the best pineapple and moo satay money can buy.

If you're thinking about coming to Thailand, go ahead and give it a try. It's not for everyone, but don't let an American tell you differently. Americans just think, "If You're Not Like Me, I Hate You!". What is an American anyway?, just refugees from another country who took the land from the Native Americans a couple of hundred years ago.

butterflies bangkok

How weird are the long neck tribe women in northern Thailand? As weird as all those American women who get, plastic surgery, liposuction, lip implants, Botox injections, breast implants, even foot surgery so they can put their feet inside really pointy shoes. Stop your bitching. We are just as strange as they are, we just do it differently. Thailand is their backyard and you play by their rules.

Stickman’s thoughts:

Generalization after generalization.
The author of the previous article was NOT American. He HAS left Thailand. He did NOT fight for .5 cents.

What I think you failed to miss is that the author of the previous article (and many others like him) are not openly abusing Thailand, but venting their frustration at things that if changed would benefit EVERYONE in Thailand! Corruption, greed, dishonesty, call it what you will, all hold back a country's development. Most of us want to see Thailand develop, which would result in less problems for us as Westerners travelling through or living here, but more importantly, for the Thai people themselves. While a farang does not like to be ripped off, neither do must of us want to see Thais (who can possibly ill afford it) being ripped off either. And believe me, they rip off their own something chronic.


It is one thing to criticise a country's culture, something that no nation likes, but when you point to issues such as corruption and flagrant dishonesty and say that a place would be better without it, then surely that is the type of improvement that every nation seeks, irrespective of their culture?