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Thai – Thai Relationships


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I just arrived back from Rayong with some newly acquired Thai friends. I do not claim to be an expert on Thai/Thai relationships but would like to point out differences in the way they spend their vacation and treat each other compared to westerners.

I was taken to the Raya Beach Resort which is an island privately owned by a Thai and caters to I suspect mostly Thai’s! It would be adequate for someone who stays at Kao Sarn Rd. but for the Sukhumvit dwellers it can be a bit primitive.
No air conditioning and sleeping in cots! My back still aches just from remembering. One nights accommodations cost 1,400baht and includes boat transportation from the mainland and all food. Cabins were all sharing of 5 to 8 people per cabin.

I was invited by a lady friend who is the best friend of a lady I have a romantic interest in so right off the bat it felt a little strange as I did not know what to expect as the lady I had an interest in was not coming along due to her
work schedule. There were going to be 3-couples and 4 singles all together including me and we were to share two cabins. Coincidentally, the couples all live in Rayong and the singles in Bangkok! They all knew each other in high school and grew
up together and kept in touch. I found out they do this at least once a month in which they spend a night together and just have fun and catch up with each other. They were all 31-32 years of age and have good paying jobs I suppose as they all
gave me their business cards with titles of Administrative managers in various industrial businesses.

The 24-hours I spent with them I did not see any arguments with the couples and actually find them quite loving towards each other though except for one guy who jokingly bites his girlfriends ass every chance he gets, I observed that the
ladies are actually more physically aggressive towards their teeruk than vice versa! The one single Thai guy was actually the life of the party as I gather he has the gift of gab and shot one-liners after another as I notice everyone laughing
constantly at his remarks or jokes. I just wish I could understand Thai more and catch the punch line. From time to time they would stop talking and ask my lady friend to interpret what was being said so I don’t feel left out, as she is
the only one who can speak any English. None of the others can but they do understand some as I speak cut up pigeon English mixed in with as many Thai words as I can muster.

Activities done in the Thai way is definitely different than in the west. In the USA it is usually everyone for himself and if one person wants to do something different they just get away from the others. The Thai way it seems is that they
all stick together and no one left behind. Including the hiking or swimming or sports. I declined to snorkel with them as my knee was acting up and frankly the water and coral was not that exciting, being a SCUBA diver, snorkeling just takes a
back seat for me I suppose! Another observation is that Thai’s do not seem to have any swimwear! No they did not swim in their birthday suits but did so in their civilian outfits! Guys just took off their shirts and swam in their shorts
and sometimes pants! The girls just got in the water with what they were wearing at the time! This is just not my group but all them. No bikinis! The resort can accommodate about 100 and this weekend they had 60. Most couples in the west will
make use of this situation to be together and romantic towards each other but Thai’s seem to separate from each other by gender. Guys go out and wade in the water and chat and so do the ladies. During an activity break we hung around a
bunch of hammocks and took naps and I lost my wallet in the process! It had 10,000baht in it! I was frantic and started looking for it and told my lady friend and to her annoyance said that it may well be probably gone for good! She inquired with
management and they said one of the guests turned it in the office! To my surprise when I got it back it had all my money still in it! I asked to know who turned it in, as I would like to thank them and possibly give them a reward. We were told
that an attractive young lady in one of the cabins was the culprit and unfortunately she did not speak English but when I tried to hand her a reward, I was refused and told mai pen rai! In the evening my friend told me to give her a Heineken but
she did not drink so I gave her some potato chips instead and I got the most beautiful smile back in return. My heart was fluttering the rest of the evening!

The mealtime behavior is also different. The group behavior is so prominent. In the west everyone just runs for the table and then eats. The Thai’s wait for each other and walks towards the table together. Everyone arrives together in groups and
then eat together and leave together as well. The table manners a bit different as well as the ladies take turns in picking the meat out of the crabs and hand it over to the men. It seems they make sure the men get enough to eat! The guys get
up to get more rice from the Kitchen. In the west you usually ask for food to be given food or you just grab the food yourself, here the women just start piling food on your plate!

The evening entertainment consisted of singing and playing cards. The men sing and play guitar and the ladies sit and play cards and contrary to the notion that Thai men are all drunks, I beg to differ! My group consumed maybe one Heineken
each! I walked around to the other groups and saw some just drinking club soda and cokes. We brought a Johnny Walker and did not even finish a quarter bottle split among ten people!

All together, my experience here in Thailand learning her culture has me in awe with all the positives and negatives. I am at a point in which I will probably never do business here and yet the people on a social level are far more attractive
than my homeland! The trick is to be able to stay here longer than just the average two weeks and meet the people you find that you can get along with. Not to be judgmental and learn to relax. Westerners tend to be too intense with everything
they do (me included). It’s just a matter of what is more important to one self! My take is money is not everything and will probably continue to come back here time and time again.

Stickman's thoughts:

Mmmm….perhaps I have been eating spicy food for too long, but where is the spice in recent submissions?