Readers' Submissions

Farangs And Me



Sometimes you kind of wonder why Thais look at you in an odd way. Than, you hear all time stories with farang being treated unfairly. I had myself few bad experiences. Some of course, but then, where on Earth can you spend 4 years without a bad experience? Still, there are stories about farang beaten up badly or being taken as a target "just for being farang".

Racism exists in Thailand, that's for sure, but I have just seen, first hand, two really stupid farangs, and that got me thinking just how much of that we owe to "fellow" foreigners.

First one was a plain ***hole. Not necessarily stupid, but a ***hole all right. I was eating down the food court when the guy sits down in front of me. No "hello", no "Do you mind if I sit here?" or any sign of politeness. Puts his plate down, bend his head and start stuffing himself. Fine. Who cares?

As he is leaving, I see he is leaving his dirty plate on the table (that's one of those places where you have to bring your stuff back to the vendor). I figure the guy doesn't know, so I catch him up and explain the situation. His reply? Clear and loud. "Doesn't matter. That's what we have Thai people for. To clean up after."

Worst, he obviously believed it.

What the ***? Who does he think he is? Does he belong to a "superior race" to which the Thais are subservient? Darn lucky the Thai folks around don't understand English.

The second one, not even 2 days later. I am taking my bike from the parking lot when my attention is caught by a farang getting on his bike. Something isn't quite right about the guy. A feeling, nothing more. He goes to the exit and starts arguing with the parking security guy – probably about a lost parking card – cost 100 baths.

Next thing you know, the idiot pushes the security guard and throws the whole basket of parking cards on the floor, then starts taking off. The security guard goes after him and kicks his bike down in revenge. By now, there is a circle with 10 – 15 Thais and this king of all idiots starts arguing and insulting, and he hits a Thai guy with his helmet. The guy was just a bystander who tried to translate for the security guard, and now, he's got a black bump.

Now we are going to see some serious ass kicking. The Thai guy who got hit wants to fight – no kidding. Security guards have clubs, and they are probably skilled enough not to need them in the first place (kick a bike down with your shin – you'll know what I mean). They were extremely nice considering the circumstances – they could have beaten the shit out of him right there easily (15 to one, with weapons) but some of them were trying to cool things down. Others however definitely wanted a piece of the farang.

Since I don't want to see another farang on the front page of the morning news, I stepped in and told them to just let him get out. Believe it or not, the guy finds nothing better than insulting the security guard in Thai some more, calling him a coward "because he is at his place of work with his friends". Just what is the guy thinking, I don't know but it kind of makes me wonder. How do you manage to pick a fight with a guy whose job is to hand and collect small plastic cards at the entrance of a parking lot? And what for? It's not a bar, for Christ's sake! Just a motorcycle parking lot out of a shopping mall!

I know Thai hospitals have a reputation for good service, but that's no reason to visit them if you can avoid it. I told the guy to get out while he still could and much to my relief he climbed on his bike while I stood between the Thais and him. He got out without a scratch, partly thanks to me, but honestly, had he been trashed, he would have deserved every bit of it. And if I had to take a side, it would certainly not have been his.

It kind of brings some perspective to those stories about Thais ganging up on a farang. Try what he did in the States, in Europe or just about any other place. What's gonna happen? What would happen if you pushed a security officer in front of his colleagues and threw his paperwork on the floor, back home? I don't know about your place, but over in mine, they would make sure you don't leave the place in anything but an ambulance.

Now, I am not saying that all farangs who got beaten up deserved it. Probably not. But I am ready to bet that quite a few of them had it coming.

Stickman's thoughts:

Yep, some farangs do act like animals, but for what its worth, I think in the first story *you* were wrong. At food courts, people do sit wherever they can and very seldom acknowledge the people there already and yes, people do leave their plates there. It's not McDonalds where you can throw it all away! So when you had a go at him, you may well have incited him to say what he did…