Readers' Submissions

Lighten Up

  • Written by A Climber
  • August 23rd, 2006
  • 6 min read


Many of the essays posted here are interesting, however quite a few are really just complaint letters. Many farang complain about the women, the men, the culture, the government, the weather, and just about anything else they can think of. Lighten up people! I know that there are a lot of screwed up things about this country but if you stay in any country long enough you will find plenty of things to complain about. I’m sure you could easily write 2,000 words about all the problems in your own country. If visitors and ex-pats in Thailand think things are so bad and feel the need to complain about everything, why do they still stay in Thailand? Why not just go home if you think it is that bad?

Most farang ex-pats in Thailand admit to living here because of the cheap cost of living and the availability of beautiful women. They treat Thailand like a big playground where they should be able to do anything they want and Buddha forbid if they have to pay ten baht extra for a motorbike ride or if they can’t buy a beer on a holiday or at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Believe me, I get annoyed about some of these things too. After living in Bangkok for many years, I can easily fill a 2,000-word essay about all of the screwed-up things about Thailand, but what is the point of that? If you choose to live here, unlike Thai people who have no choice, then why complain so much when you can go home at any time? <This argument is tiresome. People have a right to an opinion AND a right to express isStick>

It costs much less to live comfortably in Thailand. Of course, there is a price for that cheap cost of living. Thailand is a developing country and that isn’t going to change any time soon. Of course the infrastructure is inadequate, pollution is bad (in Bangkok), many politicians are corrupt (show me any country where that isn’t true), and many people in the tourism sector want a way to get your money. Go to the Philippines or Brazil, or many other countries and you’ll find the same situation but worse.

Many farang complain about being deceived by a “bargirl”. Would you trust or start a relationship with a “bargirl” in your own country? No way. So why are you surprised when you find out the girl has another man, or only wants your money? It’s her job.

According to about 95% of the essays I’ve read here about relationships gone bad with a Thai lady (not just bargirls) it’s always the girl's fault. I don’t deny that men get screwed over sometimes, but the deceit works both ways. Although some guys treat their women well, quite a few think that it’s okay to fool around and have sex with other women. I have met plenty of Thai women that have been dumped by their farang boyfriend for other (or many other) women. Many farang just play with women, leading them on while they have one or more other “gigs”, on the side. Many western guys lie to Thai women, stringing them along because they won’t commit to just one girl. You can find some of these accounts within these essays, discussing ways to pick up Thai women and how to get “freebies”.

The purpose of the "Bargirl Investigations" advertised on this is to catch Thai girls who lie to their farang boyfriends. It is fair to say that if there were a similar “Farang Investigations” that catered to Thai women, quite a bit of dirt and lying from farang men would also be uncovered.

Concerning violence, yes there have been some cases of foreigners dying recently. But I hardly consider us to be “dropping like flies”. Just stay out of trouble. Avoid heated arguments and fist fights with locals and don’t get so heavily involved in a seedy lifestyle. If you follow that simple advice, the chances of getting attacked in this country are minute. That is quite different from other countries like Brazil. A good friend of mine was run out of that country by the violence, enduring a brutal beating just because he dated local women. On the contrary, Thai men on the whole are quite tolerant of foreigners going with Thai women (even if they don’t like it). There are quite a few countries were the local men wouldn’t tolerate white guys coming to their country and getting involved with the local women in such large numbers.

The types of overgeneralizations and complaints I find the most ludicrous are the ones related to Thai culture and Buddhism. Many foreigners that view things through an entirely western lens make sweeping generalizations as if they are experts about the Thai culture based on limited experience. My favorite comment was when someone wrote, “friends aren’t important to Thai people”. I told my girlfriend about that one and she couldn’t believe someone could make such a ludicrous comment.

Some people speak disparagingly or condescendingly about Buddhism but they obviously know very little about it. I’ve read comments incorrectly linking some Thai’s irrational or superstitious behavior to Buddhism. The superstitious nature of many Thai people has nothing at all to do with Buddhism. Even in the “Meet the Sticks” section of Stick’s weekly column, it is emphasized that Mrs. Stick “isn’t Buddhist” as if being Christian somehow makes her more intelligent or rational and able to give better advice because she isn’t Buddhist. <The reason for that is simply to show that she is less typical, be that better or worseStick> Well, let’s be real about that. What about the Christianity? Are the central tenants of Christianity more rational? Christian doctrine states that we are all born sinners because god sent his only son to die for our sins because Adam ate a piece of “forbidden” fruit and the only way to get to heaven is by accepting Jesus as your savior. Oh yeah, and all non-believers go to hell. Come off it. Conversely, it would be fair to say that if Thais actually followed their religion more diligently, there would be much less corruption or this desire to “save face” at all costs.

Most farang living here never make a real attempt to learn the Thai language. It is somewhat arrogant to complain about the culture and the lack of understanding if you don’t make the effort to learn the language. How would you feel about ex-pats living in your home country if they complained incessantly, but never bothered to learn English?

I see the points of a lot of the gripes people have, but just remember while you are complaining that this is still a pretty good place to live. If it becomes unbearable, then it is probably a good time to go home. If you do stay here, then why not lighten up a little?

Stickman's thoughts:

The funny thing is that while you are against people complaining, you just went and had a rant yourself. Had you spent more time dwelling on the positives your point may have come across better…