Stickman Readers' Submissions September 20th, 2007

Earn Your Own Way

(By the way, "Aussie Lady" is not necessarily a contradiction of terms! There are some of us around; although few and far between…)

He Clinic Bangkok

Hello everyone. I'm a lady in her late 20's. I'm happily married to a Thai guy two-and-a-half years older than me. We are having our third child together at the beginning of next year. I read and write Thai fluently (having studied it at university years before I met my husband). That's not to boast; rather just to let you know that I usually know what's going on around me when I'm in Thailand. (Although it did take a few years there to knock the naivety out of me!) Yep, I know I'm a bit unusual and probably not Stick's typical contributor. I never felt a need to write in, cos almost everything about Thailand has been said at least once before. However, I'd like to go a bit more in-depth on one particular subject, if I may…

Is there anyone else who gets frustrated with rich Asian people who like to buy their way into a situation, instead of earning it themselves? It used to frustrate me, but now that I'm getting older and have a family and ever increasing responsibilities, it just makes my blood boil. (Excuse me if I start to sound like a cranky housewife during this submission!)

For example: when I was at university, I was acquainted with two wealthy Thai sisters who ran a restaurant with a wealthy Thai guy. All three of them went to the same university as me. They usually plagiarized big chunks of their assignments, but when the lecturers caught on to this practice they started asking around and found a poor Mauritian student to do their assignments for them. You might say, “The Mauritian student shouldn't have helped them". But I knew them, and they (as well as I) were pretty much living hand-to-mouth at that time. I myself had to work 3 part-time jobs as well as study full-time to graduate from university, and I am proud to say that I never asked for a cent from my parents (or anyone else for that matter).

CBD bangkok

They finally graduated, and their parents came out from Thailand for the occasion. Their mum was dressed like a Khunying (with the boofy hairdo thing happening), and they were all taking happy shots together (the sisters in their mortarboards). I was lucky enough to be invited along to the gathering with all of the other staff at the restaurant. I wanted to vomit! I wanted to walk up to their parents and tell them that their daughters had not actually earned their degrees themselves, but had practically bought them. And this didn't even happen in their own country, but in mine!

This is only one example of the money = easy university degree for wealthy Asians who can't be bothered equation that I will share with you. Suffice it to say, I am NEVER in awe of a wealthy Asian's university degree until I see proof that their brain actually works. Sometimes rich, old aunty types in Thailand tell me that their son / daughter has just graduated with X degree and is now officially a doctor / engineer / rocket scientist. I just say, "Isn't that nice." It doesn't mean anything to me…

Besides education, driving licenses are the other big thing to get up my nose. Many Thai people buy their driver's license without ever having sat in the driver's seat of a car before. But they don't need to be wealthy to do this. 200 – 500 baht should do. Then they make the roads of Thailand hell for other drivers. OK, they are Thais in Thailand doing the Thai thing. If we don't like it, we don't need to go there right? Our Thai-Aussie family moved here about two years ago for our children's sake. My husband and I wanted to give them the best future we could, with the best standard of education we could. We also wanted them to grow up in a country with a high standard of living; which is safety-conscious; protects and encourages the individual; and still (I hope) places value in moral goodness.

My husband told me there are two Chinese guys working at the same company as him with working visas. They usually ride their bicycles to work as they only live about a kilometre from there. But they have got the itch to drive, and have just bought a car each. They have NEVER driven a car before. They got their relatives in China to buy them a license each (they even had it pre-dated about two years ago so it would look as if they have some experience). They can use their Chinese license to get an international license here. Now they are practicing for their driving test on the road (unsupervised), and they told my husband they think insurance is a waste of money.

wonderland clinic

Besides their blatant selfishness and lack of respect for the rules and human life, the thing that really annoys me is that they want to apply for Australian permanent residency (with a view to becoming Australian citizens). The more people we have coming into Australia from overseas with murky morals, the lower we all sink. If they want to be Australians and enjoy all of the things we have earned – they must earn it, too. They must sit their own exams, pay all their taxes, earn their own driver's licenses – just like everyone else.

Potentially, we could end up with roads as bad as Thailand (one of the very things that the people who love Asia but choose to live in their own countries are trying to get far away from). The roads are already much worse than I can remember as a teenager. When people from Asia complain to me about how strict Australian immigration, customs, the police, or the government are, I think, "Good! So they should be!" The bottom line is, we choose to live in Australia over Thailand (or any other Asian country) because we have ideals and they weren't being met in Asia, and they are more closely being met here. Anyway, I'm going to stop now, because I am starting to sound like a ranting housewife!

But before I do, I'd just like to say to all the Asian readers out there who have ever used money instead of hard work to get what they want: have some pride and self-respect and earn your own way. And anyone who insists on driving with a fake driver's license, stick to your own country's roads and don't bother coming to Australia. You're not welcome!

Stickman's thoughts:

Outstanding submission! I agree (and bet most readers do too) with every single little thing you have written!

And I loved this phrase: “they are Thais in Thailand doing the Thai thing”!

nana plaza