Our Role Model – Thai Man!
Reading through recent submissions has had me re-thinking something I’ve observed so many times in travelling through Asia, namely the way so many foreigners just love to jump on a soapbox and shout their mouths off to locals by making spurious
comments and comparisons between life, women, food, politics and life in general ‘over here’ in the threadbare 3rd world . . . and wherever their particular ‘over there’ in the land of the free, the land of plenty and
the land of opportunity might be.
Anyone listening might think that the developed world’s dearest wish and aspiration is to evolve into something like South East Asia!
Of course these blabbering fools are usually on the outside of more than a couple of beers when they are making complete asses of themselves. The magic amber fluid always adds spirit, seasoning and zest to the weakest and least thought out of arguments and works its wonders even greater when the one doing the shouting is already drunk on the sights, smells and sounds of a foreign land.
Are we making a good case for restricting the issue of passports to certain individuals and types, I wonder?
Here is our affable and self deprecating expat – getting into high gear and warming to his subject. Wonderful country, this! Ah, your women are the finest in the world! The food ‘ere is magnificent. Foreign nosh? Crap, mate. All fat and stodge. Our people are ‘orrible. Never speak. Women? Forget ‘em. Weather dreadful. Cold, rain, depressing. Can’t trust government, police a waste of time. Criminals everywhere. Gone to the dogs. No future there anymore. ‘ate it. Yer lucky ‘ere. Best of everything. Gis another beer, mate.
He plays his theme to a wide-eyed audience while neither noticing or caring that he’s looked upon as a complete idiot and an obvious failure from wherever he came. He’s making a spectacle of himself but he’s past caring so why should the locals bother? Just keep on drinking the beer, you mutt!
What a sad sight he makes: inappropriately dressed, heat oppressed red-face, sweaty and tired looking . . . While nevertheless displaying an affluence that the locals can only dream about. How come this stupid, long nosed git by accident of birth has access to all the luxuries of life when the poor folk that surround him have a daily struggle to attain life’s basic necessities?
To cap it all, he’s telling them that THEY are the lucky ones? A quick glance around him would prove beyond doubt that in the random lottery of live they are the ones who drew the short straw – not him.
It always crossed my mind – heaven forbid – that some crafty locals might consider how they might better exploit this goon who flatters them with opinions that clearly fly in the face of the evidence all around them. Kind of ‘fool and his money’ type thing. Might that not explain the rip-offs, the high prices and the hostile attitudes often directed towards us? People might appear daft Mr Expat, but it’s dangerous to presume that they are stupid as well. In any case, you have proved your right to wear that badge. They at least wisely keep their own mouths SHUT and wear a polite smile on their faces.
It was recently reported on this site that patients are now being told by Thai doctors that they’d die waiting for treatment in their own countries. Or that our western medical care is SO expensive. That we are so lucky and privileged to be able to come here for treatment. I wonder where that useful bit of information came from?
Prices for ALL farang-connected goods and services in Thailand have absolutely skyrocketed over the last few years, totally out of proportion to general rises in inflation. Yep, it’s us. WE gave them the licence to do it!
How many loose tongued individuals amongst us are responsible for giving them the reasons to make enormous hikes like this? Where has this new-found attitude amongst most Thais that interact with foreigners come from. How many Thai people’s attitudes in shops, hotels and the bar industry has changed against us? Who gave them the ammo that they are now firing back at us?
I recall an incident several years ago beside the hotel pool at the Swagman in Angeles, PI though a multitude of similar scenarios are acted out in Thailand on a daily basis. Two overweight 50 somethings from Oz, sporting two day stubble, sleeveless shirts and expensive trainers were loudly telling female staff how Australian women are all fat, miserable and untrustworthy. Never mind that the girls listening to this drivel were in the bloom of youth in their late teens or early twenties. No matter that trouping down the street outside there are plenty of pasty, unhealthy and overweight Filipinas of a similar age (and far younger, too) to the guys doing the talking. Never mind that the beaches in Australia display some of the healthiest, fittest and most gorgeous women in the world. No matter at all. It’s holiday time and you’re pissed so let’s suspend reality for a while.
Do we really have to lower ourselves and opinions in which we are held and create such a miserable picture of our former existence to people who surely have no idea or concept of what we’re talking about?
Speaking of Ozzies I’m reminded of the tale where one of them set up a pig farm somewhere in the Visayas only to find that his little critters never grew up. He was perplexed and just couldn’t work it out! He eventually lost his business because even after many months of feeding, the piglets just couldn’t put on any weight. Of course his honest and trustworthy workers (he probably drank with them and called them his ‘friends’) were rotating his pigs with their own, using his feed to fatten their own stock before sending them to market.
Rather like the house in Isaan that the farang bought, furnished and pays for – where his so called ‘missus’ entertains and raises her whole family at his expense while keeps a Thai husband in the background he knows nothing about. Aah, but he loves it ‘ere!
The fact is that these things would probably not happen if we kept our eyes open, used some commonsense and stopped kow-towing to every peasant we come across.
We should really take note of and follow the example of that derided and down-trodden individual, the Thai Male. He ain't as daft as we’d like to think. This used to be HIS exclusive patch. HE was the one that made things the way they are and had it all so well set up for us with the ladies, because these were HIS women. It was He who had them acting, thinking, behaving, respecting and taking care the way they do. We inherited it all from him.
When you put the whole thing together, we arrive here telling anyone who’ll listen how WE made a mess of our own patch – then promptly spoil the very thing we seek that was handed to us on a plate and could be so perfect IF we’d just hold our tongues, look around, learn then THINK before we act or open our stupid mouths.
Some chance, uh?
Yep, Westerners have had a profound effect on certain parts of Bangkok and other spots where there are many of us found – and the effects are not always positive.