Some Perspectives From A Thai Girl
It's been a few months that I've been reading the readers submissions on this website before I decided to contribute this submission to it. There are, however, a few things that I want to set clear. First, although entertaining, more than 80% of your submissions are just like Thai soap operas and while I read all your rantings about Thai girls watching too many of them, I just wonder why you guys still keep on reading this site. Second, Stickman's comments are truly biased. Any normal Thai girl walking on the streets reading would have exactly the same anger as the ones that have sent in previous submissions, but the authors were only to be criticized by you, while you keep your side on those crazy guys coming here for sex only to find themselves abused, ripped of and so the story continue.
But, this submission is NOT to vent out anger from a Thai girl. It is just to give you some perspectives from our side.
OK, so just a little background, not to make you think I'm one of those "hi-so" girls who are a "minority" here in Thailand, which is also completely untrue. I'm from a middle-class family, that is, if you consider it from my parents' side, both being teachers. From my grandparents', you may call it a lower class since all of them were either farmers or daily workers. However, by all those years of studying and hard work, I may be considered by profession to be in the upper class. There's also no need to wonder if I have a "farang" co-author or not, there's none. Although my boyfriend isn't Thai, he has much more important things to do than to be reading about how someone was scammed by a Thai or how I want to advise you guys there more about our culture and how we think.
Yes, we do have class and a tough social status here in Thailand, which country doesn't? Name me one. <New Zealand, Australia, to name two – Stick> The only thing is, it can change depending how hard you work or try. Take my family for example. And please, don't try to say that the family is poor, the girl or boy had to give up their education to work, was cheated upon with a guy, had kids, had to make money to support them, etc, etc, etc. For your information, there's a second schooling system in Thailand, that you can go to during the weekends and after work, which is VERY cheap, no need for uniforms, the books cost nothing and I've seen PLENTY people around me work themselves through high-school and do the same way up to university. AND YES, there is actually a system for them to graduate UNIVERSITY through mail – or now changed to through internet, IF THEY WANT TO. Quit blaming the system, quit blaming the opportunities, it's up to the person whether she/he wants to take it or not.
Face, Honesty and Lies
Many of the older submissions have already gone through the concept of "face" – and they are completely right. There's no need to repeat what other people have already written. Thai people grew up with it and it's hard to change.
My advice : Don't try to change them unless it involves you. If you are in a situation that someone tries to force you to pay or do something you're uncomfortable with, just tell them directly and simply don't care. Easy western culture. They may get angry and reject you out of their group, but it probably wasn't worth being in their society since the first place. Your best friends or people who love you would understand.
As for the honesty and lying stuff, we grew up being on the intuitive side. It's easy to tell when someone is telling the truth or lying, so we simply don't care if the lie doesn't hurt anyone. Thai people, more likely girls, grew up implanted in their heads to try to please everyone and make people happy. So to make some people happy, they need to lie sometimes. If it's a job being done that they lie about saying that it's already finished, you can be sure that if you give them enough time afterwards and tell them that you'll check on it, it will be finished. For the guys seeking for love (in the wrong places), when they say I love you, it's because you wanted to hear it AND they wanted your money, plain and simple.
My advice : Since relationships are built on honesty, you have to tell her/them since the beginning that you do not like the lying, no matter how big or small it is. And YOU have to be OPEN to hear things that you don't like and not show any signs of anger or disappointment either. This part is VERY IMPORTANT, if she / he sees that you're upset, they WILL go back to lying.
Some tips to tell whether a person is lying or not. If she / he hesitates a little bit before saying it or they tell you "don't know" / "not sure" , then what they say next is probably a lie. Unfortunately this doesn't work with professional liars.
For a Thai girl, "love at first sight" is VERY RARE. Do not expect it. If someone comes up to you and tells you that she / he fell in love with you immediately, it's probably a lie. Girls here, they may see someone and feel that they "like" that person and they would like to get to know that person better. AND it takes time. Why do you think in a Thai-Thai relationship it usually takes years before they decide to get married? <Take note of this guys, important point this – Stick> It may be quicker if you spend lots of time together. And if you try to approach a girl that rejects you the first time, be persistent if you really like her. There's either two ways to it, either she's not interested or she's too shy – yes, there really are some who are not interested in every guy walking around.
Maintaining a relationship is a bit more tricky and difficult. Why do Thai girls seem to be more jealous and hard to leave? Although the Thai guys tend to "butterfly" or what I like to call "mess around" a lot, the girls are taught to have only one guy in their life, who is supposed to be their husband. That's why they usually don't leave easily, not to mention a "big" loss of face as well. If you're not patient enough or willing to make compromises because of different cultures, DON'T EVEN START with a normal Thai girl, you'll just hurt her.
Our society is usually a big one. Yes, very superficial, the main point only to have fun, since we don't like to vent out our problems to non-related people – meaning not close friends or family, but still, there's normally lots of people around to talk to – including lots of people to give her weird ideas (which is a bad point, I know). If you expect that you've done everything for her, send her money, give her expensive gifts, but you're always traveling, not spending enough time with her or leaving her alone in a foreign land, she'll feel insecure and leave you for sure. With your money or not, depends on how bad she felt about you. If she has NO FEELINGS left for you in the end, she'll TAKE WHAT SHE CAN and dump you. It's nearly 1+1 = 2. Same rules apply for a girl who had no feelings for you in the first place (or in other words, just after your money). To be clear here, I'm NOT saying a girl can't change, you HAVE TO take time to make your relationship work out and explain things to her. Just don't think you BOUGHT someone and you can do what you want with her only to whine about it afterwards. And it doesn't happen with only you guys, it happens to Thai guys too – no injustice with this point.
Farang / Chun Rak Khun
There have been earlier submissions that question using this word. As a Thai, I have no idea why you're so upset with it. Ok, true that there are some people who abuse it, using it in a wrong way, but normally it's just used to refer to someone who isn't Thai and they don't know so well. Of course if you are a friend, we would use your name instead. Same goes with the word Khun, it's a polite way of saying "you". One of the submissions from last year stated that to be true love, the girl has to say "Chun Rak Ther", which is again, not true. The word "Ther" is used for friends with the same age. If you're older, to be polite, even married Thai couples sometime use "Khun" because the man is older. Just don't get to paranoid with words.
Now comes the big word, how important is it? According to various Stickman's comments and most readers, it seems very important. Now, I have to say that it DIFFERS from region to region in Thailand. While it is very important in the North, North-east and Central parts of Thailand, IT HAS NO MEANING WHATSOEVER in the south. My father paid no sin sot when he got married, and neither will my boyfriend. They are proud NOT TO SALE their daughters, no status / class involved in this part. All they want is someone who will be able to take care of their daughters. PERIOD. So don't try to generalize Thailand by saying that not paying sin sot means that the girl is worthless. It isn't true. And sin-sot is just to show / gain "face" for the girl's family.
My Advice : If her family demands it, pay it and make your deals. The family takes care of the wedding and everything else, OR you get it back to start your own family when the ceremony is over. If you are generous and the family really needs it, give them the amount that you are comfortable with AND explain it to your fiancée – VERY IMPORTANT. If she loves you, she'll understand.
Support afterwards also depends on the family needs. It is supposed to be shared between all children in the family, NOT BY YOU ALONE, and since you are only the "in-law" it's not even your direct duty. If she's the only child, then it's your bad luck. I'm not saying it's the rule, since it doesn't even apply to me – my parents are much better off than I am, but it's "ka-tun-yu", which means we acknowledge the person who has helped us (boon-khun) and an inner consent to every Thai.
These are just few advices how to deal or start a relationship with Thais. Everyone and couple are different. Please keep this in mind. It is rude to try to generalize things and say that just because you don't understand or you have different cultures, it's something wrong. If you seek a cross-cultural relationship, it takes even more time and patience, believe me, I've had my own share of cultural shock when I first came back to Thailand after spending most of my childhood in US and nearly all of my adulthood in Thailand. If you don't have what it needs, I can only tell you to just come and enjoy the "industrial" relationships and leave. No point leaving your heart here. Good luck to all of you!
P.S. To Stickman, Thai girls are not ignorant concerning bargirls, we know that they exist, but we rarely encounter any during our daily lives. It's normal. And, we don't go bugging into everyone else's business of what they do for a living. Our own lives are already hard enough.
To the readers, no doubt the usual, tiresome debate will ensure as to whether this really is a real Thai woman. I am sure it is. I did not make ANY changes to the English either.
As always, I strongly encourage all Thai women to send in submissions. We REALLY want to hear from you and I'll give you all the leeway in the world – to write what you want.