Readers' Submissions

Just Where Are We At Here?

  • Written by Ian68H
  • May 14th, 2008
  • 4 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

An unusually interesting batch of Readers’ Submissions this week had me glued to the screen for longer than I intended. In particular the Green Star submission by PattayaSigal was most thought provoking. The paragraph “Do I really need to head back to a country and help support a society where…” followed by a list of all that is wrong with Thailand is a classic. PattayaSigal’s conclusion is “No, I don’t.”

Now I don’t blame him for coming to his conclusion because what he said about Thailand is true. However, it opens up the questions, why is Thailand like this and why does PattayaSigal (PS) feel the way he does?

The mediocre spelling he mentions is a case in point. I don’t think it is an attempt to be charming, it is more the result of bad education and a couldn’t care less attitude brought on by an unwarranted sense of superiority. As an exercise I proof read a magazine called “Inbound”, a nicely produced monthly free bi-lingual magazine highlighting aspects of life in Thailand. “We aim to address the needs of Thai and foreign readers”. One of my needs as a foreigner is to read decent English where it is printed (and yes, I am attending night school to learn Thai.)

There was at least one error on every page. I gave up when I reached the feature about Nongmon Market where I was assured it was possible to buy “preserved crap.”

But to be honest, when I see some of my fellow farangs around Bangkok I don’t wonder why the Thais sometimes feel superior. In McDonalds the other day a semi naked farang Neanderthal whose body was covered 90% in tattoos sat on the table next to me. Rightly or wrongly the message given out was “Don’t mess with me or I’ll kill you.”

When I followed a link on Stick’s website I found myself viewing a YouTube video showing a blonde American girl with inflated breasts rubbing herself up against two young male Thai students in a locker room. It was obvious they were embarrassed and too polite to tell her to f*** off. What right have farangs got to make these kinds of assumptions?

It’s like the two female tourists at the airport, one of whom put her arm round a monk while the other took a picture before both of them ran off into the crowd.

To some extent it is a vicious circle. Many of the things that are wrong in Thailand attract farangs of dubious character, which only makes things worse and so it goes on. So who is to blame? Aren’t we all, to some extent?

Some say it is up to the Thais to put their house in order and that is probably true. There are many good Thais (more on this later). Perhaps, even with the abysmal education system on offer here, the advent of the internet may be a force for good, as has been suggested.

No society is forever the same (“You can’t jump into the same river twice”). Thailand may be evolving in a haphazard fashion but evolve it must and it is a bit lazy to say “Nothing will change…this is Thailand”.

I am now retired living here permanently. I came over from the UK a year ago. I am 60 years old and have been a teacher all my life. I met my Thai wife on “ThaiLoveLinks”. She comes from an academic family. We courted for two years online and I had three short stopovers with her before coming here permanently. I thus had time to assess her and her family before taking the plunge.

She has (to quote a phrase I read on Stick) roughly the same level of horsepower upstairs as me. I am lucky to be old enough such that the bar scene does not interest me. These factors find me in a relationship that works and which I want to stay working.

So now I come to the bit which tries to answer why PS feels the way he does.

Just up the soi from me is a retired Australian serviceman with an immense amount of experience of this part of the world. He advised me not long after I arrived that I should be wary of trusting any Thai except those in my family. I thought this was a bit harsh at the time, but having now read Stick many times I can see what he means.

So I guess what I am saying to PS is that maybe he would feel differently if he had found a Thai girl of similar horsepower upstairs to his own. Maybe he was looking in the wrong places. Maybe he should give Thailand another chance. It’s not all their fault, is it?

Stickman's thoughts:

Why of why does it seem such a foreign concept to many that cohabitating with a woman of similar intelligence increases the chances of the relationship working?