Is That Coffee I Smell?
After reading Jayson's submission "Farangs the gullible", I have once again taken up the gauntlet to issue a response to this.
However, it's all too easy to either rubbish bargirls and / or their customers, so I'm going to completely remove the bar scene from this submission and do something completely alien to Thailand and think outside the box.
Once again, some of what Jayson says is all too true: We farangs really ought to make a bigger effort to learn our spouse's language. I worked for an Australian guy in Phuket who was married to a Thai girl. They would alternate – Monday they would both only speak Thai, Tuesday they would only speak English and so on and so on, right throughout the week. 3 years later and they are both fluent in each other's languages.
What is so sad to see is when a group of farangs get together for a meal or barbeque and bring their Thai spouses with them. What follows is total social segregation. The Thais all talk to each other and the farangs follow suit. In order to understand each other, we must learn the language, then and only then can productive conversations start.
The next item is a bit of a grey area. He mentions that farangs stick their ageing parents into old folks homes while Thais would not consider that an option. I'm in 2 minds about this. England used to be like Thailand in this respect up until the mid to late 1960s. If you watch any old black and white English films, you will see Mum, Dad and the kids in the living room, with Granny in the armchair. All that has changed now, but it doesn't mean we don't care about our old people. My grandmother used to live with us and while my Dad was taking a shower, she fell down the stairs and nearly killed herself! I don't particularly like old people's homes. Personally I would hate it! But let's face it, old people need professional care, sometimes 24 hours a day. As a compromise, a friend of mine maybe had the right idea. His dad built a "granny flat" as an extension of the family home, so that she was always near in case of emergencies, but also maintained her own privacy.
Now, as I was saying, Jayson does talk sense at times, but yet again, a lot of what he says is way off the mark: No-one I know really believes the myth that "all Thai men are bad". I live just outside Bangkok and I know some great Thai guys. Just like everywhere else, some are good and some are bad. Again, outside the bar scene, another myth to shatter is that Thai girls are villains and farang guys are the gullible losers. Let me explain – there is a certain amount of cultural conditioning that goes on when you emigrate. A lot of farangs (mainly younger guys) that settle here come from a culture that strongly forbids cheating on your spouse. A lot of these guys see that "anything goes" in Thailand. A lot of middle-class Thai men openly tell me there's nothing wrong with more than 1 wife or girlfriend. What was once unacceptable in England, over time, becomes the norm. Before you know it, these "filthy farang" have 4 or 5 girls on the go, and guess what, none of them are bargirls. We are conditioned to the environment in which we live.
My main point is this rubbish about Thai girls who like farangs being deviant or abnormal. Everyone is attracted to things that are different. I am extremely lucky in that I married a fantastic Thai woman who is beautiful, intelligent and down-to-earth. Whenever she (or any other Thais, for that matter) see a farang baby, they go crazy. Sure, they still like Thai kids, but when they see that little 1 year-old baby with blond hair, they give it a lot more attention than a Thai baby. It's because they look different. I was always attracted to girls in England who had a different "look" to me. I have blond hair and blue eyes and I always dated girls with dark hair. The same applies here. Sure, there are some Thai girls that are only interested in money, but you find that in Thai-Thai relationships and marriages. If a Thai girl likes (I mean genuinely likes) a Farang guy, that is not abnormal. I know a blond American female teacher who would be just average looking in the states but over here she is an absolute fantasy to a lot of her male Thai students. She already has a Thai boyfriend (no, not a motorcycle taxi driver, before anyone asks). People like and are attracted to each other simply because that's the way it is.
I do a lot of online teaching and last week we were talking about superstars with a class consisting of Chulalongkorn female students. I flashed up pictures of 10 guys. 8 of them were current Thai superstars they all knew and the last 2 were David Beckham and Brad Pitt. Without any prompting or coercing, they ALL voted for Dave and Brad as their dream guys. Sorry Jay, but these guys are as good-looking and sexy as the Thai stars, but they are different and THAT is what farang guys bring to the table – they have something different. Once again I am not referring to the has-been pond-life that flock to Thailand.
Any parent, Thai or farang that would prefer their daughters to marry "one of their own" are racists, pure and simple. These parents are in danger of losing their daughters. I know a Thammasat student who is living with an English guy and her parents virtually disowned her. Doesn't that say a lot about her parents – utter bigotry. They did not even want to meet the guy. She decided to stay with him and they are still happy. A Thai girl I work with was on the brink of an arranged marriage with a guy that her parents thought suitable. But they didn't love each other. They both eventually told their parents they were not going ahead with the marriage and they are both much better off now. Arranged marriages belong in the 18th century.
One point to bear in mind is that so many times I have come across straight Thai girls that got hurt by a guy and then decided to be lesbians. They aren't really lesbians, they just will never trust a man again. In the West, you are a lesbian because you are only attracted to women. In this country, these girls seem to give up after the first attempt. What's more deviant, dating a farang or pretending to be a lesbian? Is that coffee ready yet, Jayson?
Let me just comment on two points. The first is that farangs and Thais tend to separate at gatherings due to the language barrier. That is obviously the case when there is a language barrier but I know a number of guys who speak decent Thai and whenever we get together with our respective other halves, we separate too! We want to catch up with our Western mates and hey, as I have always said, Westerners and Thais are just so different!
The other point is that about marrying their own. That is not a Thai only thing by any stretch of the imagination. I don't want to upset anyone when I say this but let's face it, the parents of many white women are less than keen at the prospect of their daughter marrying someone who is not white.