How do we become so jaded in life? Is it failed expectations of others? Is it our own failings? Is it others who have wronged us too much? I believe it is a combination of all and many other things that occur over time.
Recent submissions and emails on Stick's website as well as Stick's recent article "When Somchai Pulls The Trigger" gets me in my objective mode about Thailand. One could say that many people have come to Thailand because of "When Farang Pulled The Trigger" (i.e. The final straw in one's life where it was time to do something drastically different!)
For the sex tourists Thailand has a lot to offer. You can read the many articles on Stick's website and other forums out there. Talk to the (s)expats that have been here for years and you will get the complaints that the women are different and the prices are higher and it's not fair. For the young guys, talk to your father/mother about your own country's home prices and car prices 30 years ago as compared to today and will they say it is not fair or tell you something like "Times change and so do economies". The expectation for some is that in life and especially here in Thailand, that nothing should ever change and when you may have found your new home here, that it would stay the same forever. This is always the unreasonable expectation I hear from many. More of an underlying tone in their constant complaints about Thailand. If you want to find a place that will never change then find a jungle in the Amazon and hope that the locals leave it alone enough for you to live the rest of your life there. Otherwise wake up and realize that nothing stays the same. <I don't think anyone feels like that, rather they don't like the change or the changes have been unexpected, not anticipated and / or of a negative nature, such as the drastic drop in the value of the US dollar vs. the Thai baht – Stick>
In our western sense of never take any responsibility for our own actions <What are you on?! – Stick>, I find many people blaming Thailand for their own failings instead of owning up to their own actions. I have written before that so many Farang come here and while at the immigration check point seem to just check in their common sense before departing the airport. So many people do everything opposite from what would be considered responsible behavior anywhere else in the world.
So many seem to hold Thai people to a higher standard than our own countrymen. Most know their education system is lacking. Most know they are not critical thinkers. Many marry women with no higher than a 6th grade education. Most of us have been charged higher prices than the locals. In all that we know, we still expect them to be better, smarter and more educated than our own countrymen. Where does one come up with this thought? Do we become blinded over time with our own illusions? Of course we want our new friends/girlfriends/wives to fully understand us, yet we may not know their language and their limited ability to speak ours seems to be of no consequence when we get impatient that they lack our "great" understanding of the world.
How many people still marry bargirls with all the information saying it is very risky and you really need to think this over more than the average relationship? And after it fails blames the "fucked up" Thai woman and now thinks all Thai women are the same? How many do a shotgun wedding because they fall for the "love" speech and after it fails blames everyone else but themselves? Again this falls under checking their common sense in at the airport. How many people that have failed relationships in their lives, try to come to Thailand, have a failed relationship(s) and yet still continue to never see if maybe they are the common theme in the failures?
I said before and will have to say again that no one gives a shit about successful stories and hence why we rarely get to see them online. We have to go find them amongst our own communities wherever we may live. When something fails, one great avenue is that we can write about it online and show the world what happened to us. I would always argue that there are so many more successful relationships in Thailand than failed, but we never get to see them written about. Now I should qualify that I am talking about relationships not surrounding the bar industry. Just the normal boy meets girl because they are here and how the relationships have worked out. Because one lacks the ability to keep his "dick" in his pants and then gets pissed off because his woman does not want to take that anymore has no reason to complain, but yet he does every time.
Recent advice to the young man went to both extremes. One said screw everything and move to Thailand now and the other said exactly the opposite. For all of the long time readers, we know Stick is burnt out and may leave later this year. I knew immediately which side he would agree with, but the Stick of 10 years ago probably would not have as he came to Thailand young himself. I always tell people that advice is a double edged sword. Objective advice is very tough. What if the guy came to Thailand and ended up dead in an accident within the first year? Would the guy who gave that advice feel bad? Absolutely not! On the reverse if the guy becomes a doctor and gets married and his new wife divorces him and ruins his life, which in turn caused him to commit suicide, would that guy feel bad about the advice? Absolutely not! Everyone has their reasons for doing what they do in life and once jaded they do everything they can to prevent someone else from repeating their own mistakes (as they see it). Making mistakes in life and trying to help people avoid to doing the same is called "wisdom". Making mistakes and misleading others in advice is called "jaded".
The advice given to the young guy were from two different mindsets. One was from a more carefree mindset and the other from a career working person's mindset. Neither is wrong, but both are little to specific to their own beliefs. Maybe the guy doesn't want to waiting until 60 y/o to finally live his life or maybe he does not want a limo job for 6 months and vacation the other 6 months.
Why is it that so many people that are unhappy hate the fact that someone else may be happy? If someone's point of reference was 3 whores 20 years prior was $10 and now $100 it is so important to tell everyone young that. Maybe for the young their point of reference is $100, so they are happy with that, but "Hell no, I will make sure this guy knows how bad everything has become!" It is quite ridiculous sometimes. When I meet many long term expats or more to the point the long term bitter ones, they always seem to tell me that I seem to be to happy and just wait! Soon enough you will hate it like us! What if that never happens? Does this mean there is something wrong with me? Or do I look at life different than others? What if I came here with a back-up plan and not all cards on the table? Would that be more of a smart thing to do? Of course and is what I did. So it stands to reason that I do not feel forced to be here and choose my own future path. I may stay here forever or may not, but I do not hold others to my same beliefs or frustrations. I do understand why some people here are unhappy, but then it seems like they have no other options therefore are blaming Thailand for their unhappiness and not taking any part of the blame.
People who had a 200 THB ticket 5-10 years ago thought it was great because it did not go on their driving record, but after staying a number of years they get more and more angry. I personally like that I never have to worry about crazy insurance or stupid driving schools here. I have never had a ticket, but it fits my mindset of not worrying. I am happy that every time I drive a car, I do not have to worry about a team of lawyers trying to take every penny because I may be in an accident. I am happy for countless reasons, but yet if someone is unhappy they just tell me I am wrong or naive or just plain stupid. I once talked to a guy and said that I like the weather in Thailand. He said "Well wait till it rains?" I said " I like the rain!" He then said "It is impossible to talk to me!" WTF? It is just so ridiculous here with some, it is comical.
Has Stick's tone changed over the years? Absolutely. Stick of 10 years before is not the same today. That being said, he has his reasons and it is none of our business, but seems quicker to jump on the anti-Thai bandwagon with his responses to articles more than previous years. He was previously more objective and it is obvious he is just "burnt out" with Thailand. Would he now tell anyone young to never just come and try to make a life in Thailand as opposed to 10 years ago? Probably would have much more advice, but I hope he would not try to prevent the person from living here just because he is currently done with Thailand.
To sum up, I believe the biggest reason that one becomes so jaded is that others fall short of his/her own expectations. Kind of like when myself and others talk about the difference between the illusion and reality. People continually hold Thais to such high expectations that when they fall it is like a fall from grace, to give a religious analogy. It seems to be taken so much harder. Thais are different and where they impress us in certain areas they are not 100% better in all. No one country or its people are 100% better than all in the world. Stop allowing your illusions to create such high expectations of others and you might actually find yourself enjoying Thailand a little bit more.
Take care gang,
I was much more positive about Thailand when I first came than I am now. But let's think about that for a moment… The Stick of today speaks Thai to a much higher level that he did when he first came and has experienced so much in the country in the past 10 years that surely he is in a better position to comment on things.
I would love to know how you find things after you have been here 10+ years. If the rose-tinted glasses are still permanently attached to your eyes, I'll be surprised!