Readers' Submissions

The Burn-out – And Far-more-grave issues



I have been reading posts on Stick's site for a long time yet only contributing for a short number of months on this site. There are many other sites that I regularly frequent dealing with many aspects of life in Thailand but the surprise for me on this site is the abundance of negativity I see expressed toward Thais by contributors and criticism of the way things are done in their country. There are some contributors who have a balanced view and acceptance of how things really are yet the majority of posts seem to be loaded with venom that almost borders on covert hatred. This mindset perpetuates the cycle of distrust on both sides and achieves nothing other than giving the dispenser a false sense of importance via their pontifications. Since I am always one to question the psychology behind attitudes, the thought presents itself that perhaps it is that the blame for their angry discontent could possibly be laid at their own actions and attitudes.

How many take advantage of sites such as Kapook or Sanook to learn to understand Thais? How many take the trouble to read Thairath or other Thai media publications or listen to Thai newscasts instead of limiting themselves to the humdrum and orchestrated-media psychological “safety net” of Western websites and TV programmes along with their socialising with like-minded souls from Farangland? Not many, I would bet – the reason being that they have closed minds. If you insulate yourself from the people of your host country, of course you are bound to be treated like an outsider. In Farangland, we say the same things about migrants who come to our countries when they do not integrate into our system. We accuse them of congregating into ethnic ghettos – but this is precisely what many ex-pats do, not only in Thailand but in London. Of course, there are other Farangs who are gainfully-employed in Thailand and are providing a useful contribution by way of taxes and services to Thais – this criticism does not apply to them.

The occasional e-mail comes my way warning me of the dire consequences that will inevitably occur through cultivating links with Thais – and some have the temerity to suggest that I am seeing Thailand through rose-coloured glasses because my opinions do not gel with their warped and angry assessments. How dare they assume that they have any knowledge of my experiences with not only Thais but other Asians over a long period of time – and that, just because many of these alarmists may have been long-timers in LOS, they presume to “know it all”. Well, I can tell you, they don't. They may believe they do but I know they don't from what they say. They are commenting with prejudiced eyes.

If you do not embrace Thailand – and I mean the Thais themselves (not just the other ex-pats, bars and knocking shops) – the reality is that you will burn out and that is what breeds the discontent and resentment. Of course there are some still in Thailand who genuinely miss their home country – Stick himself has admitted this and would be one of the few whose advice I would take heed of – but some people just do not have those feelings of need to return to the home country or share those feelings of separation. I am one of those and I know others who feel the same way. It has been expressed in quite a few posts on this site that the majority of Farangs who are attracted long-term to LOS are not the best that The West has to offer (I wholeheartedly agree) and I do believe that the Thai Government should quickly plug the loopholes (as planned in current Legislation before Parliament) <This is news to meStick> to make it extremely difficult for these individuals to remain in The Kingdom. Parliament has just been dissolved but it is to be hoped that the new Government proceeds with the passing of these Bills when Parliament resumes after the next election on July 03.

Thailand doesn't need foreign residents who can only carp and criticise Thais over the way their country is run. If someone doesn't like the way things happen, get out – you are not conducive to good Thai/West relations. Unfortunately, the truth is very likely that these persons do not even fit in with the society from where they originated – and that is why they are in Thailand in the first place (escapees from reality – or seekers of Cheap-Charlie sex?) – subsequently, the next question becomes “why are they misfits”?

Much is written about Pattaya – most of it bad – and I have Farang friends who have urged me to check it out on many occasions. Not interested in the slightest – why would I bother? All I will find there is a concentration of the type of individual I have just described above – and they are the ones I avoid like the plague in Thailand. Yes, they are in Bangkok too.

Probably the worst thing that has happened to Thailand is the infiltration of Western ways of life. The tourism industry is another cancerous factor contributing to the lowering of incentive for Thais to generate initiative to create original commodities for export. Gaining of this incentive would result in genuine work opportunities for many who are now sitting around waiting for the foreign currencies to flow from the pockets of tourists to market outlets, massage parlours, bars and knocking shops – all of them specifically geared to the tourist. However, this home-grown initiative is probably an unrealistic expectation in view of the global proliferation of consumer articles that most of us do not want or need. So, I guess Thais have to make the best of a bad set of options. I keep my ear very close to the ground in the tourist market environment because I know it very well through my former wife, Nat, and her sister Amorn being heavily involved in clothing in that area. These individuals above, who attack Thais as being “wolves” waiting to bite off your hand, are the very thing they so readily accuse the Thais of being. I stand and listen to the “haggling” that takes place by ex-pats and tourists dripping with cash, as they try to take down the vendor so often. These idiots have no idea of the small margins these vendors operate within – nor do they have even the slightest idea of the work that goes on behind the scenes to get that merchandise onto the street to present to the public – nor do they care.

Some writers of e-mails to me describe Thailand as “the world's biggest whorehouse” or as “the cesspit of Asia” – how dare they, when they are creating the demand for these services and more than happy to partake (and spread their diseases, very likely, in the process). That is the epitome of hypocrisy. Just recently there was a post by Patti Dern that generated some controversy in the postings (good on you Patti). There has been some suggestion that the name is a pseudonym being used by another contributor – be that as it may – it doesn't matter. What matters is the content of the posting. I responded to Patti Dern with a lengthy e-mail outlining my agreement with much of what she/he (?) described in her/his (?) post. I got a gracious reply from Patti Dern. Admittedly, I have never been to Pattaya – but that scene does not change very much wherever one goes in Thailand. There are always the Farang “dregs” or “bar-flies” present who seem to exist in a mind-numbing fog induced by alcohol and/or drug abuse. It does not take Einstein to pick it – clearly evident by the abysmal standard of the writing of some of the posts they contribute. How can one “objectively” give a realistic appraisal of Thailand and the people from this state of stupor?

I hold American Citizenship as well as Australian and I point the finger of blame principally toward America for many of Thailand's problems. R & R and U.S. Bases supporting the Vietnam conflict is where the rot set in for Thailand. I often wonder what the face of Thailand would be today had it gone down the road that China chose instead of being “infected” by a lifestyle that is fast contributing to a total global financial collapse and the resultant societal chaos that is inevitable in it's wake.

The following is a quote extracted from an article by Chris Clugston (America’s Self-inflicted Societal Collapse) published on 17 September, 2008, in Energy Bulletin.

“The reality is that we are running flat-out on the highway to hell, and that societal collapse is imminent — possibly within 5 years, probably within 15 years, and almost-certainly within 25 years. Our only rational course of action is to “get off” the highway — to transition quickly and beginning immediately to a sustainable lifestyle paradigm. The consequences associated with “getting off” will be very painful — significant reductions in our population level and material living standards — but they pale in comparison to the consequences associated with 'staying on'”.

If anyone thinks that Thais are “wolves” waiting to bite off your hand – then they better look very, very closely at their next-door neighbour in Farangland when this societal collapse occurs (be very, very afraid) – and it will occur, no question about that. If you don't believe me, look at what is happening already in Europe and The Middle East in times of relative social stability elsewhere. I know where I would rather be when things get really bad.