Stickman Readers' Submissions August 1st, 2012

Arguments In The Thailand V Farangland Debate That Lack Validity

I'm starting to get aggravated by a number of arguments that people who've just returned from Thailand use in support of the idea that Thailand is a flawless utopia, and the country which they came from is hell on earth and the UN should give them refugee status to go back to Thailand. These manifest themselves in a number of readers' submissions as well as being posted all over the Facebook pages of recently returned home farangs, and pub discussions in Farangland. Don't get me wrong, I love Thailand and its people, however I do so for reasons other than the superficial ones that many farangs put forward, that I will elaborate on now.

Argument #1: Thailand is so cheap and everything back home is so overpriced.

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This particular statement is so inane and lacking depth that I can't understand how anyone capable of international travel would even consider it. Yes, obviously Thailand is cheap, relative to our home countries, no one will contest that. However, no one seems to concede that it is because of the working standards, minimum wage standards, first world working conditions etc. that allowed us to save to travel to South-East Asia that makes things so expensive back home. Tim Sharky of Facebook fame often compared his water bill in Thailand to his water bill in Australia etc., which is an excellent of example of this flawed idea. I'm sure the 7 Eleven worker in Thailand who makes 25 baht an hour will not be telling everyone how cheap their water bill in Thailand is, but someone who works in a 7 Eleven in Australia and earns roughly 800 baht who saves and comes to Thailand probably will.

I myself made this argument when I came back from my travels in Thailand when I was 18 years old, because I was frustrated I had gone from paying 30 baht for a beer in a bar in Thailand to 300 baht for a pint in Australia. However, I failed to consider why I was able to travel to Thailand as an 18-year old and live in relatively luxury in the first place – because I come from Australia where anyone without an education, training or even work ethic is capable of earning a substantial income that will allow them to travel. Conversely, in Thailand if you don't have a bachelor's degree you probably won't even get that job in the 7 Eleven.

Argument #2: There is so much freedom in Thailand, and so much bureaucracy in our home countries.

This idea of freedom is Thailand is completely deluded. Sure, in Thailand, you can ride around on your scooter without your helmet on, blind drunk back from a bar, with a 500 baht prostitute on the back, whereas you would definitely struggle to make it home if you did this in Sydney. However, before becoming upset at this injustice, try and think of the consequences of this freedom. For example, the fact that over the 3-day Songkran holiday in Thailand, many hundreds of people die (and thousands more are injured) in alcohol-related driving incidents. Compare this to Australia where someone will spend 1 year of tedious and expensive driving lessons and supervised driving in an attempt to get their license, and even when they do, if they're caught without a seatbelt on they'll probably have to fork out a 10,000 baht fine. However, over the Christmas / New Years holiday period there will be only a handful of deaths on our roads. Furthermore, this argument disregards the lack of legal freedom foreigners are given with respect to owning property, business etc. Farangs don't even have the ability to live in Thailand for 3 months without having to make a painful 10 hour bus ride to Burma for a visa run, so I really struggle to appreciate the argument of 'freedom' in Thailand.

Argument #3: Women back home are so prudish, whereas Thai women don't discriminate with my age or looks.

When I get back home I do get distressed by the size of white women, who possess much less desirable figures than their Thai counterparts – that can not be contested. However, what is ridiculous is complaining about why 25-year old drop dead gorgeous white women aren't jumping on the cocks of overweight, middle-aged men returned from Thailand, who have had nice young Thai women keeping them company in Thailand. Sure, if you call up an escort in Australia, you will have that 25-year old drop dead gorgeous white girl at your disposal, which is why you had attractive Thai girls at your disposal in Thailand. Chances are, those girls in Thailand who were hanging off you were in bars on Beach Road etc., and so the appropriate girl to compare these women to is prostitutes in your home countries, not regular women.

In my experience, picking up a university-educated girl from a good family is a hell of a lot harder in Australia than it is in Thailand. Firstly, that uni-educated girl in Thailand has to overcome the stigma associated with being with a foreigner, then the cultural differences and then the issue of trusting someone who will fly back home a month later. I imagine it's much the same handicap that an African guy would face in Western countries. It's difficult to enunciate what I'm trying to say, but what I mean is that if you're going to call Western women prudish then you should only do so if you're comparing the to women of a comparable class / status in Thailand, i.e. don't compare prostitutes in Thailand with young professionals in America. However, I imagine the pool of available women, the 30+ age bracket is different in western countries is far worse than in Thailand (considering non-prostitutes) due to the rampant obesity epidemic that probably limits one's potential partners.

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It is hard to contest any of the points you make. Sadly there are many who twist their arguments to justify their choices in life. I have total respect for someone who just comes out and says that they prefer to live in Thailand for whatever reason. When they make arguments that may not add up, they just make themselves look a little silly.

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