Thailand A Place Where Cultures Clash A Little
Many of us readers have lived years in Thailand and I am one of them, 6 years now in total which 4 as a student and 2 working. And I can say Thailand is one of the best places to live, there is a wide variety of good looking apartments, food is relatively cheap (even western food), and you are always close to fantastic holiday destinations that you could visit basically any moment that you have free time.
The first years in Thailand I spent a great deal of my time among locals. I learned how to speak, read and write Thai, which I speak almost fluently. But when I noticed after 2 years I did not build up anything with my Thai friends I started to wonder why can’t I make Thai friends and are they actually people I want to be friends with.
So then I started to wonder why bother with the people. Thais in general do not really care if we live here. However, they do care if we mind in their business.
To distinguish between two groups, I name Thai females with potential sexual benefits and Thais with no sexual benefits.
Many woman, almost all Thais that you meet outside of work, are looking for some sexual benefits. Well, there you have the party girls, which I can describe as just there for the fun, and the more serious types which you could meet on school, at work or on the streets at daylight. The funny thing I noticed is that the ones I would meet in clubs seemed to be useless. They could go with you but after a few times of having fun they would not stick around, perhaps fun for the first few months but after a while very boring if you ask me. The second group people that would not really go out have perhaps a different surface but eventually they were all the same boring people.
Then you try to make an attempt at making Thai male friends. As a guy is it quite important to talk about the finer things in life in my opinion, and who else to share that with than a bunch of mates over a beer. As a student you come in contact with many Thais, and excluding the really international guys all of them had again no opinion, no sharing of thoughts, basically the only thing they could talk about was calling football player names, girls which you usually feel excluded about as they assume you only go for the leftovers and unwanted once.
And then the general conversation you pick up in Thai, might be from a taxi driver asking you all kind of stupid questions, or it might be a conversation between Thais speaking about foreigners. Often males judge the woman for being with a white man, calling her a slut, and basically you a whoremonger.
Well I do not hate Thai people, which might look like it when reading my last paragraph; in fact on the surface they are really friendly people but as I have learned you must integrate as an expat that stays for long. I seriously have my doubts about the need for that. Thais live perfectly alongside us and they do not really care about us. They have no opinion about you until they see you with one of them, and they are more likely surprised and amused when you speak about their country in a way where no Thai female is involved.
Also for working relations, Thais are completely fine. One might say that they are lazy but my years in university gave me a different experience. Some actually work really hard, are ambitious and try to make the best out of it, maybe not all but some.
At the beginning I felt bothered about it as I really just wanted to make local friends, but now I think by myself why should we foreigners bother? They don’t want us with them but they are fine with us being in their country. Well, I never heard them complaining about that! So why not go for a western woman, and western friends?
Our cultures are just way too different to setup a long-lasting friendship, so why try it. It bothers your life with cultural clashes and theirs.
The alternative is that Bangkok is full with expat woman from all over the globe. They are here for work, or come for exactly the same reason to Thailand as us; good food, a great apartment, and being close to the beach basically living the paradise life just like us, so why not couple up with them, they are surely not the average foreign woman you meet back home either, and neither are we.
Think about it, it might make your stay in Thailand perfect.
I agree with you that it can be very difficult to have mutually fulfilling relationships and even friendships as culturally the average Thais and the average Westerner is very different. I think the key is to acknowledge this and to hunt out those in Thailand who are similar to you. For some that will mean seeking Thais who have lived in and been educated in the West. Do that and you will often find people with whom you can have a much more fulfilling friendship or relationship.