Smile Though Your Heart Is Aching
I am writing to share something on your weekly post. I hope you will grant me this request. I am an avid reader of your column. I thought of writing as I want to share some of the stories I have heard about some of my friends' stories and their journeys here in Thailand. In this way, I think I could help giving some piece of advice and enlighten their minds.. Thank you so much for the time. I really appreciate what you are doing for the Western community here in Thailand. Great job! More power to you. (Sorry for some grammatical errors.)
Ok, so I have been reading Stickman Bangkok Weekly. I just find it really entertaining and interesting despite the fact that I am not white, not a guy, and not even a Thai. I just realized how farangs were deprived of many things whilst in this country. As an Asian, I see a lot of things here in Thailand that are not peculiar to my cultural background. But there were also differences. I am not saying that my own culture is better than the Thais’. Anyway, wherever in the world you go, these cultural differences compared to your own could be either good or bad for your insight.
In some history books, Thailand is branded as the “Land of Smiles”. It is said because Thais do smile a lot. But do not always assume that this “Thai smile” always means that they are fond and happy with the situation ongoing at the moment. There are different types of smiling faces. They may all look pretty much the same but it could be a genuine or a fake one.
But some people are not good in getting the idea, I think especially in the case of men who are not really good in reading body language, and more likely, if it is a flirtatious smile, most men would be easily enchanted. But beware that this smile would be the start of your misfortunes in the “Land of Smile”.
I have known some farang friends who told some stories about their experiences in Thailand that all started with the simple “smile”.
I was told about the story of one Austrian guy who almost was close to the pit of death after becoming so stressed and having pains on different parts of his body being diabetic, when his money on his ATM account was taken by his Thai girlfriend.
Another friend who is a German, told his fate with his Thai girlfriend who dumped him because he has not enough money to give, even though he had sold his motorcycle for her. She left him, and went to Pattaya. But every now and then, she is still texting him on Line and even sending him photos of her with some Japanese guys whom she said have more lose money. Poor guy…still being beaten up by the girl although she was gone and left him away. Psychologically damaging.
Another story, I consider the most dramatic one, a guy who had a 13 year relationship with a Thai, having two children with her, found out that he was not declared on their birth certificates as the biological father. And that she is into gambling and heavy drinking. One time he made a visit to the old place where they once lived “happily ever after’…to see his children after he left them for about 9 months. He said he really cried upon seeing them, as they looked like beggars, and that she (Thai girlfriend) looked older and tired. The woman whom he really cared about for 13 years with whom he dreamt of creating a simple and stable family with now live miserably. And that really frustrates him that even when he tried his best to suit himself to the Thai lifestyle, to her and her family, their culture, and the fact that they have beautiful children, things did not happen the way he wanted it.
Well, it all started with a “smile”…the sweetest it could be…but never be deceived with it, never assume. As the saying goes “life is a journey, not a destination”, what makes life more worth living. All those pains and sufferings are just part of it, but should not stay on it. Life is about living, but it could also mean leaving…leaving the past and look for something new, not necessarily with a new “smile”…it’s about the lessons learned from it. So keep on living. Do something else that would make your journey to wisdom. Keep on smiling.