Shooting Off At The Mouth
Yep, and I have also been accused of being tactless, a bull in a china shop, insensitive…and so on. Probably guilty as charged. But, in this politically correct world we live in, it’s becoming important to “Call a spade a spade”…to cut to the chase and get the message across accurately. Without the platitudes and euphemisms, that so often mar what the real message is.
I have read Stickman’s Reader Submissions for a number of years and it’s delightful to go back in time; to gauge how Thailand and/or the submissions have changed over the years. (Thanks, Stick).
This is my second submission. My first was entitled The Thai Massage Phenomenon Down Under…22/08/2015.
I have to acknowledge that I am a real sucker for massage… Any massage… but, my preference is Thai oil massage (nude, if at all possible).
With all this accumulated knowledge, I recently set off on a short holiday to Thailand (12 days with the intention of spending a few days in Bangkok to sample the day / night life, then to embark on my escorted tour).
But before I get into this, I would like to respond to a recent submission entitled Thailand – The Next Generation's Perspective, published on 17/03/16.
In fact this youngish fellow seems quite articulate, and I agree with many things he says. It is a shame that Stick and some others have done the disappearing act, and left Thailand… in self exile if you will. Some mongers have gone to other destinations, to find a cheaper source of willing female company that can entertain them… sensible and nothing wrong with that.
But, a common thread I read about from Stick himself and some expats that have left Thailand, is that it has changed so much and doesn’t resemble what Thailand used to be like.
My belief is that attitudes of a population don’t change to a high degree in the space of 10 – 15 years… it takes a generation for that to happen.
I think when Stick and others came to Thailand, there were fewer farangs, and amongst the population farangs were a novelty; hence all the smiles and attention. Nowadays in Thailand you are just another farang …they are everywhere.
I am intrigued why someone would want to leave a quiet place e.g… NZ, or elsewhere, go to the trouble of learning a very difficult language <Thai is NOT difficult – Stick>, learn the customs and have a very thorough knowledge of Bangkok… to say the least… and then turn his back on the place.
Initially, there must have been enormous drive to elicit such an action.
What bought about the change??
I’ll get to that in a minute.
I read on a submission a while ago …something to this effect.
“When Stick and I were walking around in Bangkok, we noticed that people were not smiling as much as they used to.”
I guess this could raise the question … why should they??
When I walk around my part of the world, no-one smiles at me. Why should they??
Everyone has their own set of problems to grapple with.
Am I being unrealistic, to expect people to smile at me; if I am a foreigner. Yes!
Should they welcome me with open arms? No of course not. For me, I don’t give a hoot. I feel comfortable in my own skin.
In Thailand or many parts of the world, even if I would stay for years…I will never be one of them. So what.
No, I think the issue is not that the population has greatly changed … the people mentioned have changed and are somewhat unrealistic.
According to a famous adage…”Familiarity breeds contempt”.
And it has certainly held true in my life.
Simplistically, the more you know of people individually or collectively there is a greater likelihood that you will like them less. The flaws in them surface, and your initial opinion most likely will change. It cuts both way of course… your flaws a surfacing as well.
So, what’s the solution… not sure, but maybe it’s best not to know too much. When someone, who had a great passion in Thailand does an about face… most likely they have seen too many flaws, which were there at the beginning but weren’t noticed.
Hence, the issue with these people in intrinsic NOT extrinsic. The need to be accepted and to belong.
In my brief time in Thailand I never felt unsafe, save for the frenetic traffic, the people were polite and obliging and I never got the impression of being disliked by anyone.
Stick mentioned that Thailand is a dangerous place. I didn’t feel that.
If he would like to go to Bondi and Kings Cross in Sydney late at night, he would soon realise what a dangerous place is. (Maybe even parts of Auckland).
But I have gone off on a tangent so back to that submission.
This fellow made some quite disparaging remarks about older fellows in Thailand.
“And trust me when we go into a bar there is literally no problem getting smiles, joking around and having a good time”.
What are you saying that others don’t get the attention you get?
What makes you so special?
“I often see negative old expats looking at us with daggers in their eyes”.
Maybe the reason is they have seen it all before… they are not envious of you … there are enough women to go around for everyone… Maybe the reason they look at you this way is because of your behavior … loud, obnoxious, drunken hooligan behavior…maybe??
“And often I would like to just go over and say “You’ve had your turn, just let us enjoy ours”.
A touch arrogance here… if older guys want to, and are capable of getting it in; why begrudge them… You should egging them on and giving the thumbs up.
Finally, the passage of time is relentless… no one is immune… for people like you, that are so cocksure about themselves, in a few years some young upstart may well be pointing the finger at you; as you have done.
To be continued…
What I find amusing is that many long-termers, most who have done well for themselves in Thailand and who speak the language to a decent or high standard feel much the same about the place. I could rattle off a bunch of names, most of whom are well-known in expat circles in Thailand – and they all feel pretty much the same about the place. They enjoyed it, but feel it's not as much fun as it once was, it's less welcoming and generally that other places now have greater appeal. The reasons one has that cause them to reach the decision to leave a place is complex, and different for everyone. The point a lot of the wise guys who only visit for short periods seem to miss is that what a lot of expats moving on say is mirrored by plenty of Thais.