fountainhall wrote:When we stopped doing business, it was as though most friendships had never existed. I still find it difficult to get used to this.
I don't want to get DEEP about this, but I've come to realize that Thais simply THINK and express their EMOTIONS completely different than us, almost as if their conscious minds are disconnected from their emotions. Or maybe this connection was never in place to begin with.
Buddhists always place a tremendous amount of emphasis on things like "impermanence". Grooming their karma's in preparation for their next life seems to be at the forefront of all their behaviors.
I was having lunch with my first Thai boyfriend (18 boyfriends back) and his closest friend who was departing as soon as the meal was finished for a 2 year hitch in the Army. They grew up in the same village, stayed connected for 20 years and referred to each other as brothers. When the meal was finished I decided to walk away from the table to allow them to have a few private moments together to say their goodbyes. To my amazement my boyfriend just starting walking behind me while his friend walked the other way never looking back. There was not even the slightest hint of the emotions. Not even a goodbye. It took me years to understand why they do this.
I remember a similar episode with my current boyfriend that sent me into orbit. We were helping each other pack our suitcases at Tarntawan Hotel after spending our first 3 month holiday together. No sooner than I clicked the latch on my suitcase I heard a knock at the door. It was the hotel concierge telling me that my boyfriend's taxi had just arrived at the hotel. I was hoping to have a few minutes alone with him before we left the room...you know, that western emotional stuff...but no luck. When we walked out of the hotel my boyfriend walked directly to the taxi - jumped in - closed the door - and never even waved goodbye as the taxi pulled away. I just stood there like an asshole waving at a rusty bumper. The doorman said something like..."Oh, your boyfriend go home now
"...I was so angry that I just blurted out.."that little cock sucker never even waved goodbye"
. The doorman got embarrassed and just looked down at the ground.
I asked the little shit head about this the next time I saw him and his response was that parting ways naturally without any goodbyes means you will only be separated by time - and that when you are together again that time will have disappeared. He went on to say that goodbyes, and the type of emotions that we farangs exhibit during these types of departures or separations, was something that Thais only do when someone is going to die. I wasn't sure if I wanted to thank him for this enlightenment or just kick him in his balls for lying his ass off. In any event, I have gone on to witness this many many times.
If you ever want to test this theory, just watch how Thai boys act when they first see their mothers after a prolonged period of time. They simply walk up...say hi...the mother continues mashing of green stuff with her mortar and pestle...and the boy starts eating what's ever around. No emotions...no bear hugs or kisses...just as if they were together during the morning of the very same day.
Looking back, the only time I witnessed a Thai getting emotional and saying goodbye with heartfelt meaning was just a brief moment before my boyfriend Thep passed away. Saying this is not easy, but it's the truth. I just sat there lacking the courage to say goodbye.