Not So Friendly Thailand

Anything and everything about Thailand
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#21 Re: Not So Friendly Thailand

Postby Gaybutton » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:18 pm

Dodger wrote:I'm speaking about general characteristics of Thai cultural...of course I'm generalizing.

We can go round and round about this if you want to, but I've already explained why I don't buy what you're saying, as if your experience applies to all Thais. It doesn't.

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#22 Re: Not So Friendly Thailand

Postby Dodger » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:26 pm

It's perfectly acceptable for you to disagree with me, and equally acceptable for those who don't.

I'm only interested in the subject being discussed, and not the least bit interested in meaningless babble.

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#23 Re: Not So Friendly Thailand

Postby windwalker » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:58 pm

Whenever I depart, or my Thai bf departs, there is always a hug and a kiss and this is in all instances. Not just walking away!

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#24 Re: Not So Friendly Thailand

Postby thaiworthy » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:40 am

I agree there are no general characteristics to Thai people, whether perceived arising from culture or not. That is drawing a conclusion. Defining behavior as attributable to a way of life may exist for some, but not all.

The phenomenon of a heartfelt goodbye by some Thais have existed in my own personal observations many times, especially when witnessing them as a whole group. Case in point, one friend departs the country for a visit to the West, and a group of 12 or more of his friends go with him to the airport to see him off. Some months later, departing the airport in the US to come back, nobody comes to see him off.

My personal opinion is that goodbyes are more commonplace among Thais than are not.
"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things." --George Carlin

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#25 Re: Not So Friendly Thailand

Postby fountainhall » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:15 pm

With all respect to thaiworthy, I feel I must disagree. I do believe there are general characteristics to virtually all Thai people which you do not find amongst other peoples. It is the same, in my opinion, in Japan. Very defined characteristics which are common to all but which may not be noticeable at first in each and every Japanese.

What I do find strange is that you could argue the Japanese have an excuse for their very specific characteristics. Because only handfuls of foreigners had the chance to take root in the country in the late 16th century and soon thereafter it was closed to foreign influence for about 250 years, it has one of the most undiluted gene pools of any country.

The same is true to a very large extent to mainland Chinese. Yet because of the influences brought back by the huge Chinese diaspora over the last few decades, it is now less pronounced, at least in the major cities

But then it's odd you can not say that of the Thai gene pool, if only because of the massive numbers of Chinese who emigrated here and intermarried. Perhaps it's this mix of two cultures has helped influence general Thai characteristics.

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#26 Re: Not So Friendly Thailand

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:22 pm

fountainhall wrote:I must disagree. I do believe there are general characteristics to virtually all Thai people

Can you be more specific and give examples of what some of those general characteristics might be?

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#27 Re: Not So Friendly Thailand

Postby fountainhall » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:28 pm

Since this is a gay chat forum and we perhaps tend to think that Thai boys show the characteristics of Thais, I don’t believe this to be wholly true. Their needs and wants are quite different to those of most of the rest of the general population. In general terms, therefore, I will suggest just five of several issues which I have come to believe are typical of the Thai character.

The first one has been discussed quite often in the chat rooms – Thai logic. In all my travels to many countries in the world I have never come across anything like it. Even after all my visits and my years living here, I do not understand it and have given up trying. It is quite specific to Thailand as far as I know.

Secondly, the “mai pen rai” attitude. Ask a Thai what he would like to do – “you decide”. Give him a list of things he might like to do – “you decide”. Again I have never come across what has to be either this level of deference or lack of decision-making. Japanese can often seem indecisive, but that is generally something foreigners come away thinking. Live there, get to know them and they are far more decisive, as long as they are paying attention to their position within a group. Equally it is very different from the manyana attitude you will find in Spain and other countries.

Third, I have seen so many cases of problems happening simply because no one has bothered to think ahead. There is a general inability in this country to think through something with a result that they seem almost happy to allow unnecessary problems to happen. They then wring their hands, complain about the world, talk about being tired – before finally getting around to trying to find a solution. A lack of forward thinking is very Thai!

Fourth, they have to have the latest gadget! Yes, I realise this is not uncommon elsewhere, but Thais take this to extreme. Even though they cannot afford the latest iPhone, it assumes a greater importance than even the rent. “Mai pen rai” – the rent will take care of itself.

Fifth, they are followers. They go with the flow. They tend to believe that either others know better than them or, perhaps more likely, they are loath to take the lead in case they make a mistake. Again, I have noticed this in some other countries. But never to such an extent as here in Thailand.

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#28 Re: Not So Friendly Thailand

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:28 pm

fountainhall wrote:five of several issues which I have come to believe are typical of the Thai character.

I was expecting to disagree with you, but what you are saying has been my observation too. The most common exceptions I've seen are the more highly educated they are, the fewer of those characteristics apply.

My favorite is Thai logic (or lack thereof). Many of us have plenty of Thai logic stories. You can find several Thai logic stories right here. Just do a search for "logic" and Thai logic stories will come up. One of my favorite examples is Thai owned bars. Not enough customers, therefore raise the prices.

My second favorite is the "followers." A few boys got tattoos. Next thing you know, droves of them are tattooed. The scraggly mustaches. Same thing. A few started growing mustaches. It caught on and now droves of them sport those horrible mustaches too.

With the "latest gadget," I've seen many who managed to get a farang to buy an expensive phone for them, a phone they could never afford for themselves. Some can only receive calls because they don't have money enough to top up their SIM cards, but they've got the phone. The status apparently is so great that some will practically starve before pawning the phone if they are desperate for money.

Folks, feel free to post your own observations.

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#29 Re: Not So Friendly Thailand

Postby thaiworthy » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:38 am

Gaybutton wrote:
fountainhall wrote:I must disagree. I do believe there are general characteristics to virtually all Thai people

Can you be more specific and give examples of what some of those general characteristics might be?

Exactly. But I have an example of the exception. I have straight friends who were born and raised in the US, but have Thai parents. They moved back to Thailand with their families, raising children of their own, and do not share these so-called "general characteristics." Their children adopt the characteristics of the family. The same may be true for other Thais born from other countries. They do not share the "Thai logic" trait, and are not typically followers than leaders. If this were a true "general characteristic," there would be no ambition at all.

People and countries have been becoming too xenophobic for too long, and technology is helping to influence diversity. Air travel in only the last 100 years provide evidence of that and now cell phones. It used to be called the "information age." If Thai people were reading a book or a newspaper would that be as annoying a general characteristic as the cell phone? This is common on the BTS, and a reasonable expectation on board.

So, this is an example of some Thais which do not share the "general characteristics" category to my way of thinking. That's not to say there aren't those general characteristics to a large extent among Thai people, but it's that kind of belief that leads me and perhaps only me, to form prejudices, so I tend to overlook them. It is not fair for me to judge a whole group of people by my perceptions of their logic, following vs leading, obsession with gadgetry, etc. I have observed these traits, but they simply do not exist in all Thai people, IMHO.

What are the "general characteristics" of a person of color? Are they all generally shiftless, lazy and dishonest? What are the "general characteristics" of a gay person? Are they all effeminate and promiscuous?

How many experiences do we witness before a behavioral trait becomes a "general characteristic?" 10 out of 10, 9, 8 out of 10? If 10 out of 10, then what if future experiences accounted for only 10 out of 20? Are all "general characteristics" bad ones? Ah, but then, this is the "Not So Friendly Thailand" thread.

If one embraces this perception about Thais, then all police are corrupt, all high-so look down on lo-so, dual-pricing is rampant, etc. The problem I have is the use of the word "all." I believe tattoos and scraggly mustaches are the result of fashion. They are not general characteristics of only Thai people. People the world over have facial hair and skin decorations. In the West though, some fashions are short-lived merely because the individual is seeking self-expression and identification at an early age. Some of those here that grow mustaches have them because they can grow them.

There is a reason for everything. It is not just a general characteristic for which there is no excuse. Unfortunately, there are negative connotations to these certain characteristics: lack of forward-thinking seems to convey laziness, logic stories seem to convey stupidity, gadget obsession seems to convey OCD, and up-to-you syndrome conveys an apparent complacence.

No one is better than anybody else because of our notions, we just come from a different background, or "culture" if you want to call it that. We are all just different. As a liberal thinker, I personally try to veer far away from anything that resembles a preconceived concept. I recognize these traits, but if it really bothered me and influenced my thinking that much, then I wouldn't be living in Thailand.
"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things." --George Carlin

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#30 Re: Not So Friendly Thailand

Postby Gaybutton » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:38 am

thaiworthy wrote:I personally try to veer far away from anything that resembles a preconceived concept.

I disagree that it has anything to do with preconceived concepts (unless it is someone who gets their ideas about Thais solely from reading these message boards). When I first came to Thailand I had no preconceived concepts. I had never been to Thailand. All I knew about Thailand was from watching "The King and I." Any concepts I have now come from years of living here and what I have observed and experienced.

However, I also realize that my personal concepts do not apply to all Thais. Even when they do apply, it doesn't necessarily happen that way all the time.


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