Same here. His weekly column also contains interesting e-mail observations from readers along with lots of other information on what's going on in Bangkok and Pattaya.Rock wrote:
BTW, most of the value from Stickman's website for me are contained in just 2 areas: Stickman Weekly Column and Reader Submissions.
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Granted, I have not been to Thailand for a long time and maybe you are right- the general climate may have improved and the people may have mellowed out and become friendlier. This I may agree with but I will need to go and check it out myself.
I need to bring up these things to you, though
1) You do not speak Thai, I presume,- I mean to the point where you can understand the conversation at normal speed and you also most probably cannot converse in it. So, the validity of what you have seen and heard is limited. No matter what you say, it is limited.
2) You most probably have not worked at Thai companies/colleges/universities with Thai coworkers and, so again, you may not have a good idea of what the people are saying. In Thai, that is.
I also went to Thailand as a tourist not speaking the language and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was great. Now, working there and living there long term while listening to the almost daily mockeries and the sh1t they were saying in Thai and doing business there and dealing with immigration officials on permit matters and with labor officials and university staff and all was a whole different experience. You have not gone through it, I presume. How could you? And as you don't speak the language, anything you observe would be mostly like, well, trying to describe Americans if you do not speak English. Very limited.
I would need to go there again and see the changes in behavior myself and then give my observations/assessments. Because I do not think yours would be complete. You also do not understand Thai songs and what they say on TV do you? Do you know the insults they use to describe various races - in Thai. I do. And I base my observations ( not opinions) on that.
I totally disagree with your stretch of logic that somehow an observation becomes / or somehow equals an opinion. This just does not gel. No such thing.
As far as victim blaming, I seem to notice that somehow, in many Western expats' minds, the same pattern emerges-
Non white nations can never be racist and if they appear so, it must be because the Western tourist acts badly and is a backpacker or white trash. Locals are always beyond reproach, unless of course they are white, too. Like the Russians, the French, the Germans. Then, these become s.o.b.s and the complaints of difficulties, racism, nationalism, hatred fall on welcome ears. I see the same pattern with you. Hmm. Maybe it is a coincidence. Maybe not, and maybe you simply are not aware of it.
Being a university instructor at a medical school does not make me white trash. Having my own chair at a graduate business school does not make me white trash. My " buddies" are MA and PhD holders- they are not back packing white trash who are a drain on the economy.
Granted, with teaching salaries we could not live in condos on Chao Praya but we also did not live in slums. We lived primarily in lower/mid- middle class areas, normal apartments- quite clean and all.
Now, as far as the Philippines goes, no matter how perceptive you are, you do not speak Tagalog and you do not understand it. You do not understand Tagalog movies/news or what people say around you when you sit among them.
I do. So, I know better than you. Any way you turn it. It is just that simple. You, on the other hand, can only get a limited observation. So, no argument here can lead to anything conclusive since you did not live in these two societies long term and/ or done business there in the languages of the country. And it makes a 100% difference.
My parents, for example, never learned English fluently even though they were highly articulate and educated people in the Ole' Country. Everything they knew or understood about America was totally faulty and they misunderstood just about all the social patterns and could not read people's behavior properly. They had no idea what most things Americans said meant except for the basics. Now, imagine how well/badly they could understand America if they only spoke a few words. Would they understand the insults? Social attitudes? They could not read newspapers, websites, understand movies, etc. Talking to them about America was just useless.
So, asking them about the social problems of the US, the dating problems, and for related advice was an "exercise in mootness" so to speak. My dad would always say how sensitive and good the US people were and that all the problems were in my head. But then, again, his English was limited. He did not know what was going on. He, for example, after 19 years in the country, did not know what the N-word was or who Beverly Hill Billies were. He did not understand the American culture and mores and he blamed ME for all the mishaps I experienced in the US. He also had a skill that did not require English and thus, he was sheltered from all the b.s. in the US. He then died unaware of most things, too.
It is the same with most expats in Thailand. Most ( not all) have money More than a Thai, that is. That keeps them shielded from having to deal with them on a daily basis business-wise. Most ( not all) do not speak Thai well and do not know what goes on. Out of hundreds of expats I met there, I could count Thai speakers on the fingers of one hand. And fluent ones were, well, 1-3 maybe.
So, until you speak both of these languages well, and have done extensive business and social activities in both countries in those languages on a grass root level, then we simply have nothing to argue about. Because our positions are just not equal.
Thus, I really do not want to waste your time or mine on this argument which is really pointless. I am sure both of us have far better things to do than this.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Ladislav, I concur with much of what you've said. Only those who both live/work in Thailand and speak the language, know about it. Even the folks, who're retired and living off their annuities, are living in the dark, almost akin to the white folks who'd resided throughout the overseas British Empire during the 1800s-to-early 1900s, earning Pounds through the various shipping or govt offices. They were permanent outsiders, isolated diaporas. All and all, I'd only live in Thailand, if I was working remotely for a US or Australian outfit. For many other situations, Singapore & Malaysia are the places for Americans living abroad who want to work in a corporate type of environment.
Your dad also sounds a bit like my dad, always blaming others w/o hearing their side of the story. My dad was a rapid anti-communist Reaganite. He saw everything in black & white and could never understand how the 70s had occurred, given the numerous threats from leftist groups. He lived in his own sort of world with Alfred Hitchcock/Jimmy Stewart films, Classical Music, the British Empire, and the war against communism
I've had more fun in Thailand than in the Philippines mainly because there is more variety there and things to do than in PI. PI tends to limit itself to it's own small, local limited mentality. Like, there is mainly only SM beer to choose from there. If you want to buy a different brand, most bars won't have it. If they do it will be astronomically overpriced because it is imported. In Thailand you can get numerous different brands and they will be relatively the same price range. I know beer doesn't make or break a place but it's just an example of how limited options can be in PI, although it's friggin' 2011! Technically nightlife sucks in PI in comparison to Thailand, even in small cities the nightlife trumps some of the bigger cities in PI. I don't get it really. Manila is actually one of the lamest capital cities I've even been in in the world. However, I can't make a long-term comparison regarding which is a better place to LIVE as an expat. The longest I've stayed at one time in Thailand was 6 months and I wasn't working either. I met a lot of cool people as well as assholes there, but I didn't speak the language so I'm sure I missed a lot of what may have been said to me. However, I did notice appearance is a big deal in Thailand. I was lean and in shape and had long hair, in my late 20's when I was last there. To be honest, I have a younger looking face and a smaller frame then the average Euro-male. So with long hair I kinda had an androgynous face thing going, but with a male in-shape body. I think Asian females are attracted to that kind of look so I got a lot of attention, not like in USA where I was ostracized for looking that way, out of the norm of the typical baseball cap wearing, short haired American. I actually went into malls and the sales ladies were approaching me asking me for my number, which seems to be a rare thing in Thailand if you are a foreigner and don't speak Thai. So, in my opinion if you look handsome to them they will treat you better. If you look like a western over-weight middle aged slob, then I think you will be made fun of and taken advantage of. I mean on New years eve in 2003 I had all these random thai girls trying to kiss me walking around the streets and I'm sure most of them weren't whores cause I wasn't hanging around those areas. So my experiences have been generally positive, although I don't know how I would be treated nowadays since I'm older now and don't have the same kind of hair due to it typical thinning as males get older so it's not really long and thick anymore.
You will be generally treated like a rock star in PI if you are not Asian looking and have lighter skin. Filipinos are self-hating brown Asians, so White is right to them. If you get out to provincial cities outside of the typical foreign hangouts you will be stared at and kids will be waving and saying hi, not like the beggar kids in Manila trying to scam money off of you, they just want to be friendly. So the smaller cities in Luzon, Visayas area and Mindanao where limited numbers of Foreigners visit will be where you can experience genuine Filipino friendliness without them trying to scam money off of you, although it may still happen, but not as much. If you want a real foreigner in a strange land experience, visit Zamboanga area. Most white Foreigners are afraid to go there cause of the kidnappings, so you will stand out. I went to do some sightseeing outside of Davao once and it was like Jesus was walking around, it was insane. I personally don't like all the attention, but some people I guess do.
I've gotten attention in Indonesia, but mostly they want to try to scam money off of me, and to a limited extent in parts of Thailand. I got stared at a lot in malls in the Arab countries but i think its because I think a lot of Arabs are closet homos and trying to see if they can snag a younger white nieve male kid (i was in my early 20's then).
Oh yeah, rural parts of India, away from tourist cities, but mostly from kids and guys trying to scam me.
No dice in Cambodia, Vietnam, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
Nice report, guy. I'm glad I'm not the only person that realizes that Pinoys are self-hating for the most part, but although Thai's are not self-hating, they rather be white and bright (they are fanatics about skin-lightening products, too). See, most of the people on this forum whom have been to PerÃº don't call Peruvians self-hating because they are getting so much love from them, but from someone whom does not possess blond hair and blue eyes, I saw how self-hating they were.
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