You're very wrong and naive about that. Face "doesn't matter" up until the point where you actually have to do something business related or present yourself in some respectable way in these societies. Good luck doing that with a girlfriend who looks like a hills tribeswoman. It's just that most western guys are not in any kind of respectable position in Thai society to begin with. Most of them are living off savings or working dime a dozen type positions like english teaching.xiongmao wrote: Western guys don't really care about what anyone thinks of their gf. Face is just an Asian thing although guys do care what their gf thinks about them.
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I have no interest in Thai hiso society. It's shallow and pathetic.
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You haven't got a thing to worry about Xiongmao because most people, including Thais, will never, ever deal with a truly hi-so Thai. I did a few times but only because I had some influence here in boxing for a few years. One guy was a general and he is now a senator. His wife is definitely considered a Khun Ying. There are a couple of others I dealt with but all in all it wasn't a big deal. At times it could be intimidating speaking Thai in front of a group of people but Thais are good-natured about it if you make a mistake.
Xiongmao - you say being hi-so is shallow and pathetic, yet my guess is you haven't ever met anyone truly hi-so and wouldn't know someone hi-so if they bit you on the ass and screamed out, "I'm hi-so." They're not all shallow and pathetic, in fact, most don't get close to people who aren't hi-so because their circle of friends is much different because of the financial aspect of their lives. Not necessarily their fault or something they plan but even in the US and elsewhere you don't see a guy flipping burgers at McDonald's becoming best friends with the CEO of Citibank. The people you ran in to, my guess is women, who you think are hi-so, are simply middle-class trying to act like hi-so folk.
Also, there three seasons in Thailand - hot, rainy, and cool.
As far as face - like Repatriate said, most foreigners are never in a position where their girls are put on stage for others to judge.
Issaner's are definitely salt of the earth types and most would prefer to drink with a foreigner than rip them off. Get their daughter's involved and if you let them, your money can become family money. Again, if you're strong and diplomatic, there are ways around everything. That said, if I were to ever hook up with an Issan chick, she would have to be educated, self-sufficient, and her family could definitely not be the money-grubbing type. She would have to have a modicum of respectability in Thai society.