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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
5 posts • Page 1 of 1
One obvious thing I noticed after living in Thailand awhile is that despite having a culture that claims to value humility and tradition a lot of Thais can be very egotistical. Maybe even more egocentric than some Americans. One thing that's valued above all is face. Face is valued over literally everything. The image of doing well, the image of being happy, the image of being humble, the image of being Buddhist, the image of being a good person. It's better to be well spoken deviant scum who dresses nice than an crude oligarch who looks like a homeless person. If you look at Thai politics they are invariably filled to the brim with hustlers, murderers, machiavellian con men of all types, etc. even more so than the U.S. But they do have some things in common they tend to be pretty smooth at playing the face game. The only time they don't give a f**k about putting on social airs anymore is when they are silly rich and have been exposed already. A good example is the Thailand's former soapy king Chuwit turned soapbox politican.
This brings me to the phenomenon of fake hi-so Thais which is pretty interesting in Bangkok. I ran into quite a few Thais who liked to pretend and even kind of believed that they were of much higher status than they really were. I use the U.S. benchmark to determine middle class. If they are making around 40-50k (U.S. equivalent) a year in BKK then they are truly middle class. BKK is about as expensive as a tier 2 U.S. city. The reason why I use the U.S. as a benchmark because despite cost of living differences middle class (in any country) should be able to transition a good portion of their middle class purchasing power to another country without a huge deficit. I don't believe it's accurate to lower the "middle class" benchmark based on a country's COL but that's getting too much into economics and the fixed cost of global commodities.
Back to the fake hi-so; these are usually Thais who go into deep debt and live hand to mouth to pay for extravagant material goods and a pretend lifestyle. They will sometimes sell their family plots (which have been owned for generations) and purchase a condo in BKK. They also use their savings to purchase a late model Mercedes or BMW or finance it at silly interest rates. Luxury cars go for anywhere between 150%-200% compared with the U.S. just to give you an idea on what they are buying. They hang out at places like Thonglor or second rate overpriced luxury places and socialize with mostly like minded play pretend people. Their salaries might crack 40,000 baht a month which is good compared with the average salary but still not quite middle class. However they spend all this money on keeping up the image. There is no end game for these types of people. The women are usually shooting to marry a rich dude so they can upkeep their lifestyle but they are pretty high maintenance gold diggers. The guys are usually out to f**k as many women as possible and live it up until they crash and burn.
When you ask them what they do they tend to embellish or claim to have family ties to the political or business elite. These people love to do subtle name dropping. They aren't outright lying because Thais really do tend to have wide social networks but only as very casual superficial acquaintances. It's not really hard to meet some famous Thai people around Bangkok. When you probe it a bit further though you figure out their cousin rubbed elbows with the nephew of the son of the CP founder or something. Basically if they called in a favor they wouldn't even get past the door man.
These pretend types are a pretty significant slice of the Bangkok demographic though. A friend of mine used to stay around Ekkamai at a pretty nice condo just to put on airs as well. It was a big inside joke when we were around each other but he would roleplay to sleep with these types. He could do it well because he was tall foreign (mixed asian/aussie) and dressed well. He really did look like a 6 figure a year gentleman. His whole thing was to attend these places and give them the impression he was a wealthy young trust fund guy on business from Australia. Part of his cover story was that his father was from a wealthy Thai family that immigrated to Australia so that he could explain his thai skills. Then he would take the ladies out give them some fake pretense on not paying for anything. Hump and then dump. It was morally unethical for sure but these ladies were all category #1 types I mentioned in a previous post..ie. gold diggers.
Yeah, I've noticed this everywhere in Bangkok. In the US, the Lao, Cambodians, and even some of the Vietnamese like to show off "higher status" even though doing so may be beyond their means. Jewelry is big with them, so you can easily find Vietnamese and Cambodian-owned jewelry shops across California that cater to other SE Asians.
On the other hand, my Isaan lady is not high-maintenance or hungry for luxury goods. She doesn't want any of that fancy stuff, and knows I'd refuse to buy them. Instead, she wears flip-flops and modest dresses. I've bought some for her, which she'd haggle for aggressively with street vendors, as we're both "cheap Asians" (80 baht flip-flops? No, 60 baht at most! ). She's fine with just the basics, which might cause the Central Thais to think she looks like a peasant fresh out of the rice fields.
So Repatriate, would your Bangkok "girl next door" types also be high-maintenance oftentimes, like in Taiwan or Singapore?
Not at all. Falcon, one of your issues is that you mentally associate any good looking middle class girl with materialistic petty high maintenance girls. They aren't one and the same. Some dogs are poodles, not all dogs are poodles. I really do believe that you automatically turn yourself off from any attractive woman by assuming they will be this way. Even if you do meet a few that are really this way it acts as confirmation bias reinforcing your impressions about these women. It's a psychological hurdle that you need to overcome.
The women I date are almost never the materialistic type. They may like a a nice thing once in awhile (as do I) but it's not part of their scene or who they are as a person. They also never ask me to buy it. Girls I date usually do things like split the bill, help me get discounts, or even pay for certain things on a night out. If I feel they are a moocher or have a taker personality I drop them quickly. I do this with male friends as well. If I catch a whiff that they are a value taker then I will drop all association.
Thanks. It's not exactly that I'm afraid to date what you'd consider attractive. It's the tendency to date the first women who would show you obvious signs of interest, so having an "attractive" one would be a matter of chance rather than avoidance.
You do realize that with frustrated Western guys, they tend to take anything that comes their way. Not even the frustrated Taiwanese, Singaporean, and South Korean men would be that desperate. Back home in the Anglosphere, men compete intensely for the whale-like women, so when they go abroad, they still carry that mindset with them.
You've also been abroad for many years, whereas I just got out of the US dating scene. To those who just got out, simply being able to go out with women and hold hands with them is completely surreal. Thus, the immediate thing I'd notice is how different their attitudes are compared to the toxic American ones, so looks don't really cross my mind. Winston, Monkro, Jeremy, and I (and many others) had gotten absolutely no girlfriends in both high school and college (except for one Winston had in college), even though we were all fairly good-looking, fit, and eligible, and put in decent effort to look for dating opportunities. I might have been well on my way to becoming an overeducated 40-year-old virgin like Xiongmao, if I had continued to stay in the US.
E.g., Filipina or Isaan girl voluntarily cleaning your house right when she steps into it? Shocking magic to most Westerners, but AmericanInBangkok says it's normal.
For example, when Rock and I walked around Bangkok, he would say that he found only a few of the women attractive, whereas I thought they all looked great. Whereas he found nothing special or surprising about the Chinese-Indonesian girls he introduced me to, I was actually surprised by how easy they were to talk to and be around with.
This is not good. I'm afraid scarcity mindset has burnt you out and made you have the mindset that you should "settle" with what first comes to you. I don't believe any man should settle. You should spend enough time outside of the American bubble to know what you really want first. You're fascinated with this bevy of open friendly women but you should actually let the social situation normalize in your mind first before finding a girlfriend. This is why I always tell guys not to rush and find a g/f when they get to Thailand. There's all sorts of cultural nuances as well as a wide array of women available for your average guy. It's best to date a variety and at least understand the culture and what's available to you first.
You don't go inside a department store and buy the first shirt you see so why should you do this with women?