It’s hard enough trying to integrate into a different culture, especially if you barely get by in the language, and particularly if the city is rife with expats, some of whom are often living in fairly luxurious conditions and may have slightly lost touch with reality, as well as others who aren’t living la-vida-expat, and yet, have still lost touch with reality. Can we keep that farang sense of entitlement in check please?
I am no Thai political expert so I won’t go into details. Thailand has been through a number of political upheavals over the years. The country is experiencing one now, with the supporters of the two major parties clashing over the political future of the country. We have faced months of on again, off again protests and road blocks. The violence has been mostly sparse and contained. As far as having to experience political upheaval, we foreigners –a.k.a. Farangs– have had it pretty easy here.
Last week, the country’s supreme court ruled that the current prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, had to step down due to an abuse of power. I have no comment on these charges. I neither read nor write Thai and I don’t pass judgment on here-say. This ruling led to an announcements by both groups to march and protest. It was called the ‘final battle’. One should note, if these last few months are anything to go by that Thais like using the word ‘final’ and this battle will likely continue to drag on for some time.
In any event, public transport was packed with people getting to their rally sites. I brilliantly chose this day to head into town to run errands. All the protesters I came across were in good spirits, donning their ‘colours’ . As I squeezed into the BTS – also called the sky train- I heard a fellow farang with a very sour face say
For f*ck’s sake get a job!
I wanted to go all bat-poop crazy on him but I didn’t. Because culturally, it would have been inappropriate. So here’s my open letter to the guy riding the BTS around Noon on Friday, who said those words as the train filled with passengers at the Sala Daeng station:
Dear Farang man, dressed all in black and sporting, in my opinion, way too much jewelry,
Excuse me? Get a job? Who the f#%k are you? What do you know about these people? Really? Can you tell me that you know for sure these people don’t work nights, or took off for the long weekend, or took a personal day? Do you know how many of them may be teachers and currently on summer break? What right do you have as a GUEST in this country to pass such judgement based on absolutely ZERO FACTS –though I understand this is all the rage in the US where you, like me, are from.
And on the topic of the US, aren’t we the first to support free speech and people’s right to protest? Where the f*%k do you get off being so rude?
Oh I am so sorry, did these actual citizens of the country you are temporarily living in get in your way? Were you late for an appointment for yet another piercing? Is that a problem for you, that nationals of their country are using the public transport system put in place for them? If so, may I suggest, from one farang to another: GO THE F*%K HOME.
You give the rest of us a bad name and you don’t deserve the visa you were issued to be here -if you even have a valid visa.
Oh, and one last thing, the only person who should wear a ring that size -let alone three of them- is the Pope.
A fed up farang.
Well said – I couldn’t agree more!
Great post. I was in a book shop in central shopping today. there were so many great books about Thai culture, how to integrate and understand the Thai way better and about westerners who escapes famous Thai prisons, their stories. I just wanted to get them all. angry at myself for knowing books are 50 times better than movies. But I had already brought a big pile of books with me from Sweden and almost not read any. that made me angry. I want to finish all mine first before I start to read those. Its so hard to get the Thai people to understand that not all of us are bar-drinking smelly fat guys. before I was in Pattaya and I didn’t want to drink so I ordered a soft drink in the bar. the bar-girls told me: We have never met a farang that doesn’t drink alcohol. hearing that I realized I am in this category weather I want it or not. that’s what they hear and see on tv. But strong minded don’t care about those things. just live your life. BTW Outstanding blog.
Thanks very much for the compliment. Yes I imagine it would be extra difficult to be a man here as so many assumptions are made. You are right in just ignoring that and living your life. I should also do a bit more reading. It’s hard to find the time sometimes!
Thanx for the encouraging answer :)