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  1. #1
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    Experience with other Thais in the West

    Living in a small state in the US, the Thai community is very small here (maybe 200 to 300 people total). We’ve met Thais from different regions, social classes, etc. Here has been our experience in general.

    Thai men, whether they came here to study, work as laborers, or work in office jobs, all seem to be normal, stand-up guys. Without the language barrier and stigma attached with being seen in the company of a foreigner that a Thai man would have in Thailand, you understand why Thai women prefer them over us. They have been raised since birth to understand their role in relationship with Thai women and can pick up on non-verbal communication and understand the nuance in their spouses word choice a lot better than we can. Some of the biggest arguments I’ve had with my wife have been simple misunderstandings that are blown out of proportion because I didn’t understand the Thai style of communication. I was doing a straight translation of Thai without understanding the connotations of what she said. I seriously don’t know how people who don’t speak or understand Thai are able to have a lasting relationship. It may work in Thailand, where your wife can express herself to other Thai women, but in a western country, most of her friends will speak English.

    Which is the next category, other Thai women. Maybe 1 or 2 we met have been normal.
    The Bangkok girls who are here temporarily to study seem OK, but my wife has the feeling they look down on her (or are a bit distant) because she is from Isaan. She finished her undergrad studies in Bangkok like them, but she doesn’t come from money. Thailand is still a very class conscious society. No surprise to anyone from a country like England, but something Americans should keep in mind.

    The ones that are farang chasers, for lack of a better term, are not “real Thais” as my wife puts it. I’ve never met a bigger collection of backstabbing, lying flakes in my whole life. When she was working part time at a Thai restaurant, this one lady would brag about how she never needed a ride to work because she could always find a man to drop her off. The one time I met her, she was eyeing me up the same way a bargirl in Pattaya does. Another one was so full of shit. She would brag about being friends with Thaksin and Obama. Some other ones were hardcore gambling addicts. They weren’t even blackjack card counters or poker players either. They would just piss their money away on slot machines. All of them seem to be ridiculously petty. If someone buys a new car, it isn’t “congratulations.” It is more like “why don’t I have a new car. Who does she think she is.” It’s like junior high school. The wife is pissed at me because now she is lumped in with all of these people when she visits Thailand because she married a foreigner. She said, thank god you aren’t a dark skinned Indian, because I would be too embarrassed to go home if you were. I don’t think she is joking either.

    Because she speaks English with an accent, most American women have a patronizing attitude towards her (speaking ridiculously slow, complementing her on what you would complement a child for). She does her best to avoid Koreans for some reason. Never got the details, but just a general they are “strange people. Don’t like talking to them.”
    Most of her female friends are other immigrants from China, India, or South America in a similar situation to her.

    What has been your experience with Thais in your home country? Similar? Completely different?
    Last edited by njdesi; 29-06-2010 at 02:23 AM.


  2. #2
    Member Isee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdesi View Post
    She does her best to avoid Koreans for some reason.
    So do I, can't work out which is ruder, Koreans or ruskies. I suppose being rude got inbred into them from standing in food lines all the time.

    BTW - Your font choice sucks

  3. #3
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    So you have never met shallow status conscious American women? I worked with a girl who bragged that her 4 carat engagement ring was the largest in her pre wedding Catholic class. She loved the jealous stares.

    My brother was told by his brother-in-law that he never thought my brother would be able to provide for his sister as she deserved. Funny part is my brother was making twice as much as this dweb.

    I have gone to the supermarket and seen perfectly healthy women park in the handicapped spots. When you ask why you get the finger or fuckoff.

    What is wrong with speaking slowly until you know the level of the person you are talking to? When in Thailand I was always bitched at for speaking too fast.

    Koreans are very reserved, distant and even more class conscious than Thais.

    As for the bkk women looking down on Isaan girls in the US, is that any different than what would happen in bkk?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sccrhound View Post
    So you have never met shallow status conscious American women? I worked with a girl who bragged that her 4 carat engagement ring was the largest in her pre wedding Catholic class. She loved the jealous stares
    Quote Originally Posted by sccrhound View Post
    My brother was told by his brother-in-law that he never thought my brother would be able to provide for his sister as she deserved. Funny part is my brother was making twice as much as this dweb.

    I have gone to the supermarket and seen perfectly healthy women park in the handicapped spots. When you ask why you get the finger or fuckoff.
    Two seperate issues here. Of course there are shallow American women. Not focusing on them. I am just focusing on Thai women that seem to exhibit the worst of this.

    What is wrong with speaking slowly until you know the level of the person you are talking to? When in Thailand I was always bitched at for speaking too fast.

    She has lived in America for two years and been through a one year intensive reading, writing, speaking, and listening ESL course at the local college. After about thirty seconds of talking with her, you know she is near fluent English speaker. Here is where the rightwing PC crowd will probably get angry. There are some white people that look down on immigrants or second generation and don’t think that they can learn anything from outsiders. This is no different from rural Thais who only do things the Thai way because they are closed minded. Without that feeling of mutual respect, it is hard to form friendships. It works the same way for me in Thailand. I do not have a single Thai male friend, and probably never will, who has never lived abroad.

    As for the bkk women looking down on Isaan girls in the US, is that any different than what would happen in bkk?

    Agree. Still, you think going to the same university and dealing with the same teachers would break down some of these walls. It doesn’t seem to be case in my wife’s experience. In a strange way, it made me a little more sympathetic to the red shirts.

  5. #5
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdesi
    Because she speaks English with an accent, most American women have a patronizing attitude towards her (speaking ridiculously slow, complementing her on what you would complement a child for)
    You find this 'patronising'? Perhaps, just perhaps, they are taking into account the lack of fluency in your wife's speech and comprehension.

    Would you prefer them to keep talking at speed so your wife can't keep up, and to ridicule her instead of praising?

  6. #6
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    thanks for the thread OP. Interesting to read.

    I like this bit the best.
    All of them seem to be ridiculously petty. If someone buys a new car, it isn’t “congratulations.” It is more like “why don’t I have a new car. Who does she think she is.”
    People are petty the world over, but never, ever have I seen it as a population-wide character trait like in Thailand. Be anywhere in public here and take out a phone or i-Pod, you can guarantee that every Thai who sees, and has a flashier/newer/more expensive one will have it out in order for you (and everyone) else to see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by njdesi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sccrhound View Post
    As for the bkk women looking down on Isaan girls in the US, is that any different than what would happen in bkk?

    Agree. Still, you think going to the same university and dealing with the same teachers would break down some of these walls. It doesn’t seem to be case in my wife’s experience. In a strange way, it made me a little more sympathetic to the red shirts.
    I went to my 25th high school reunion and the stuckup girl group from that time still didn't smile or acknowledge anybody outside of their group of friends. Some of these girls I knew in school for 8 years and others had known them for 12 years.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdesi View Post
    It may work in Thailand, where your wife can express herself to other Thai women, but in a western country, most of her friends will speak English.
    Mrs. Chi, for the most part, refuses to associate with Thais anywhere in the world. Something about being scammers, liars, lazy, thieves, drunks, trifling etc

    So that does not apply in the Chi-House.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by njdesi
    Because she speaks English with an accent, most American women have a patronizing attitude towards her (speaking ridiculously slow, complementing her on what you would complement a child for)
    You find this 'patronising'? Perhaps, just perhaps, they are taking into account the lack of fluency in your wife's speech and comprehension.

    Would you prefer them to keep talking at speed so your wife can't keep up, and to ridicule her instead of praising?
    As I explained in my later reply, after thirty seconds of speaking with her, you know she is a near fluent speaker. She never gets this attitude with (most) white men or black people.

  10. #10
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    Don't worry, they are just stupid, insensitive people.

    They would have the same attitude to a hugely advanced alien being who didn't speak "Amercun"

  11. #11
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    'Coneheads' was a good example.

  12. #12
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    Er, 'Dances with Wolves' 'Starman' etc etc.

  13. #13
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    Am i the only one who finds this a strange post?

  14. #14
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    No, i find your post strange too!

  15. #15
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    We have a Thai community of several hundred in my mid-sized American city. It's comprised of Thai women married to white men, Thai (typically hard-working) couples, au pairs on 1-year contracts, and university students. The university students, who tend to come from privileged Thai-Chinese families, look down on the other Thais and are rarely seen. The remainder of the Thai community is a cohesive, friendly group that frequently attends social functions at some of the larger homes or at the Buddist temple.

    Our Thai friends are generally polite, fun-loving, clean-cut and hospitable, but extremely competitive regarding 'face'. Home size, type of auto, absence of debt are all sources of great pride. Hosting parties is a huge face-gaining activity. The few Thai women with homes large enough to host these large parties seem fairly cold toward each other. The Thais here seem to have very few close non-Thai friends. They've carved out a small Thai world with parties centered around Thai food, Thai karaoke and Thai holidays. Although w
    e have lots of fun and the food is fantastic, I sometimes feel like a bit of an outsider at these functions.

    One curious phenomenon. Almost all of the farang husbands would eventually like to move back to Thailand and all of the Thai wives want to stay in the USA. Even though almost every aspect of their lives is Thai, the women will only return there on vacation. Perhaps they realize that their husbands are more prone to whoring and acquiring a mia noi back in Thailand. Especially after they have children, the women feel that the family's stability is more certain on this side of the the Pacific.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. However my experience of Thais back home is virtually nil, the only one I can even recall meeting was the owner of a Thai restaurant.

    Hard to say how my wife would react to living there too. We've been back for holidays (and will be again this Xmas) and she likes it and gets along well with my family (in fact she talks/e-mails/writes to them more often than I do, she's always telling me what my brother/nephew/neice/mum is up to). Different if we lived there I suspect, not her relationship with my family but just the change from holiday visits to full-time living.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson View Post
    Hard to say how my wife would react to living there too. We've been back for holidays (and will be again this Xmas) and she likes it and gets along well with my family (in fact she talks/e-mails/writes to them more often than I do, she's always telling me what my brother/nephew/neice/mum is up to). Different if we lived there I suspect, not her relationship with my family but just the change from holiday visits to full-time living.
    Same issue with one of us going from a two week vacation to living full time in Thailand.

    Don't know about Bangkok girls (maybe more cosmopolitan than their Isaan counterparts), but all four Isaan girls I know (including mine)who are married to westerners here have had some sort of mental breakdown that lasted a day or two around the the 3 to 6 month mark (three uni grads, one a bargirl). Their useless, fascist education system does absolutely nothing to prepare them for a world outside of Thailand's borders. A combination of homesickness and having a hard time accepting that they've been lied to their whole life (Thai way is the best!) seems to cause this. They all get over it. Just fair warning if you do take your missus back to England.

  18. #18
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    I guess it would depend on what she would be doing in NZ, Ant. I don't know what city/town/village you hail from but if you stay near the family things may be quite easy . . . drop down into a city like Auckland or Christchurch (if you are not from there) then the situation may well be different for her.

    Have you ever thought of moving back once your kids are of school-age, say 10 y.o. or so?

    I may start a thread on this in the kid's section.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdesi
    Don't know about Bangkok girls (maybe more cosmopolitan than their Isaan counterparts), but all four Isaan girls I know (including mine)who are married to westerners here have had some sort of mental breakdown that lasted a day or two around the the 3 to 6 month mark (three uni grads, one a bargirl). Their useless, fascist education system does absolutely nothing to prepare them for a world outside of Thailand's borders. A combination of homesickness and having a hard time accepting that they've been lied to their whole life (Thai way is the best!) seems to cause this. They all get over it. Just fair warning if you do take your missus back to England.
    Actually not so concerned about the adjustment for my wife although I'm certain it would take her some time to get used to. Even prior to my meeting her she was very well travelled and has spent significant amount of time overseas in various countries. A lot of her friends are also foreigners scattered around teh globe.

    I'm a Kiwi by the way so I'd never willing subject her to England.
    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    I guess it would depend on what she would be doing in NZ, Ant. I don't know what city/town/village you hail from but if you stay near the family things may be quite easy . . . drop down into a city like Auckland or Christchurch (if you are not from there) then the situation may well be different for her.

    Have you ever thought of moving back once your kids are of school-age, say 10 y.o. or so?

    I may start a thread on this in the kid's section.
    You're 100% correct mate. If/when we go back I'd have to presume it would be to one of the larger cities for work purposes. However as you know NZ's not that big so travel's easy enough and I'm also fortunate that we have family/friends all throughout the North Island so again no issues there (couldn't see us living in the South, Christchurch at a stretch maybe).

    It's an interesting point you raise regarding schooling but the honest answer is that I really don't know. We have discussed it but will pretty much play it by ear. In any event I wouldn't mind if they spent at least some of high school in NZ, but that could be boarding school or whatever.

    For me the concern lies in giving them the opportunity and access to the extra-curricular stuff like sports more than anything else.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdesi
    What has been your experience with Thais in your home country?
    They are all female Thai/Chinese Hi-So 10/10s, in my experience.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by benbaaa View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by njdesi
    What has been your experience with Thais in your home country?
    They are all female Thai/Chinese Hi-So 10/10s, in my experience.
    You don't happen to live in a thatched cottage in Bournemouth do you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by benbaaa View Post
    They are all female Thai/Chinese Hi-So 10/10s, in my experience.
    Congratulations. After they rent a room in your broken down cottage, try not to butcher them in a shed out back. A trail of dead girlfriends can get messy. Hard to get your stories straight once that happens.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Ok that was a much better effort than mine. Out of greens though unfortunately.

  24. #24
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    However as you know NZ's not that big so travel's easy enough and I'm also fortunate that we have family/friends all throughout the North Island so again no issues there (couldn't see us living in the South, Christchurch at a stretch maybe).
    North Island . . . not really crazy about Auckland, though . . . did stay in Onehunga for a few months at one stage. Umm: adequate

    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    t's an interesting point you raise regarding schooling but the honest answer is that I really don't know. We have discussed it but will pretty much play it by ear. In any event I wouldn't mind if they spent at least some of high school in NZ, but that could be boarding school or whatever.
    A tough decision, plus at roughly NZD30k a po per annum it is not a cheap option

    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    For me the concern lies in giving them the opportunity and access to the extra-curricular stuff like sports more than anything else.
    Exactly . . .

    I've started a thread in the family room section:

    http://teakdoor.com/the-family-room/...ml#post1488514


    It would also be good to get some input from our teachers here as to what they perceive the benefits, either or, to be.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdesi
    Thailand is still a very class conscious society. No surprise to anyone from a country like England, but something Americans should keep in mind.
    I think the idea of 'England' being class concious is a bit out of date. Classed society is probably more important in East Coast US than the UK.

    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    Mrs. Chi, for the most part, refuses to associate with Thais anywhere in the world. Something about being scammers, liars, lazy, thieves, drunks, trifling etc
    Same, same.
    Last edited by Marmite the Dog; 30-06-2010 at 06:29 PM.

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