Just testing out the gallery feature here. A couple of pics from a beachside restaurant.
One of the hardest things to understand living over here is how exactly it is that tourists forget how to walk places once they get to Thailand. Presumably most of them have walked somewhere most days of their life, and most of them come from countries that have roads.
Just in case any curious tourists are genuinely unsure about how to walk, I have provided some examples.
This, for example is incorrect. Notice the presence of motor vehicles. Typically, standing or walking in the middle of the road where motor vehicles are driving is frowned upon in Thailand. Just like everywhere else.
In this photo, a farang tourist demonstrates the correct way to walk down a street. On the goddamn footpath. When walking in large groups, using the footpath is still the preferred method, rather than fanning across the street like you’re trying to recreate this scene from Reservoir Dogs.
You might have to use single file, in a pinch. Conveniently enough, the rules and social customs about walking on roads in Thailand are similar to many other countries: Get off the fucking road, you imbeciles.
Do you see any Thais walking down the middle of the road? No? That’s because it’s retarded, especially in a country with a traffic safety record like Thailand’s.
I had an interesting conversation tonight with a Thai lady who is a friend of a friend’s wife. She’s been here in Samui for a few weeks, but in that time I have never seen her doing anything except sitting on her porch or drinking glasses of red wine at my friend’s restaurant.
So tonight, I got chatting to her and I asked if she came to Samui to work or just for a holiday. She initially dodged the question, but after a few more gulps she decided to come clean . ”I have a 9 year old son”, she explained, “I want to have a daughter. But I don’t want a husband.” At first, I thought this was some sort of weird come-on. But then, she added: ”I came here to party. I want a daughter with blonde hair and blue eyes, so I need to find a man with blonde hair and blue eyes to get me pregnant.” Well, that’s me out of the running.
I plan on buying a proper camera this week, so I’ve got a few images from the phone here after I cleared the SD card. The quality isn’t that great, but someone might be interested in a few of the sights around Samui.
As discussed before, Thailand can be very addictive, especially to those who have become disillusioned with life back in their home countries. The stories of guys who have quit their job, sold their house, and severed all ties back home to live the dream in Thailand are so common that it’s almost a banality.
Unfortunately, for a lot of these guys, it often doesn’t work out all that well for them. Budgets are rarely adequate for the long term, business plans are outrageously optimistic, and in a fair number of cases, alcoholism and drug addiction lead to siphoning away their nest egg much more quickly than they expected.
Getting a job in Thailand most often isn’t an option due to immigration law. And for most of these guys, going home is not an option either.
Just 1 example of a desperate loser in Thailand. Adam later turned to designing scam webpages and writing paid advertisements on his blog to pay his bills. Anything to be able to stay in Thailand.
One of the common complaints of expats in Thailand is that it seems that just about every month has some kind of public holiday or religious festival that bans the sale of alcohol. Like Good Friday in Australia, this isn’t a big inconvenience for the average person, but it’s pretty painful for people who rely on the sale of alcohol for their income – bar owners being the obvious example.
Personally, I find it frustrating purely because most Thai people can’t be bothered explaining exactly what “Buddha Day” is, presumably because they think we are too stupid to understand the significance of a religious festival. So they just tell us it’s “Buddha Day” and carry on. It’s probably also true that quite a few not-so-devout-Thais don’t actually know the significance of this particular day, because their own knowledge of Buddhism isn’t that amazing. Similar to how a lot of Christians couldn’t tell you the significance of Palm Sunday, for example.
This annoys expats because there are about half a dozen of these each year, and to call it the same thing each time can lead one to believe that the authorities are taking the piss.
Just for fun, here’s my top 10 rock songs about prostitution.
Girls On The Avenue – Richard Clapton
Boys Light Up – Australian Crawl
House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals
Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed
Honky Tonk Women – The Rolling Stones
Roxanne – The Police
Killer Queen – Queen
Call Me – Blondie
When The Sun Goes Down – Arctic Monkeys
Wrong Way – Sublime
The sequel to the documentary I posted yesterday follows the main characters in their travels back to Thailand. This time around, much more attention is paid to the difficulties faced by Thai women trying to emigrate, mostly in the form of immigration policies designed to weed out “mail order brides”.
The documentary also tells the story of one Thai girl who makes the choice to go into prostitution rather than wait around until she reaches the age where she can legally seek marriage in Denmark. In this choice, she is actively encouraged by the matriarch figure Sommai, who explains that she found her husband while working as a prostitute in Pattaya.
Again, this documentary is split into 7 parts on Youtube, available here:
It’s no secret that when you mention Thailand (or anywhere in South East Asia for that matter) to the average Australian, the first thing that pops into their head is going to be “mail order brides” or prostitutes, or possibly both. Mail order brides are detested (especially by western women) for some reason that doesn’t really make a lot of sense. The practice is actually not that different at all to how marriage used to work in our own society less than 100 years ago.
The typical mail-order bride is not a gold-digging Machiavellian dragon lady of the type epitomised by colourful characters like Rose Hancock. Rather, they are women who are genuinely looking for marriage, but for many reasons, marriage in their own country is no longer an option. Most of them are also seeking a change of scenery, given that the places they came from are completely devoid of industry, infrastructure, and economic opportunity.
It’s rare to see this subject treated as honestly and accurately as was done in this excellent Danish documentary series: Thailand to Thy.
The first documentary deals with the subject of mail order brides, and the Thai matchmaker who is hooking them up with prospective husbands in Denmark. The 1 hour feature is available on Youtube split into 7 parts:
It’s rare that you find an intelligent comment on Youtube, but part 5 has a pretty good summation of why “mail-order” marriages still occur on a regular basis:
Oh come on! This isn’t your traditional Hollywood love story, but give these people a break! The women have had rough lives and come from poor backgrounds, the men are lonely and have trouble finding love. How on earth is it wrong that they connect? A few generations back, it was the same in Denmark. People got married because they were mutually dependent on each other, not because they fell in love. These people are just old-fashioned.
Thailand is indeed a very old-fashioned country. Much more conservative in every way than modern Western countries. Arranged marriages aren’t a feature of Thai culture, but the very recent idea of romantic love leading to marriage is not exactly the orthodoxy either. Many developing countries hold the view (as did we not too long ago) that marriage is a mutually beneficial living situation, and that love will eventually grow from such a situation, if allowed to.
Most guys who come here can’t resist coming back again and again. This is the story of one of those guys.