Maid in Bangkok

Re: Maid in Bangkok

Postby Eggmeng on Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:19 am

I can guarantee you that this case has nothing to do with class issue. I am Thai and I am an expat working abroad and I can tell you exactly that this is the classic case of westerner and country girl. Your neighbor would feel very uncomfortable when you talk to their maid as

1. they think you could be sexually harassing the maid
2. seducing their maid (Thai people has the image that many westerner just come to Thailand to find wife)
3. country girl are easily attracted to westerner as a result of quick cash and easy life (they fear their maid will leave them)

This sounds like a good guess to me. If it is on target and the building manager knows the truth about the complaint, the version he gave you is the one that is least likely to provoke your indignation.

You could try taking a stab at guessing who the offended party is, and the next time you find yourself in the lift with (I'm guessing it's a) her, engage her in a conversation in which you express your admiration for Thai family and Buddhist values. Tell her what a great gal your wife is, how you met and how romantic was the moment you proposed. Show her the photos of your kids in your wallet, and ask about hers. Lament how so many foreign men give nice guys like you a bad name with their disgusting behaviour. Bore her to tears with this drivel for as long as the ride lasts, and longer if you can.

Of course there is always the possiblity that you don't have kids or even a wife, or that your neighbor is simply afraid that you are trying to poach her maid, who may be the best one she's ever had.

On second thought, perhaps it is best just to say Sawadee and leave it at that.
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Re: Maid in Ba ngkok

Postby angmis0310 on Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:01 pm

I live here for 20 years and learnt some things the hard way.
Thailand is a great country with fantastic people living here; but you have to accept the cultural differences.

Whatever the reason is for this problem ( class difference or they think you after her for what reason ) ; just leave it.
Just say sawadee and smile and never talk about again. Discussing this problem or writing letters about will complicate the matter and will eventually lead to more problems. Same if you meet the maid; just say sawadee .

go with the flow and you will have a great live here
good luck
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Re: Maid in Bangkok

Postby piggy on Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:28 pm

I agree with thaiexpater and LabelBasher. I even "wai" my maid when I come home as she is like an aunt to me. This may not be true in other families, but in ours it doesn't hurt to "wai" anybody who is older than you. Bowing when passing somebody who is watching something is also a good manner in Thai culture.
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Re: Maid in Bangkok

Postby thaiexpater on Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:26 pm

I also "wai" my maid when I was at a younger age. In Thai we have two different word for maid which is "kon'chai" which mean servant, and another terms "p'leang" which mean care taker. Most of the educated and humble Thais will only use the terms p'leang to shows that they respect the maid as

1. the maid may have taken care of them when they where younger
2. the maid take care of their love one
3. the maid do chores for them, etc...

Many of the times media such as TV and Thai Soap Opera gives the wrong impression. I am very confident that we Thais do give respect to all especially to those who help and make our daily life easier.

My advice would be to follow angmis0310 recommendation and be a little more passive to avoid cultural differences.
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Re: Maid in Bangkok

Postby arendedric on Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:28 am

The Thai culture is not to be blamed here as there are plenty of other cultures too that follow the class system. But, in some cases people take undue advantage of the circumstances and that's what they are worried about. I don't think that the nature of the people here is any different to as compared with any other place as rendered to a foreigner or westerner. It's just that they want to inform you that they do have kept an eye on you.
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Re: Maid in Bangkok

Postby INBKK on Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:43 am

Interesting topic. After living in Bangkok for about 14 years now, I see that Thai culture is whatever that person wants to do.

I talk to all of my condo staff, technicians, juristic people, maids, guards and even our contractors that come in to do the building painting and other work. I never heard of such nonsense, of who and whom you can and should not talk too!

Ever been to India? See the class (caste) distinction there. Do you really want to live in a country like that? Born into a social level that you can never shake off. (Working San Jose, CA - (Silicon Valley) before, I meet brilliant people from India that told me that they were nothing when they went back to visit their parents.

Anyway, I will leave you with this thought:
“What other people think of you, is none of your business.”

God knows what is in your heart and that is all that matters.
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Re: Maid in Bangkok

Postby eff_ewe on Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:59 am

"3. country girl are easily attracted to westerner as a result of quick cash and easy life (they fear their maid will leave them)"

Rest assured, this is what is going on. The person reporting you to the manager is thinking only of themselves in this context.
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Re: Maid in Bangkok

Postby muffins on Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:03 am

In the last 10 years, I have visited Thailand quite a number of times. Most ppl I know there, employs at least a maid to help them in their daily chores. There are no specific regulations to comply with any authority for an employer to engage a maid. So quite a number of maids are being employed "illegally" and easily from another country mainly from Myanmar. But I guess, in many countries this happens also. Maids being employed illegally from another country. Most of the source countries happens to be a country that has less opportunities for their citizens. To some, they have no other options but to allow themselves to be employed in that manner. Thus they are exposed to the whims and fancies of some irresponsible employers.

But the many that I have met, I noticed the employers have a very strict code of ethics with their maids. They are not allowed to be too familiar with the employers, their families and friends. I was actually been told off by a friend because I sat together with her maid for a meal while she was at work. BUT.... I must say, most maids I know there, are being very fairly treated.

Thais believe in reincarnation. So with this believe, most Thais, treats another living thing well. No doubt, I do noticed some Thais practices class/"caste". But if we look around us, one does not have to be a Thai or Hindu or anything to practice class, racism or anything. It all boils down to who we are, what we believe in and most importantly, how we have been brought up
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Re: Maid in Bangkok

Postby ramdom on Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:05 pm

I think anything goes in Thailand, if you do it politely with a smile. I'm as quick to anger as anyone but in life (before I even ever went to Thailand) I learnt it is best to show anger later than earlier. Face is very important to most people in the world and if you dispute something with a Thai with a smile that is nonconfrontational, you'll get your way. It's a good art and makes me feel good when I can do it (when my wife, who is Thai, loses her temper and causes people to withdraw --- she's well suited for the US :).
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Re: Maid in Bangkok

Postby wissawahgohn on Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:09 am

Learn pa-sa Thai.(it's not that difficult - I've been at it for 5 years and I speak/read/write like a 5 years old kid.)

YOU get to live there... I'm stuck in FARANGLAND :(

Actually, most Thai I see when I'm there don't seem to care what a farang does as long as it isn't "insult the KING!" cheers :cheers:
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