Are the foreigners finding a sense of peace in Issarn?

Re: Are the foreigners finding a sense of peace in Issarn?

Postby pachangamac042 on Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:28 pm

Dear FOS, I quite agree with you. I-Saan can still be a very charming place, even for me, I do see two different faces of I-Saan. The country side with its villages and the big metropolitan areas. :ugeek:

I grow up in a little village with some 500 inhabitants myself. In our village there were more cows, sheeps and pigs then people. Everybody knew each other and nobody would have to look the doors those days. :o :shock:

Well, today, in my wife’s village, I see a lot of things witch remind me of the village I grow up 40 years back. People do not have much but have enough for living. People live together, instead of everyone living in his/her own home. People help each other out. Some houses still do not have proper doors, and forget about proper looks. Everything is very easy going. Not heard about people having heart strokes in the village. Very peaceful and free live. ;)

I-Saan cities are a bit different though. More like cities all over the world. But still, even in the cities you still may find the real I-Saan style of live, just go away from the big shopping malls. :o :o

Generally, I still say to friends and relatives, that if you want to see the real Thailand, then you should go to the I-Saan country side. But do not go there with a big tour group, go there by yourself, by yourself a drink and some food in the local shops and wait and see. It will be not too long, until the locals will come and chat with you and invite you to there places. Communication will be a problem, but not a hindrance. I-Saan people are very simple but generous folks and have good humor and even there are language barriers, there will always be ways to make each other understood and have good laughs together. :cheers:
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Re: Are the foreigners finding a sense of peace in Issarn?

Postby Random Thoughts on Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:31 pm

Good evening, you touch on my most loved place in the world-please keep the tourists out !keep the bangkok thai(see not really thai ) out and try to remind the wonderful issarn peoples that they have the greatest riches of all -the have their communities and families-i admit there is many fractures and flaws in their shrinking world,but the real reasons that bangkok thais(not thais) and many others, want to use their lives and labour is that they bring a strong and fundamental sense to everything they touch-my beloved wife (full issarn-virtually nil education-in thailand) would be seenin thailand as useful only to clean ,but living in the west-she relates every day to people from all over the world-she owns her second business,employs 4 people ,pays taxes for them,for me for herself-this single function alone is more than many wealthy thais would never do !what ! pay tax!no, no no, keep the real thais insulated from these people-the true value of the issarn is a shrinking pocket of honest thais.(see real!)
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Re: Are the foreigners finding a sense of peace in Issarn?

Postby Random Thoughts on Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:49 pm

Hi -me again, sorry about the rant but my feelings about issarn run very strongly-these are a very rare bunch of people and it breaks my heart to see waves of abuse and derision that many seem to hold towards them-i remember so well the magical smiles that these people used to have-not so much any more regretably,a smile that every other part of thailand tries so hard to copy-but always comes up with a poor quality imitation ! the immeasurable value of the issarn is toremind all thais i of what it really is to be thai !
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Re: Are the foreigners finding a sense of peace in Issarn?

Postby pachangamac042 on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:14 pm

Well yes FOS, I am invited almost on a daily basis to food and drinks. One more thing I get invited often is to go to the rice fields and either plant rice, cut it, collect it or throw it up the rice machine.

I am not much of a farmer myself, but I still enjoy once in a while to help my mother in law with her two rice fields. Not much shrimps in our village but plenty of fish ponds. When they collect the fish, they pump out the water and just catch them with their hands. Quite funny to watch them doing it.

Regarding scyriacus and Trang, well, nothing I can say about that region, as I have never been that far South, so there is nothing I can say about it. I do have local friends in Phuket and they are as nice as I-Saan people. Maybe it is just a bit more difficult to make friends with locals in a place with a lot of tourists, compared to places with very little tourism.
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Re: Are the foreigners finding a sense of peace in Issarn?

Postby DocN on Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:13 pm

Dear random
yes they are a special bunch of people in Isaan.
I am making that experience right now.
But I guess I mean "special" not in the way you mean it!

Let me introduce myself: I am a 42 year old farang from Germany.
I came here in Oct. 2007, because I wanted to work abroad and as I spent (business and holiday) a lot of tinme in Thailand and I liked it, I though:"Why not go t a place you like?!".
Afte 1 month I met a very nice Isaan girl (guess where? yes, Patpong!) and unfortunately I fell in love with her.
Not unfortunately for her or her family, as I was giving her and them, whatever I could.

I still love my girlfriend, as she is not the problem.

First, I had to learn that her mom married her to a guy she had never seen before, when she was 18.
Now...I know that there are arranged marriages, so I was not really shocked.
He got her pregnant after a few months and as she was in the hospital, giving birth to their son, her sister saw that guy, running around with other women.
(He later confessed that he was f-ing around for a long time already...well...seems not to be a major problem in Thailand or in Isaan, doesn't seem to bother him or anyone else, except my girlfriend, much)
She got divorced and now (with a son) she had to go to Bangkok to work, left the son with her mom to get some money!
And where does an uneducated woman of 20 years get a job?
(Of course: this whole tearjerking story may be a lie and I a just a stupid farang, falling for it...but just assume for a second it was no lie!)
Uneducated?
Yes- her parents took her out of school when she was 12.

Thats how I met her.
I have no doubts in her honesty or whatever (stupid or not? not my turn to decide!)

After some time we were talking about marriage (mind you it was just talking...not planning) and she informed me, that her mother wanted 500.000 Baht from me, when I married her daughter!
1) This is not rent-a-friend, so I will not pay anything.
2) I hate to talk about a woman like about a used car, but as I understand, this money is a kind of a "reward" for the parents, because they made her daughter to be a good wife, educate her and so on.
Now: a girl who is takin' from school at 12 and who works in a bar and who brings a 5 year old son into the marriage...doesn't sound like she (or I) have a lot that we could thank her mom for! (yeah...giving life to her...blah blah...)

2 months ago, her family "comanded" her back to Nong Khai.
Her mom was sick (we know, that was a lie!) and as mom took care of her son, it was now her duty to return and take care of mom.
(A son that- if I might add- wouldn't even exist, if her mom wouldn't have sold her daughter like a slave, to some random stranger!)
But ok- my girlfriend and I decided to make the best out of the situation and see each other every two weeks for a long weekend and call each other every day.
Suddenly, my girlfriend told me that her mother wants to get 4000 Baht from me every month.
Why?
I have no idea and my girlfriend told me, not to worry about it.
Now...so you don't get the wrong idea: I am sending /giving my girlfriend money every month for her and her son (and if she gives it to her mom...I can't change it...it's hers) and I pay this and that for her family, make presents to her mom, her sisters, her brothers...

Yesterday my girlfriend told me, that her mom took away her ATM -card, ID-card and money, because she doen't want her daughter to go to Bangkok anymore to see me.
I have no reason to doubt my girlfriend (maybe you think I should!?)...and as I said: let's assume it is the truth.

Where I come from (mother or not) this is called theft and it is close to keeping her daughter hostage.

These people know nothing about gratefullness for anything, they have no respect for me (and apart from me, not being willing to pay ridiculous amounts of money, I have never given them any reason to do so) or my girlfriend.

Now I am not saying that all people of Isaan are that way and sure, everything may be my fault...but these guys are completely insane!

They are not an example for all Isaan people and the guys f-ing around on Patpong are not the example for tourists.
I respect everybody and be nice and humble to, if I feel respected.
Sure: I may not be 100% familiar with EVERY thai-rule (I am not thai!), but I guess everyone makes mistakes by working abroad.

Isaan is NOT the haven of tranquility, Thailand is not heaven on earth!
We are all people, we all have to learn and we all make mistakes.
But hiding behind "tradition" just to cover up greed...is as bad as thinking that Bangkok is the equivalent of Thailand.
No offense!
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Re: Are the foreigners finding a sense of peace in Issarn?

Postby DocN on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:54 am

Maybe you missed some points or I was not making it clear.
I met all her family!
I know they are poor, for I have seen it.
(unless you want to tell me that all bar girls have some kind of second family, they pay for "looking poor").

My girlfriend is NOT the problem, as I trust her and she even tells me NOT to pay anything to her mother and so far she never asked me for anything except sometimes 100 Baht for a phone card!

The problem I/we are dealing with is a dragon, who thinks that we have dated for one year, we are not married yet, so she is taking away her daughters ID and ATM Card.
The ATM card!!
Now it wouldn't even make sense to send her money as mom would take it.

I am just wandering, how something like this can happen.
But sure: bar girls!
The universal answer to all problems!
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Re: Are the foreigners finding a sense of peace in Issarn?

Postby DocN on Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:23 pm

Dear FOS
...can it be that again we are ...well...talking about the same thing, but...

My remark was a cynical one, concerning the ever so popular "it's a bargirl and even more from Isaan, so what do you expect?!"- thingy that's going on here.
I hate this kind of stereotyping.
I guess there are hundreds of bar-girls out there who are nice and hardworking, as there are studied what-evers who are just plain monsters.

Mind you: I am in Bangkok for 16 months now and the times I went to Patpong I can count on one hand.
And even those times were those when my boss (a Thai) took me there!
I wouldn't go there, if you paid me for it!

I don't know, but all this smile-mai pen rai-tradition-bargirl-talking is annoying me more and more.
I used to love this country, that's why I came here in the first place.
Seems that you don't get any respect here, you get ripped off (as a farang) and people just laugh about you.
And all of that hiding behind traditions that (to me , living in the 21st century) seem to be an 18th century excuse to have prejudices, be racist and cover up crimes and lies.

Mind you: I met some very nice people here.
Hard working, honest, careing (my Isaan, ex-bargirl girlfriend is among those)...I am just more and more scared every day to find out, even these true friends and nice people are just using me and that there is no such thing as an honest , respectful thai.

It's easy to say "use your brain"!
That was what I was doing from the day I got here, I was by no means thinking with other parts of my body!
I just tried to be nice and friendly (would you know me personally, I guess you would have to admit that I am...that sounds cocky, right?!...*lol*)...and all I got were kicks in my butt.

Ok...I will stop wining now.

Have a nice day!
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Re: Are the foreigners finding a sense of peace in Issarn?

Postby ATM on Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:02 pm

DocN wrote:Dear FOS
...can it be that again we are ...well...talking about the same thing, but...

My remark was a cynical one, concerning the ever so popular "it's a bargirl and even more from Isaan, so what do you expect?!"- thingy that's going on here.
I hate this kind of stereotyping.
I guess there are hundreds of bar-girls out there who are nice and hardworking, as there are studied what-evers who are just plain monsters.

Mind you: I am in Bangkok for 16 months now and the times I went to Patpong I can count on one hand.
And even those times were those when my boss (a Thai) took me there!
I wouldn't go there, if you paid me for it!

I don't know, but all this smile-mai pen rai-tradition-bargirl-talking is annoying me more and more.
I used to love this country, that's why I came here in the first place.
Seems that you don't get any respect here, you get ripped off (as a farang) and people just laugh about you.
And all of that hiding behind traditions that (to me , living in the 21st century) seem to be an 18th century excuse to have prejudices, be racist and cover up crimes and lies.

Mind you: I met some very nice people here.
Hard working, honest, careing (my Isaan, ex-bargirl girlfriend is among those)...I am just more and more scared every day to find out, even these true friends and nice people are just using me and that there is no such thing as an honest , respectful thai.

It's easy to say "use your brain"!
That was what I was doing from the day I got here, I was by no means thinking with other parts of my body!
I just tried to be nice and friendly (would you know me personally, I guess you would have to admit that I am...that sounds cocky, right?!...*lol*)...and all I got were kicks in my butt.

Ok...I will stop wining now.

Have a nice day!

Hows it going DocN don't lose heart mate yes there is a lot of bad thai people who will try to squeeze every last penny out of you, but the same can be said for many countries, the question is are foreigners finding a sense of peace in issarn, well for some its there dream come true and for others its a place to lose everything they ever worked for and go home empty handed. I am very lucky as my issarn mother in law is a wonderful woman who raised 10 children by herself after her husband was murdered for his land, despite her extreme poverty neither she or the rest of the family have ever hasselled me for anything, she wakes up early every morning to prepare food for the monks in the local temple and although she is getting fairly old she still has a great sense of humour. Your mother in law sounds like a real cow don't give in to her demands just to keep your girlfriend happy ,as far as i know by thai culture if you marry a girl that has been married previously and has a child she is known as a spoilt wife and there is no need for you to pay any kind of dowrie.
If relations with your girlfriends family are so bad then you can never have any kind of future with her, get out now while you still can there are plenty of good thai girls with good families out there
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Re: Are the foreigners finding a sense of peace in Issarn?

Postby DocN on Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:03 pm

@ATM
Thanks!

@FOS
Really: I don't want to win anything here!
1) There are bars on Patpong (2) like Cosmos...for example...where a lot of Thais go!
I never said anything about GoGo Bars.
If a "bar girl" is a woman who works in a bar, that includes the onew were the girls are fully covered and do not dance on the bar!
2) Honestly: I do behave very nice and I think I can say that IF I done something wrong , it was not intended or because I just give an F for rules and traditions. In fact I heard many times that I am even too catious not to "hurt" anyone.
That's why the horse went to drink! He was my boss, he was thai and I was here for a week!
3) I prefer people to be open and honest with me, as I am open and honest with them.
Example: why does a taxi driver loose his face if he says that he doesn't know where the place is that I want to go to...instead of driving me around the place for 45 minutes with obviously not a single clue where I want to go???
Actually: I am easy going, so if I say "mai pen rai"...I mean it!
But I will not say "mai pen rai", if my landlord clearly rips me off!
This is not "being nice" but avoiding any f-ing problem in order to go along with a comfortable life!
(I could go on about how this also affects daily and political life!)
By the way: this is Thailad, this is the culture and I can not change it!
But that doesn't mean I am not allowed to question it and the intention behind it!

I thank you for your honest and straight forward words.
But as much as I will try not to judge every Thai by the guys that treat me like the stupid farang I may be, I just ask for people not to judge me after the fat bellied (I am overweight!) sex tourists with no manners.
I know to behave, I meet everybody respect (believe it or not) ...and maybe I should judge more thai people by the way you are: open, informed....
It admit that the events of the past 5 months realy have spoiled my look on Thailand and the Thais...but...sorry to say...THAT is clearly their fault!

Have a nice day anyway!
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Re: Are the foreigners finding a sense of peace in Issarn?

Postby Flylow on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:11 pm

DocN,

this is one of those sad stories. I don't remember how many I have heard in about two years in Thailand. My questions is this.
Would you look for a wife auf the Herbertstrasse auf St Pauli?? Mein lieber Mann!! While living in Bangkok I have known 2 very nice girls from Surin and Loei, honest and good hearted and both where educated and spoke English well. I was just not ready to get married. Just remember, if their mothers ask for a Dowrey, best be on your way.
Good luck
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