The Ever-Present Tortured Expat and the Paradox

The Ever-Present Tortured Expat and the Paradox

Postby surinfarm on Fri May 27, 2011 7:59 pm

Perhaps someone might enlighten me as to the conditions of contradictory that persist amongst the resident {long-time or short-timers} Westerners in Thailand.....
Angst, frustration, and mild hostility seems to be a common thread within a broader and growing extension within the Farang resident community. The numerous and vocal examples are quite predictable, even lending to stereotypical matter - this species dislikes, with a passion, all things Thai and Thailand, yet insist to becoming a fixture of residency here...be it 6 months or 20 years. Nothing but petty bashing of the culture and society, whinging and \\ //// about the perceived cultural differences, extending the proverbial comparatives and superlatives, pondering on why "Asia" isn't like the West, etc, etc.
This is not an unusual species amongst expat communities in non-Western cultures, in fact the homogenous mindset seems to be quite apparent throughout these same circle throughout the world.
The paradox. Why...?? Why, if they are not happy and comfortable in there chosen country of residence, do they insist to be living in said culture of choice? Wouldn't it be pertinent to one's existence to exist in an atmosphere that you might be comfortable and "at home" in?
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Re: The Ever-Present Tortured Expat and the Paradox

Postby chazthai on Sun May 29, 2011 2:32 pm

I too sense a growing frustration on the part of farangs toward many things Thai, but I think a large part of it is frustration over the way things are done over here. Thailand wants to be so "modern", so "Western", but they just can't seem to get it right and consistently come up short. Take the current kerfuffle over the EZ-Pass system, for example. The complaints that it just doesn't work are completely logical and justified, and the solutions are apparent to anyone who has experienced the system in the US, for example. I wrote on this just a few days ago. But is it going to get fixed?...Not very d...n likely!

There are many, many other issues which could be cited. I think the solution is drastic but not easy to accomplish: either Thailand must do its best to fully and correctly emulate Western ways and systems, or it must return to a third-world, insular "Thainess" and withdraw to whence it came - and that is hardly likely to happen. In many ways it is easier for a foreigner to live in a totally non-Western society as a complete outsider than it is to cope with a partially Westernized culture which offers only frustration when it falls short and fails to deliver. Take my internet service from TOT, for example: It fails dozens of times a day because this is the rainy season and the underground lines get wet! Really, folks...who needs to put up with this in the 21st century?

I know that my comments will draw ire and criticism from many readers, but that is the purpose of this forum, and it is welcome.
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Re: The Ever-Present Tortured Expat and the Paradox

Postby drake on Tue May 31, 2011 12:48 am

chazthai wrote:Take the current kerfuffle over the EZ-Pass system, for example. The complaints that it just doesn't work are completely logical and justified, and the solutions are apparent to anyone who has experienced the system in the US, for example. I wrote on this just a few days ago. But is it going to get fixed?...Not very d...n likely!

Yeah, that. Here it seems more about the ease of paying the toll rather than consideration for the traffic congestion.
Someone went out and bought this gated system from Kapsch Group instead of a different toll tag system that allow the cars to zip through at highway speed and we are stuck with it for now.
The funked up lane assignment system which places the ezPass gate at random slot at each of the toll station but (almost) always between paid gates, well, that could only have been dredged up from the eleventh cesspool of chinese fire drill inferno by committees of Thai bureaucrats.
But I digressed.

Re. the original question "The paradox. Why...?? Why, if they are not happy and comfortable in there chosen country of residence, do they insist to be living in said culture of choice? Wouldn't it be pertinent to one's existence to exist in an atmosphere that you might be comfortable and "at home" in?"
This question was actually once raised in another thread
It's usually a mix of several factors.
- aren't comfortable with themselves, won't be comfortable anywhere.
- can't go home, for whatever reason.
- didn't fit in at their old home either.
- inability to adapt or be assimilated in to the new environment
- superiority/god/missionary complex
- they like some of the things in their new home but also want the 'good' things they had whence they came
- just plain clueless and being the jerks that they are.
- can't admit that they are wrong or didn't know any better.
- would have been beaten senseless whence they came for same attitude.
- taller than most people here but the shortest guy back home.
- delusional, thinks they are going to change the Thais....
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Re: The Ever-Present Tortured Expat and the Paradox

Postby surinfarm on Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:57 am

drake wrote:
chazthai wrote:Take the current kerfuffle over the EZ-Pass system, for example. The complaints that it just doesn't work are completely logical and justified, and the solutions are apparent to anyone who has experienced the system in the US, for example. I wrote on this just a few days ago. But is it going to get fixed?...Not very d...n likely!

Yeah, that. Here it seems more about the ease of paying the toll rather than consideration for the traffic congestion.
Someone went out and bought this gated system from Kapsch Group instead of a different toll tag system that allow the cars to zip through at highway speed and we are stuck with it for now.
The funked up lane assignment system which places the ezPass gate at random slot at each of the toll station but (almost) always between paid gates, well, that could only have been dredged up from the eleventh cesspool of chinese fire drill inferno by committees of Thai bureaucrats.
But I digressed.

Re. the original question "The paradox. Why...?? Why, if they are not happy and comfortable in there chosen country of residence, do they insist to be living in said culture of choice? Wouldn't it be pertinent to one's existence to exist in an atmosphere that you might be comfortable and "at home" in?"
This question was actually once raised in another thread
It's usually a mix of several factors.
- aren't comfortable with themselves, won't be comfortable anywhere.
- can't go home, for whatever reason.
- didn't fit in at their old home either.
- inability to adapt or be assimilated in to the new environment
- superiority/god/missionary complex
- they like some of the things in their new home but also want the 'good' things they had whence they came
- just plain clueless and being the jerks that they are.
- can't admit that they are wrong or didn't know any better.
- would have been beaten senseless whence they came for same attitude.
- taller than most people here but the shortest guy back home.
- delusional, thinks they are going to change the Thais....

All these above apply.
Yet, I'm quite amused as to the poster above you that suggest Thais yearn to be "Western". Mostly from the deep-end.
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Re: The Ever-Present Tortured Expat and the Paradox

Postby laylek on Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:35 pm

Drake has hit the nail on the head. Bullseye! I believe we must know the same group of complainers.
I have lived in Thailand on 3 seperate occassions. 1971 ot 1975, 1986 to 1988 and 1997 to present. I have never had the problems I have been reading in this forum. I found that simply being nice at first encounter gets the same response from the Thai people. Of course business people will attempt to charge as much as the mark(et) will bear. This is world wide and good business. Never the less, the most simple attempt to understand how or what the Thai person you are dealing with thinks or wants usually opens a friendly dialog.
Now if someone can tell me how to teach "certain people" to be nice first, I would be grateful. I do know that my numerous Thai friends will say that Americans are the most polite, the Austrailians are a little cheap but the English are the most rude of all the Falangs. My personal experience doesn't support those opinions but I have seen prime examples of what they mean.
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Re: The Ever-Present Tortured Expat and the Paradox

Postby drake on Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:30 am

surinfarm wrote:Yet, I'm quite amused as to the poster above you that suggest Thais yearn to be "Western". Mostly from the deep-end.

Actually, the cargo-cult mentality is alive and flourishing well here.
Most Thais want this country to be GREAT and treated as a real player on the world stage, not some comedic walk-on bit.
So they mimic the western appearance and behaviour.
All the outward appearance but not the soul .
Perhaps this is what 'yearning to be western' means ?

Thais, like every other developing nations, had always look up to the westerners - mistaken the technologies for civilized consciousness. Glitz from Hollywood didn't do much to help that. The modernization (westernization) movement of the 40s forced the population of Thailand to adopt western morals and behaviour/social standard along with the western attire.

In the 50s-70s, America was k*ng and everyone want to be (like) an American, or at least try to mimick what they see on the screen or in some magazine. Levis, coca-cola, rock and roll, you know, the lot.
It eventually fades out in the 80s and 90s and now the IN thing is mimicking Korean and Japanese !
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Re: The Ever-Present Tortured Expat and the Paradox

Postby surinfarm on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:26 am

It ain't rebellin' if you're buying what they're sellin'... :ugeek:
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