Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just how Thai should I become?

I have always been a person that tries to adapt as quickly as possible yet distancing himself from others. I have lived in several countries so I dont really have one home anymore. Thais like to ask how things are in "your home country" and I always need to ask them, which one? In fact I dont even know because I havent lived in some of them for a long time.
Back to the topic.
Normally, I would observe people throughly and just do the same because that is how people do it in my new place. That involves many many things.

Communication is absolutely crucial to blending in and adapting to a new place. If you want to become "one of them" you just have to try to speak like the people in your new place. That is not very easy in Thailand. If we move from - say - Montréal to Paris - it's still "the same language". If we move from Cardiff to Melbourne, it is also roughly the same language. Even if we move from Copenhagen to Auckland, it's still rather similar. But from xxx to Bangkok, it isnt. Thai is not easy to learn. But hey, I was mistaken as a half-Thai the other day by a taxi driver and complimented 4 times on my Thai at Chatuchak Weekend Market today. So we can all make an effort and blend in a little bit on communication at least, no matter how hard it is.

Customs are small things, gestures, ways of behaving...such as how to eat, where to eat, when to eat, how to greet, how to interact in general...I have noticed that in Thailand I have become more feminine. My voice and gestures have become softer as well. I eat whenever I want to and have lost some weight due the diet. I never put the bag on the ground anymore but on my lap or on a chair next to me. One thing I dont do very often is to wai people. (wai-ing is the thai way of greeting each other with the folded hands) I think foreigners really overdue it normally, wai-ing every single person at the supermarket or cinema or restaurant. That is ridiculous. Thais only wai in a rather formal context. (that can include family members). One more thing that I noticed about myself is the way I conduct appointments and the way I make decisions. I have changed somewhat from a very organised to a very unorganised and most scarily to an INDECISIVE person. This is very Thai. Before, I used to make schedules days in advance. Now, for example last Friday I booked 5 people for an evening....sorta. Ended up with.....oh I cant even remember. Ah yeah, it was horrible. A guy that I met before and I actually liked him. This time we had dinner around here and then went to my place. That's when he started drinking from my minibar and boasted THREE times about how big and hard his cock is, only to announce that he had get up and leave. What an asshole. Makes everything about himself.

My mental state after one of these gorgeous Thais left my room.

Dating. But this now swiftly and conveniently onto dating. Lately I have tried to date with "real" Thais. That means, guys who havent slept with 10 Australian backpackers, 10 English businessmen and 10 German tourists but rather someone who might have never met a foreigner before for a date. This has ups and downs and I am not sure how to confront this topic just now. Dating these "exclusive" Thais like the Lumpini boy before and now the Rachada boy is immensely frustrating. They dont speak a lot of English (and I dont speak a lot of Thai) and they are not used to farang being around them. We have had dozens of misunderstandings and I am always very puzzled as to what's going on...why do they do this? why dont they do this? The upside is: they look gorgeous and much better than the ones that get chosen by foreingers normally. But, they know it and they want to be adored, touched and so on...and dont give very much back in turn.

that's a huge contrast with some of these guys that always lurk around foreigners...and know for example that in belgium people speak two languages.

So what should I do? Gorgeous Thai or not so gorgeous but very used to farang....I am tired for now there wont be much of both...


bkkdreamer said...

I wouldn't recommend becoming any more Thai. Before you know it, you'll start turning up habitually late, listening to country music, taking energy drinks, smoking heavily, watching birds fight or men play football, and driving taxis for a living.

Takashi said...

just dont try too hard :)