Thursday, June 18, 2009

one night, two lives

I have had it with the moneyboy topic for the moment... I think it's not my USP (unique selling point, anyone studied business too?)lets move back to my life, that's more interesting...

celebrating the beauty of pinoys again.

Today was an eventful day for me. Actually I am just really exhausted and for some reason understood no Thai whatsoever today. Like it escaped me. Writing a thesis requires a really strong character, I reckon.

You have no satisfaction whatsoever for a few months until you finish that thing. I finished 2 out of 3 chapters and have written 25,000 words in a bit more than two months.

After this thesis, another one for my Thai degree...why am I doing this, I am asking myself every day...I guess I'll never find out:)

Now everyone listen: this is the best-looking guy I ever featured on my blog. He studies at UP...if anyone knows him...tell him I love him long time.

Tonight I realised how layered my identity and behaviours have become. That sounds dramatic, I know.

Among farangs living here in Thailand, there are a few different expat groups such as the young professionals, the nana/silom/surawong/asoke love-birds, the old professionals, the backpackers etc...and then there are the ones that dont interact with other farangs.

I am one of them. Whether that's good or bad, I dont know. I know exactly one farang in Thailand, blogger bkkdreamer. Since tonight, I know two.

I met a loyal reader from a mountainous country in Europe today in the Sukhumvit area. I have never really been to Sukhumvit but it looks interesting. We even managed to walk through Soi Cowboy!!

Anyway, my new friend from mountainous farangland has a huge circle of farang friends here, and they all seem smart, achievers, educated, short, I am jealous!

We talked about his home country, Thailand and many other places and it seemed to me that we see things very much the same way...I had suddenly become really "farang"...and I felt confused but also quite free doing that.

No need for considerations, no need to dumb down my English, no need to talk to gossip, just talk. How relieving!

I cannot do this with most Thais, it's impossible...the conversations operate on a different level, the way we think is really totally different.

*melt* yes you dont have to look into my eyes so have disarmed me already:)

I want to elaborate more on this sometime. For now I give you a small example.

We have virus problems at university (computer, not swine flu:). The secretary girl had her anti-virus problem running when I arrived this morning. There were many red things coming up saying she has viruses.

She asked me: What should I do? I said, let the programme delete these files for you. She said: "uiiiiiiiii, na glua!!!" ohhhhh, scare. How can I close this window, I am scared of all the red...

Think what you want...

can we study together?:)

After my meeting in Sukhumvit playing the good ole farang bb, I went to badminton.

This time, none of my friends came. We were about 10 men and women between 22 and nearly 60, all Thais, except me. None of these people speak any English.

I assumed the role of the Thai bb. We had fun, we talked about bananas, about work, about study, about badminton and of course, about men. A girl asked me which one of the men I like.

I would not be surprised if the one I chose knows it already by now...

I think I should be proud of myself!

I can really integrate well with many different people I think! I am also happy I am starting to branch out to foreigners now. There's only so much chit-chat and gossip you can do...:)


alone in london said...

I don't think the girl with computer problem is a good example, that's more like a general female trait I think..[being a bit sexist here =.="]

BB said...

what I mean by this story is that Thai people do not confront problems like farang people do.

farangs like to solve it and then feel better. thai people like to let time solve it and in general do not confront things.

bobsaigon said...

Interesting post, BB. I also have no farang friends in Thailand. Spend all my time with boys. Then, after 2-3 weeks, I go back to Vietnam and there I can use standard English to discuss a wide range of topics with my 40 yr old Vietnamese partner. Ninety-five per cent of the satisfaction I get in Thailand takes place below the waist. Not much intellectual activity taking place, even when I taught at university in Bangkok. There are profound thinkers in Thailand but I was never fluent enough in Thai, or interested enough, to want to meet them. (Sorry, this comment doesn't even track for me!)

aussie said...

raxoAfter seven visits to Thailand concentrating only on mixing with Thais I realised that I was missing out on something.

The experiences, knowledge and possible friendships that can be gained by interacting with other farangs, carefully selected of course, was a very important part of my recent visit and really enhanced my time in Thailand.

BB said...

bob it depends which crowd you mix with...if anyone searches their friends in silom or pattaya they must be prepared to find "this" kind of person...
aussie, we seem to have similar experiences...

I must still emphasise though that my interaction with thais has given and continues to give me satisfaction. I feel ok around them, can adapt, laugh and gossip. but I was missing out on bonding with a more diverse group of people.

bangkok is a world hub, there's interesting people from all over the world - just have to go and find them!

Anonymous said...

Handsome guy featured on pictures-)

All you said about communication and difficulties with Thais is true and has wider conotations. Do you remember a book - The little Prince? By Exupery? It is very significant.....he traveled a lot but at the end realised that he had been most attached to the little rose from his planet of origin.....

Sometimes we have to search a lot in order to realise that the happiness is just around us..... e.i. in our contry, town, street...


aurix said...

i'm in a somewhat similar position, though kind of reverse. i grew up in bangkok before going to study in faranglands. most if not all of my friends here are thai, mostly from school. these days when i'm back home i can chit-chat and gossip with them like crazy, like in the old days, and i honestly enjoy it, most of the time anyways, but something else is missing. one time i even tried looking for a book club of some sorts in bangkok!

however i don't think it's a culturally ingrained thing, not a national trait. it largely depends on where you meet people. my high school in bangkok wasn't exactly known for its academic caliber. the schools in faranglands that i've attended/are attending are definitely much more rigorous academically. the thai people i've become friends with at these schools are different from my high school friends--of course this is just a generalization.

some of my very good friends from school here grew up to become, well, quite typical of hiso bangkokians in their attitude, lifestyle, mannerism, aspirations. yet, at the same time, i know some of them also have interesting things to say about things other than gossip, make-up, etc. it's just that in thailand we don't talk about these things in public--"too serious!"--but in private, within a small group of really close friends it can be different.

and lastly, an aside, it seems to me that sometimes conversations that involve "deep thoughts," reflections, philosphy or whatever, anything other than gossip, don't actually lead anywhere anyways. in my experience it sometimes ends up being, for lack of a better word, just performative: smarter-than-thou, that sort of thing (which is what happens a lot in academic seminars).

Anonymous said...

Handsome Judd Duque - Ian

Anonymous said...

he does not study in UP. he studies at PUP taking up accountancy.