Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I am a fat farang expert

Today was quite an eventful day, so I'd like to share with you.

In the morning, I was invited to give a lecture about the European Union at the Ministry of Commerce. I heard about this on friday, and quickly prepared a nice presentation.

I also had to lie about myself. I was introduced as an expert from New Zealand who is teaching at Chula for a week. That's nice, I enjoyed my "status" as a professor.

The audience was very nice to me too. An older lady, clearly one of the higher-ranked members of our seminar came to me and complemented me. Apparently I made it interesting because everyone listened to me for more than an hour...

Actually, this should tell you something about the status of farang in Thailand. I was not an expert because I am one, but because I am farang. We instantly have the respect of Thai people, especially if we talk about our own region.

I have recently read complaints on some other blogs that farangs are not taken seriously in Thailand. In 99% this is just plain wrong. We enjoy a very high respect. If you do not get the Thai people's respect, you are probably behaving in a way which really annoys the locals.

The Ministry of Commerce main building

The Ministry of Commerce is out in Nonthaburi, right on the river. It's a huge building with two monstrous Thai flags waving in the wind. Even though the building is heavy and not sophisticated, I loved it.

It was just so Thai. There's a sala-like entrance with a pointy roof and our meeting room was equipped with big leather chairs and many TV-screens. Of course, the materials used were cheap, and at some point there was a power failure.

This is quite typical for Thailand, which is still a developing country. But I like that. For some reason I am used to a degree of fallibility and the somewhat strange design of the buildings. I felt very homely and thought that actually, Thailand is JUST RIGHT for me.

After the presentation, I went to the Nonthaburi Department of Revenue, to pay taxes for the income of the professors. In the office, the tax ladies were enthusiastic when they saw me. I felt like a little boy who gets patted and cuddled.

Finished with all things university, I got in a taxi to take me back to Bangkok. I was watching a movie at the Bangkok International Film Festival with the boyfriend. I will write about the movies another time, but each and every one of them has been great!

Also, the BIFF is a great place to watch people and be seen. We gays are probably outnumbering our straight counterparts and the people (both farang and Thai) are of the more "cultured" sort.

Then, I finished the day off with some badminton. My badminton friend doesnt talk to me anymore. Two weeks ago, when he saw me, he said: You look soooo fat. Thank you very much badminton friend, I thought.

Thais always make remarks about people's weight. When you lose or gain 1kgs, they will know. I dont take offense when, in the middle of the conversation, someone says that I am fat. That's just what Thais think.

The way the badminton friend said it though, was just plain rude. But I gave him the benefit of the doubt. The next time, he called me อว้น (something like "fattie") through half the gym was I was playing.

I didnt react, because I didnt feel talked to. I have a name. He said it four times, and then I hit the shuttle towards him. Since then, he doesnt talk to me anymore. I said hi today, but got no response. I dont feel like telling him what I think about his behaviour, it should be clear.

Badminton was fun, but I was tired...There was a new group of three faggots who came to join us. One of them was cute. Quite small, very white skin (I normally dont like, but he looked cute) and messy hair.

When I saw his chest, I thought I saw a fata morgana. He had the chest and the arms of a body builder...I thought for about 2 seconds whether I should find that hot, but decided it was really out of proportion and just plain weird.

A short guy with a cute face and an Arnold Schwarzenegger body? No, thanks, he should stop looking at Singaporean and Hong Kong tourists and learn how to play badminton. Even with his monster-body, he played like a sissy....how odd...


samart said...

Hi BB, this is a great post again. I like it how you describe the situation you found at the Ministry of Commerce, the working atmosphere there, and what impression you got of it. And then you even attach a photo of the building! Very nice.

BB said...

thank you! yes, I think most foreigners only get to see the immigration department at suan phlu and get, understandably, annoyed at Thai bureaucracy. but it also has something charming about itself...