Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
panadolsandwich

Man looks three years of Thai living and reflects

Recommended Posts

I must admit, I started to watch this video expecting to just despise this guy - but he actually seems a really nice guy.  I guess I thought it was contemptuous to think you could ever understand Thailand in only three years.  To his credit he doesn't appear to be a know it all, just searching for understanding. 

But I couldn't help but think - that poor poor bastard - get out while you can.  Because you'll be eaten up and spat out in five minutes if you're not careful. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

image.png.15ba77f0e50b9dd4e32f5c45cd18b195.png

Well if you're a young grasshopper struggling to understand - there is now a nifty chart you can consult.  It's highly racist, and there is no scientific basis for this, but it's a chart, and that means it is science right?  So yeah science must be wrong because this is obviously bullshit right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So here is an interesting model. Sadly perhaps the bulk of people hover between the Denial and Defense categories.  Being Ethnocentric isn't really morally wrong, but if you continually find yourself stuck here, it's not that your harming anyone else, you're just making yourself miserable.  You might wish to consider whether living in a bubble is the right thing for you. 

BTW, I've been through all these phases, and it took longer then 3 years.  I'd say I'm perhaps between Acceptance and Adaption, like most of the members here, although I'm making significant progress on Integration.  I speak the language, the dialects, I understand the culture and practice it when I'm in town.  But you'll always be a Farang, that's never going to change, but hey I embrace that as well, I'm proud of my heritage.  And you know what?  That's most likely what the spirit of Integration is - you contribute in your own way.

 

image.thumb.png.646216fb37a5846eb41f6914184a30bb.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly the biggest leap of faith for foreigners appears to be the Acceptance phase.  It's like they're being asked to destroy their ego or something.  But if you make it to Acceptance, you're golden.  The model isn't a game you need to score top points in.  And besides if you made it to Acceptance, you'll more than naturally gravitate to Adaption. 

I'm not talking about calling yourself Muk and sitting by the sewer grating supping cheap rum with the tuk tuk boys and eating som tam with unwashed hands.  But you'll tend to find some of the cultural ideas refreshing, revitalizing even. 

Everyone here put up your hand if you thought the phrase 'Don't think too much' was ridiculous, stupid even.  Be honest - I know I did.   But it's just that it gets mangled in the translation.  Be mindful, be here for the present, focus on what you're doing.  Don't worry so much about what you can't change anyway.  But we'll smile and let the thickos joke about how the Thais answer is to just not think, but we know better. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may have, but if you haven't, examine Buddhism from the point of view of philosophy, not religion. Then understand, that all of them, are tied up in the religious practise of it, and you'll have a better view from on far.

I don't have any answers, no, not an answer, this, is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Coss, very true.  At first I was dragged along to temples under sufferance, but then I started to enjoy the leafy peacefulness, the mesmerizing chant at the beginning of the service, and really just the really good natured way people got along.   Being honoured and asked sit at the front with the elders, even though I was barely thirty.  And the feast of home cooking at the end of service.  No one was really trying to ram anything down my throat in terms of religious belief either.

You're right, I see it as more a philosophy than anything else.  It's not trying to avoid suffering, it's accepting that that is part of existence, the fact of suffering means you're alive.  And I never would have said this even 5 years ago, but I think there is some kind of power in prayer - not for me perhaps, I'm just far too cynical, but it seems to work for people I know.  Not of some magic kind, but I think it realigns your values, your motivations in a rather serene way.

So yeah you're really onto something there.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all view culture differently. 

image.png.d329a60c0bd4c12c37d52c9318f3824f.png

I really like this model:

image.thumb.png.9ec6f3db93defd6a6e7359d22d5cc38a.png

There's a hell of a lot going on beneath the surface.  I think a lot of foreigners regret they'll never be fully accepted, or object to being called Farang, but as you can see from this model, there's just such a hell of a lot to know, and let's face it a hell of a lot of challenging things to think about. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I owe Stickman an apology for being overly critical of him. He was dealing with bams who could only see the tip of the iceberg.  And what a project to try on!  In it's scale it was just immense and he did an admirable job, but ultimately it wore him down.  It would wear anyone down. 

You see being a Westerner doesn't exclude you, but it doesn't include you either.  You're always the exception.  And I can't see any problem with that - after all look to your own prejudices before you judge someone else - I mean, most people, including myself tend to come up short.  We aren't perfect, but we can open up a bit more.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, panadolsandwich said:

So yeah you're really onto something there.

Well, that gave me a minor cerebral haemorrhage, I'm not accustomed to positive feedback :)

9 hours ago, panadolsandwich said:

We all view culture differently. 

And that's if we view it at all, I suggest that members of this board, are in the tiny minority who do so and that the rest of the human populace, would have trouble assembling the concept.

3 hours ago, panadolsandwich said:

I think I owe Stickman an apology for being overly critical of him.

Woss wrong with Stickman? He lovely man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Coss I value your posts.  Perhaps I'm finally approaching some level of enlightenment!

I would like to hear from the likes of Stickman and Flash as well.  How did you adapt to the culture? 

I was happily clueless.  In my own bubble initially.  It's hard to explain, but I became hyper-aware, being hangover you kind of have to fend for yourself, and knowing a bit of Thai helps to kick a girl out of room. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...