Friday, August 22, 2014

Why is everything in Thailand so disappointing?

Now, this is for sure a click bait question, and thanks for reading. Of course not everything is disappointing in Thailand. otherwise we wouldn't live here. But I guess I am not the only expat who is sometimes very frustrated, disappointed, even angry about Thailand and the Thai people. THE Thai people .

So where is this coming from?

Most of my posts develop from some thoughts I have driving on my motobike in the morning bringing my wife to the BTS station. Traffic in Thailand is something that can make you really frustrated. So there was this mototaxi driver who just cut short, forcing me to make a sudden break. "Why they don't learn driving?" was my first thought (I am long enough here to never say this to a local). But then I realised that in one year driving so far I had no accident, not even close to one. That was not just because of my good driving. It was also because most people here are driving not too bad.

It is in us to make this separation. I am pretty sure I am not the only one who has this we vs. them thoughts. This has nothing to do with racism. First of all many people here really let you know you are a foreigner, starting with "Falang" and ending with  different price structures. But this is understandable, both from the historic point of view as well as in business matters.

My theory is that we have quite high expectations. Most of us expats live here because we love Bangkok, Thailand or Asia in general. It is the paradise we always wanted to live in. The garden Eden. And we still have this romantic idea that this place and the people are different (Thai nationalists actually believe this in a very serious way), everyone is so kind and helpful. We WANT it to be that way, because we do not want to admit that the dream never came true or that reality is just different.

Because, in fact, Thailand is not so different from other places in the world, western countries included. There is just one human race, and we all have a lot of things in common. Bad drivers? Go to Offenbach in Germany! THEY, as we from north of Frankfurt say, will never get the idea how to drive.

Driving further there is this woman I see every morning. She works in one of the nearby factories as you can see from her uniform. She pulls a trolley filled with rice and dog food. Every morning she feeds the soi dogs between Lasalle and Bearing. How kind she is! But I never had this thought about how kind THE Thai people are.

Sometimes we need to remind us that life is as different as people are.