We live in a decent, for Thai standards even fancy Moo Ban aka compound. There is a swimming pool, a park where kids can play, and 24 hour security. Most of the 150 houses are owned and occupied by Thai people, foreigners here are only a few. The houses are stand alone houses, not townhouses. The kind of house you see at shopping malls as a model in glas boxes, with car port and garden. It is nice here.
Most Thai families have at least one car, two is average. They should have a decent job and therefor some education. The latter is the problem.
Education is not what you learn in school. In school you get knowledge (if it is a good school). Education is a sum of tradition, manner, ethics, knowledge and experience. And something in this mix seems to wrong in Thais middle class, if my fellow neighbors are a representation of it (what I believe).
Whenever we leave Bangkok we are surprised that people outside the capital speak better English than the average Bangkokian. At least they try to communicate. In our Mooban, from our experience even at the village party last year, 80 percent do not speak English. And that includes the kids and teens (some parents do actually better).
The people here have few interactions with each other. Some of the old ladies talk to each other, some mother with kids meet at the playground. But that's pretty much it. They driving the cars at maximum speed through the small roads, let the dogs shit where ever they can without cleaning up or running them with out leashes. There is a comitee that is responsible for the community, but they see to be quite lame. They recently fired the gardeners - without having a replacement. Now gras is growing everywhere.
I predicted that in 2 years we will have the first shops open here - what is of course a violation of the contract. But who cares? Accepting rules seems to be not part of the education, and planning ahead also not.
Today, I walked my dogs when in one of the side streets suddenly a Pomeranian came running towards us. I have 5 street dogs, they are quite friendly, but they will freak out a bit when a barking toy dogs comes at them. Since I saw him coming I moved ahead and avoided a confrontation. On the way back, I was thinking: I bet the owner, who saw us before, isn't thinking it through that we will actually come back (although it is obvious, we have to pass to get to our house). So of course the little dog was without a leash (see above "rules) and went straight to my pack.
I do have my dogs quite under control, so they went just a bit nuts and barked and the owner (or his son) came and picked the dog up (as he learned from a soap opera, I guess). It was pretty obvious that he didn't even understand what was wrong (common knowledge here would be that it was my fault, because a) I am a foreigner, b) I have many dogs and c) they are street dogs). No excuse by the owner, of course.
But this shows the basic problems I experienced a lot here, in particular with some middle class people: Not much thinking through, no ability of planning ahead, total lack of sense for a community, no interaction with anyone outside the family, no language skills.
The middle class is what build America. It is the backbone of the German economy. It is the fundament of most industrialised and developed countries. You need a solid and stable middle class for consumption, but also for invention and development.
And when you see the changes of the current curriculum, it doesn't seem to get better. I am just feeling bad for the many smart and nice people who may not have access to higher education or position where they can make a change. The majority of Thai people has to suffer, and the rulers trying hard to brainwash them even more than before.
(I may be wrong with this. It is based on my observations and experience, but not by scientific research. Feel free to correct me).