Thai – Farang Friends, Do we ever really KNOW each other?

There was a guy student of mine that was of Chinese
descent when I was teaching in Ubon. He had graduated
from a great school in Bangkok, and his father had a
construction business in Ubon so he returned after he
graduated to take an engineering position with the
company.

Smart guy. Worldly Thai guy, considering that most,
even the educated Thais' I would never consider
"worldly".  This guy had been around to many different
countries over the past 10 years both with and without
his family. Some of his friends were rather wealthy too
so they all went to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taiwan,
China, Australia, and many other spots they could
hang loose and see how others' lived.

We got along pretty well and he was always asking me
to go out with him to different bars.  I did go a few times
and he taught me a lot about Thai social interaction
that was great to know.  The do's and dont's of  interacting
with Thai men and women and what is the norm… so,
from that aspect it was a great learning experience.

As it turns out, after about 9 times of going out and doing
things I realized that the guy says one thing and does the
opposite. Not a real reliable person, nor truthful in my
understanding of things. So I stopped going out with him.
I realized when I did that I never really understood the guy
much at all.  Maybe not AT ALL.  We laughed, we had a
good time – on the surface. But I wonder if anything he
told me was true, or if it was all a fabrication to build
"face".

I'm still not sure.

Anyway…  kind of the point of the notecard is that Thai
people with money, with prestige, with a life here they are
not much interested in same-sex visitors. They may
play the role a bit… they might have some interest but
their interest might not be in sharing a piece of them-
selves… their feelings, their TRUE feelings. Social
interaction between me and all Thais' seems to be more
of a social dance… they are very aware of what they are
revealing about themselves. They don't let you see the
dirty side of things. They only present the cleanest
image.

I wonder if they are that way with each other too.  I have
heard my girlfriend talk about negative things that were
affecting her – to her closest friends. But, never everything.
She reserves that. Not for me – just to hold inside hereself
I guess. I don't think it ever comes out.

She never cries… she never really seems sad or bored. To
me she might appear bored – but it is because I THINK she
MUST be bored without something to do for a long time.
But, she's not. She's quite OK with it…

So, this notecard is just another comment on the state of
farangs and Thai relationships. It's a shallow state of
friendship and maybe of love.  Shallow from what I consider
to be meaningful…

If a Thai person appears really interested in you and shows
a LOT of interest or gets excited about seeing you – I think
maybe it's because of the money factor. In some or most
cases I would guess this.

Those with money don't really associate with foreigners.
They don't care. They don't see us as an ATM because they
likely have as much or more money than we do.  They kind
of ignore us.

It's strange to notice…

I guess since I'm currently ranked LOW on the "connected"
scale of social prestige here in Thailand I see this.  Yes,
there are many Thais' with money that will associate with
farangs with money. Don't get me wrong. But, since overall
most Thais' don't have money. Most Thais' are very curious
about and want to have interaction with – foreigners.

Am I crazy or is someone else seeing this?