What is Living in Thailand REALLY Like?

Southern Thailand Violence: Future thoughts

Southern Thailand violence, future thoughts

This is one of the things that really amazes me here. How
much Thais’ will ignore in order to save face. For the small
stuff, yah, I’m all for it. I’ve been trying to assimilate that into my behavior too – what’s the point in identifying everyone’s faults and getting everything on the table if you know someone is going to lose face for it?

In the USA I grew up pointing out everyone’s faults. It’s like a national pasttime. Something that is of great concern to people. Here – Mai pen rai… forget it… nevermind… If someone brings up something that makes another lose face there is a weird state of dynamics that goes on in the room, maybe a smile – depending on how bad it looked. Thais’ sense the loss of face very acutely. I’m still trying to figure it out. But, when everyone gets quiet and ignores what I said, I know I’ve faux pas’ed and I try to move on too.

What’s REALLY frustrating is that on a national level and INTERNATIONAL level, Thailand does the same thing. Ignore things.

How the people of Thailand can ignore the terrorism going on in the south everyday is anyone’s guess. I just don’t “get it” at all. It’s sickening really. Men, women, children, Buddhist monks, teachers, women teachers, old men teachers, anyone really – nobody is sacred or off limits to these cheeseheads…

These people are dying in really horrible ways. Usually drive by shootings as they go to or return from work. Usually teachers I believe. Well, those are the ones the media reports often. I really think that something can be done, but it’s fast spiraling out of control. Well, fast now. It’s been going on for years and nothing “good” has been done to resolve it – so now it’s picking up momentum and with the addition of terrorists from other areas – terrorists that know what the hell their doing – things could get REALLY bad for Thailand  soon.

Thailand’s leaders would continue to suffer some MAJOR FACE LOSS if they continued to confront the problem with half-azzed ideas that don’t work at all. They HAVE tried some things – but from what I read, the follow-through is just not there. The competence to get something real achieved is just
not there.

There is an attempt to something – they announce it in the papers. They go there, they attempt. It fails. They don’t continue. They “mai pen rai” it and hope it goes away. Usually it does. I don’t see in the news or newspapers that the journalists are bringing up the failures – and asking – WHERE ARE WE GOING now? That’s just not “Thai”.

So, Thailand is coasting down a path leading to some SERIOUS SHITE in the future. The possibility for escalation of the violence to other areas is quite real at this point. The terrorists in the south believe that nothing is really changing even with what they are doing. Radical organizations do radical things. If this isn’t radical enough – think of where it could go.

Phuket, Ko Samui, Railay Beach, Pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai. If they went into ONE major tourist spot like Patong beach – can you imagine what would
happen to tourism here?

Sure the whoremongers would still arrive in droves. Nothing can stop a viagra-fueled raging whoremonger.

But, there are lots of backpackers and even families that come to Thailand to relax. Nobody can relax with the threat of bombs blowing your leg off as you
eat dinner (reference to expat’s leg blowing off at dinner in Bangkok on New Years Eve 2007).

I’m really hoping that the elections come off this year as the ruling Junta is promising. Nothing is a good promise here – I’ve learned that. NOTHING can be taken as a meaningful promise between any two people or between anyone. It’s just not worth counting on. In America – a promise is usually a
promise. It happens. Here – uhm, that’s not been my experience.

So, hopefully Thailand will act in some way that will reduce the craziness in the south before it spreads to the other provinces. It’s bad enough that it’s happening in the south and so many innocent people are dying – just for going to teach or to perform other government jobs…. or to be a monk…

If this spreads before it’s stopped – as I’m guessing it will – Thailand is in for maybe it’s ugliest era in the course of it’s history!



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One thought on “Southern Thailand Violence: Future thoughts

  • May 11, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    “I’ve been trying to assimilate that into my behavior too – what’s the point in identifying
    everyone’s faults and getting everything on the table if you
    know someone is going to lose face for it? “

    After my last few trips to Thailand I too have incorporated this attitude into my daily life back here in the States (along with being discreet as I pick my teeth and pointing my feet away from others – just the polite thing to do you know?). On breaking up with my last two falang girlfriends, they both took the end of the relationship to mean carte blanche to insult and demean me for everything they could think of. I found myself, both times, just quietly taking it in without argument or even response.

    It was only afterward, in both cases, that I began thinking about all the myriad of ways I could have criticized the both of them for thier many faults as well. But like you said…what’s the point? Who needs to hear someone tell you about your faults? It felt good to just take it, process it, and not have any need to respond.

    I just found myself thinking – “Ok. We’re done. Now I know you don’t like many things about me that you never previously even alluded to. Understood. Take care and have a nice life. Next!”

    Exactly like that distant, quiet, somewhat resigned yet also disinterested look bar-girls get when you tell them you’re not going to ‘pay bar’ again for them another night.

    Mai bpen rai!


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