You farangs (western foreigners) come to live in our beloved Thailand and then you complain about everything Thai. After a short while, you farangs take the Thai ways, the Thai people and Thai culture for granted, now you think you know everything there is to know about Thailand, now it’s time for you to start comparing life in Thailand to life in Britain, America, Germany, France, Sweden or wherever it is you came from. Now it’s time for you to start whinging, bitching and moaning because Thailand is not like your home country in this respect and that respect.
Just let me remind you, the reason you chose to live in Thailand is because it is so very different to your home country, am I right ?. I understand the attraction Khun Farang, hot versus cold, cheap versus expensive, service with a smile, a culture which is far removed from your own western culture, a more relaxed and carefree lifestyle.
Khun Farang, your whinging and moaning about the state of Thailand’s highways and Thai driving habits, our seemingly callous disregard for our own safety, our mai pen rai attitude, restrictions on foreign land ownership, Thailand’s visa regulations, power cuts and cluttered pavements. Your tiresome grumbles about Thai culture, your irksome complaints about all things Thai are not going to change Thailand.
What will change Thailand is progress, development, the demand for western goods and western ways. Thailand’s culture may become nondescript, society more regimented, laws more strictly applied, routine drudgery will replace the extraordinary sights, the delightful culture traits and those shocking, weird and wonderful things which gave rise to the term “Only In Thailand”. So, Khun Farang, make the most of Thailand while you can, before it becomes stifled and mundane, developed and modern, plain and tiresome just like where you come from. Stop whining and moaning, and embrace the qualities which first attracted you to Thailand. Progress is relentless and unstoppable, it devours culture and identity, in its quest to be modern it replaces wood with concrete, and charm with solemnity. One morning you may wake up and see nothing but concrete houses and condos, there are no traditional Thai outdoor markets because they’ve all been replaced by hypermarkets. You may not see a buffalo, a tuk-tuk, street food vendor or even a spirit house. One day the Thainess will be gone, the culture that moulded the Thailand of old will be invisible.
So embrace this culture, embrace this Thainess, appreciate the difference which makes this Thailand.