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Generalisations on |foreigners in Thailand were off-the-mark

Ref: "", Letters, yesterday.



In response to Meechai's rant about why foreigners are in Thailand, I will state that his broad sweeping generalisation is offensive. Not all foreigners are here for his so-called status upgrade.

There are many who work in NGO jobs that pay far less than if they were in their own countries, yet they do them to help better the lot of those in need. Many new teachers come to gain work experience, and once they have it they often leave to go back to better paid jobs in their own country. There are lawyers working in firms here who were sent by their employer and have come along with families and children. I know many of these people and the description that Meechai puts forth is inaccurate. Many professionals work in Thailand, many for a short time, and yes, some do stay.

To make statements of the unfairness of dual pricing, unscrupulous cab drivers, etc, is not wrongful. Enough Thais complain themselves about things they find wrong in Thailand. If no one comments, then nothing changes. You seem to say that only Thais have the right to complain about things that are not right.

"But they stick around. Why?" asks Meechai. Sure, the cost of living is lower, you might get a nice condo for cheap and you might hook up with a local. But for a great many, other reasons are more important. Work experience, cultural enrichment, a break from home, many reasons we come for and then again later leave.

Few whom I have met are the whinging, sex-crazed, alcohol-fuelled has-beens here to stay that he suggests. Yes they exist, but I have met enough Thais who fall into such a category. It's hardly unique or race-specific. But I wouldn't go so far as to say this is how all Thais are - booze hounds, frequenters of prostitutes and serial complainers.

Meechai, you also seem too to have an axe to grind against Thais, purporting that they are too in love with Westerners and their culture. I don't see you bemoaning the Thai idolisation of Asian cultures as they well do in the worship of Korean and Japanese cultures. More to the point, people in any country long for betterment and what they perceive as better. As they become more economically able, they take that up. To say that Thais taking up Western goods or culture somehow boosts the image and status of Westerners is a fallacy.

And yes, Meechai, some foreigners do bring "jobs, money, technology, etc" and those people are not average Joes. It takes money to start up a business, something the Mr Joe you moan about generally doesn't have for such investment. Yet you rant on with descriptions of "Mr Joe, the wonderful husband of a Thai woman, or Ajarn Joe, the English teacher, or jovial Uncle Joe who loves kids (are you suggesting we are paedophiles too?).

Oh, and you go on about the low cost of living, cheap sex and drugs, and the Thai culture of "anything goes". Hmm... Meechai me thinks you have an axe to grind against your own people as much as for the carrying on of farangs and the serial contributors to this Letters page.

Bemused and not a complainer.

JACARANDA BOY

BANGKOK


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