Without complaints, nothing can improve
Re: "Farang get an instant status upgrade", Letters, January 6.
Meechai Burapa shows a lack of impartiality and objectivity in his first sentence when he states,"Western expats always complain bitterly..."
Here, in just his first breath, he paints seemingly all Western expats into the corner of always complaining about many things that obviously deserve plenty of complaining about. No need to go into the litany of usual complaints - we all are familiar with the majority of them.
Yet too often, some Thais exist in their bubbles of luxury cars and upscale homes in walled-off seclusion, only venturing out for their own amusement, comfort and benefit. They rarely engage with the underprivileged and needy masses or, heaven forbid, get their hands dirty working in a slum community.
So, please, stay blind to your decaying capital and country's failings as you glide over the desperate legions of socially outcast fellow countrymen, desperate children forced to sell flowers and snacks at polluted and dangerous intersections, and the countless hookers of all persuasions making their living selling sex, and the innumerable brothels paying off millions in bribes to the famously corrupt cops. None of these are Western-owned.
And yes, you're right about many Western expats' love-hate relationship with the nearly extinct Land of Smiles congeniality, which is dying a rather ignominious death.
Many Westerners in love with Thailand will always prefer it to other places, despite the ugly warts and all. Yet that love exists despite the reality that Bangkok is now more and more a crumbling array of broken pavements, trash (check out most Sukhumvit sois) and chaos.
Yes, there are some very lovely areas too - but too often these are closely followed by ill-defined walking paths, hazardous, narrow streets and of course the ever-present Bangkok predator, Vehiculous Dangerous. As William Douglas said, "Without a struggle, there can be no progress."
By the way, if many Western expats are here to enjoy the "anything goes" atmosphere of Bangkok, and it offends Thais such as Meechai, feel free to reverse the trend. The government is in full control of the TV dramas these days.
Yet the revelry, drunkenness and nightlife attracts a whole lot of non-Westerners and is most overwhelmingly and abundantly Thai (although maybe not in tourist centres like Phuket or Pattaya). But of course it's always easier to blame outsiders for social dilemmas, among them the cancerous partying and drug-driven destructive way of life for many young Thais. And, there's just too much money involved. I wonder who's reaping the majority of that?
Unamused in Bang Na