• Tuesday, January 30, 2007

    Ohhhhh Thailand, what ARE you doing??

    What's that about people in glass houses? Thais have been protesting outside the Singaporean embassy once again. Of course, none of the millions of idiotic problems in Thailand are anything to do with Thais it's all those bloody foreigners poking their noses in all the time.

    Hundreds of misguided Thais have been burning an effigy of a Singaporean minister outside the embassy. There was a great quote from one of the Thai leaders: "We are here to announce how stupid the Singapore government is..." and this coming from Thailand. Really, it beggars belief.

    This is partly because Taksin was allowed to excericise his right to freedom of speech in Singapore (something sadly denied anyone in Thailand) and largely because someone none Thai must be to blame for all ills in Thailand and this time, yep, it's going to be Singapore. Old man Taksin was giving interviews in Japan afterwards but of course we won't be seeing any protests outside the Japanese embassy. CNN interviewed Taksin (American) and he's employed America's top political PR firm to help his charm offensive but there is no way any Thai will be allowed to protest outside the US embassy (many Thais have said to me that they consider themselves American really and that the cultures are just the same and that America is all Thais spiritual home - REALLY? And this from educated Thais I might add).

    Maybe Singaporeans should boycott Thailand for tourism, and Singaporean businesses start to look for other locations for their investments. They could send the huge army of domestic and sex workers from Thailand back home too. But of course Singapore wouldn't do that because Singapore is a good country with a relatively open system of democracy that doesn't act like some spoilt child throwing it's toys out of the pram when it can't get it's own way.

    The runway at Suwarnabhumi airport that is cracking up and causing such chaos is the fault of corruption, apparently. Of course it was never going to be the fault of anyone in particular, just corruption. Better not to actually name anyone but blame the faceless corruption. Rather than continually accepting corruption as endemic why not face up to the fact that the culture in Thailand breeds corruption, and actually promotes it. The Thai culture is in definite need of a huge overhaul if corruption is to be stamped out. It's bloody everywhere.

    Arghhh, return is close now and I'm getting twitchy. The wife is almost certainly up for a shift back here now so, before she changes her mind, I might start getting the wheels in motion for a move in the summer. It doesn't have to be the UK of course, I'm up for any country that isn't racist, is run by a democratically elected government and where the government doesn't go around slaughtering people as it pleases.

    It's a shame and I hate feeling this way but the longer I stay I think the more I will become bitter and resentful of everything Thai, and I don't want that. I also don't want to get bogged down in Thailand and eventually find myself in a position where I simply can't afford to return to my country. I think it is definitely possible to make it in Thailand, as a foreigner, but you have to kiss an enormous amount of arse and be prepared to bend over and take it royally, which I am not. I'm not very good at turning a blind eye and not very good at ignoring things. And I hate feeling that I need to toady to something that I don't believe in in order to survive.

    I promise I will cut these rants out soon but I feel a hell of a lot better for getting it off my chest.

    Ohhhhh Thailand, what ARE you doing??



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    12:37 am  
    Blogger Fonzi said...

    Dude, you are right. The shit is hitting the fan. This government thinks it is invincible and doesn't need foreigners. Look at the Ramkhamhang thugs, look at "The Nation's" editorial stance lately, look at how the Thai government just stole drugs from foreign pharm companies and doesn't care about the repercussions, look at the new foreign investment and visa laws, etc. And the reason the Thai do these things is because the farang allow it to happen, and/or we run away and disappear. It is time to fight back. Do we run or do we take a stand? Which do you choose?

    1:44 pm  
    Blogger Life Out East said...

    Sadly Thailand is not a democracy and there is very little in Thai culture that encourages any kind of democratic thinking. So, any foreigner standing up and making a protest is just as likely to be at best kicked out or at worst shot.

    Whereas a foreigner in the west will generally be supported by the local population there ain't likely to be many Thais standing up for foreigners' rights in the jolly old land of smiles.

    With a child's future to think about I personally favour the cut and run method and let the country follow its miserable route alone.

    There's a lot about Thailand I like and I really feel it could be a serious global player if only it could get its act together and make some changes to the way Thais think and the education system. But, like I say, I have a small child to consider and I'm getting fast to the conclusion that she will be better off somewhere else.

    Foreigners as residents are tolerated rather than encouraged or truly "accepted". If they were welcomed, as the marketing blurb suggests, then it would be easier to get a passport or resident's status.

    It's not definite but I think running is going to be the answer. Some fights just aren't worth it.

    11:36 pm  

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