Thai Girlfriend Advisor

Relationship advice for Western Men and Thai Women

Category: An Englishman’s View (Page 2 of 3)

Bangkok is a soft City but here is why

For me I believe Bangkok is a soft City but here is why….

Dean at Chao Phraya river Bangkok

You know I have been in Bangkok now for just over 3 months and this is my third visit to this City. I don’t  profess to be any kind of expert but being married to a Thai woman like Angella and as writer and Artist trained in the art of observation along with my travel experiences and background I think I can form valid observations and insights fairly quickly.

I know there are many of you who have been here a lot longer than I have and may have a different view point but I can only tell it from what I see and experience for myself.

And so far my impressions of Bangkok is that it is a soft City.

Let me clarify that this is a positive thing because what I mean about this is that it is not an angry City. Recently we were having coffee with a Swedish friend over at Starbucks at Ari Station and both he and I agreed that Bangkok is not a harsh City. You don’t feel threatened with your personal safety like in other cities.

Bangkok City Skyline by Thai Girlfriend Advisor

For me I grew up in England only a few miles out of South London and can honestly say they are worlds apart as Cities go. That was 20 years ago and since then I have lived in Perth Western Australia which is also a much more relaxed and safer place than London even though over the 20 years I have been there I have seen the sense of safety eroded as sadly I have to say more and more English settle there. But  Bkk even in comparison to Perth feels much safer

Don’t get me wrong I’m not blaming the English entirely, but as an Englishman I know our culture very well and we do seem to bring with us a certain aggressiveness wherever we go. Current writer excepted of course..(lol)

English are not the only ones with aggressive tendencies when we live in close proximity to each other

So when I compare that to Bangkok I do believe it is a softer city. I have just not seen the displays of aggressiveness, rudeness and indifference that I am used to. Even in other Cities around the world as our Swedish friend will attest to coming from Stockholm and having lived in Bangkok for nearly 10 years. It seems we English are not the only ones with aggressive tendencies when we live in close proximity to each other.

So what about Bangkok then, why does it appear so soft?

Well firstly to every positive there is a negative and as our friend commented and as I am also aware there is a negative underside to Bangkok. You can just as easily get stabbed, mugged or beaten up as in London if you look for it by placing yourself in those places and situations. But what we identified was that it is the Thai culture of passive show that is one of the big reasons for this soft impression along with of course the strong Buddhist culture which promotes passive kindness.

You might upset a Thai but they will not show you aggression or reaction there and then

What our friend explained to me was that you might well upset a Thai but they will not show you any real aggression or reaction there and then. It is simply not their style to do that. It is not accepted and it is not their way…the famous saying of Greng Jai comes into play here also. But beware, because no sooner have you forgotten all about the incident when you will be confronted by their reaction…maybe in a quite alley somewhere or by some other means.

So this means that although Thais do not show too much reaction and aggression as as say the English will it does not mean they will just let it go. But it does seem that unprovoked displays of aggression or personal attacks are not as commonplace as many of our Western Cities and towns. To me it simply does not seem that Thais go looking for trouble and are much more willing to avoid confrontation, especially in public.

No sign of any trouble as we walked along the highstreet to get a taxi

I am reminded of New Years even which we spent with family at Central World in the middle of Bangkok. Apart from the lovely relaxed mood all evening there was also no sign of any trouble as we walked along the highstreet to get a taxi. Granted there was a lot of Police around but this would also be the case in Perth and London but you would still see trouble.

I feel that Buddhist culture seems to equip them with a higher level of tolerance and patience as can be seen by the driving and road behavior. I swear that if we put some of these antics back in Australia there would be all sorts of carnage on the roads and not caused by car crashes.

I never feel threatened or under any sort of pressure

So this is one of the reasons I have very quickly fallen in love with the place. As a farang I am aware as we all are of how many curious looks and stares we get especially if like me we inhabit areas mostly inhabited by Thai people. Sometimes I feel like an exhibit piece walking down our Soi. But I never feel threatened or under any sort of pressure, even when on occasion I have walked back very late at night from watching Soccer at one of the local beer houses.

There seems to be much more connection between people here also. Not the cold alloofness you experience in London and not the indifference displayed in many other Cities. Here they will actually acknowledge you if they have seen you before, even for me a Farang who they cannot really talk to I am warmed by their friendly attention and politeness.

So my impression is that Bangkok is blessed to be a soft City

So here is to Bangkok the friendly City!!!

All the best and Chok Dee,

Dean

Intercultural and Social Commenter


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Angella takes Dean to Tam Buhn with Master Monk “Luang Phor Jarun”

I thought I would add this post here as it is a very positive article about the experiences I have had with the practice of Tam Buhn in Thailand. I have had a few experiences now and I feel that as a Western man married to a Thai woman I should show respect for her culture and gain an understanding of it to help me in our relationship, so here is one experience I have had.

Luang Phor Jarun is a well respected Thai Monk

Angella had been planning for some time to take me to see the Master monk Luang Phor Jarun. He is quite a well reknown and respected monk who is now into his 80′s……..you can read about him at http://www.jarun.org

So on one Sunday morning we set off to The Abbot, Wat Ambhavan, Promburi District. He only comes out to recieve Tam Buhn twice a day and so we aimed at the morning session which we guessed would be at 11am. However when we arrived we found out that we had missed him that morning but he would be back out again at 2pm. Driving all that way we decided to wait until 2pm and just enjoy exploring around the Abbot as it is a very peaceful place.

the abbot is a place for meditation and I know Angella has often been there sometimes for 3 days or 7 Days to practice Vippissana  meditation

In fact the abbot is a place for meditation and I know Angella has often been there sometimes for 3 days or 7 Days to practice Vippissana  meditation, the practice of mindfulness meditation. I won’t go into detail here but from what I have learned it involves many hours of meditation and silence and although I also practice meditation I have yet to try this.

A Tarot Card Reader told us there was a possibility of some accidents involving our children!!

The first thing we decided to do was to set some creatures free into the River. By this I mean in particlar turtles and eels that we bought from some sellers at the gates of the Abbot. You see the day before we had been for a tarot card reading with a reader that Angella respects very much and she had told us both that there was possibility of some accidents involving our children. Clearly this is not something we cold ignore and so the practice of setting some creatures free and saying some prayers about our children at the same time is a way of helping to keep them safe.

We took time to chat to a Chinese Monk before the Master came out

So down by the rivers edge we set 2 turtles free, which was really quite funny and cute to watch and some eels also. We then spent some more time wondering the Abbot which included having some lunch that the meditation groups who are there for the 3 day meditation practice would eat (which is all free I might add…not the tastiest but there you go)…We wondered the souveneir type stalls and took some time to chat to a Chinese monk in the temple area before The Master came out.

You could see how well known and respected this monk is as many people began to gather in and around the temple area 30 minutes before 2pm. Many of these people would bear gifts to give to the Monk and many like ourselves would have an envelope with money to present to him in the form of Tam Buhn. This money is a gift and is used by the Monk to do good things with such as build Temples, shelters and other things that can help people.

It seems that dogs have figured out that Temples are a good place to sleep and eat for free!

What is important to understand about these temples is that are in fact a refuge also for people in need. If you have no food or money you can go to a temple and get food for free. You can pray and meditate. One funny note is it seems dogs have figured this one out because there are many dogs hanging around but I don’t know if it was just me but they seemed quite passive and peaceful almost as if the whole Spiritual experience and way of being had influenced their behavior in some way. Not sure if they practiced meditation but many seemed happy sleeping all over the place and when the chimes rang for the hour clock they all started howling!!!

As the time approached 2pm it was amazing to see how many people had gathered and now the temple area was quite full and overflowing. We took off our shoes as is the custom and found a spot to sit and wait for the Monk to appear. When he did it was almost like a celebrity had arrived, he had helpers to help him of course because he is very old and there was a sort of soft gasp from everyone when he came out and sat in the grand chair.

You offer your Tam Buhn gift to create good Karma

As he came out everyone shuffled on their knees closer to him and to be able to see him and then people begin to line up to present their Tam Buhn gift to him. What is important here is to offer the gift with both hands and lifted up to him. The idea is he will bless you for this and use it for good thus creating good karma for you in this life and also the next life.

What impresses me is how this promotes giving and sharing

Eventually we made it to our turn and presented our gifts. It was all over very quickly but there is a sort of reverence and energy you feel when you do this and I must be honest I quite enjoyed it. What impresses me is how this promotes giving and sharing without any real expectation which is very much the Buddhist way.

Next time I will share even more experiences that I have had with the various practices of Thai Buddhist Culture which I feel are good to know if you are in a relationship with a Thai woman.

Until then..Stay safe and Peaceful

Dean

The Social Commenter


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Wayne Rooney, Rooney wife, the England Jolly boys and the “Land of smiles”

So what is all this fuss about Wayne Rooney, Wayne Rooney’s wife and Thailand?

Well first off I must say I am already planning to be in Thailand next year in June..lol. I have my ticket all lined up..why!! well because I am English of course ( even though I have lived in Australia for 20 years and am in fact an australian Citizien I was born in england and lived there until 24yrs old) and so if the reports coming out of the UK are true and the England soccer team (or Football team is what i should say because only aussies and americans call it soccer..in England it is quite clearly Football!!) are flagged to come to Bangkok and play the Thailand National football team then I for one will be here to see it.
wayne rooney wayne rooney
But amidst all that there seems to be a bigger story about the exploits of a certain Mr Wayne Rooney, who happens to be one of my favorite players actually and plays for the team I follow being Manchester United, and the fact that he will not be able to restrain himself from the charms and desires of a temporary Thai Girlfriend. Yes apparently, according to Rooney’s wife Colleen, Bangkok is the sex capital of the world and it will be like jumping into the frying pan for young Wayne.

Why all the fuss you ask?

Because young Wayne Rooney has recently been exposed as paying for sex with girls in England and so with Bangkok being (apparently) the world centre for pay for sex how will he be able to control himself.
lol, well if all this can be believed and let’s face it how much of the English tabloid press can you really believe, then it does seem there there could be a little misconception about Thailand going on. First of course you have to understand that the English love a scandal, and most of those reading and believing this sort of story won’t have a clue what Thailand is really like! But it is ashame that a country as beautfil as the former Siam can be tagged so easily with one label, which in fact is not true and also when the same can be said of London, Paris, New york and many other major capitals of the world who all have a seedy underbelly to their exisitence.
The UK press love scandal and so do it’s readers, who are very often easily seduced by the negative side of fame and fortune commonly known as “Gossip”.

The real story is though that apparently the England Football squad will arrive in June of next year to play Thailand as part of England’s bid to host the world Cup in….. It also co-incides with the Thai King’s birthday and so the English FA ( Englands football/soccer governing body) has penciled in a trip to the former Siam.

Now you have remember here there are two ways to look at this…There is the tabloid view and the professional football view.

The Football view is that these players, many of whom are among the best in the world and play for some of the top teams in europe are in fact professional footballers and will be representing their country. They will have instructions to behave appropriately and be a good example. Drinking will certainly not be allowed and the prospect of being caught engaging in less than appropriate behavior can result in a loss of place on the England squad, which as every top level footballer will tell you is their ultimate dream goal and not something they would want to throw away.
Then there is the tabloid view of things and that is that these players all in their early and mid twenties, some of whom like the likes of Wayne Rooney are always out for a good time and will run a mock in Bangkok like being on some “Jolly boys ” outing. Indeed it is true that a few of the other players have been involved in some so called scandalous behavior in England..of course always involving women!! So is there any hope that they won’t be able to control their urges and be on a mission to seek out as many Thai bar girls as possible whilst in Bangkok?
Well it is not hard to see which one will sell newspapaers and magazines and be great TV news is it? How hard would it be to get a picture of Wayne rooney or John Terry chatting innocently to some Thai woman and then being able to concoct a whole sordid story around it? Just watch what happens when the England squad arrives and spot the 100′s of photographers (paparazzi!!) buzzing around then like flies, and you can bet there will some of those flies who will be hiding in bushes, flower pots and tuk tks trying to get a juicy shot of one of the players engaged in something naughty!!..ho hum..such is the English way!!
The sad part of this is that Thailand and Bangkok will be the injured innocent party with their beautiful culture and country tarnished by misconceptions and manipulations fuelled by tabloid greed and English ignorance”

So there you have it…the perspective of an Englishman who spends much time in Thailand.
See you in June then!!
Dean
Intercultural and Social Commenter

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What is the Intercultural and Social Commentor

What is the Intercultural and Social Commentor?


I wanted to write this column because I think it is useful to look at real situations between different cultures and obviously in particluar Thai and western cultures.

Now I have to say that I believe in writing about life the way it is and sometimes I will point out some negative things about life, it may even be a little controversial but I assure you it is not my purpose to upset or judge anyone. My real purpose is merely to reflect back to society what I notice in order that we can learn and grow from it and hopefully enable us to understand each other better and create more harmony in the world.

I hope you enjoy the posts and if nothing else I hope they might make you think a little……

Dean

The Intercultural and Social Commentor




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Puzzling situation with a Thai woman and a group of western women

I recently witnessed a puzzling situation with a Thai woman who was virtually ignored by a group of western women at a function.

As a social commentator and dealing with Intercultural relationship issues I think is important to comment on this to ask ourselves why this can happen in our culture today.

Don’t get me wrong because I don’t mean to judge or upset anyone and I know there will and can be numerous reasons why this situation can occur, not least of all the different personality styles we all have that can make us behave in different ways so I want to be fair to everyone.

…….but I just feel it is important to reflect back to our culture and society a situation like this so we can learn from it.

So on with the story…..

I had occasion to attend a junior sports function with my son who was part of the team. At these events it is customary for the team coach to do a presentation, give medals to players and helpers as well as give a recap talk on the season. The function was being held at the house of the woman who acted as admin manager to the coach and as is the way in many suburban Australian households the outside pergola area was to be used to hold the function.

The area was superbly fitted out with large sheltered area, gourmet style outside kitchen and BBQ on an upper deck and a large seating area and swimming pool on the lower deck. There would be around 14 couples to cater for and 14 teenage boys aged 14yrs as well as a few siblings.

I build this up a little because I want you to get a good picture in your mind of this event and the surroundings.

The day was to start at 1.30pm where we would all arrive and have few drinks before the presentation (beer for the men and wine for the women and soft drinks for the team). The first thing I noticed when I got to the function was the coach who also had his son with him and plays in the team also. He had his girlfriend with him who is a beautiful Thai woman of around 40, even though she looks barely over 30. I happen to know that they have been together for a while and his ex wife who was working that day so could not attend also knows her well too.

I got myself a beer and then  shook hands with the coach who promptly introduced me to his Thai girlfriend. She was lovely and even though some of her language was a little difficult to understand because of the noise she actually spoke quite good English and was very intelligent and friendly to talk to.

Now although I have lived in Australia for 20 years I have never really got accustomed to the strange pattern at BBQ’s and parties where the men and women tend to segregate themselves into groups and so I had to  laugh when all the women had very quickly planted themselves in all the seats around the large table on the lower deck section of the pergola leaving all the men on the upper section near the outside kitchen and BBQ…along with one “Coach’s Thai girlfriend” who was now strangely cut off from all the women there.

Although I had been talking with her and her coach boyfriend was making sure he gave her regular attention even though he had many people to talk with I couldn’t help feeling  a little sad for her because none of the other women there had spoken to her yet, even if just to make her feel welcome.

Am i different..?

As more time passed this situation didn’t change and still no other women had talked to her and then it was time for the presentation. The coach gave quite a lengthy but entertaining speech and handed out all the medals and trophies. During this time I noticed his Thai girlfriend was very supportive and involved in his talk, clapping and laughing at the humor he was injecting into the speech as well as taking pictures on her iphone.
Now I should say at this point that I understand that there would be a number of reasons why none of the women had as yet come to speak to her or invite her to join the other women at the table. Yes of course some people are a little shy in these situations and not really brave enough to approach new people that way…and I can also understand it would be very hard for the Thai woman to just go up to all these western women and try and join in, apart from which there were no seats left anyway.

But I also have to say that when you begin to look at this situation doesn’t it make you start to think a little? Here is one Asian women among all these Westerners who has not yet been approached by any of the western women at all. She is still showing full support and involvement in the event for her boyfriend but all on her own.

Is it just me or does this just seem a little bit strange..?

What also intrigues me is that I feel that many if not all of these western women would very likely swear blind that they would not do this to someone if asked. I also wonder how they would feel if in the same situation.

So why did this situation occur?

I know that these are all decent women with families, but it has to be noted that they did all did leave one Asian woman isolated without any attempt to include her or make her feel welcome.

So what is wrong with this picture, if the reason is because all those women were shy and couldn’t bring themselves to talk to her, does that make it acceptable?

….or was it because she is Asian ?


Am i a Stranger?

Credit to that Thai woman because  she showed such strong character and did not let the situation affect her behavior and her support for her boyfriend.

I for one believe we have much to learn from this…and don’t get me wrong it is not about bashing Australians or English, because remember I am and Englishman who has lived in Australia for 20 years… but as a writer, artist and social commentator I feel it my duty to be honest, present a real situation as it is to reflect this back to society in order to learn more about ourselves.

In contrast to this I have some experiences in Thailand with my own Thai girlfriend that will add some perspective to this situation and I will share those in a follow up post to this one but for now you may have an opinion on this…whether you agree or disagree…..

let me know what do you think..?


Dean

The Intercultural and Social Commentor



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