Under the magnifying glass (1)

Hi folks! Welcome back to my life! It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen you here. The rainy season doesn’t give much interesting experiences to write about; lots of water, big storms, sleepy weather and a few occasional rays of sunshine peeking through the dense clouds. My Rains Retreat is soon to be over though: tomorrow I will leave Thailand to visit the neighboring Laos where I will spend a few days. I hope to take a few pictures and I’ll also bring my laptop with me to tell you anything interesting that might happen there.

Where there is sun, there is shadow

Most people who talk about Thailand usually do so in a positive manner. That’s perhaps because there are so many good things about this wonderful country, there seem to be little need to complain. However, like every other country, Thailand has her own share of problems to struggle with. Though I don’t like to complain either, the picture we paint here about Thailand would not be complete without its shadows.

This time I would like to talk about some of Thailand’s most annoying, dangerous and occasionally vicious pests. Seasoned visitors might sigh here and think “oh no, he’s gonna talk about cockroaches, fireants and 15-cm millipedes. How boring!”. To the relief of you folks, no, I am going to skip these. I consider them merely annoyances. I will talk about some of Thailand’s bloodsucking leeches and sludgeworms instead.

Meet the species

I’ve visited all regions of Thailand: Central, North, Northeast and South. Wherever I went, I could count on one thing I’d always see. I used to cringe my teeth when my lil’ sis yelled “Farang” somewhere, because of the anticipated sight. Now I just sigh and reply her: “old geezer”. More often than not, she nods. I don’t even need to turn my head in the direction she points at, but I do anyway. What I see is always the same: an older man, 50+, with his “daughter” or “granddaughter” perhaps; a dark-skinned woman, most likely from the Isaan farmlands. The watery, hazy eyes, big red “wine-nose” and beer belly are the usual telltale signs of this fine knight in shining armor. A sorry sight indeed, and like always, a mixture of feelings overcome me. Pity for the woman, and disgust for the man who is a disgrace to all white male expats – including me.

Why are there so many of them? Why in Thailand? What’s in this country that attracts these low-life creatures? We debated this on the Thailand forums before, but didn’t come to clear conclusions. To keep the arguments civilized, one of my debate partners and I took the conversation to PM (personal message). Because of this, I was prompted to think the issue in such depths that I haven’t done before. Let me share the results with you. The clearest way to do this is a simple but effective list of facts and beliefs that will eventually lead to the conclusion. Since this matter involves two distinct groups of people, I will do this on two lines and then join the two to form the conclusion.

Analysis of a sludgeworm

– “It takes two to make a relationship work”, the old Western saying goes, and this must especially be true for marriages.

– Westerners are known to divorce easier.

– a Western man with repeated failures in his relationships might allege that something is wrong with all Western women, quite understandably. From the neutral observer’s point of view however, which one is more likely: that millions of women are not fit to form a healthy relationship, or that the one complaining man has a serious problem handling women who grew up with Western values?

It was a rhetorical question. Of course the man has a problem. Now, what are these Western values I just mentioned?

– – strong sense of self-esteem
– – open nature, outspokenness
– – insistence on equality: a fair share of burdens and privileges

These values are the hallmarks of modern times. Times when it is no longer acceptable to view and treat wives as inferior creatures, slaves, sex-toys and housemaids. They are equal to men in every aspect, except one. They are also the bearers of life, and as such, they still deserve the extra care and attention that every gentleman gives them. Men who accept and live by these rules are capable of forming happy relationships with Western women, and in turn, get the same love, respect and happiness from their wives.

– on the other hand, some men still cling to the old days when cavemen-values were the norm. They wish to have a submissive wife who observes the wishes of her lord ( I mean, husband), never complains and lets him do whatever he wants. Perfect housemaid, action-ready sexpartner, or a silent dummy at times when His Lordship gets home drunk and wishes to beat the **** out of someone.

– the stereotype of submissive Asian women is still very much alive in Western circles, mostly due to the media.

– unable to form a lasting relationship with Western women, these guys turn their eyes to the East. (Those who are not Asiophiles tend to look at Russian mail-order brides, like someone mentioned on the boards).

– Thailand has an international reputation of its women.

– in real life, there are Thai women in vulnerable situation – I will talk about this next. The Farang man comes to Thailand to exploit this vulnerability, and uses the economic disparities to his advantage.

Now, let’s talk about Mia Farang (Thai wife of a Farang man), and what happens when the two come together… in the next blog.

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