The following was written by Rooster, a gifted writer from Thaivisa.
I am a Thai to English translator for Thaivisa and a language advisor to one or two other firms.
Thailand has been good to me and I have always been positive about the country. I don’t wear rose tinted specs but I tend to focus on the good things and try to keep the negative to a minimum.
When I see some of the comments on a forum like Thaivisa I feel that the negative attitudes and constant Thai bashing have brought a kind of miserable karma raining down on certain people. I pity them because doing well in Thailand is really not so hard.
You don’t even need top Thai language skills, though it helps.
All you need is a positive attitude, a willingness to accept the Thais for who they are and do your best for yourself, your family and the wellbeing of the country and its people.
Some things will work out and some things won’t. That’s life and none of it is the fault of Thailand or anywhere else for that matter. It is all down to you.
This is one of the reasons why when I see successful people in Thailand I am never envious – merely curious as to what they did to make the best of THEIR lives. I have friends who are multi-millionaires (that’s in pounds I might add) who started one of Thailand’s foremost recruitment firms from scratch.
I know foreigners who invested in things that forum “experts” warn newbies never to touch – like property. They are rich too…much more than me!
Others made similar wedges from jobs as simple as teaching English. All it took was hard work and that magic word…focus.
In recent weeks it has been a pleasure to chat privately with people behind the news who are making a go of things in Thailand. Like a British guy who was jailed in the 1980s because he had overstayed with no passport who is now a Thai citizen.
Like a US man in Phrae who wants to get Thai nationality because he loves his adoptive homeland to its core. Even like a YouTuber from Middlesbrough, who also speaks Thai well like the others, who hasn’t been here long but clearly understands the modern Thai landscape as well as many who have been here decades.
The last of these is “Danny Mac” who this week got embroiled in a tricky situation as an extortionist sent him an email demanding 200,000 baht. It looked like it came from a French man prompting the usual round of Gauloise (French cigarettes) bashing on the forum.
I,however, would far rather believe that Russians are behind this one. The email address belonged to Thierry Perenon who was at the centre of other goings on regarding the editor of Khaosod but maybe unscrupulous Ruskies, after everyone from Presidents down, were opportunistically onto this one.
Go online at your peril!
The week began with the usual humour associated with taxis and politicians while those other sharks in Hua Hin became yesterday’s news.
It was announced first that taxi drivers were going to get a “Crash Course” in English. It was hard to work out if this would improve the carnage or solve language problems.
The cops who had earlier raided a “sex orgy” in Pattaya came under forum scrutiny as Australian and British media laid into Thailand with their usual file stories about sin city and sleaze central.
Rather than reporting such drivel – I went on a Pattaya charm offensive to defend the resort where, if the truth be known, I often take Mrs Rooster and the nippers for pleasant family holidays.
In comments, I was challenged by “sawadee1947” to be “brave” and admit that I live in Pattaya. You, sir, are welcome to visit me in my little corner of paradise – if you can find the Elephant Building in Ratchayothin, northern Bangkok.
Others suggested I should reveal my identity after attacking the foreign media in defence of the indefensible.
No thanks…I’ll stick to boring old Rooster if you don’t mind, not least of all after reading the trials and tribulations of activist Andy Hall.
The writer who named and shamed a pineapple producer is now wanted on an arrest warrant that should read “Wanted in Thailand for spreading the truth.”
Andy won’t be returning any time soon as he – and most sane others – would not consider that he has a name to clear. The story had all the Thaivisa trolls banging on about due process – methinks that the moderators were busy and I might even suggest they should be busier when the forum gets inundated with such patent nonsense.
Inundation was also the watchword in much of central Thailand as the rains came to give some much needed relief from the high summer temperatures and bring the roads of Bangkok and Pattaya to a standstill.
The drains are obviously a bit out of practice since the rainy season was so long ago.
Isn’t it amazing how much difference just a few degrees makes? The thermometer in the Rooster household invariably hovers around 32 degrees C but when it drops to 28 it feels cool enough to don an “I love Thailand” shirt.
Heaven forbid when the low twenties are reached and Mrs Rooster reaches for the drawer that contains her seldom worn bobble hat….
Top foreigner behaving badly of the week had to be the whitey in Pattaya who mistook a bar for a toilet– easily done according to the resort’s detractors. Thaivisa called for the sleuths to name and shame the miscreant but at least it encouraged some good old fashioned British humour in the shape of “Thaiwrath” who said that the perp was: “Increasing the number of stools in the venue.”
Public Enemy Number One in the Thai community this week was yet another driver failing to get out of the way of an ambulance on its way to pick up a drowning victim who died. An advocate of changes in the law suggested that the penalty for blocking an ambulance should be more like 20,000 baht than the current purple note.
Indeed, there are many inappropriate fines on the books that seem to have been written when Thais sped around in oxcarts and the internet was but a twinkle in some British scientist’s eye.
But while a huge number of laws and fines need updating, the overwhelming problem that exists remains twofold – a lawless population who places personal freedom above the public good and the almost complete inactivity of a great number of both city and up-country police.
This week the police interviewed the S.O.B. who assaulted his wife “live” on Facebook for hiding his fags. He was found to have no job and sent his wife out to work.
His mother took him in to face the music and seemed to miss the irony of her statement that her son was not a kept man…..she herself gave him the 18,000 baht monthly that he needed to enjoy beer and inactivity rather than work.
This led to the usual comments about Thai men.
For me, Thai men are no worse and no better than men of any nationality. My experience is that most are thoroughly decent with no more bad apples than you would expect in any society.
My theory why so many foreigners in Thailand seem to dislike Thai men is that they are influenced by the bargirls they invariably meet who by the nature of their presence in bars are likely to have had a bad experience resulting in distrust of Thai men.
Since mixing less in bars and more in mainstream Thai society, my own prejudices have disappeared and I can thankfully count many Thai men as among those who have both inspired and encouraged me every bit as much as the nation’s womenfolk.
And so to a few Rooster awards. The “Bareheaded Barefacedness” award goes to TV anchorman Sorayuth who ordained as a monk in the north after being convicted of embezzling 136 million baht of advertising money.
How convicted sexual predator and America’s former number one family man Bill Cosby must wish that he could simply put on some saffron robes and escape from the media circus!
“Best Innuendos” of the week I award to myself for the story about men clamouring to buy “Viagra that grows on trees” – in reality a hard fruit in the north of Thailand.
Bless! Some posters thought that references to the “erection” of a “protective” fence and the “gooey secretion” of the Pha Daam tree were an accident rather than the childish work of a British translator who has never grown up and thinks that a fart is still the funniest thing on Earth.