Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shame is not a word in Thai

I got a missed call way past midnight, I was too lazy to answer. In the morning at 6 while I was in deep state of salivating sleep, my pillow the kotex soaking up my drool, he called and I answered. The other end of the line, a man I knew not much about but just through some business acquaintances he knew me.

“Can I borrow money… I have no money.”
“No” I answered solid.

It’s very strange this Kingdom. I am still trying to find the word for shame translated to Thai. Maybe there is just none. But one thing is for sure, shame is not something in most Thais that you will meet. Maybe it is their upbringing, maybe it’s just the culture. They just reach out their hands and ask you for money. They will tell you a story for which you must not hear, for as us expats we will be easily taken in…. at first at least. And then we learn. For in our countries all are capable, and with hands we know we work them they generate money. We survive we find our own money. But not here.

It’s not just the karaoke girls I am taking about, it could be men and anyone sexually undefined. There was once a high ranking army officer, he drives a big new Merce. Never did I think he would call to borrow 10k, for which till now he did not return. And best of all, he don’t answer calls. Everything you must learn here had to be experienced once. But try you must to minimize that experience fee (they ask for 40k, you say you only have 5k to spare). Its not just people, it’s the Thai companies as well. Not just in employment terms, but in B2B transactions these shameful acts exist. Apply this knowledge of Thais in your business endeavors, safe you will be.

Some us foreigners soaking here long, soak up these undesirable traits some did. Forget that their hands could work, and instead device confident-acts in their minds they did. And so they call to ask for money with a story indirect to “borrow” they did. It was through the 10k fee, I learned not to invest the 100k scheme. Sounds like Ponzi his tactics, it’s sad now even our own we cannot trust in this country.

Singapore is a beautiful land and full of morally truthful denizens. And when one does move over to a contrasting land, targets of gullibility the others will see. Be on guard trust no one, and enjoy the best of the land. That’s how once could survive these harsh but yet deceptively beautiful surroundings.

No comments: