Adapting to the Thailand culture and how it in some ways is related to the book The Ugly American

Why you need to separate from other Foreign people in Thailand
Or risk being an UGLY traveler.

This is the FULL STORY for newsletter number 083
Written by Andy for the Hobo Travel Tips Newsletters.
CLICK HERE to go to Archives of letters.

I am fine and adjusting to all the new cultures.
The ability to adapt is an essential skill to a person that lives a Hobo
life on other countries.The adjustment is probably mostly keeping quiet
and listening. I can feel, that I do not understand the
people or the culture of Thailand. There is a great
temptation here to associate only with foreigners or
English speaking people and avoid the Thailand people.

UGLY AMERICAN BOOK
This book was written about and staged in Thailand.
One theme of the book was about this problem.
The separation between us and them. I do not know
how many times I hear myself say “The Thai People.”
In the next sentence I say,
“The Farang.”

I do not want this.
I want a we situation.
In the book the “Ugly American” a physically ugly person
somehow learns to form a relationship with a Thailand
person that helps both of them. A mutually beneficial
relation is the goal. The movie make the hero of the book
into the opposite person. A person that could not care the
least about the normal Thailand person.

The variable that changes with communication problems
is the TIME. It takes more time to adapt, learn and
communicate. There is definitely some very beautiful
islands, beaches, and buildings in Thailand. So in my
tour of life and countries. I like to see both. I like to see
the 2 major beauties of travel. The places and destinations
and all the beauty of that location, and the second is the
beauty of the people.

ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
There is always about the same percentage of great
people in countries. It does not change. But there is also
the same level of jerks and people that I wish to avoid.
Some countries are a little richer. I would call Thailand
a pretty rich country in comparison to Central or South
America.

TIME TO COMMUNICATE
I have had enough girl friends, or women in my life say,
“You do not listen to me.”
To constantly be a little nervous.
And ready and willing to say to myself,
“Andy, listen and pay attention.”
I know the wrath of a person, employee, or friends
that do not feel like they have had the proper amount of
attention. The quality of life is sometimes is a direct
percentage of the care I take to listen.

A quality life is what I want.
A few friends, some good laughs, and that
warm feeling of sharing some time with people.
Communicating and listening to the world pass
me by, or me pass it by. One city here, and
the next there, and a life on the road.

In the book “The Ugly American” the writers
I think the writers were trying to tell me something
very important. The term or popular definition of this
phrase is a person that takes and lives in another country
and takes no time to, and worst yet, does not want to
learn about the country. This is similar in the USA when
there is a Chinatown, or a community of Mexicans that
do not assimilate and associate. Same story as the
ugly American. It needs to be a we thing.

When you have 2 cultures together they must
adapt. It is absolutely necessary they change.
There are Muslim communities in the USA.
Not very many in my opinion, but they must become
part of the country. The language, the culture, the
way of life, and what it is to be from the USA.
They live in the USA and are not part of it.

I CANNOT BE AN AMERICAN LIVING IN THAILAND
The book tells me, that I should not, and
cannot be a man from the USA living in Thailand.
I must slowly become a person from Thailand and
less of a person from the USA. I am a visitor, but
the process is still needed to start. If I do not allow
this process to start. I am just a visitor and looking
at an aquarium with a bunch of Thailand people
swimming around inside.

EXPATRIATE COMMUNITIES
The make these bars. These locations where
the expatriate or non-Thailand person get together
and be a FOREIGNER together, and not with
“them” the Thailand people.

WHY HANG OUT WITH FOREIGNERS?
For the last 5 years. I have gone, and hung
out with foreign people to learn how to assimilate
into the local culture.

THE RULES HAVE CHANGED
I must adapt. I am realizing these places
are a problem. I must avoid the foreigners
type clubs, and groupings. They do teach me
how to mix, and become like Thailand, they teach
me how to stay us, and them.

This is the message of the book.
Go and live with the local people and leave
your own country.

I had a Thailand person ask me,
“Why do you not go to Phuket?”
I said,
“I came to Thailand to see Thailand.”
Phuket is full of foreigners.

To visit and understand Thailand.
I must avoid foreigners.

I live on the road.
All my social life is on the road.
All my daily friends are people I meet.
I came to Thailand to visit Thailand and
meet the people.

LESSONS
I have finally learned lesson one of some
of Asia culture.

Lesson One.
If you want to learn about Asia and Thailand.
Do not associate with foreigners.

I will learn to talk and communicate in their
language, and not mine.

One sad lesson.
95 percent of the people come here for
very selfish reasons, and the Thailand people
are willing to sell it to them.

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