Foreigners and all Americans are welcome in Thailand, nothing has changed, however, there is a head in the sand attitude of the foreigners.
They come, they go to Tourist locations, they stay a resorts, they eat the great food, they party, they have girlfriends and never realize they did not have a lot of Thailand friends. This is why I explain the email exchange method of checking countries.
The more emails you have when you leave a country explains the number of authentic friendships established.
I hate to use this phrase, however simpler to explain, however people think of the Ugly American as a person who comes and never talks with the Locals. Thailand is full of the Ugly Foreigner. Yes, they are having boom boom, eating, drinking, however few people just sit around and truly understand Thailand people.
The types of travelers who stay in Thailand for years are not looking for intimate, caring, real give and take relationships, more on the take and less on the give, More or less the wanted and unwanted, wanted in their own country or unwanted in their own country.
Whether Thai people want or do not want Foreigners is truly not important to a person in a resort, they wanted the Beach, sun and to learn who their wife or husband is again, they were not here to meet Thailand people. What they need from Thailand is good servants and for sure the Thailand people can provide any type of service you need.
Lea, you asked,
How do they still think about OTHER Americans or people of color?
I think you want to know how Thailand people treat Blacks. To like or not like people in tourist areas is not easy to figure out, most tourist businesses will do anything for money, and the more money you spend the more they will allow or even encourage.
In Thailand you will be treated different if you:
1. Live in a tourist dominated area where mainly tourist live.
2. Thailand concentrated area.
3. Fringe areas.
What always makes anyone allowable is money, the more you pay, the more status you give to an area, the more likely they are to accept you.
The bad economy now of 2009 has made it better for tourist, they are trying harder to be friendly to earn money.
Are you liked or disliked? The vast majority of people leave Thailand believing the Thai people love them, this is in a way all that is important.
Many countries, Thailand included have cream that somehow turns the skin whiter, what does this mean?
I like the Beach, I like to get tan and lay in the sun, truly Thailand people are not wanting to lie in the sun or have their color change.
I am an American, every group of people on the planet has quirks, there is a large British group here in Chiang Mai where I live. I tend to keep my mouth shut more, I truly do not enjoy large groups of Brits. I am probably considered low class in their group, however a large group of Thailand people and I would be considered high class. It is all about how much status you lend to the group, as well as how much envy exist.
In the end, if you see a smiling face, this is the best indicator. Give them a smile, if they do not smile back keep on walking, truly the best way to travel is with a smile on your face. When you do not receive a smile back, think and go a bit slower.
Andy of HoboTraveler.com
How to buy cheap tiekets?
Buying plane tickets has TOO much to do with your location.
People in Sukumvit pay more than people on Khao San Road.
People on Koh Samui pay more than people on Koh Phan Ngan.
They size you up, look at you, decide how stupid you are and get you. It is what the tourist industry does great. The more you pay... hehehe
However, it is also one industry that consistently makes their clients enjoy giving up large sums of money for a horrible value and they are extremely happy.
Walk around to 10 travel agents always, if this is too much work, then the agents will love you, they also hate you when you do this.
Hmm, what do you think Chuck Wow? Do impolite people know they are impolite? I think you earmarked the signs, if you are not having a good time, then either
1. Surrounded by impolite people
2. You are the impolite person.
If it never crosses you mind whether a person is being polite or impolite, I am truly worried and would group you in the empathy impaired section of Darwins sub-categories.
Note, as a world traveler, my opinion is the tourist in Thailand are some of the most impolite on the planet. I enjoy Thailand people when there are zero Farangs around, however for sure the Thai people lose their smile around too many Farangs and become impolite also.
I do not have trouble with the locals, normally all my trouble happens with the foreigners, and when I am for example saying the Africans stink, I try to be polite, we do not get in big fights over it. I say, you stink, stand over there. hehehe, frank, honest and direct and often very funny.
I am lucky, I have a wide honest streak in me, i can say about anything and get away with it, they know do not have an agenda and just trying to be honest. People with agendas, looking for problems will surely find problems, it is self prophesied.