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How To Fit-In In The Village


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Just be your self. If you are a good person, you will not have any problem living anywehre in this world.<BR>Lots of smile. <BR>Be generous into a small things around your village.<BR>Active attend on activity at your village if you happen to be present at that time.<BR><BR>NEVER CONFRONT A LOCAL. IF they piss you off... dont show it to them. JUST SMILE and politely excuse yourself to leave the scene.<BR>This people eventually dont mean to piss you off, it's just our perception is different than ours. <BR>And eventually one day these people will the only people to help you with your problem around the village.<BR><BR>And just Wai / sawadee everyone. Thai loves this. If you do this everyday to everyone.. your life will be so much better and easy.<BR><BR>Good luck.<BR><BR>

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These people eventually dont mean to piss you off, it's just our perception is different than ours. Yes -- and is it just perception when they present you with a bill for 4000 baht for a minor no-dent car scratch that should only be 1000 baht and possibly even 0 baht because it was partially their fault that it happened at all? That happened to me last week and I blew a gasket. They eventually backed-down to 2000 baht (which even if they refused to say so to me was an admission of partial culpability) which I agreed to as the insurance guy was already there and might have called the cops if I refused to pay.

The success story is simple: Yes. Do all those things mentioned, but at a certain point, you have to let them know that you are not going to played for the farang chump.

N.B. This is for Isaan but I do not live in a small village; however, most all of the persons for whom I provided 15 minutes of entertainment came from a small village.

Edited by jazzbo
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Just be your self. If you are a good person, you will not have any problem living anywehre in this world.<BR>Lots of smile. <BR>Be generous into a small things around your village.<BR>Active attend on activity at your village if you happen to be present at that time.<BR><BR>NEVER CONFRONT A LOCAL. IF they piss you off... dont show it to them. JUST SMILE and politely excuse yourself to leave the scene.<BR>This people eventually dont mean to piss you off, it's just our perception is different than ours. <BR>And eventually one day these people will the only people to help you with your problem around the village.<BR><BR>And just Wai / sawadee everyone. Thai loves this. If you do this everyday to everyone.. your life will be so much better and easy.<BR><BR>Good luck.<BR><BR>

Are you cold?

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I have lived in a small village 45kms from Korat for over 7 years.

Where do you live? My gf is in Soeng Sang, not in the centre, about 5 minutes outside. Would be handy to get more info from you on living there if you are in that area. A couple of months ago I went with my gf to her village, met the family etc. I was only there a couple of days but I must say it was an experience, some good, some not so good.

We got a taxi from Bangkok up to her home and the taxi driver was a very good man, he offered to stay for a couple of hours with me just to ensure all was well, plus he could translate (cost 3000 baht). We were having a few ales and the older brother started giving her a bit of a hard time for sleeping with farang. I was told that he is very traditional and basically called her a slapper. At this time I was hoping the father would step in and have a go at him but no. Mother sat smiling, father kept smiling. Other brother chastised him but when I turned to look at my teelak she started to cry. If that had happend in my country he would have been on his back in no time but being in a foreign place I was unsure where such an act would lead (ie whole family up against me) so I just grabbed her by the arm and we went for a walk.

All ended well though, no trouble. I got on very well with the other members of the family, they never asked for money. I went food shopping with them and when we got home I just gave the mother the money she spent on food for the family. I also had a few kangaroo and koala pins that I gave to the youngsters. I didn't overdo the spending on the family as I was not sure if they would think I was just trying to 'buy' their daughter/sister. I never did see much of the brother that had a problem but everything else was very good.

Takes a bit of getting used to the toilet and the bucket of water for the shower but that's all part of a wonderful experience.

I found that whilst I was there just about everyone in the village would come for a look at the farang, felt a bit like a goldfish but that's ok, no issue. I was very wary of people just wanting to know me and talk to me to try and elicit money out of me or get what they could but to be honest I think that was just my perception. Everyone seemed genuinely nice and interested to meet me.

The village visit is definitely the highlight of my travels, difficult at times, but memories I will never forget.

That's my 2 cents worth anyway. :D

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... Another item to 'fitting in' is to have a good answer ready when you are inevitably asked " ... So what is it you actually do while you are in Thailand??"

... because if you cannot come up with a good answer, they will come up with their own.

Edited by jazzbo
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I'm a bit surprised by the answer to this thread, I was expecting more horror stories. But I've to say it's my experience too, be nice, smile, and people will be nice to you.

Even for the "double pricing". One time I went shopping on my own, fixing a flat tire, buying fertilizer, spare parts for a brush cutter and some blue pipes, all in different shops, and went to the market too. When I came back my Thai relatives were surprised that I paid exactly the same price as them. Except for a 15 extra Bahts for the grilled chicken, but maybe it was a communication problem as the old lady explained me a lot of things I didn't really understand.

Actually the culture shock came from where I didn't expect it. My gf is very westernized, spent 3 years studying in Australia, fluent in English, very comfortable in an international community, but when she's back to her village, shes a completely different person. She's completely devoted to her mother who outrageously takes advantage of the situation. There are no stories of sick buffalo ... her parents are quite wealthy by local standard. But she's completely at Mother's service, and I'm supposed to be too, which is not going to happen. Then the arguments start, you hate my family, blah, blah, blah ....

I've stopped visiting the family for the past two month. My gf is worry, her father a bit too, but it seems MiL is happy things are back to "normal" and that she got her little personal assistant/servant back.

Any suggestion ?

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The key to commercial survival in a small town or city is repeat business whether hardware supplies or a noodle stall -- They would much rather charge a farang the going-price and have you come back multiple times than gouge you once and know that there are other shops within walking distance that could sell you the same...

For me, it is the motorcycle repair guy (who can take apart and put back together a Honda 100cc blind-folded) to whom I have sent other Thai folks on my recommendation.

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Don't lend money to ANYONE. So ... does that modus operandi go over well in Nakhon Binley ... Some of the younger persons might ask you for a 'loan' because they do not want to ask for money outright but they are happy to pay you back in-kind.

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1. Learn the language. There have been endless posts over the years by people complaining that they never fit in, and then mentioning that they don't speak Thai. How do you think a, say, Polish immigrant who refused to learn English would fit into a small town in the UK/US/Australia/NZ? For a small village you really need to also make the effort to learn the local dialect too, be it Khmer, Isaan Lao, Suay or whatever.

2. Take part in the village social life. Attend parties for weddings, funerals, special events, and hold your own when applicable. Again, there have been posts over the years by people grumbling that their wife to be wants to hold a big party for the wedding and they don't want to pay for a bunch of freeloaders to drink their beer. That's the way it's done. I guarantee you could go along to a party given by the poorest person living in the village and be welcomed with a bottle of beer and a plate of food. If you really want to fit in you do it the way everyone else in the village would.

3. Regularly eat at the local noodle shops. In a small village there will only be 2 or 3 of these. The owners will be glad of your custom and the other customers will see you eating the same food as them. If you've achieved point 1 you can also join in their conversations.

4. Have your own private space. There will be times you just want to be on your own and read, watch a DVD, get on the internet or whatever. Sometimes in order to fit in you need to get away on your own for a while.

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I live NW of Korat near NonThai. I am not sure where Soeng Sang is.

It is very rural here, the rice paddies begin 15m from my house.

I first met my wife's family at the funeral for her youngest brother and even in their time of grief they went out of their way to make sure everything was good for me.

I have a special bond with the eldest brother and we often go off for a few days together to varius parts of the country.

You have to accept that her family will always come before you and she would never dare to tell her eldest brother to shut up. He clearly wanted to make her lose face if he called her a "slapper in front of the taxi driver.

He probably won't change his point of view so you will just have to put up with it.

7 years down the line the oldies still stare at me and refer to me as farang even though they are well aware of my name.

There are a lot of positives about living in a village and I cant think of a better place for my 5 year old son to grow up.

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Well I agree with the "Etiquette" part however we will never "FIT"IN" . Its like an Orange trying to "fit in" to a cherry tree. They might accept you somewhat but you will always be an outsider.

All of the suggestions are good ones for anywhere but like one poster said "never give them the impression that you are a push-over".

It is easier to fit in with the town folk then it is with the Family. Rule number 1: Just buy a big case of "Lao Khao" and bring some "Ocean Food" with you when you come from Bkk.

I've been here 10 years strait and I have given up on the "fit in" scenario. I don't change one bit. I treat everyone the same as I would anywhere else. Im nice and polite etc and respect the culture and thats it.

When in doubt, see Rule number 1.

Also I do not agree with "The key to commercial survival in a small town or city is repeat business whether hardware supplies or a noodle stall -- They would much rather charge a farang the going-price and have you come back multiple times than gouge you once and know that there are other shops within walking distance that could sell you the same... "

I know that Thai people are very "present tense people" and they dont think about repeat customers etc. I say spread the wealth around a little and give every vendor some of your business. This way everyone will like you, not just the places you spend money.

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The repeat biz remark was mainly referring to Thais -- many places I go I am their only farang customer and if they don' see me for a while they ask where I've been... Many families have been patronizing the same shops for generations.

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... Sure ... when I used to hang out together at Binley Park with Clive Owen.

Who the hel_l is Clive Owen. :unsure:

When I find out, you'll be the first I tell. Stand by.

A British Actor and thats the school he went too,apparently, but I'm still as lost as you lot!!

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julia-roberts-clive-owens-entertainment-weekly.jpgIf you feel that as far as Thai with Thai commerce goes -- not the occasional Honkie -- that repeat business is not important then that is your prerogative ,,, Clive Owen is also from Binley but no, you do not know me as I have never set foot in UK... BTW Clive got to sleep (on screen at least) with Julia:
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That's also very typical of village life, arguments about very futile matters that degenerate into two neighbors who know each other since birth not talking to each other for years.

Life in the village can be very boring, any form of entertainment is always welcome :rolleyes:

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As from Profile -- Location: Binley

As I posted before (somewhere) from The Sting:

GONDORFF (V.O.) How 'bout Lonnegan?

HOOKER (V.O.) I gave him the breakdown just like ya told me to.

GONDORFF (V.O.) And?

HOOKER (V.O.) He threatened to kill me.

GONDORFF (V.O.) hel_l, they don't do that and you know you're not gettin' through to 'em.

Edited by jazzbo
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