Some westerners I know here, myself included, have few western friends in Thailand. That’s usually because the caliber of the vast majority of westerners living in Thailand is low. Sex pats, people running away from the law in their own country, and people who live illegally in Thailand for months, even years, because they think having to follow Thai law isn’t necessary — honestly, unless you like hanging out with losers, avoiding most westerners is usually the way to go here.
But, what rubs me the wrong way, as it does many Thais, are the huge group of westerners living in Thailand who do nothing but put down Thailand, talk about Thais being idiots, think everything ‘American’ or ‘British’ or ‘European’ is better. Seriously. If you hate it here as much as you say you do – Go home.
You only have to read one of Thailand’s ‘expat forums’, to see the intellectual capacity of most of these fools. Yet they blather on about “the stupidity of the Thai government”, “the laziness” of their latest Thai girlfriend, “the reasons why Thailand is a third world country” (it’s not) and on and on. And every time I just think, honestly, if you think all Thais are idiots, what are you doing here? Why don’t you just go home.
The reality of the situation for many of them though is this. Either they don’t have two pennies to rub together, so going home is impossible as they can’t even afford the flight. Or, they’re people who are looked down upon back homes as losers and, no matter how much they complain about Thailand, they get more respect here (unwarranted respect) than they ever would in their home country. Or, they’re running away from the law and likely to be arrested back home, so leaving Thailand is really just not possible. Or, they’re people who couldn’t hack it in their own country and haven’t manged to hack it in Thailand either. So whittering on in an online forum giving their “expert knowledge” of Thailand makes them feel better about themselves. Whatever.
For those expats in Thailand who do love Thailand, do like Thais, and do think Thailand is a wonderful place to live, the only thing you can do is to avoid the loser expats (and you learn how to spot them quickly) and either cultivate a small group of expat friends who are actually going somewhere with their lives, or……get Thai friends. I did both.
My small group of expat friends, mostly western but also a couple of Japanese and a Filipino, is wonderful, as they’re all people who love Thailand, speak pretty decent Thai so understand the culture, and don’t spend half their lives putting down the country they live in. Plus, having Thai friends has made my life so much more interesting, any difficulties in Thailand so much less (Thais love to help foreigners with problems), and, as I’ve learned more about Thai culture, I’ve understood Thais and Thailand so much more. My Thai language skills improved dramatically too.