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Do the Thais have a different relationship with silence / doing nothing than Westerners do?

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In the place I stay at, the owner and 3 family members sits around downstairs. 10% of the time they're chatting, 90% of the time they are justing lounging about. The younger ones are sometimes on their phone. There are 2 girls out front calling for massages, the rest of the time they also sit around.

 

For a western person this existence would be profoundly boring. I imagine most of us would spend that time watching TV, playing an instrument, browsing the internet etc.

 

I'm in Pattaya and I see a lot of this. There are phones/internet usage to be sure. But what gets me is all the people sitting around doing nothing at all.

 

For those of you with some handle on the Thai mindset, I wonder if they have a greater sense of peace with nothingness. Is it the case that they simply don't feel the need to keep themselves busy? Or is this more a sign of general poverty than inner tranquility?

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7 minutes ago, Kwasaki said:

Typically reminds me of a mate saying Oh yeah I've been to Thailand,

I said where did you go he said Pattaya. 🤣 😂

in all fairness i see the same thing all over Thailand.

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6 minutes ago, NCC1701A said:

yes my half Thai half Chinese girlfriend is not like a Thai at all.

Her Chinese DNA makes her profoundly different.

On a scale from 0 to 10, what is the level of sarcasm in that post? I cannot tell.

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3 hours ago, Briggsy said:

I would add to this discussion the concept of the word beua which is always translated as bored in English. Many English including myself fall into the trap of thinking the Thai is bored in the Western sense of the word, nothing to do, nothing interesting, nothing to challenge or entertain. 

 

However when the Thai uses beua, it is almost always when they are sick of something or peed off with something. It is much more focused on an activity or person, etc., and clearly negative.

 

I have never heard a Thai person express boredom in the Western nothing to do sense. I suspect many never and the remainder hardly ever feel such an emotion. When there is nothing to do for a Thai, it is great, just sleep.

Exactly.  

 

There is however a word that Thais use for when they are just sitting there staring off into space in a seemingly contemplative mood.  I don’t know how it’s spelled in Thai language but it sounds something like “meuu” (with an elongated sala eu sound)

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On the other hand, how many of us would be able to handle hours of doing nothing?

And I include myself in this.

I.e. going to a coffee shop, having a nice espresso and some pastry is good for a minute or maybe 3 or 5. And then we look at the mobile phone or newspaper or whatever. I think few of us can handle "just nothing".

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