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JurgenG

How To Fit-In In The Village

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

Obviously being yourself is important but that surely applies wherever you live.

I am 60 so I only Wai those older than me and those of a high social standing like the local doctor, teachers etc. If you go around Wai-ing all and sundry they will think you are a nutter :whistling:

My advice would be....

Smile a lot.

Learn some Thai and say bai nai (where are you going) when you see someone going out and bai nai ma (where have you been) when you see them coming back. This works wonders.

Give to your local temple and school. Help those in dire need and the elderly.

Never loan money in the village, Thais dont understand the word "loan" and you certainly dont want the friction you will cause when you insist on your money back.

Most importantly live in the village for a few months before you build your dream home. Village life is not for everyone.

Chok Dee

You are talking wise

Edited by warni
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'Being yourself' doesn't necessarily mean that your dream home has to be the new village McMansion.

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Obviously being yourself is important but that surely applies wherever you live.

I am 60 so I only Wai those older than me and those of a high social standing like the local doctor, teachers etc. If you go around Wai-ing all and sundry they will think you are a nutter :whistling:

I think you are right on many aspects but 'being myself,' to me, means treating everyone equal. I do not think I am anything special nor do I not think doctors,teachers (for example) are of a higher social standing.

Just my 2 satangs worth.

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Obviously being yourself is important but that surely applies wherever you live.

I am 60 so I only Wai those older than me and those of a high social standing like the local doctor, teachers etc. If you go around Wai-ing all and sundry they will think you are a nutter :whistling:

My advice would be....

Smile a lot.

Learn some Thai and say bai nai (where are you going) when you see someone going out and bai nai ma (where have you been) when you see them coming back. This works wonders.

Give to your local temple and school. Help those in dire need and the elderly.

Never loan money in the village, Thais dont understand the word "loan" and you certainly dont want the friction you will cause when you insist on your money back.

Most importantly live in the village for a few months before you build your dream home. Village life is not for everyone.

Chok Dee

You are talking wise

Agree about the money loaning i have a few unpaid back loans,but i still loan out around our home to help familys we know they pay back,but people who dont pay back never get a second chance.

Also add do not build a Mcmansion if things go tits up you cannot take it with you or get any money back.

To fit in like mentioned before be yourself show respect do not get drunk and abusive.

My latest problem inlaws wanting me to buy a small siam kubota i put 30,000 down they pay the rest for this they do the work on our farms only pay for benzene,i said we only have 13 rai this year so not worth it, but next year we have 33 rai so i will consider it then after the neice has paid back the 10000 baht she stole from me plus the 10000baht i just lent the family to go work bangkok plus the 10000 baht uncle borrowed 15 months ago gets paid back,plus my wife gets back her gold from the gold shop they have pawned,as i would not lend no more money,she had to hand over the gold,yes they pay the intrest,but i know what will happen like last time we got a big pay out from the farm we had to buy the gold back.

Now this is village life being falang supposed to help but when we get shit on we have to say no sometimes,me saying no to the tractor has been fun sis's husband has been ignoring me(that a good thing)no longer comming around stinking of lao kao wanting to borrow car to go drive to his friends to drink more lao kao and show off the car.

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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.

RE:Poles in UK - not the best example

plenty of poles in my street who dont speak English, rely on the member of their family who does for their handouts

But that was my whole point. Yes, these people will always be Polish, but if they made an effort to speak the local language then they'd be accepted a whole lot quicker. Yes, we will always be farangs, but if we make the effort to learn the local language and traditions then we too have a good chance of being accepted. (Although I do realise there will be people everywhere who will never fully accept immigrants living in their community). I had a perfect example of this yesterday when some of the wife's relatives, who live about 100km away, came to visit my mother in law. I went around to wai the elders and one of the distant cousins, who'd never met me before, made a comical remark about "the farang". I instantly replied in Khmer with a comment about bloody Laharnsai (the amphur they live in) outsiders being dazzled by the bright lights of our village, which brought guffaws of laughter and enough slaps on the back to permanantly straighten my spine, and we sat and talked and laughed for the remainder of their visit. And, I know some of the know it all Thai bashers here won't believe this, none of them asked to borrow any money.

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^i think we've got crossed wires here. i agree with you. i was making the point that the poles opposite me make no attempt to integrate, whereas muggins here can read and write in Thai, probably better than maybe 90 % of foreigners who've lived in LOS for many years.

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I speak Thai about 70 % and understand about 50 % so I know when I'm being "ripped off

Best line of the thread.

So you speak 20% more than you understand. That could lead to some confuion couldn't it?

what if they rip u off using the 20% u speak but don't understand. :huh:

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Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.-- Attributed to John Wanamaker, USA Department store magnate (1838-1822)

As for the Thais above, their problem is that they do not know which part is the 20%.

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My latest problem inlaws wanting me to buy a small siam kubota i put 30,000 down they pay the rest for this they do the work on our farms only pay for benzene,i said we only have 13 rai this year so not worth it, but next year we have 33 rai so i will consider it then after the neice has paid back the 10000 baht she stole from me plus the 10000baht i just lent the family to go work bangkok plus the 10000 baht uncle borrowed 15 months ago gets paid back,plus my wife gets back her gold from the gold shop they have pawned,as i would not lend no more money,she had to hand over the gold,yes they pay the intrest,but i know what will happen like last time we got a big pay out from the farm we had to buy the gold back.

Now this is village life being falang supposed to help but when we get shit on we have to say no sometimes,me saying no to the tractor has been fun sis's husband has been ignoring me(that a good thing)no longer comming around stinking of lao kao wanting to borrow car to go drive to his friends to drink more lao kao and show off the car.

Living the dream mate. Living the dream.

Edited by mca

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I have been living near my village for 6 years on and off and full time since I retired a year ago.

I am still having a problem learning Thai due to being old and partly deaf which doesn't help.

I go to the usual collection of shops around the village and visit the Saturday markets and I pay about the same as everybody else does.

I also wave and smile to the kids I see when I am on my motorbike, also Thai people that I know from around here and most of them wave and smile back.

I can get through most situations with a combination of mangled Thai and English and the odd phone call to my wife.

I used to live and work in BKK a few years ago but now I only go there if I really have to.

I enjoy village life :thumbsup: but that said it is not for everyone. ;)

I am just looking out of my window at 5 or 6 birds happily drinking the dogs water while the dog is just lying there looking at them.

Good one Billd!

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Learning to speak Thai may be a starting point,it works wonders in my village,being able to hold a conversation with people really goes a long way,and i love the look on peoples faces when i start asking them questions,they just dont expect it.Lets be honest the language barrier is the main reason that life in a village can be very lonely,the Thais love to surround you with people,never want you to be alone,but what good is this if you can not strike up at least some conversation with them.

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I think almost all the advice given on the first page of this thread is totally wrong.

1) Never wai anyone, you are telling them you are their social inferior which is clearly wrong as they all know you are rich and educated. Initiating a wai just indicates you are a fool. I pretty much only wave to Thais now ...... apart from MIL who does get a wai.

2) Do not learn the language, or do learn it but never let on. Then when those difficult situations occur where someone is trying to sell you their daughter (or the daughter jumps in for a direct sell) you can just pretend not to understand. (and what language are you going to learn, they don't speak central Thai in the village, and nobody teaches the local language anyway)

3) Never lend or give anyone money, that includes your wife, else they just think you are stupid with money. Have you ever seen a Thai village man give his wife or anyone else money EXCEPT ..... it is OK to give the pretty little 17YO girl money, all the other Thai guys do too. (I did up the age of the girl quite a bit so as not to offend the Mods sense of decency)

4) Always carry around a large bottle of SangSom, this avoids you having to pay for everyone elses drinks, they see you already have a bottle and also you don't need to drink their Ci-Seep. But you can let them have a glass from your bottle.

5) You will never fit in, so don't try, go your own way.

And who cares about what the poles do ....... apart from their dancing, which can be of interest.

Edited by sarahsbloke

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Well sarahsbloke, you sound like a right barrel of laughs don't ya.

Keep burying your head in the sand, ignorance is bliss.

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I think almost all the advice given on the first page of this thread is totally wrong.

1) Never wai anyone, you are telling them you are their social inferior which is clearly wrong as they all know you are rich and educated. Initiating a wai just indicates you are a fool. I pretty much only wave to Thais now ...... apart from MIL who does get a wai.

2) Do not learn the language, or do learn it but never let on. Then when those difficult situations occur where someone is trying to sell you their daughter (or the daughter jumps in for a direct sell) you can just pretend not to understand. (and what language are you going to learn, they don't speak central Thai in the village, and nobody teaches the local language anyway)

3) Never lend or give anyone money, that includes your wife, else they just think you are stupid with money. Have you ever seen a Thai village man give his wife or anyone else money EXCEPT ..... it is OK to give the pretty little 17YO girl money, all the other Thai guys do too. (I did up the age of the girl quite a bit so as not to offend the Mods sense of decency)

4) Always carry around a large bottle of SangSom, this avoids you having to pay for everyone elses drinks, they see you already have a bottle and also you don't need to drink their Ci-Seep. But you can let them have a glass from your bottle.

5) You will never fit in, so don't try, go your own way.

And who cares about what the poles do ....... apart from their dancing, which can be of interest.

F*** me, and I thought it was only me that had sense on this forum. Sahrasbloke you fall down on one thing, don't give them any SongSom. You feed a stray, you'll never get rid of it.

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