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Forethat

Racism At Amphur In Bangkok

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I accompanied a friend to an amphur in Bangkok late last week. Him and his wife are done and decided to divorce. To be perfectly honest, she's been a pain in the ass, causing my family grief as well. I've spent numerous weekends trying to cheer up my friend after she's abandoned their home, sold gold and all sorts of stuff. We've cancelled trips to help him with their daughter when she's left their house. Quite frankly, I hate the bitch, so I wasn't to bothered when I was asked to come along as a witness. I didn't even know one was needed.

The couple had a prepared agreement with details regarding the divorce. For instance, my friend got full custody of their child and the mother got rights to visit. They also agreed on no settlement (other than the wife didn't need to pay anything), and there were no financial means to be split.

At this point the staff at the Amphur began to talk to the wife in a very bizarre way. They asked detailed questions regarding the husbands economy and told the wife that this was her big chance to make some money; was she sure that she wanted to let the farang "off the hook" this cheap. They spent 15 minutes trying to persuade her to ask for money. The husband doesn't speak Thai that well and I did my best trying to interpret while listening to the conversations. Obviously he became very nervous. The discussions with the staff at the amphur also included some extremely disturbing comments regarding the "farang who sneaks away from all responsibility".

Is this normal practice? Shouldn't amphur staff be neutral in sensitive matters like a divorce? Maybe this is normal practice during a divorce between Thai couples as well?

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No excuses,or cultural differences,regardless of the Country this took place in,it is highly Unethical and non proffessional behaviour from authority,who have grossly interfered and taken the side of a fellow Citizen,and should be sacked.

Which will not happen of course.

Edited by MAJIC

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That is exactly what the staff at the Amphur in Banglamung did too! I waited for them to finish asking my soon to be ex if she was sure she had got everything off me before she signed.At this point I explained to them in passable Thai that we were still friends , I had given her the car , all the furniture and the dogs ..... the only other thing I could do was rip my heart out and give her that if they liked .... "Oh sorry mister we not know you speak Thai"

Edited by MickA

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Probably see a lot of divorces where the guy is a jerk. Who knows are really cares what they say he got the paper signed now he is a free man. never get married again if he is smart. It smells the same, feels the same and taste the same married or not and can cost the same.

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Probably see a lot of divorces where the guy is a jerk. Who knows are really cares what they say he got the paper signed now he is a free man. never get married again if he is smart. It smells the same, feels the same and taste the same married or not and can cost the same.

Like Moonrakers says, this could probably be more a sexist issue than a racist one. If the key here is a man who is a jerk it's probably no difference between farangs and Thais. But that doesn't justify why the amphur get involved the way they did. Sick.

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B) Yes, They are truly on big Family. I have heard it expressed like this, I am Thai People, You are Thai people, we are all Thai People. The Thai's in General see Farangs as all being very rich.

They absolutely do not like when a Farang speaks and understands Thai. I lived and worked in Thailand for 7 years, and became very fluent in the spoken Thai Language. I can't count the number of times I caught Thai's speaking very badly about Farangs in Thai thinking they don't understand. When they realize you understand they are very apologetic and backpedal their way out of it.

There was one instance when we went to the Thai police station and the "boss" there asked my wife in Thai . If I spoke Thai? I answered in Thai, yes I do. Thus was many years ago when there were fewer Farang residents that actually spoke and understood Thai. There is a saying in Thai, "Farang loo mak, mai dee"; Farang know too much, no good!

The Thai's are very Ethnocentric and Xenphobic,(sorry for non-English speakers) and the Farangs will always be at a disadvantage in dealing with them. It is one of the reasons that I decided to leave the "Kingdom" in 2007 with my Thai wife and child and return to my home country.

LL

THailand will always have a special place in my heart and is the land of my wife and child. However;I have chosen to live in my own country.

LL

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There was one instance when we went to the Thai police station and the "boss" there asked my wife in Thai . If I spoke Thai? I answered in Thai, yes I do. Thus was many years ago when there were fewer Farang residents that actually spoke and understood Thai. There is a saying in Thai, "Farang loo mak, mai dee"; Farang know too much, no good!

Fascinating, I speak fairly fluent Thai and in all my years of living in Thailand and overhearing thousands upon thousands of conversations in Thai, not once have I ever heard this 'saying' .

As for Forethat's experience, highly unethical and your friend would have been within his rights to ask for a higher up.

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Racism starts at the local hardware shop. When any dealer inflates the price for a foreigner, that is racism. My general cheerfullness and trust, perhaps naivety, was compromised when I bought a power tool at 2500baht over the recommended price. It's endemic, a product of the culture of corruption and under any light it is racist. It doesn't matter whether the issue is a marital dispute or a belt sander, the Farang is often seen as an easy target and that is racism, pure and simple.

If Thais were treated the same way in my home country, as Farangs are treated here, the court system would become clogged very quickly by the disaffected seeking recompence.

It is disheartening at times!

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From what I have heard it is normal for officers to try to advise wife to be sure she leaves marriage with what she is entitled. Men are expected to be the bread winners here and officials believe it is there duty to protect the woman's rights in such a case. Our neighbors wife divorced and asking nothing but small payment and use of half the house recently - amphur carefully checked retirement paperwork of husband and explained she was entitled more than she was asking and urged her to get fair share rather than just what she was asking.

Sexist perhaps but not necessarily racist.

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From what I have heard it is normal for officers to try to advise wife to be sure she leaves marriage with what she is entitled. Men are expected to be the bread winners here and officials believe it is there duty to protect the woman's rights in such a case. Our neighbors wife divorced and asking nothing but small payment and use of half the house recently - amphur carefully checked retirement paperwork of husband and explained she was entitled more than she was asking and urged her to get fair share rather than just what she was asking.

Sexist perhaps but not necessarily racist.

I think this is the case just as they have to ask this in Holland too. Just normal practice. Kinda depends how its brought. If they said like rip the farang off now or, did you know that you are entitled to this.

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There was one instance when we went to the Thai police station and the "boss" there asked my wife in Thai . If I spoke Thai? I answered in Thai, yes I do. Thus was many years ago when there were fewer Farang residents that actually spoke and understood Thai. There is a saying in Thai, "Farang loo mak, mai dee"; Farang know too much, no good!

Fascinating, I speak fairly fluent Thai and in all my years of living in Thailand and overhearing thousands upon thousands of conversations in Thai, not once have I ever heard this 'saying' .

As for Forethat's experience, highly unethical and your friend would have been within his rights to ask for a higher up.

I have heard this saying too.. but only from bar girls. I usually get good comments on my (fairly limited) Thai. They like to converse with me in Thai. But once they think you speak some Thai they think you understand it all.

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