How to tell if you're still a farang

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How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by PeteC » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:22 am

Humorous and thought provoking. :D Pete :cheers:

http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... l-a-farang

How to tell if you're still a farang

Published: 28/11/2012 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: News

As a Thai who has spent some time abroad I consider myself able to evaluate whether a farang, (I use this term endearingly) has been properly assimilated into Thai society.

So I thought it might be useful to my many farang friends and readers to devise a simple test to help guide farang who may be wondering whether they have indeed successfully made the seamless transition into becoming a Thai.

Here is my simple test.

- You're a farang if you still comprehend satire and sarcasm and find it amusing. I have written about this in my previous articles, but for the benefit of touchy Thai readers who might find my sweeping generalisations offensive it is certainly not intended as such. Satire and sarcasm can land you in deep water so please exercise it with extreme caution.

- You're a farang if you still can't understand why Thai women marry Thai men. Most farang think Thai men are women-suppressing, self-aggrandising, backward-thinking, chain-smoking, whiskey-guzzling, time-wasting delinquents. Farang simply don't understand why a nice Thai girl would marry someone that is devoid of any endearing or redeeming qualities commonly found in many farang men.

Well, this might be news to you, but getting married in this country is often not about what the woman wants in a partner, but rather what her Thai parents deem acceptable as someone that's going to become their daughter's husband. Many Thai marriages are family affairs.

- You're a farang if you still think it is important to be punctual and get extremely irritated with Thais' nonchalant attitude towards tardiness.

Here is some sound advice when making an appointment. If you've got an appointment with a Thai at 5pm, add another 15 minutes.

If the meeting is on Friday, you'd better add 30 minutes.

If the person you're meeting is a Thai woman, you'd better add an hour. Now you've got the idea.

- You're a farang if you love Max, your golden retriever, more than you love your wife. The English are especially guilty of this.

The love that the English have for their dogs is world-famous. Only a fatal accident or an earthquake above seven on the Richter scale would prevent an Englishman from walking his dog once a day after supper.

Of course, Thais are also extremely fond of their canine friends. That is, until man's best friend _ in a few certain provinces _ provides their master with a cheap alternative to your Christmas turkey.

- You're a farang if you still can't appreciate gossiping, or have yet to master the technique.

Gossiping for Thais is more than pastime. Rumours and innuendos have become one of the foundations of our entire culture. The way that Thais behave socially has simply not kept up with the great strides we have made technologically or economically.

Essentially, we behave as though we are Hobbits of the Shire where everyone else's business is our own. Unfortunately our village mentality leads us to cherry-picking facts to accommodate prejudices. The truth in many cases is buried under a huge pile of putrid lies and comtemptible deceit.

- You're a farang if you still walk a Bangkok zebra crossing with total confidence passing vehicles will screech to a halt and allow you safe passage. Many farang have tried this but unfortunately not many have lived to tell their tale.

- You're a farang if you still think Red Bull has farang origins.

- You're a farang if after a few years of living in Thailand you still prefer using a fork rather than a spoon to eat rice.

- You're a farang if you still expect Thai politicians to resign over offences like committing adultery while in office. The resignation of someone like General Patraeus, a decorated war hero and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency over an admitted affair with his married biographer would be unheard of here.

Recently in the United Kingdom, government Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell had to hand in his resignation to the prime minister because he swore at a Downing Street police officer and called him a "pleb".

A few years before the Mitchell affair, the then-prime minister Gordon Brown of the previous Labour Government resigned as party leader after that little hiccup known as "losing a general election".

In Thailand we prefer our political and military leaders to be unshackled by high ethical and moral standards, unhindered by the demands of personal accountability and unburdened by the sense of shame that would make lesser men breakdown under the glare of public scrutiny.

- And lastly, you're a farang, if after living here for a decade your Thai is still only good enough to order chicken rice and iced tea.

However, for you uninspired farang who find it hard to learn Thai, look no further than His Excellency Mark Kent, the British Ambassador who gave a whole welcome speech in Thai at a lovely gathering held in the Ambassador's Residence which I attended recently.

For you Brits out there, now you know who to call for free Thai lessons!

Songkran Grachangnetara is an entrepreneur. He graduated from The London School of Economics and Columbia University.
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Source

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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by StevePIraq » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:02 am

Quite a good article and not really so far from the truth.

The writer missed a few other points to identify a Farang.
- You’re a Farang if you are still amazed when in a restaurant one persons meal will arrive and the next will only follow 20 minutes later
The strangest thing I personally find is when the rice is brought to the table immediately and the rest of the food arrives some 30 minutes later.
- You’re a Farang if you are surprised when you order a coffee and the person does not understand as you did not say Kahvea, sounds almost the same so why don’t Thais understand.
- You’re a Farang when the condiments that come with your meal always include sugar, don’t you know that sugar is eaten with everything in Thailand.
- You’re a Farang when you don’t understand when the person you employed to do some work at your home does not return to finish the job, you paid him half of the money at the end of the first day so you only get half of the job.
- You’re a Farang when you don’t understand why the bar staff keep selling beer/whisky to the guy at the end of the bar when he already clearly cannot stand up and he still has to ride a motorcycle home. Money is the answer
- You’re a Farang when you do not understand the way Thais drive cars and ride motorcycles, this includes not wearing motorcycle helmets or when wearing them not fastening them, don’t you know this will ruin the hairstyle. Similar for riding a motorcycle with no lights on, the Thai rider can see fine so why do they need lights on.

You are assimilated into Thai life and you are no longer a Farang when you accept all of the idiosyncrasies of Thai life without questioning.
"Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you're going to be right." Muhammad Ali

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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by Name Taken » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:44 pm

Why should a farang bother to learn Thai when half of the Thai population is so daft that they literally can't even tell what the time it is. It's like always 1 o'clock in Thailand.

:? :rant: :offtopic:

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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by StevePIraq » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:52 pm

Someone get out of the bed the wrong side did they.
No really I know what you mean no one seems to give a Sh*^ about things sometimes, great isn't it.

Is it beer o'clock yet?
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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by Pleng » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:43 pm

Name Taken wrote:Why should a farang bother to learn Thai when half of the Thai population is so daft that they literally can't even tell what the time it is. It's like always 1 o'clock in Thailand.

:? :rant: :offtopic:
It's one o clock on no less than 3 occasions in the Thai clock. 4 if you're a traditionalist.

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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by Leupold » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:22 am

Lol, after reading this i guess i will still be a farang for some time to come.. :-D

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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by margaretcarnes » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:18 am

A brilliant observation of farang IMO, and one I think all of us farang could identify with if we are honest.
The author is wrong on one count though - farang walk their dogs more than once a day. But otherwise correct - we do love dogs more than people. They don't answer back.
We are also pretty patient about the waiting for late appointments etc. Maybe not so laid back about it as Thais - but we can quickly learn the waiting rules. Any Thai who has shopped in Asda would understand this.
I have one friend I have known for 48 years in the UK and I still add at least 30 minutes to any agreed meeting time. In fact I fix meeting times 30 minutes early, and still expect to wait.
But interestingly the author doesn't venture into the realms of driving habits. 'You know when you are still farang when you stop and look both ways at an un-manned level crossing'.....
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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by richard » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:20 am

Despite the fact you may have lived here since the Vietnam war, speak fluent Thai, Laos and Khmer, have a Thai wife (wives) and 10 kids, live in a wooden house with your buffaloes underneath, breed fighting cocks, sow/cut rice and sugar cane, eat raw meat, chew betel berries, smoke weed, use a catapult, shower money all over the village, dress in traditional Thai work clothes, have a dark tan, brown eyes and black hair.....you will always be a FARANG :laugh:
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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by mafiamind » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:33 am

I agree with Richard, regardless of what your activities are, you are a farang because you look like one. A lot of people don't realize that farang is a term reserved for white people. Thais do not call other foreigners(Asian, Hispanic) farang.

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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by Dr Mike » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:27 pm

I have had 2 friends, 100% Thai, born raised and educated in the west. Speak Thai flently with no accent-- but they realised after about a year here that they were not totally accepted.

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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by usual suspect » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:56 pm

I agree with Richard..we will always be labelled 'Falang' here, but many times I'm angered by the detrimental tone I hear when I'm addressed as one.
I got my own back 1 day in our street when the fat,cocky/clever little Nepalese kid thought it big to make a point of calling me Farang quite loudly whenever his family were present..well I cornered him 1 day, within view of his parents & called him a 'little pig' repeatedly (in Thai)..& followed with snorting immitations/noises..& did this whenever he came down the Soi (he WAS a fat little cretin) Both him & his family (about 20 of them all under same roof) got the message alright..never heard the 'F' word again from them..a result!
But on the flip side of this..there is no wonder we get labelled Falang in a foul way when many of the ex-pats are so damn rude to Cashiers, Tellers, & any number of Thais who we meet/deal with on a daily basis. Please & thank-you, plus a smile goes a long way here, but all I ever see (in many instances when the Thai girl has given the European man a 'thank you' wai) is a grunt!
(seems we've come back round to pigs again..555!).

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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by bsdk1960 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:45 am

no matter how many years you lived in los, and how good you adjust and speak thai, you always bee a farrang in thai peoples eye.

:cheers: :cheers:

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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by johnnyk » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:28 am

No problem for me to tell, I just look in the mirror.
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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by Pleng » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:51 am

usual suspect wrote:I agree with Richard..we will always be labelled 'Falang' here, but many times I'm angered by the detrimental tone I hear when I'm addressed as one.
I got my own back 1 day in our street when the fat,cocky/clever little Nepalese kid thought it big to make a point of calling me Farang quite loudly whenever his family were present..well I cornered him 1 day, within view of his parents & called him a 'little pig' repeatedly (in Thai)..& followed with snorting immitations/noises..& did this whenever he came down the Soi (he WAS a fat little cretin) Both him & his family (about 20 of them all under same roof) got the message alright..never heard the 'F' word again from them..
Wow. You like to live dangerously!

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Re: How to tell if you're still a farang

Post by usual suspect » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:27 pm

That family got booted out of the house 2 weeks later Pleng..never seen any of them since..but when I heard 'Falang,falang,falang' every time I opened my gate from the house opposite..I was not gonna accept this for very long..grrr!
Guess that makes me STILL a Falang here then... 555!

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