cruel summer

Thailand can be a cruel place.

At school, in class, one of the teachers commented that the crap economy leading to many companies closing in Thailand is not all bad: he is looking forward to the office working women, who tend to be taller, more white-skinned and better dressed than your average Thai woman, appearing in the brothels because they don’t have any more jobs.

What is notable about this isn’t that he said it, it’s that he said it in at *school*, in class, in mixed company, kind of as a joke, but with complete confidence that he said something socially acceptable and that many people would agree with. It’s like, if 200 years ago in the ante-bellum south, I sat around with my friends and complained about the rising price of slaves — what’s interesting isn’t my remark, it’s what the normalcy of it in my place and time reveals about my society. Not in a million years would a teacher in Canada consider this reasonable topic of discussion.

Then he proceeded to discuss how the lack of tourism is affecting the prostitutes in Pattaya, pretty much the world’s most famous cesspool/sex tourism destination, even consulting some of the more stereotypical male students (fat German sexpat guys wearing shorts and sandals) to ask them if there were many people in Pattaya lately. The students, showing a complete lack of shame in being total losers, answered that Pattaya was almost empty.

There’s a layer of exploitation in Thai society that runs deep, that I am only beginning to grasp.

There are many things I love about this country, but I thank my lucky stars that I was born in a country with feminism

2 Responses to “cruel summer”

  1. 1 Ange November 20, 2008 at 9:57 am

    I’ve been living here for 4 years now and thought I’d heard the full range of totally inappropriate comments, but that is unbelievable!

  2. 2 julielavoie November 20, 2008 at 10:49 am

    I was kind of amazed.

    In general I am amazed at how guys here, especially foreign guys, have essentially no shame.

    They will probably be reborn as cockroaches. ;-P

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A blog about culture and technology in South-East Asia.

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