Saving Face

There is this concept in Thailand about “saving face”.  It’s not something I became aware of until being here several weeks.  My understanding of the concept is this: Thai people don’t like to be embarrassed and try to avoid confrontation.  If you embarrass someone, perhaps by pointing out their stupid selfish behavior, or challenging their lies, then you cause them to lose face at which point they will become extremely angry with you and could quickly escalate to physical violence.

Whoever came up with “The Land of Smiles” is full of BS.  I’m still enjoying my time here but do not have a desire to live here permanently.  Since coming to Thailand, I’ve learned the following:

  1. Corruption in all levels of society and government is a huge problem.
  2. The police will not help you.
  3. Extreme nationalism which leads to
  4. Overt racism.
  5. Thais are very self centered and never consider / don’t care how their actions affect the people around them.
  6. Thai people (especially men) have very big and fragile egos.
  7. Everywhere, someone is trying to scam you.

Funny, people are like this in a country that places such a high value on the teachings of Buddha.  I guess I could add hypocritical to the list too.  Luckily, not everyone is like this but I get the sense it’s 80 to 90 percent of people here and except for restaurants and the grocery store, I don’t have to interact with many Thai people.

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