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Favorite Thai Parable

One of my favorite Thai parables that I read when I was learning Thai goes like this. There is a boatman who takes people across a river to an island for a fee, 10 baht a piece. One day there is a family that goes to the island. When they get ready to return, the boatman asks why he should take them back, he already has enough money in his pocket?

AYCNG (Although you can never generalize) I will for a moment do just that — generalize. Generally Thais are wonderfully refreshing to us westerners or Europeans. They are friendly and generally honest. The aren’t driven so hard my material success. As long as they have some food on the table, some money in the bank, a car to drive (which most can only aspire to) and can keep food on the table they are happy. They don’t need a BMW or a villa in Australia.

Then there are the Thais that are of Chinese ancestry. They are the driven side of the country. After mostly immigrating a mere 100 years ago they have met with undeniable success here. Most large enterprises have Chinese Thai owners. Virtually all major politicians are Chinese Thai. From what I have seen the current leadership is mostly interested in helping all Thais, there being a lot of programs designed for improving life in the most rural of areas. But at the same time some have worried that Thailand the country is becoming Thailand Incorporated — with business interests of the board of directors becoming more important than common man.

However, there is very little racial tension here. People just figure they get what is coming to them. This is part of the whole Buddhist philosophy of Karma and be happy with what you have.

The impression of most foreigners staying here is that while Thailand has its share of problems, it is a wonderful place to visit or for an extended stay.

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