When you live in Thailand you come face to face with your shortcomings in all its hot sticky rice glory. This is ironic if you think about the people who leave their passport country because they are escaping, something.
So you escape only to find that what ever problem you had over there was hiding in your back pocket over here. Or if you were just looking for adventure and to change it up a bit, you discover that the adventure you are getting is an education in your flaws. Welcome Abroad! Yeaaaahhh!
Misunderstandings happen in your own native tongue so what happens to you when you can’t communicate what you want in another language? Do you “go high and to the right”, laugh, or blame others? When your food order is wrong do you sulk, bitch, complain, shrug your shoulders, or start flipping tables over? Have you ever cried?
Not over the food per say but over all the goodies that come from the frustrations of trying to figure out what you are supposed to do. How do you react to taxi drivers, catching a songtaew, negotiating the price of a tuk tuk? And so on. What happens to you when you can’t get internet, help at immigration, or when you’ve been had?
Everyone has their sufficating point, when we forget to breathe, and I think this is something people just don’t talk about when living abroad. Usually bad incidences become great stories later because we can laugh over these things and find the humor which is really great. But sometimes, shitty experiences are just shit experiences.
Never did I realize I had such a temper. When I was a teenager, yes, but I’m supposed to be an adult now. I got really short with TOT when the technician this Sunday when he told me that he couldn’t find my house so he was just going to deal with my internet problem on Monday. This was after waiting four days, and then spending all day waiting for them to show up. Cause they said they would.
I know, I know. Excuses, excuses. So I hung up (can’t slam the phone these days), then called the call center to complain. I felt completely neuortic and stupid and shameful for acting like a Big Baby because the American can’t get inter-fucking-net. Like I had an alloted amount of jai yen yen and twas spent and fresh out of patience.
Incidently, the big orange TOT truck showed up and I immediately wondered if my complaining/anger got results. Then I thought about the breakfast I had with a friend. He accidently asked for another cup of coffee a shade too loud, so it sounded rude. We had a giggle over that and because my friends are smart asses he said, “I find that if you are a little rude you get better service.”
I just hate the idea that I have to act like I’m Important in order to get what I want. And I hate the idea that I haven’t obtained Buddha-like enlightenment yet either. Yesh. I want to be perfect. What can I say, I have a bit of a Messiah complex. Well, I used to. Look, it’s like this…I want things to work and I don’t want to have to wave my hands in the air or cry or have a fit.
Who said that?
Ug. When will the world stop pushing my buttons? Oh, yeah, when I’m dead.
4 replies on “What expats don’t talk about”
What a WONDERFUL friggin post! Timely… too… because sometimes there is nothing more frustrating than cultural differences. This week even.I do fine for awhile and then I EXPLODE. Usually over something trivial. But it's the long line of screw-ups piled high high HIGH that I'm really fussing over. They don't understand that though, they only see a farang acting badly.And during those times, jai yen yen doesn't even come close to the right reply. In fact, the next time I hear it I just might… well… I just might…
Love it! I had a snafu of my own getting internet set up in Kunming…. never a dull moment. Please consider coming for a visit sometime! 🙂
@Cat: Well, the good news is my Thai is getting better. So these things force you to push yourself….and yeah I hate it when I feel out of control or when I feel like I could have handled it better.Ug! The point is – Thailand is not always sabai sabai and mai bpen rai. And that's okay! It's just reality…@Ksine: Yesh, I would love to visit you in China!!!!!!!!!
“I got really short with TOT when the technician this Sunday when he told me that he couldn't find my house so he was just going to deal with my internet problem on Monday.”5555 They've obviously got hold of some Australian tradesmen 'how to conduct business' manuals. Except, at least here they call you…or did you call him?…please don't tell me it was an automated phone menu 😦 Hey, and it's not only farang who stand their ground…not always.