RE : Re: RARA-AVIS: Bangkok Ouch - Thai life style

From: E. Borgers (
Date: 26 Oct 2007

I do not know the book you are speaking of.
  On the other hand I totally agree with your analysis of Thai society.
  I would also underline that in no circumstance a real Thai will say NO (and will use treasures of cirumvolutions and excuses to avoid the word or a sentence of refusal).Also: if you are guest (whatever that means) you must avoid sentences starting by "I really like...something...blabla"
  to you it is information, to them it is instructions in disguise (the only that are allowed).
  Let us add the general corruption from top to bottom, a real actrive mafia (contolling politics in entire provinces). Plus violence: Until the end of the nineties, a hit man cost you only 250 US doll. More for public persons. A fantastic ground for noir:HB stories.
  I didn't live there but was there many many times during 15 years, and not to play with elephants, and not in Bangkok only.
  My two bahts...
  Polar Noir

Willow Arune <> a 飲it :
          Having spent several years in Thailand, I can say Burnett's books do indeed describe Thai society.

Rigid? The King is "Lord of Light" and one can go to jail (and some have) for even minor critical remarks about the members of the royal family. Until changes in 1932, you addressed a person with pronouns appropriate for his or her rank and had to be precise. This carries on in Thai society where the pecking order is rigidly maintained. "ML after a name means a minor member of the family, and as a polygamous group, it has many members. The palaces you see around Bangkok are reminders of that.

Try a business meeting. No one interrupts or talks before the chief, and no one disagrees with him either.


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