Are you chic enough to live in Bangkok?

It’s Sunday, and I chose to stay home all day reading fashion magazine (Cleo. I even subscribe it!), articles from Twitter (read tons of good ones today!), and a new novel, as well as chatting with my mom and brother, and cleaning hair brushes and make-up sponges.

Not exactly an Instagram worthy kind of day. 

Earlier my friend and I agreed to cancel our plan to go cafe-ing in Asoke, with the reason that we are too lazy to leave our houses. 

It made me feel I’m getting old, when staying home feels more luxurious than going to brunch in a cool cafe. 

Damn, didn’t I just miss the opportunity to Instagram my hot latte and Eggs Benedict!? Such a big deal, isn’t it? 

I sometimes sneer at and/or make fun of those Bangkokians posting photos of cool restaurants, new bars and chic cafes in town as pretentious; trying to let the world know what a chic, hip lifestyle they possess. Showing off is such a crucial part of Thai society these days. You need to show the world via all possible social media channels that you are always busy, doing interesting stuff all the time, especially in your free time at the newest hangouts in town. 

It’s almost impossible to avoid social media these days, as it creeps into our lives so much that it has become another important part of it. We get bombarded by it seeing what our “friends” (HUGE quotation mark here) are up to daily, hence it most likely has enough power to force us to do the same things. 

Ironically, I’m probably one of them too (HA), although I don’t think I’m the type that tries too hard. 

Since I started working, I somehow enjoy exploring new places to go, much more than when I was in Chula, with limited amount of money (student’s life), but a huge amount of homework, reports, lessons to review on weekends, and no time to chill (Weekends always made me stressed) 

Also I stopped hating Bangkok and enjoying living in my city more. Aren’t we great at producing more and more new places to eat and hang out out in this city!? Feel like a shame if I don’t take an advantage of this fact.

It’s all Sabai-Sabai, and Sanook-Sanook in this city of angel, isn’t it?

(Trying hard not to sneer at that sentence)

Anyway let’s get back to other pretentious people stuff. 

I have learned that some people, or the majority in the society, extremely pay attention to what other people do, where they hang out, what they wear, and some even try to copy the lifestyles that make them look “cool”

Even though that’s not who they are.

I got asked from a friend once, supposedly I don’t like lobster, but if there were a new, chic lobster place open in town, and everyone has been raving about it and going there, would I go there too?

I said no, why would I go if I didn’t like it?

She said, there are people who would go just to make it look good on their Instagram. 

Why?

Seriously, why? 

Some people would be willing to give up who they are, in order to look cool. 

Read that again. Does anyone feel like it’s a big deal as much as I do?

Hello, Welcome to fake society? 

But that’s Bangkok in a nutshell for you, everyone. 

Personally, I admire people who stay true to who they are, even though they are different. 

I have recently spoken to one of my colleagues; a real sweet girl. She likes to read, cook at home, make her own lunch boxes and bring it to the office every day. When I asked what kind of restaurant she likes to go, she said she doesn’t really go out to eat much. She can eat at normal food courts in Big C or Lotus and that would be fine. 

She said, she enjoys simple and basic life. 

That is just so cool. 

The fact that she simply shares that to me and doesn’t fake who she is makes me feel she’s SO much cooler and also braver than those who go out to eat at stuff they don’t even like just for the sake of that damn Instagram. 

I can’t imagine how exhausting it would be trying to fake it and imitate other people’s lifestyles, when you don’t even want it. 

But then again, our modern society is also shaped this way. I can’t count the numbers of times some clients quickly check or even stare at the bag I carry, as if they are ready to estimate my value and net worth, based on that damn bag. 

Materialistic world. No wonder people are trying so hard persuing materialistic things or luxurious lifestyles to make them feel confident and accepted.

I think it can happen when you are insecure of who you are. Therefore, you need this material “stuff” to make you feel better about yourself which you can show off to other people too. 

It’s just sad, you know? Very sad. 

It’s really important to stay who you are, when  society, social media, and peer pressure try to influence and persuade you to be something otherwise. 

I must always remember this. You gotta stay strong. 

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Western guys VS. Thai girls (And my view)

Classic, cliché topic isn’t it? 

But today I want to talk (write) about it from my point of view. 

We were at Bellino in Thonglor 13 on Saturday evening. The restaurant/bar was very nice, comfy and cozy. It feels like a hidden spot in the middle of hectic Thonglor. 

Most of the customers we saw that day were mostly Westerners. Many Western guys came with their Thai girls, sitting at their tables next to the bar inside, or at the couch outside. 

I was also with 2 Western guys; my boyfriend and his friend. I walked in, glanced around at all the Farang-Thai couples, and their appearances, atmosphere and everything else hit me like, why oh why, this kind of scene really fits the streotype of Farang guys and Thai girls in Bangkok, or perhaps Thailand in general.

It also seems to be the stereotype from quite a few of my friends; be it in Tokyo, Shanghai, or Bangkok, these white men seem to think it’s so easy, too easy to get Asian girls. I’ve heard it again and again. 

And I can’t resist rolling my eyes. 

I wish I could tell them that, first, these girls who are hunting Farang or desperately want Farang boyfriends are most certainly can’t be used to represent the image of Thai girls in general. 

Isn’t it natural that Farang men would be exposed to the kind of girl that wanna catch them, because they seek for financial security or whatever reason these girls are after? (I’m not judging, if it works out for them, it’s good for both parties) Naturally, these girls would choose to hang out at places they can catch their targets attention.

But that doesn’t mean all Thai girls are that easy to get. 

There are plenty others who are definitely not into Farang, because of language and cultural barrier, or many other different things that could put them off. And they would naturally not be in places these Farang go. 

Even in my circle of friends, which many have studied abroad, are exposed to different cultures, speak 2-3 languages, it still doesn’t mean all of them have positive attitude toward Farang. In fact, quite a few have hostile feelings toward them. 

Then, the conversation shifted to the expat side. I’ve never given much thought about it, but they were talking about how difficult it is for expats in Thailand to find a “good, decent Thai girl.” (Quoted our conversation here. Be noted that the word “good” is subjective) 

Here are the reasons;

1) “Good” Thai girls are taken.

2) “Good” Thai girls don’t go where Farang go. They always hang out in their own group, very secluded in their own circles. Farang can’t get into those circles. 

Some other reasons is, even though there could be many “good, decent Thai girls,” if they have never been exposed to international setting, most of the time there is a huge cultural and communication gap. It is too challenging trying to make the relationship work. The lifestyles between Thais and expats can be hugely different, so it’s difficult to find connection with Thais. 

That makes sense, I guess. 

 I actually dislike it when people say I’m into Farang men. It always reminds me of the “Farang men and Thai girls” stigma that has been around ever since I could remember.  

Honestly and sincerely, I most certainly am not crazy about blonde hair, blue eyes, high nose, long eyelashes (yep…) or whatever the outer appearance is. In fact, I don’t mind where they are from, I even joked with friends that “It’s free trade. All nationalities are welcomed,” if they have what I need in a relationship.

It’s the mindset I’m always looking for, be it Thai or Farang or any nationality. 

Speaking from own experiences, what I can find in Farang, but not in Asian men I’ve met so far, is simply the openmindedness. With Westerners, I can always express my thoughts and feelings much better no matter what they are about, and they tend to accept those differences quite well, unlike Asian men who in general (again from my experiences so far) are more narrow-minded, and think there is a certain pattern or way of how a woman should behave, act, or even think.

That really makes me feel too restricted. I have to fit the role of being a “proper girl”

You drink too much? Some Thai guys would start judging you are the bad ones. You sleep with the guy you date within a few weeks? Pfft, definitely a slut. You go to his house too soon? Come on, why are you such an easy girl?

The list is endless. 

There is always something hidden or expected of you to act like a “good girl” 

With Westerners, I feel I am more accepted as a human being. No jokes. 

I can be who I want, and say what I want. And it’s a good feeling to be just me.  

There are many other qualities as well, like how relationship feels more mature; being able to give each other privacy and space, as well as mutual respect, unlike many Thai relationships I heard about which seem to be crazy on controlling and being jealous to each other. 

Sometimes I think perhaps life could be easier if I loved a Thai-Chinese boy and we were oblivious in our own Thai-Chinese bubble with our families and such. That’s another thing for many Thai-Chinese backgrounds, they don’t really view Farang as rich or desirable number one like some girls in this country may do. 

But I can’t change how I am. For this, I really have to pick what makes me happy.

Somehow, even with cultural and language differences, I have felt more connected to Western men I have dated, than many other Thais who speak the same language and share the same culture with me.