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Confused by younger Thai man - Page 4
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  1. #31
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    Re: Confused by younger Thai man

    A few days into my life in Bangkok, I was with my father-in-law, husband and son. We stopped at a red light, and the man driving the car in the next lane rolled down his window (as it turned out they were friends) and asked "bai nai" (where are you going). "Bai tio" (going out for fun) was the answer. I liked that, and still do. It's easy, fun to say, and covers nearly all occasions when you don't want to go into detail.

    I didn't know it was unacceptable to ask someone where they were going here in the U.S.A., but now that I think about it I would only ask a friend, not a casual acquaintance or colleague. When talking with a friend it usually comes out as "what are you up to?"

    Other than that, I admit to having little patience with NoneOfYerBusiness type questions and find it difficult after the zillionth time of being asked my age, financial status, etc to come up with a suitable civil answer. But I do. For example, when I was in my twenties I would tell my students I was 75.

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  3. #32
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    Re: Confused by younger Thai man

    Quote Originally Posted by Susana View Post
    A few days into my life in Bangkok, I was with my father-in-law, husband and son. We stopped at a red light, and the man driving the car in the next lane rolled down his window (as it turned out they were friends) and asked "bai nai" (where are you going). "Bai tio" (going out for fun) was the answer. I liked that, and still do. It's easy, fun to say, and covers nearly all occasions when you don't want to go into detail.

    I didn't know it was unacceptable to ask someone where they were going here in the U.S.A., but now that I think about it I would only ask a friend, not a casual acquaintance or colleague. When talking with a friend it usually comes out as "what are you up to?"

    Other than that, I admit to having little patience with NoneOfYerBusiness type questions and find it difficult after the zillionth time of being asked my age, financial status, etc to come up with a suitable civil answer. But I do. For example, when I was in my twenties I would tell my students I was 75.
    If someone who sees you frequently and ask some pseudo-interested question. I think that is just friendly. But really annoying are the taxi driver who ask me relation ship questions. The friendly neighbor is the society I life in and looking at each other also has its benefits. But who is the random taxi driver and what does he care if my wife is black or white and if I like the skin color or not
    But a German taught me the ultimate solution. I put in my earphones, turn on music and don't care the driver. Whenever possible I avoid taxis and even more in tourist areas.

  4. #33
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    Re: Confused by younger Thai man

    Quote Originally Posted by Susana View Post
    A few days into my life in Bangkok, I was with my father-in-law, husband and son. We stopped at a red light, and the man driving the car in the next lane rolled down his window (as it turned out they were friends) and asked "bai nai" (where are you going). "Bai tio" (going out for fun) was the answer. I liked that, and still do. It's easy, fun to say, and covers nearly all occasions when you don't want to go into detail.

    I didn't know it was unacceptable to ask someone where they were going here in the U.S.A., but now that I think about it I would only ask a friend, not a casual acquaintance or colleague. When talking with a friend it usually comes out as "what are you up to?"

    Other than that, I admit to having little patience with NoneOfYerBusiness type questions and find it difficult after the zillionth time of being asked my age, financial status, etc to come up with a suitable civil answer. But I do. For example, when I was in my twenties I would tell my students I was 75.
    Due to the ways thais interact within their cultural parameters which are VERY hierarchical (status) oriented, it is TOTALLY common and indeed normal for two thais who've never met, to ask questions like, "Where did you graduate?", "What is your degree in?", "How much do you pay in rent?", "How much do you make a month?", and other questions that we as westerners would take as someone "pryin' into our personal lives".

    Once this stuff is sussed out by the two thais one will immediately become the ͧ (subordinate) and the other the (superior) in their interactions. It is critical to thais that this is hashed out BEFORE they interact further. As I said, because of the rigid framework they operate within in regards to a person's place on what I call the imaginary "bamboo ladder 'o success". Thais have to know, is the person they're dealing with on the same rung, a rung below or a rung above them in order for the interaction to follow "thai cultural norms".

    Now taxi drivers ask foreigners their relationship status just as something to ask, not because they particularly care. They may be curious, but believe me they don't care in the least.

    It's the same with the ˹ (bpai nǎi) questions people who know you ask as you pass by. They honestly don't care in the slightest where you're goin' and it's just a colloquial greeting. Think of it like a, "How you doing?" in english. The person asking doesn't really care how you're doing, it's just an acknowledgement that they saw you.

    Anyway, that's my take on it.. Your mileage may vary. . .

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  6. #34
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    Re: Confused by younger Thai man

    Quote Originally Posted by Tod-Daniels View Post

    Once this stuff is sussed out by the two thais one will immediately become the ͧ (subordinate) and the other the (superior) in their interactions. It is critical to thais that this is hashed out BEFORE they interact further. As I said, because of the rigid framework they operate within in regards to a person's place on what I call the imaginary "bamboo ladder 'o success". Thais have to know, is the person they're dealing with on the same rung, a rung below or a rung above them in order for the interaction to follow "thai cultural norms".
    Great explanation of how Thai society functions.This 'data seeking ' also has a physical dimension in that it determines who Wai's first-and if any return Wai is needed at all.
    In some cases the questions do not arise. one does not return the Wai's of children and beggars for example, but will automatically 'first Wai 'respectable' old people-or an official (however minor!) you need a favour from!

  7. #35
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    Re: Confused by younger Thai man

    It has never sat well with me.

    At school I was respected because I was a teacher, but also because the students actually liked me, on my own merits as their teacher. I enjoyed their appreciation.

    In the neighborhood, I was Khun Yong's daughter-in-law. My history and my worth was my family's history. I was an imposter.

    My father-in-law was an honest and kind person who deserved his respect, so I do appreciate that, and in most ways I was better off for it. However, choosing my friends and companions on the basis of external worth is just not my style.

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  9. #36
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    Re: Confused by younger Thai man

    I dont consider it rude at all if someone asks me where am i going or what i'm doing. If i know them i'll going into more detail. If not, i'll just give a general or broad answer and go about my business.

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