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01 May 2010


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Lawrence I must admit at times that I too have thought Thais lack compassion. This article clearly demonstrates they do not, or at least in Phana.

That said I often see MTF being compassionate, an example is an old lady who lives in a run down house in the village. She lets the old woman massage her. MTF says the massage is no good but she gives the old woman 200 Baht because she knows she has no family support.

Perhaps this is little like rural life in the UK prior to 1946?


I'm having difficulties blogging about Thailand too. Hopefully next week will open up as I'm going to try to get stuck into a few real posts again.

I was unaware that foreigners were judging Thais as lacking in compassion. To me, Thais live and think as a community. And as one cannot live side by side without compassion coming into it, where is the lack?


Mike, when I'm not blogging I miss your comments, so thanks. Yes, I think Thais are just low-key or modest about what they do for others. And they have a very different approach to saying thank-you ... they don't, at least not with the frequency of some in the west.

Prior to 1946? Are you trying to trap me into admitting that I remember those days? All the compasssion I remember was American GIs training for D-Day (I didn't know that, of course) giving me chewing-gum as I walked to school.


Catherine, nice to see you here again, and CONGRATULATIONS on WLT being Thailand Voice Blog of the Month!

Not all foreigners see Thais as lacking compassion but I have come across enough of them in person and in writing to feel the balance needed a bit of redressing.

Good luck with getting back into blogging.

michael hare

Excellent blog Lawrence. Thais do have compassion, and it is nice to see what was done in Phana. I certainly hope that no large sign was erected stating who donated what etc. I think some foreigners think that some Thais only do charity work if there is a big show and everyone gets to know how generous you have been.

I certainly hope that lady and her daughter live for many more years together in the house.

You touched briefly on the uncertain situation in Bangkok. All I can say it is spreading. My maid is a fully fledged red shirt. Nothing about Thaksin, but rather against the elite in Bangkok etc. I can't even reason with her.

As you know my son started working for Reuters in February. We bought the new condo right opposite Ratchadamri train station next to the Four Seasons Hotel. He can't even move in. He managed to get through the barricades last week to take a look at the condo. The soi leading into the condo building was full of excrement and rubbish. Squalid conditions.

And holding new elections won't change anything one bit.



The only westerners I know who consistantly see Thais in an OTT bad light are on forums. And those, I discount. No race is totally lacking in any human attributes - good, or bad.

Btw - thank you for the congrats. It is a sweet honour :-)


Michael, thanks for the compliment. No large sign and very little fuss about the whole business.
I'm sorry to hear that your son hasn't been able to move in yet. That will be one more heart and mind the red-shirts failed to win over.
I'm reading your memories of the old Ubon on Memock's blog, incidentally, and enjoying them.


Catherine, yes, I was thinking about forums, BP correspondents, plus a few I have met. But you are right, and I guess I was stereotyping in much the same way they do. Thanks for your comments, I appreciate them.

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