Foreigners Acting Badly: What Does it Take to Push Thais Over the Edge? [S7.E10]

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Greg and Ed discuss the Thai temperament and what exactly causes Thais to occasionally blow their collective lids. Greg uses the recent example of a Swiss expat who kicked a Thai woman in the back, allegedly because she was inappropriately sitting on the steps of his condo and blocking his path. Somewhat surprisingly, the incident went viral, much to the Swiss man’s detriment. The guys speculate as to what it was about THIS incident that caused it to blow up. Was it the fact that he used his foot to assault the Thai woman? Was it because she was a doctor, a person of high status? Or was it some random quirk of social media that led to the uproar? Ed then runs through the classic no-go zones in Thai society, such as insults to religion or the big M, and the guys try to figure out if anything else is going on in the recent incidents. Is there possibly some pent up frustration against foreigners in Thailand? Could it be that Thais got used to fewer foreigners during COVID? Greg speculates that possibly Thai nationalism is on the rise and reminds listeners of the price paid by former Ambassador Kristie Kenney when she suggested that Thailand should be a real democracy. Ed then dusts off some of his political science knowledge to try to determine what counts as expressions of nationalism versus simple enforcement of social norms. While no deep certainties are uncovered, the guys give some common sense advice: if you are a foreigner in Thailand, respect local customs and don’t be a jerk. Hopefully, you didn’t hear it here first. 🙂 Don’t forget that Patrons get the ad-free version of the show as well as swag and other perks. And we’ll keep our Facebook, Twitter, and LINE accounts active so you can send us comments, questions, or whatever you want to share.

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