Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Learning About Thai/Western Culture in the Airport Bookstore

After the chaos of Bangkok, I was really excited to escape south to the Thai beaches and islands.

We flew on Air Asia (Asia's low-cost carrier, similar to RyanAir or EasyJet) from Bangkok to Phuket. It was one of the easiest airport experiences ever (apart from Dana getting her second pocketknife confiscated. I'm surprised they haven't put us on a no-fly list yet).

We entertained ourselves in the airport at the bookstore by perusing books such as "So Many Girls! So Little Time! Your Guide to Romantic Adventures in Thailand". This book was a guide for Western men searching for Thai girlfriends and wives, and it included advice such as "make sure to learn Thai but prevent your wife from learning English at all costs because Western women could corrupt her and turn her against you".

Dana and I read through this book in disbelief, although later, on the small island called Koh Yao Noi, we found a book in our guesthouse's lending library that provided an interesting counterpoint. It was a book aimed towards women that contained love letter templates in English and Thai. It was mean to teach Thai women how to write letters to their Western boyfriends/husbands and included key phrases like "my hut was destroyed due to too much rainfall, please send money" and "Darling, when are you going to send me the French perfume you promised? I would very much like to experience its beautiful scent".

I think these two books highlight the fascinating interplay between Thai women and Western men. There is an enormous amount that could be written on this topic, but the existence of these books alone gave me a lot to think about.

Coming soon: Photos of our beautiful adventures at the beaches!

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