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CMHomeboy78

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About CMHomeboy78

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  1. Very good post. Factual and concise. Farang panhandlers are nothing new in Chiang Mai. Anyone who has had real problems here knows that there are ways to help yourself out of almost any situation involving money. Health issues and accidents are a different matter. In 1980 on one of my early trips I had over $2000. in travelers checks stolen - due to my own carelessness - from a guesthouse room. I was left with only 200 baht and some coins. After reporting it to the cops [555], I pawned my Nikon F camera for 800 baht. Then I went to see a girl I knew from a previous visit. Her family had several houses and agreed to let me stay rent-free until I was on my feet again. I also contacted the US Consulate, which in those days was well-run and helpful to American citizens in trouble. They gave me a $100. loan [interest-free] which I repaid a few months later. The Chiang Mai girl who helped me became more than a friend and we eventually married and had two daughters. They are both grown-up girls now and very successful. That was my Happy Ending.
  2. CMHomeboy78

    Is "Farang" Derogatory?

    Yes, some Thais avoid the word out of what they perceive to be the hyper-sensitivities of farangs. It all depends on whom you are with. I've seen two generations of Thais come of age and the word is used often and casually by most of them with no intent to offend. Obviously, there are Thais who dislike Europeans and people of European descent - thus to them, the very name farang rings foul. A distinction has to be made between people like that, usually found in tourist areas, and the rest of the population who are more inclined to be friendly toward us. The term was never used as an insult in the past. Why consider it to be one now? Incidentally, if the word does become demonized and verboten, what polite equivalent would replace it? What would be equally concise and specific?
  3. CMHomeboy78

    Is "Farang" Derogatory?

    Your posts answer the question and sum up the topic very well. Nobody who has lived among Thais for any length of time could think that the term "farang", when used alone, is a racial insult or derogatory in any way. It has been part of the Thai lexicon since the early 16th century when the Ayudhya court of King Rama T'ibodi II was first visited by Portuguese envoys sent by Afonso d'Albuquerque from the recently captured port of Malacca. At that time, Persians were established in Siam as shah bandars of the ports and were present at court. Their term for Europeans, farangi, was taken by the Thais as farang and has been used ever since to describe Europeans and people of European descent. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a credible Thai historical source that uses the word in a derogatory sense. When challenged on this point, people who think the term is an insult are unable to produce anything at all relating to Siam or modern Thailand that supports their contention. In recent years there has been a small expat clique in Chiang Mai that has been actively promoting the mistaken notion that "farang" is a racial insult. These high profile troublemakers have considerable influence among newcomers and the end result is to cause them to take offence where none is intended. The word is useful and specific. To be called a foreigner - kohn dtahng pra-thet - would lump us together with the hordes of Africa, Asia, and everywhere else in the world outside Thailand. Don't make a big deal about being called a farang... it's who we are.
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