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These Thais ... why don't they have Forward Thinking?
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Maybe this is just an Issan trait, and I don't think it applies to Chinese-Thais as much. Have you ever noticed Thais simply don't have forward thinking abilities though? Maybe I just know the wrong Thais, but there doesn't seem to be much of this, "I want to do this, but if I do, this will probably happen" type of thought. Instead, it's "I want to do this", and that seems to be where the thought process usually ends.

Before, when it came to household or life decisions I used to ask for everyone's opinions, and try to get a consensus so everyone was happy and comfortable. I've now unfortunately realized that's totally useless though, because they don't think things through, then proceed to change their minds every 12 - 24 hours. So hell with it, I'll just make the important decisions, and tell you how it's going to happen. Easier that way.

Here's one of many examples. Needed to move a wardrobe from a house down the street to our house. There was four of us young, healthy males around, and the wardrobe was small enough to fit down the stairs, so we could have moved it in one go within 10 minutes. But, no, no... have to take it apart. Once they got it about 30% apart, I mentioned again, "guys, it's in three large pieces now, and we can easily move this to the house as is now".

No, no... on a mission, and have to take every last screw out. I figured alright, up to you, and I helped take all the pieces over to the house. After that, I decided hell with ya, you took it apart for no reason, so you can put it back together, and I'm going for a beer. So they screw around for probably 4 hours trying to piece this thing back together, and they finally get it.

Whoo hoo! Everyone's all happy, and proud they got it back together, and showing it off to me. Then I mention the realization that they put the wardrobe together downstairs, when the bedroom it's going in, is actually upstairs. Sure enough, this brings about the standard "mai bpen rai", and the wardrobe continues to reside in our living room to this day.

heh, living with Thais. Talk about a good adventure. :)

#4 User is online   NancyL 

Posted 2011-04-25 00:35:18

Yup, it's my theory, too, that they don't have forward planning because their ancestors always had food available and didn't have to think about heating their home for the winter. I think that's part of why they don't gain weight when they eat like pigs, either. Those of us with ancestors from northern climates arise from people who were really good at finding, growing, storing food and putting on weight during the good times for fuel to get them thru winter. The ones who weren't good at forward planning simply didn't survive, so the forward planning genes were passed onto us (along with the easy weight gain genes)

#5 User is offline   geriatrickid 

Posted 2011-04-25 00:42:59

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View Postmanarak, on 2011-04-25 00:28:01, said:

it is because Thais never had to store food, supplies and wood for the winter, so planning is not part of their culture.

So simple but succintly accurate. In a society where famine and hardship has not been seen for several generations,being prepared is no longer appreciated. It's really no different in the west where we see people taking on crazy levels of debt when 3 generations ago, people would have not purchased something they could not pay for in cash or through barter. Maybe Thai schools can cut a deal with Disney to show the Ant and Grasshopper story to students every year for the next decade?
Posted Image

#6 User is offline   jombom 

View Postmanarak, on 2011-04-25 00:28:01, said:

it is because Thais never had to store food, supplies and wood for the winter, so planning is not part of their culture.
Well done. You nailed it.              ''Tomorrow never comes''

" Mai pen rai''

#7 User is offline   geronimo 

Posted 2011-04-25 05:35:34

There is no Thai word for planning ......... that says it all!

#8 User is offline   IanForbes 

Posted 2011-04-25 06:24:26

I think their misunderstanding of the Buddhist way of thinking is also at fault. It seems they believe that Buddha is in control of everything they do and everything everyone else does, and therefore they are never responsible for their own actions. It is like they are living within an invisible bubble that extends in a close circle around their body. it explains why they will ride a motorbike at high speed down a narrow, twisty soi where people park vehicles that block the whole soi. It explains why young girls will not insist that their Thai boyfriend wears a condom when they have sex. It explains why they take the wrong route to some place that could have been easily found looking at a map. And, they don't even understand the concept of a map. They haven't learned that if you screw somebody with some minor scam then that person is not going to be so gullible the next time. They don't see that if they try to set up a similar business right next door to an already well established business then they aren't going to be successful.

I think they actually have to be TAUGHT to learn advance planning to improve their future. I've seen so many examples of this odd topic I can't recall them all.

As far as the OP's example about taking a piece of furniture apart is concerned I think it's a lack of conceptual thinking. They only repeat what they've always done instead of thinking of something new. Asians are great copiers, but not as great when it comes to creative thinking.

#9 User is offline   pauljones 

Posted 2011-04-25 07:04:22

Not planning or not thinking?

During a recent cold spell, our building lobby air conditioner still ran full blast. The staff sat there freezing all day.
I mentioned it was very cold outside. They nod in agreement.
I then mention the air conditioner is running and it should be adjusted. They again nod in agreement....and sat there all day freezing.

#10 User is offline   zzaa09 

Posted 2011-04-25 07:29:11

Forward thinking seems to be defined as Western thinking, yes? If that's the case.....they're not that.

#11 User is offline   norad 

That explains why they marry you guysPosted Image

#12 User is offline   DP25 

Posted 2011-04-25 07:36:25

Quote:  Maybe I just know the wrong Thais

Maybe. Maybe you should stop stereotyping about 65 million people based on your limited experiences. Sounds like the people you live with just aren't that bright.

#13 User is offline   teatree 

Posted 2011-04-25 08:08:04

Why make plans? What will happen will happen. Buddha will take care.

#14 User is offline   Schooner 

Posted 2011-04-25 08:39:14

Thai's practice forward thinking just like all humans do to the degree that is necessary. My wife's family back in the village grow rice and store it for the season. Her aunt has a wonderful organic farm with a fish pond that produces an array of produce. Her uncle is one of the cleverest people I've seen who can seem to make anything out of nothing. Everywhere I go I see day after day Thai's trying to be great at their jobs and create a future. You just have to look at the big picture.

The other extreme is farang who live for tommorow. Those poor souls miss experencing today. I know far more farang who live for the elusive carrot sacrificing their health and their balance.

#15 User is offline   genghis61 

Posted 2011-04-25 08:49:28

the thread header gave it away - yet another 'Why don't Thais . . .'

in an alternate universe 'why don't farang . . . stop whining, and so on?'

#16 User is offline   nocturn 

Posted 2011-04-25 08:53:47

View Postgeronimo, on 2011-04-25 05:35:34, said:  There is no Thai word for planning ......... that says it all!            i dont belive that

#17 User is offline   nocturn 

Posted 2011-04-25 09:13:56

if Thai's are incapable of forward thinking then how do you explain all the examples of Thai ladies on the long con that we read about here?
One might just as well ask why are so many farang unable to learn from history and collective experience?

#18 User is online   robblok 

Posted 2011-04-25 09:44:32

View Postnocturn, on 2011-04-25 09:13:56, said:

if Thai's are incapable of forward thinking then how do you explain all the examples of Thai ladies on the long con that we read about here?
One might just as well ask why are so many farang unable to learn from history and collective experience?
Yes we could also say why do most farang males in Thailand think with their wrong head.
I have met Thais who plan and those who don't in general. I have always planned things it comes natural. I think it depends on the person.

#19 User is offline   isanbirder 

Posted 2011-04-25 10:05:40

View PostSchooner, on 2011-04-25 08:39:14, said:

Thai's practice forward thinking just like all humans do to the degree that is necessary. My wife's family back in the village grow rice and store it for the season. Her aunt has a wonderful organic farm with a fish pond that produces an array of produce. Her uncle is one of the cleverest people I've seen who can seem to make anything out of nothing. Everywhere I go I see day after day Thai's trying to be great at their jobs and create a future. You just have to look at the big picture.

The other extreme is farang who live for tommorow. Those poor souls miss experencing today. I know far more farang who live for the elusive carrot sacrificing their health and their balance.
The first sensible post on the thread. Thais are not Westerners, and cannot be judged by Western standards (oh, sorry, zzaa, you said that already). Nor are they all alike, any more than all farangs are alike.

#20 User is offline   QED 

Posted 2011-04-25 10:28:19

View Postnocturn, on 2011-04-25 08:53:47, said:

View Postgeronimo, on 2011-04-25 05:35:34, said:

There is no Thai word for planning ......... that says it all!

i dont belive that

Just a few examples......

การคุมกำเนิด
gaan kum gam-nèrtfamily planningการวางแผนครอบครัว
gaan waang-păen krôp krua<LI>city planningการวางผังเมือง
gaan waang păng meuang<LI>strategic planningการวางแผนกลยุทธ์
gaan-waang-pà-nàek-lá-yút<LI>tax planningการวางแผนภาษี
gaan waang păen paa-sĕe<LI>family-planning serviceบริการวางแผนครอบครัว
bor-rí-gaan waang-păen krôp krua<LI>strategic planningการวางแผนเชิงกลยุทธ์
gaan waang păen cherng gon-lá-yút<LI>site planningการวางผังบริเวณ
gaan waang păng bor-rí-wayn<LI>environmental planningการวางแผนสิ่งแวดล้อม
gaan waang păen sìng wâet lóm<LI>family planning programmeแผนงานวางแผนครอบครัว
păen ngaan waang-păen krôp krua<LI>family planning statusสถานภาพการวางแผนครอบครัว
sà-tăan pâap gaan waang-păen krôp-krua<LI>family-planning educationการศึกษาการวางแผนครอบครัว
gaan sèuk-săa gaan waang-păen krôp-krua<LI>Environmental planningการวางแผนระบบสิ่งแวดล้อม
gaan waang păen rá-bòp sìng wâet lóm<LI>retirement planningการวางแผนการเกษียณ
gaan waang-păen gaan gà-sĭan<LI>human resource planningการวางแผนทรัพยากรมนุษย์ 

#21 User is offline   pauljones 

Posted 2011-04-25 10:37:55

View Postnocturn, on 2011-04-25 09:13:56, said:

if Thai's are incapable of forward thinking then how do you explain all the examples of Thai ladies on the long con that we read about here?
One might just as well ask why are so many farang unable to learn from history and collective experience?

I would say the ladies are running on a predator instinct.
And the guys experiencing Darwinism.

#22 User is online   wintermute 

Posted 2011-04-25 13:12:14

View Postmanarak, on 2011-04-25 00:28:01, said:

it is because Thais never had to store food, supplies and wood for the winter, so planning is not part of their culture.
It's the same reason why a lot of Thais don't have a problem wasting food either. I've seen Thai families order a bunch of food and then over half of it winds up in the bin. It's not just Thais that do this but a lot of SE Asians in general have this sort of mentality. Scarcity and waste just have different meanings here.

#23 User is online   jimbeam1 

Posted 2011-04-25 13:28:30

View Postwintermute, on 2011-04-25 13:12:14, said:

View Postmanarak, on 2011-04-25 00:28:01, said:

it is because Thais never had to store food, supplies and wood for the winter, so planning is not part of their culture.
It's the same reason why a lot of Thais don't have a problem wasting food either. I've seen Thai families order a bunch of food and then over half of it winds up in the bin. It's not just Thais that do this but a lot of SE Asians in general have this sort of mentality. Scarcity and waste just have different meanings here.

Same, same but different. When I lived in an Issan village. I saw the same cooked food come out from under the insect cover day after day until it was eaten. Didn't make any difference if it was bought from outside, went in plastic and taken home.
jb1

#24 User is offline   happyrobert 

Posted 2011-04-25 13:31:30

The example cited by the OP is a typical one. I've encountered similar on many frustrating occasions. Simple things turned into a chore.

As for thinking about tomorrow: Once I rented a house. There was a shop next to my house. The shop lady was my landlord's sister. The shop lady knew I was a long-term tennant. There were other shops nearby--walking distance.

First week, I went to buy water. Every shop 25 baht for six-pack. But shop lady/sister tries to charge me 30. My girlfriend had even bought a six-pack earlier that day for 25 from landlord's sister.

I ask politely, 25, yes? Nope, 30.

No thank you. I walked across the street and bought FOUR six packs and walked past her store with them on the way home. For many months of living there we never, ever went back to landlord's sister's store.

Honesty and integrity aside, she had absolutely no concept of actions and their consequences. How many 10's of thousands of future baht did she lose trying to screw me out of 5 that day?

On the other hand, my girlfriend plans well. She's amazingly sharp, "pinches pennies" for a rainy day, and is a very logical thinker. And, unlike many Thai, she can think far outside the box. Really, if I hadn't seen her Thai I.D. Card, I might think she was from hawaii!

#25 User is offline   SteeleJoe 

Posted 2011-04-25 13:51:19

View PostQED, on 2011-04-25 10:28:19, said:

View Postnocturn, on 2011-04-25 08:53:47, said:

View Postgeronimo, on 2011-04-25 05:35:34, said:

There is no Thai word for planning ......... that says it all!


i dont belive that


Just a few examples......

การคุมกำเนิด
gaan kum gam-nèrtfamily planningการวางแผนครอบครัว
gaan waang-păen krôp krua<LI>city planningการวางผังเมือง
gaan waang păng meuang<LI>strategic planningการวางแผนกลยุทธ์
gaan-waang-pà-nàek-lá-yút<LI>tax planningการวางแผนภาษี
gaan waang păen paa-sĕe<LI>family-planning serviceบริการวางแผนครอบครัว
bor-rí-gaan waang-păen krôp krua<LI>strategic planningการวางแผนเชิงกลยุทธ์
gaan waang păen cherng gon-lá-yút<LI>site planningการวางผังบริเวณ
gaan waang păng bor-rí-wayn<LI>environmental planningการวางแผนสิ่งแวดล้อม
gaan waang păen sìng wâet lóm<LI>family planning programmeแผนงานวางแผนครอบครัว
păen ngaan waang-păen krôp krua<LI>family planning statusสถานภาพการวางแผนครอบครัว
sà-tăan pâap gaan waang-păen krôp-krua<LI>family-planning educationการศึกษาการวางแผนครอบครัว
gaan sèuk-săa gaan waang-păen krôp-krua<LI>Environmental planningการวางแผนระบบสิ่งแวดล้อม
gaan waang păen rá-bòp sìng wâet lóm<LI>retirement planningการวางแผนการเกษียณ
gaan waang-păen gaan gà-sĭan<LI>human resource planningการวางแผนทรัพยากรมนุษย์



Were using some sort of software for that? I think there's a problem:

การคุมกำเนิด
gaan kum gam-nèrtfamily planning

More literally: restricting birth

gaan waang-păen krôp krua<LI>city planning

This actually means "family planning". And păen? Guess where that word comes from...

bor-rí-gaan waang-păen krôp krua<LI>strategic planningการวางแผนเชิงกลยุทธ์

I don't see how that can mean "strategic planning" -- It's more like "family planning service".

gaan waang păen sìng wâet lóm<LI>family planning programme

Family planning again? No, that's environmental planning. And again, the word păen

păen ngaan waang-păen krôp krua<LI>family planning status

Plan for family planning

sà-tăan pâap gaan waang-păen krôp-krua

Family planning again.

gaan sèuk-săa gaan waang-păen krôp-krua

No, not environmental. "Family-planning education"

gaan waang păen rá-bòp sìng wâet lóm

paen again. Environmental.

gaan waang-păen gaan gà-sĭan<LI>human resource planning

Retirement plan.

And waang means roughly lay down or put in place. So work it out for yourself. 


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