Well by nature – I am very open to other cultures and would pretty much be non-judgmental about their pattern of thinking! But I am ANTI – in any way to prejudice, indifference and disrespectful behaviour towards Indians, especially since in India – we go out of our way to be friendly to any person visiting our country.
I am currently undergoing the WORST vacation of my life at Bangkok, Thailand. Our passports were stolen at the market a on Friday (8th June 2012) and after retracing our steps and several unsuccessful attempts over the weekend and unfriendly responses from wax-doll faced Thai people, on Monday – we got in touch with our Embassy and started out on the regular process to fly back as soon as possible.
Stuck in a foreign country is no fun – when you do not feel safe. Very frequently Thai people on the streets come up to you – smile a fake smile and ask you where you come from. The same goes with taxi drivers, the tuk-tuk fellows (I will write a separate blog on the tuk-tuk buggers too!) The minute they know you are from India – people smirk in groups, they have a demeaning attitude (whether you come from the North or the South), shopkeepers refuse to give your discount or bargain, waiters at the hotels refuse to give you fingerbowls ( all the time bowing and placing finger bowls to a group of Westerners at the next table). The only thing that the one-track minded Thai people understand are :-
1. The colour of your skin
2. The language of the ‘Baht’
The Thai women are increasingly greedy – and the expression in their eyes, change from being extremely friendly and flirtatious to being downright rude and cruel depending on the wad of notes you flash before them. I went to a shop – where the owner and the saleswomen (all Thais) asked my sister and me the cost of the watch I was wearing,the T-shirts we wore, the areas we went shopping to, the hotel we stayed in – and a lot of uneasy and probing questions, so that they can weigh you as a customer. The minute they figure out you might probably be a window-shopper, their demeanor towards you changes – they stop short of asking you to ‘get out’.
The worst experience I have had is that of physical assault in a market AFTER purchasing a couple of wallets at Indra square, Prathunam. AFTER I paid the woman the amount due – we wanted to check the pieces she had given us. She started abusing us – saying that we were ‘just Indians’ and should NOT check the pieces that we had already purchased! On more heated discussions – the Thai saleswoman threw wallets at me, in a fit of rage – asking me to get out of her shop, and hit my aged Father with a stick- telling him “to GO TO INDIA” ! If this is not racism, what is!
I refuse to spend any of my hard-earned money in this place filled with pimps, prostitutes and disgustingly behaved people. My expectations of this wonderful country – and its history have definitely come crashing down. The self -centered, manipulative and avaricious Thai people have sure lost my respect. And I will most definitely boycott Thailand-made products as much as I can!
P.S. Still in Bangkok and waiting to leave as soon as possible