When would be a good time for you to settle down with your partner?

Settling down is a big decision, so how long should you wait until deciding to make things a little more permanent?
Before even thinking about it our first responder says that she would have to be with him for about a year during which time she learns about his family. If she gets along with them then in 1-3 years they might get married. Her partner agrees that rushing in is not a good idea. He is looking for a life partner so it’s not something to be taken lightly.
Our last responder says it isn’t so much about the amount of time you have been together but how prepared you are for the decision. Are you really in love? If you don’t have a good foundation then you might not be ready.

Subtitle script:

We have to have been together for at least one year, learnt about him and his family.
If I can get along with him and his family, in 1-3 years we might get married.

I would do the same, see if we all can get along. I would have to give it sometime because I’m looking for a life partner.

It’s more about readiness than how long two people have been together.
The readiness in life for example is like.. A steady job, how much satisfaction you have, having your partner, do you really love your partner.
If you don’t really have a foundation, you might not be ready for that.

What is a reasonable age difference in a relationship?

The answer to this question varies as much in Thailand as it might anywhere else. Our first interviewee wouldn’t want to date someone younger than herself, and not too much older either. No more than 10 years. The generation gap is important to make sure that they will enjoy activities together.
Her partner doesn’t seem picky about older or younger, but wants to make sure that they are a similar age. He doesn’t want to date a woman who is so much older that she is teaching him about life, nor so much younger that she hasn’t matured enough and it causes a problem.
Our final respondent doesn’t care about age at all. She says that someone older than her might have more experience, but also might have none. The right person can be found at any age, she believes.

Subtitle script:

For me this is really important, we must be at the same age or if he’s older than me that’s okay too, but no more than ten years older.
It’s a matter of generation gap too, if we’re closer in age it’s more likely that we will get along together and there’s a higher chance to be able to enjoy activities together.

I would choose someone who’s in the same age range or only slightly different, normally I just guess from their face and appearance.
If I choose an older woman, I might end up being less mature than her and she’ll be teaching and leading me instead. Or if I go with younger girl, she might not have matured enough for me and that would be a problem.

It doesn’t matter, people who are older than me may have more experience with relationships or not have any experience at all, but finding the right person is possible no matter their age even 60’s and 70’s. I think it’s always possible.

When is a good time to take a relationship to the next level? What are the signs?

It can be difficult to know when is the right time to take that next step in a relationship. If you’re in a foreign country it can be even more daunting. We asked some Thais what their thoughts were on the subject.
Our first couple says before even beginning a relationship it’s important to make sure you get along. If you are calling, and chatting with one another and learning about each other and you feel good about it that would be a good indication that it’s time to go further. But definitely getting along first is important.
Our second respondent, older and more experienced, says that everyone should look for a committed relationship after they graduate from college. It’s a good time because it’s when people really start learning about and living their life. At this stage they will be more mature and make better decisions and be more serious about their lives. They won’t be looking for just random attractive people, but will be looking for a future spouse candidate.

Subtitle script:

First, I have to see if I can get along with him..
..appearance is one factor,…
..but as we start to call and chat, learn about each other and feel good about each other..
.. that would be a good sign to take it further.
It is important that we get along in the first place.

I think it’s about how we talk, I like a girl who speaks and responds wisely.

Generally, I think everyone should look for a committed relationship after they graduate from college.
I think it’s a good time, it’s a time for people to really start living their life, learning about life.
As they are learning and working they will develop…
…their maturity, to make better decisions and be more serious about their lives.
People in that age will have a chance to completely take control of their lives, choose and make decision.
Being more serious makes them think more carefully and tends to lead to less mistakes.
They’ll not just be looking for random pretty girls, but they will look for a future wife candidate.
Which normally leads to better decision making.

What do Thais think happens to a person when they die?

Non-religious Thais believe the same as non-religious people anywhere else. When you’re dead, you’re dead. That’s it. The only life you will have after is in the memories of those who think of you. Our first respondent believes that there is nothing after death, but that while alive you should do good. And good is what the majority believes is good.

Our next respondent is more religious. She believes that a person will have a life after this one, but that how that life goes depends on whether or not you were a good person in this life. If a person does bad things, they will face bad consequences. If you collect good deeds, but doing charity and being good to others then we won’t have to face bad things in the next life. Your death will be easy and not painless and you will be brought to heaven to live with God.

The final respondent says going to heaven or hell isn’t important to her and she is most focused on doing the best she can in every moment of this life. If she does good and doesn’t bother or hurt someone or make them feel sad, then her death will be peaceful. Where you wind up after death depends on karma and good deeds in this life.

Subtitle script:

Have you ever thought about your own death?

I used to think about committing suicide.
I’m not so sure but I think it was after a midterm final exam.
The next morning I woke up and found out that…
…there was something wrong with my right ear.
There was a constant ringing noise in my head.
My life changed forever because of that ringing noise in my right ear.
At first I couldn’t focus on anything.
I couldn’t study at all.
And there was no way to cure it.
I went to a hospital to check with a doctor and we did a bunch of test with my ear.
He tried to cure me with steroids, medicine etc.
It was so stressful, living with this noise.
It’s a fear that other people will never understand.
It just kept going on like this, and I felt like it might be better if I died.
But I also have a duty and a burden to accomplish things in life.
I will live the rest of my life to the fullest.

I’ve never had any chronic disease before you know.
But one day, I went to see a doctor for a health check.
And he told me that I have a chronic disease.
I was so shocked, so frightened.
I felt like, maybe this is the end of my life.
I I felt so down.
I questioned myself, why this has to happen to me.
So sudden..
I’m just trying to work hard and live my life and suddenly…
…why this disease?..
Then I started losing weight, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat.
After a while I started to think…
When I woke up in the morning and I was still alive.
I was just grateful for that, being alive another day.
day by day.
I live in the present, I’m just happy with it.
I just think of it as karma.
My fate….
…is just like this.
I just accept it.
And don’t think of it too much, then I’ll be happy.

Everyone must die one day.
I think about what I can do today to be prepared.
Planning for my life, my son’s life as well.
How he will take care of himself after I’m gone.
Education is one thing I can give it to him.
I don’t have a lot of money, land, etc. for him so, he can’t just not go to school,…
…live, and waste money for the rest of his life.
According to that, While I’m still alive, I can afford his education cost.
If I died, he can use knowledge to make money and build his own family.
It’s his foundation.

What do Thais think about their own death?

Certain life circumstances can cause people to begin to think about their own death. A new health issue ot an unexpected diagnoses. One responded in this video woke up with tinnitus in his right ear. Tinnitus is a constant ringing in the ear that varies is severity. His case sounds pretty bad and he found that he wasn’t able to focus or study. He began to think that perhaps just dying would be alright. However, as mentioned in another post, Thais have a strong sense of duty to accomplish things in life and he decides that he will live his life to the fullest.

Next is a woman who had been healthy for her entire life before going to the doctor to get a check up and being told that she had a chronic disease. She was shocked and frightened and wondered if her life was over. Naturally she was feeling down and questioning why it happened to her. She worked hard and just lived her life. After a while she was just happy to be alive though and she lives in the present.

The third respondent has a more pragmatic outlook. “Everyone must die one day.” She said. Rather than focus on that she will focus on what she can do today to be prepared. She doesn’t just plan her own life, but her son as well. What will he do when she is gone? How will he care for himself? She doesn’t have a lot of money or land, but she can be sure he has an education. If she died, she could at least give him that foundation upon which to build his life and family.

Subtitle script:

Have you ever thought about your own death?

I used to think about committing suicide.
I’m not so sure but I think it was after a midterm final exam.
The next morning I woke up and found out that…
…there was something wrong with my right ear.
There was a constant ringing noise in my head.
My life changed forever because of that ringing noise in my right ear.
At first I couldn’t focus on anything.
I couldn’t study at all.
And there was no way to cure it.
I went to a hospital to check with a doctor and we did a bunch of test with my ear.
He tried to cure me with steroids, medicine etc.
It was so stressful, living with this noise.
It’s a fear that other people will never understand.
It just kept going on like this, and I felt like it might be better if I died.
But I also have a duty and a burden to accomplish things in life.
I will live the rest of my life to the fullest.

I’ve never had any chronic disease before you know.
But one day, I went to see a doctor for a health check.
And he told me that I have a chronic disease.
I was so shocked, so frightened.
I felt like, maybe this is the end of my life.
I I felt so down.
I questioned myself, why this has to happen to me.
So sudden..
I’m just trying to work hard and live my life and suddenly…
…why this disease?..
Then I started losing weight, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat.
After a while I started to think…
When I woke up in the morning and I was still alive.
I was just grateful for that, being alive another day.
day by day.
I live in the present, I’m just happy with it.
I just think of it as karma.
My fate….
…is just like this.
I just accept it.
And don’t think of it too much, then I’ll be happy.

Everyone must die one day.
I think about what I can do today to be prepared.
Planning for my life, my son’s life as well.
How he will take care of himself after I’m gone.
Education is one thing I can give it to him.
I don’t have a lot of money, land, etc. for him so, he can’t just not go to school,…
…live, and waste money for the rest of his life.
According to that, While I’m still alive, I can afford his education cost.
If I died, he can use knowledge to make money and build his own family.
It’s his foundation.

How would Thais react if someone that they loved died?

Unsurprisingly Thais react very much like anyone else would. Shock, loss of apetite, refusal to accept that it happened. Eventually though, they move on to acceptance. Thais feel a strong responsibility to continue on with life and make sure that they do something with their lives. If they are religious they will think about their loved one in their new life, at peace. The non-religious may take time alone to focus on the fact that their loved one is gone and get to a place where they can move on with their life.

Subtitle script:

I would be shocked.
I have to accept it…
…and try to do my part and live my life to the full.
Because if she could communicate with me,…
…she would say something like…
…do your best with your life.
Because she’s the one who raised me.
I believe she would expect me to thrive for success.
And hope to see me do well in life.

When I first thought of them, it took my appetite away.
I couldn’t accept it,..
..it felt like I was going to faint.
My family and relatives were there for me, they told me everything was going to be fine.
I think they’re at peace now,..
..they went to a new life already.
At the time my son had built up his family already.
He had children too.
That made me think of them instead of the past.

First of all, I have to stay focused.
Second, Death is for everyone. One day we’ll all be dead.
I have to accept that truth.
I have to give myself sometime to be alone,..
..and try not to get distracted.
Focus on the present and the truth.
Accept that he’s gone, that’s the fact,..
..he’s gone.
I have to accept that and move on, live my life.

Funeral Cost in Thailand

Funerals are expensive no matter where you live. In Western countries it is usually customary to have a visitation one night and the actual funeral the next day. In most cases you will pay to have a funeral home take care of everything and you just have to be there.

Thai funerals last for 3 or more days and each of the days comes with a cost. By the end, funeral expenses can add up and if you’re not prepared for them, will be a nasty shock that you don’t need on top of everything else that is certainly going on in your life at such a time. This article will lay out some of the expenses you can expect for a Thai funeral.

Some of the costs are up to the host to decide. How much to spend on tables and chairs as well as food and drink. Will you order the food or cook it yourself? Other costs of a traditional Thai funeral are pretty standard. Below is a list if costs you can expect:

1. The casket – Depending on the type of casket and how fancy it is this can cost 1000 or more baht
2. Flowers- These will cost you 2000 or more baht
3. Incense and candles (Temple Service) – this will cost you 250 or more baht per day
4. Undertaker service – 300 or more baht per day
5. Monks Service – 300 or more baht per day (500 or more for prayer leader)
6. Pavilion – depending on the Temple you are looking at 800 or more baht per day
7. Ordination – In many families a son will be ordinated as monk, even for just a short while. The cost of doing so it up to the temples, but expect around 1000 baht
8. A picture of the deceased – 500 baht
9. In thai culture it is cusomary to give a memento to guests. This will likely cost around 2000 or more baht
10. Paper Flower – It is customary for guests to place a paper flower below the casket. These will run you roughly 500 baht
11. Food for the deaceased – Along with food for the guests, Thais will cook the favourite food of the deceased and offer it to them three times a day. This will be 50 or more baht.
12. Cremation – Once the funeral is over the body is cremated. This is one of the more expensive aspects of the funeral costs start at around 5000 baht
13. The rest – This list is not exhaustive. There will probably be other costs that aren’t mentioned here. Plan for an additional 10,000 or more baht to cover everything.

As you can see, funerals can be quite expensive and there is a lot of ceremony to think about. Funerals used to be held at the family home and at the outskirsts of the cities they still are, but within cities lifestyles have changed and most are now held at the temple. While some of the costs can be mitigated with the help of the villagers who will always lend a hand, it’s good to plan ahead whenever possible so that the event doesn’t add unneeded fiancial stress to an already sombre situation.

Thai Funeral Etiquette

If you are not from Thailand and you find yourself in a situation where you have to attend a funeral you may become nervous, unsure of how to go about it. Should you attend? What do you wear? Should you bring something with you? This article aims to help you know what to do should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

Perhaps the funeral is for someone you once knew, but haven’t been in contact with in a while. A family member of an ex-partner or an old friend you’ve been out of touch with. You feel like you should pay respects but you are wondering if it would be considered inappropriate, especially if the funeral is in an area where a farang is rare and might draw unwanted attention. Rest assured that, unless the parting was on bad terms, your presence is not going to be considered intrusive. Normally, the funeral rites will be stretched over 3 days and if you are only able to be there for part of it, make it the burning or evening prayers by the monks.

Where you come from it might be considered appropriate to wear all black to a funeral. In Thailand that’s not as important. Funerals tend to be pretty informal for normal folks, but if you can wear dark pants and a white or blue shirt.

You may be wondering if you should bring anything with you. Would flowers or a card be appropriate? In Thailand it is customary to bring an envelope with some money in it. How much depends on your level of personal wealth but 300 – 1000 baht should be reasonable. If you are going to be there for the cremation ceremony you will be expected to place a paper flower under the body as symbolic fuel. To do this you will usually walk up the stairs, place the flower that has been given out below the coffin, then walk down another set of stairs and collect a memento from the family to keep.

Lesson 01 : Smile :)

Smile

You know it, The Thai smile 🙂

When Western people smile it means something–they smile when they are happy, or to show they are enjoying themselves. Someone who smiles too much or at the wrong times might be perceived as rude.

However, there are many cultures that perceive smiling as a negative expression and consider those who are smiling to be odd. In these cultures, a smile is only reserved for close friends and family members. For instance, many people in the former Soviet Union consider smiling at strangers in public to be unusual and even suspicious behavior. Americans, on the other hand, tend to smile freely at strangers in public places (although this is less common in big cities). Some Russians believe that Americans smile in the wrong places; some Americans believe that Russians don’t smile enough.

The first thing you will notice as soon as you arrive Thailand is that Thais smile a lot, hence its nickname, “The Land of Smiles.” In Thailand, there are several meanings behind the Thai smile:

  • To show that they are happy. Thais smile and sometimes also laugh when they enjoy something or when they are in a funny situation. Don’t be surprised if you see Thais smile and laugh when they see a person fall from a chair during a daytime nap. Thais tend to be more easily amused compared to Westerners.
  • To cover embarrassment or to show guilt. For instance, some Thais would just smile when they accidentally bump into you, while some would smile and apologize. This kind of smile is different than a happy smile.
  • To thank another person. It is common to give thanks for a small favor by simply smiling.
  • To apologize and to show regret. For instance, suppose you are sitting in the cinema and someone points out to you that you are in his seat. You would, of course, give him a smile and move. He might smile back at you to show forgiveness and that everything is good again.
  • To greet and to show politeness. Thais greet each other by saying “Wai” combined with smiling. Most of the time when Thais communicate with each other they talk and smile. This is perceived as being polite and friendly.

Smile01Smile02

Situation

You are waiting for your flight at the airport in Bangkok. You decided to kill some time by playing games on your smartphone. You are concentrating so hard on your games that you accidentally kick your suitcase and it slams loudly on the floor. While you are trying to put it back up you notice the Thai woman sitting in front of you looking at you and smiling.

Possible Reactions

  1. Do nothing and get back to your games.
  2. Give her a serious look until she stops smiling.
  3. Assume she likes you and ask her if you could sit next to her, and then start a conversation.
  4. Smile back and relax.

Reaction Comments

Do nothing and get back to your games: This might be your choice if you are tired of waiting and not in the mood to be polite. It’s not bad but not great, either.
Give her a serious look until she stops smiling: This would be harsh and impolite, as she is smiling to show you that everything is OK. Thais smile to cheer others up. If some of your stuff had fallen out of your suitcase, they would not only smile but they would also help you pick it up. It is not a bad reaction, but it’s not great, either.

Assume she likes you and ask her if you could sit next to her, and then start a conversation: There will be many many situations where you receive smiles in Thailand. Whether from male or female, in most cases it’s not because they are sexually attracted to you. So, simply avoid this reaction unless that person keeps staring at you with a passionate smile, otherwise you might end up embarrassing yourself.

Smile back and relax: This is the proper reaction as you smile back to show your apology for making a loud noise. This would make for a relaxing atmosphere and you, in turn, will also be relaxed, as smiling is healthy and can create positive emotions.

Tips and Facts
  • Smiling is a sign of politeness in Thailand. You will see people smile at each other a lot and even smile at strangers. It is polite to smile back in return.
  • Don’t be surprise if you see Thais smile when they don’t understand what you said.

How to impress Thais on a date

You’ve scored a date with a Thai native and you want to impress. What should you do? This section is all about the guys. Girls, you can just show up. Guys, you have to work a little but harder.
It’s all about manners. Serve her food to her, pour her water for her. Be polite and dress nicely, not like some savage. Pay for the meal if it’s the first date. This isn’t something that has to happen every time, but you’re trying to make an impression here. Don’t touch the woman first or you will scare her off. Just be polite and everything should go well.

Subtitles script:

First thing would be his clothing.
Second is his politeness.
For example if we’re having a meal together,
…I like to be served, like if he puts the food onto my dish.
Pours water into my glass..
..and speak to me politely.
I don’t like a rude guy.
Moreover…
Men should not…
..touch women first. Especially on the first date.
Women will get scared.
And if…
…I kinda liked him.
Maybe…
..there will be a second date.
Some guys that…
…are too touchy, they will creep the girls out.
And more than that…
Guys might…
..men should not talk about paying for things on the first date.
It’s like men’s manners.
Women won’t ask for it.
But it’s like first date manners for men.
That you should support the girl you dating with for the first date.
That could really impress your dating partner.
That she doesn’t have to share the cost of the meal.
Later on it doesn’t have to keep being that way because we women wouldn’t want you to pay for everything.
Just for..
We just want to see if the guys can take care of us or not in the long run.

I’m not really expected anything but,..
..if the guy can make me feel relaxed and free to be myself,…
..I would be happy because I don’t have to be fake or pretend to be someone I’m not.
And then everything will be okay.

Girls like to have a bit of emotion.
Like to receive tender loving care, to be loved. They really should have those things.

How to say this…
..to be caring, loving.
If girls like their dating partner.
It’s kind of easier to get along, easier to make a good impression.
Able to compromise , that could make a long term impression too.
If you ask me.

Clothing,..
Look nice. Not savage.
Take good care of me.
Help me carry my things.
Like when we go shopping.

He respects me.
And maybe…
..he doesn’t have to buy anything to surprise me.