Thailand certainly has it’s own unique reputation, some of it good and some of it not so good. But when other people point this out and particularly so the negative aspects, the news headlines the next day most certainly are prompting for an apology for stating the obvious.
Thailand is a wonderful place as a whole when you come and think about it. You can live on a very lean budget, you can enjoy smiling faces every place you look, and yes you can buy pirated goods including fake Rolex watches. So when a celebrity points this out, the question is why do Thais get upset. Is it because they are embarrassed, or is it someone in the government trying to manipulate things to get people to ignore the obvious, or is it that they are not upset, and voicing the comments of the most sensitive is not an accurate sampling of the population.
If you visit Thailand on a holiday, what you see is very different than if you visit on business or if you live in Thailand. If you visit you find yourself in the tourist areas that are full of cheap goods including those fake Rolex watches. If you are here on business or trying to conduct a business you will find jealous Thais trying to sabotage your business so they can rush in and pickup the pieces because their mentality of ‘hit them for all you can‘, causes their businesses to fail because they do not take the repeat customer approach.
So when you consider that over sensitivity may in fact be a form of denial, you have to consider the reasons behind it and the seemingly dual approach to things. Thailand wants to become a bigger player on the world stage, and to do so they must get up to the minimum standards. When the Thais fail to do this no doubt they are disappointed, embarrassed, and upset. For years people have been trying to help the Thai people and Thailand as a whole, but seemingly every attempt to help the Thai people, someone or a group of people some how thwarts this attempt. The lax law and the classic ‘Don’t worry about it’ attitude Thais have has lead to these failures.
On the other approach, the King of Thailand has set in place a Self Sufficient Economy model that people are encouraged to follow. The name itself suggests a go it alone approach or a fall back plan should things fall apart on the world stage. In either case it is a wise plan. But one could easily say it takes into consideration the short comings of the‘Don’t worry about it’ attitude that is so 100% Thai.
There is a whole chain of events in Thai behavior that simply any successes are by sheer luck. In general Thai lack or fail to demonstrate the ability to think things out to conclusion. If anyone has watched a first time construction project being build by Thais, the three steps forward then two steps back observation is common.
However the bigger picture here about being oversensitive is the failure to accept how they appear to others. It is also failure to accept that their behavior has taken them to this place, and also suggest no desire to change. So whether the Thais feel an observation is insulting or not is essentially irrelevant, the point is don’t shoot the messenger even if it is lady Gaga looking to buy a fake Rolex in Bangkok.