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The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-08-2007, 11:02 PM   #1
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The Ugly Thai...

F@#$ you, you f^&*%^$ a@@ hole!!!!!!

Jun, my Thai neighbor, was going apoplectic because I had dared to walk down the stairs in her presence. Maybe I was supposed to lower my head and bow? Well, TIT, This is Thailand.

Last August I had moved out of my room at Happy Land Condominium and departed for the Philippines. I had lived there for about three years and always gotten along well with management and other tenants, so HLC kindly stored my stuff, free of charge.

Jun, a 28 year old Chinese Thai, was always at the pool, sun bathing, prancing around and making sure everyone noticed her. Supposedly she was from a wealthy family because she never worked, but who knows. Jun was a long term tenant and the condo’s resident princess; it seems that every building has at least one.

Anyway, my girlfriend and I knew her casually, we exchanged the occasional DVD and never had a problem, but then I wasn’t her neighbor. Klaus, a buddy of mine who was her neighbor said she was always stopping by his room to talk or more accurately, have him listen to her. Jun was self absorbed and needed an audience. Klaus seemed a bit wary of Jun and told me that his girlfriend despised her.

Well, in late October 2006 I returned from the Philippines and moved into HLC apartment 625. As luck -or bad luck- would have it Jun lived in apartment 525, directly below me. A couple of days after moving in, I was at the pool talking with some buddies when Jun marched up with hands on hips and started complaining that I was making too much noise. I was taken aback by her aggressive, confrontational behavior but I did not lash back, just said OK and let it go. Ten minutes later, Jun was back at the pool passing out floor mats, asking sweetly if I, Khun Lance wanted one. I politely declined and left.

About three days later Jun sends my girlfriend a text message, saying that we were making too much noise last night. My girlfriend calls her back and tries to explain that we were asleep by 11 pm and really try to be quiet. She also tells Jun that perhaps she, Jun, hears the guy in apartment 725, above us. The guy is VERY noisy and sounds travel easily through concrete walls. Jun is having none of that and continues to insist that we are disturbing her.

A few days later Jun ups the tension by yelling obscenities out her window, in both Thai and English. Apparently she wants to insult my girlfriend as well.

In January I had had enough and I complained to the condo manager. Then my girlfriend and I together complained. Thai was spoken, so the manager understood completely. Basically, the manager said we were good tenants, but there was nothing she could do. She advised us to go to the police and file defamation charges. My girlfriend consulted one of former class mates, an attorney, who confirmed that under Thai law, the first person to lodge a substantiated defamation charge will usually prevail. I consider it, but then I ask myself why would I want to put myself through the hassels of a legal battle in a foreign country? Life is too short.

Shortly thereafter a thai girl jumped from the 17th floor of HLC and killed herself. Unfortunately my girlfriend and I were home and heard the sickening and very loud thump of the jumper’s body. The body was visible from our balcony and while my girlfriend was on the balcony, Jun on her balcony, discretely tells her that next time she hopes that she, my girlfriend, is lying dead on the pavement.

Five minutes later I give the apartment manager written notice that I am moving.

I write this long missive to share one of the downsides of living in a foreign country, namely problems with a local. Management at HLC was not going to intervene in a Thai-foreigner dispute, no matter how egregious the Thais behavior. Jun was not going to back off because she is Thai and this is Thailand. I voted with my checkbook and moved out.

Thank god I only rented and was free to leave at anytime. Personally I prefer to rent because it gives me maximum flexibility with respect to travel and changing locations. For those that want to buy foreign property, do keep in mind that problems with the locals can also have an impact on your real estate purchases.
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-08-2007, 11:19 PM   #2
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Lance, thanks for sharing this. Most countries are not like America, where various classes of foreigners are given protection over the natives.

I too would want to remain flexible.

Ha
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-08-2007, 11:22 PM   #3
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Interesting. I suppose that all cultures have "Jun's!"

What do you think is the worst case scenario if you had decided to stay?

MB
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-08-2007, 11:25 PM   #4
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Lance, thanks for sharing this. Most countries are not like America, where various classes of foreigners are given protection over the natives.

I too would want to remain flexible.

Ha
Ha come on, I don't think US gives more protection compared to locals. Ithink US is just more equal. The locals are always first among equals in any country!

-h
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-08-2007, 11:52 PM   #5
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Just one example. My son, who lives in Washington would have to pay out of state tuition in neighboring Idaho. But the Idaho legislature introduced a bill to let any Hispanic, including an illegal, pay in state tuition and get generous financial aid.

Another example. If your Jewish neighbor from Cincinnati or Chicago wants to go to Yale, he competes with every other smart kid who wants to go to Yale. But if he happens to be from Argentina or Colombia, with a Spanish surname, he is not just another smart Jewish kid but an "Hispanic" with all the good things that can bring.

So lswswein I would like to agree with you, but I can't really.

Ha
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-09-2007, 12:05 AM   #6
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Just one example. My son, who lives in Washington would have to pay out of state tuition in neighboring Idaho. But the Idaho legislature introduced a bill to let any Hispanic, including an illegal, pay in state tuition and get generous financial aid.

Another example. If your Jewish neighbor from Cincinnati or Chicago wants to go to Yale, he competes with every other smart kid who wants to go to Yale. But if he happens to be from Argentina or Colombia, with a Spanish surname, he is not just another smart Jewish kid but an "Hispanic" with all the good things that can bring.

So lswswein I would like to agree with you, but I can't really.

Ha
See you are confusing a lot of things here:
1. Affirmative action
2. Federal vs State Jurisdictions
3. Public school funding

The US as a whole has decided that affirmative action is good. So yes the hispanics and other minorities get a better chance of admission and tuition aid wherever they apply. Btw this does not apply to the asians because there are too many of them applying to all the good schools. Did you a lesser % of asians who applied get into IVY league schools compared to any other racial groups?

State govts decide they did not want to be in the business of immigration - it falls under federal jurisdiction and they handle everything related to it. So the states will not care who you are as long as you are a resident. So if an illegal from Washington applied to the Idaho schools he will still pay what your son pays. The division between states and feral govts worked well on a lot of issues but has problems when it comes to immigration.

So you don't really have an issue except that because of so many jurisdiction issues a few illegals get through the cracks.

-h
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-09-2007, 01:00 AM   #7
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lswswein
See you are confusing a lot of things here:
1. Affirmative action
2. Federal vs State Jurisdictions
3. Public school funding

The US as a whole has decided that affirmative action is good. So yes the hispanics and other minorities get a better chance of admission and tuition aid wherever they apply. Btw this does not apply to the asians because there are too many of them applying to all the good schools. Did you a lesser % of asians who applied get into IVY league schools compared to any other racial groups?

State govts decide they did not want to be in the business of immigration - it falls under federal jurisdiction and they handle everything related to it. So the states will not care who you are as long as you are a resident. So if an illegal from Washington applied to the Idaho schools he will still pay what your son pays. The division between states and feral govts worked well on a lot of issues but has problems when it comes to immigration.

So you don't really have an issue except that because of so many jurisdiction issues a few illegals get through the cracks.

-h
Well I really appreciate your setting me straight. You must be a lawyer?

Ha
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-09-2007, 01:06 AM   #8
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Well I really appreciate your setting me straight. You must be a lawyer?

Ha
Sorry if it came across as snotty. Please I was not trying to offend. I am not a lawyer but did stay at an Holiday Inn once lat yr . Sorry again - I just wanted to discuss the topic, no hard feelings

-h
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-09-2007, 10:45 AM   #9
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

It's true that at my undergraduate school, asians had the lowest acceptance rate, followed by indians, followed by white folks.
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-09-2007, 10:52 AM   #10
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lswswein
Sorry if it came across as snotty. Please I was not trying to offend. I am not a lawyer but did stay at an Holiday Inn once lat yr . Sorry again - I just wanted to discuss the topic, no hard feelings

-h
Sure, that's fine. No hard feelings here either. I realize that only certain groups are favored; that is why I gave the examples I gave. I think America would be a better place if people were people, and membership in favored groups had not come to contain so many embedded entitlements.

Ha
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-09-2007, 10:57 AM   #11
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Lance,
Thanks for the well-written and sobering story. This is something that is of concern to me as well, as we hope to do a great deal of long-term travel to other countries. The "not normal" aspects (whatever those are to you) of being in a foreign place get to wearing on me, and I wonder if this will get worse as I get older.

I'm sure that there are people like your neighbor everywhere (CFB's stories would confirm this), but somehow it seems more unreasonable and unresolvable when you are the foreigner.

Thanks again for sharing!
Sarah
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-09-2007, 11:04 AM   #12
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancelot
F@#$ you, you f^&*%^$ a@@ hole!!!!!!

Jun, my Thai neighbor, was going apoplectic because I had dared to walk down the stairs in her presence. Maybe I was supposed to lower my head and bow? Well, TIT, This is Thailand.

Last August I had moved out of my room at Happy Land Condominium and departed for the Philippines. I had lived there for about three years and always gotten along well with management and other tenants, so HLC kindly stored my stuff, free of charge.

Jun, a 28 year old Chinese Thai, was always at the pool, sun bathing, prancing around and making sure everyone noticed her. Supposedly she was from a wealthy family because she never worked, but who knows. Jun was a long term tenant and the condo’s resident princess; it seems that every building has at least one.

Anyway, my girlfriend and I knew her casually, we exchanged the occasional DVD and never had a problem, but then I wasn’t her neighbor. Klaus, a buddy of mine who was her neighbor said she was always stopping by his room to talk or more accurately, have him listen to her. Jun was self absorbed and needed an audience. Klaus seemed a bit wary of Jun and told me that his girlfriend despised her.

Well, in late October 2006 I returned from the Philippines and moved into HLC apartment 625. As luck -or bad luck- would have it Jun lived in apartment 525, directly below me. A couple of days after moving in, I was at the pool talking with some buddies when Jun marched up with hands on hips and started complaining that I was making too much noise. I was taken aback by her aggressive, confrontational behavior but I did not lash back, just said OK and let it go. Ten minutes later, Jun was back at the pool passing out floor mats, asking sweetly if I, Khun Lance wanted one. I politely declined and left.

About three days later Jun sends my girlfriend a text message, saying that we were making too much noise last night. My girlfriend calls her back and tries to explain that we were asleep by 11 pm and really try to be quiet. She also tells Jun that perhaps she, Jun, hears the guy in apartment 725, above us. The guy is VERY noisy and sounds travel easily through concrete walls. Jun is having none of that and continues to insist that we are disturbing her.

A few days later Jun ups the tension by yelling obscenities out her window, in both Thai and English. Apparently she wants to insult my girlfriend as well.

In January I had had enough and I complained to the condo manager. Then my girlfriend and I together complained. Thai was spoken, so the manager understood completely. Basically, the manager said we were good tenants, but there was nothing she could do. She advised us to go to the police and file defamation charges. My girlfriend consulted one of former class mates, an attorney, who confirmed that under Thai law, the first person to lodge a substantiated defamation charge will usually prevail. I consider it, but then I ask myself why would I want to put myself through the hassels of a legal battle in a foreign country? Life is too short.

Shortly thereafter a thai girl jumped from the 17th floor of HLC and killed herself. Unfortunately my girlfriend and I were home and heard the sickening and very loud thump of the jumper’s body. The body was visible from our balcony and while my girlfriend was on the balcony, Jun on her balcony, discretely tells her that next time she hopes that she, my girlfriend, is lying dead on the pavement.

Five minutes later I give the apartment manager written notice that I am moving.

I write this long missive to share one of the downsides of living in a foreign country, namely problems with a local. Management at HLC was not going to intervene in a Thai-foreigner dispute, no matter how egregious the Thais behavior. Jun was not going to back off because she is Thai and this is Thailand. I voted with my checkbook and moved out.

Thank god I only rented and was free to leave at anytime. Personally I prefer to rent because it gives me maximum flexibility with respect to travel and changing locations. For those that want to buy foreign property, do keep in mind that problems with the locals can also have an impact on your real estate purchases.
My wife and I had a similar problem a number of years ago when we lived in an apartment. The woman downstairs complained that she could hear our footsteps, so we put full carpeting on the floor, and made sure we only wore soft soled slippers. A few weeks later she complained again about noise, and we told her it must be coming from another apartment. We're not loud people, we don't hold parties, and we dislike "loud" music. Finally, I guess the woman got tired of it, and moved out.

As for Thailand, my wife and I visit every couple of years, and for the most part most of them seem to be very nice people, although not knowing the language it's difficult for me to communicate, except with those who can speak english. Of course, you'll always find the few you don't want to ever associate with, but I've found the same in any country I've ever travelled in.
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-10-2007, 03:23 AM   #13
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Lance, thanks for sharing this. Most countries are not like America, where various classes of foreigners are given protection over the natives.

I too would want to remain flexible.

Ha
Ha, hope this helps some poor pilgram considering buying property abroad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mb
Interesting. I suppose that all cultures have "Jun's!"

What do you think is the worst case scenario if you had decided to stay?

MB
Nothing good and I did not want to stick around and find out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
Lance,
Thanks for the well-written and sobering story. This is something that is of concern to me as well, as we hope to do a great deal of long-term travel to other countries. The "not normal" aspects (whatever those are to you) of being in a foreign place get to wearing on me, and I wonder if this will get worse as I get older.

I'm sure that there are people like your neighbor everywhere (CFB's stories would confirm this), but somehow it seems more unreasonable and unresolvable when you are the foreigner.

Thanks again for sharing!
Sarah
Yes, Thailand does not have a monopoly on idiots; they are in available in every country.
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-10-2007, 09:53 AM   #14
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Thanks for sharing. But your story could have occurred anywhere in the world and the actors could have been natives and/or non-natives of the respective location. Many of us have had noisy neighbors, wack-o neighbors and suicidal neighbors. I've never seen a monopoly on outrageous behavior.

It's all part of Happy Land Life.
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-10-2007, 10:27 AM   #15
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lswswein

The US as a whole has decided that affirmative action is good. So yes the hispanics and other minorities get a better chance of admission and tuition aid wherever they apply. Btw this does not apply to the asians because there are too many of them applying to all the good schools. Did you a lesser % of asians who applied get into IVY league schools compared to any other racial groups?

Not as a whole... just enough to pass the laws... and Asians are not included because they are not a protected class.... Affirmative action is not just applying to IVY schools... but in all walks of life... and Asians seem to be doing just fine without the need for affirmative action..
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-10-2007, 10:30 AM   #16
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Noise can be a problem in apartments and condos. For a Condo... It is my opinion that a "rent first" is a good approach if you are thinking of buying. Not only for people issues... but for noise.


Your guidance on renting in foreign countries seems very sound to me.

I feel the same way about a 2nd or vacation house/condo. Generally speaking, I think it is better to rent (my opinion).
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-10-2007, 10:32 AM   #17
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

BTW... why do they not construct these places with better floors... like the poster who said about the downstairs people hearing them walk... it only cost a little bit more and you can't hear anything except very loud stuff...

All the buildings I lived in NY, I could not hear any of my neighbors... one place I could hear the dang PIPES screeching when someone took a shower every night at 2 AM... but not through the ceiling, the walls or the floor..
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-10-2007, 10:56 PM   #18
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

I was in Thailand during February, and had a less than friendly encounter with one of the locals.

I took a water taxi, with an agreed upon price of 150 baht before I got on the boat. When we reached our destination, the price was 200. I refused to pay the extra fare

The driver then proceeded to poke me profusely. I gave 150 baht to the guys partner, who said 150 OK, OK. As I was walking away, the driver slapped me across the back of the head

I just walked away. It sure is nice to be thought of as a walking ATM
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-10-2007, 11:03 PM   #19
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJac
I just walked away. It sure is nice to be thought of as a walking ATM
Maybe be a while before you head back over there? :P

Ha
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Re: The Ugly Thai...
Old 03-11-2007, 12:44 AM   #20
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Re: The Ugly Thai...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJac
I was in Thailand during February, and had a less than friendly encounter with one of the locals.

I took a water taxi, with an agreed upon price of 150 baht before I got on the boat. When we reached our destination, the price was 200. I refused to pay the extra fare

The driver then proceeded to poke me profusely. I gave 150 baht to the guys partner, who said 150 OK, OK. As I was walking away, the driver slapped me across the back of the head

I just walked away. It sure is nice to be thought of as a walking ATM
Yes, Thailand is changing and not always for the better. You were wise to have correct change and walk away from the Thai guy trying to intimidate you. There is a saying here “Westerners fight to win; Asians fight to kill.” Unfortunately it is accurate. As long as you move along you are OK; getting in someone’s face is not such a good idea.






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