Good Medicine for Thailand Fever: A Road Map for Thai-Western Relationships Paperback – Jan 11 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Even though I already knew the cultural differences, to sit down and consider it in this way was revelatory. It really does help you to begin to consider accepting another point of view as at least permissible, even if, at the end of the day you know you will never agree with some of the practices of another culture. It also helps you to decide if you are willing to go through the ordeal and demands that are necessary to make a Thai-Western relationship work.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
For example: Many guys told me that Thai women lie and to get used to it. I had a negative view of this. But the truth is that Thai culture is non-confrontational and that it saves face of everyone involved. In order to avoid anyone being embarrassed or degraded, Thai people may at times stretch the truth or speak something other than the blatant truth. This is not meant maliciously, but as a Westerner it may be hard to understand, especially if you are from a culture that prides itself from boldness, bluntness and outspokeness.
Because of my German heritage, I was taught to be blunt and not to beat around the bush. I was taught that this was a sign of respect towards others. I learned that in Thai culture this is a sign of DISREPSECT. It is often to save face and to avoid confrontation in Thailand.
Also the issue with the dowry bride price bothered me until I read this book. I felt uncomfortable with the idea of paying for a woman to marry her. But since reading this book, I realized that Thai culture expects men to pay a dowry as a symbol of love, respect, appreciation and gratitude to the wife's parents for raising and caring for her.
Not every family will require a dowry, so each situation is different.
It is also a sign of readiness to support the future wife. In the West we are taught that love is seperate from money, but in other cultures money may represent a symbol of love. This way of thinking is very different from what I was taught in the West, but it did help me to be more open minded to other ways of thinking. It helped me to understand the deep feelings of Thai culture and to realize that it is not necessarily "gold digging" or "greediness" for a woman to ask for money or material things.
I also understood why a woman may feel depressed, sad, or angry if her boyfriend or husband does not give her material things. On the western point of view it may be seen as "buying" love, but the #1 value of Thai people is generosity. They base their self worth on how generous they are. Therefore, it is hard for them to understand if someone does not want to show generosity.
(Of course balance and communication along with compromise is best in any relationship no matter what cultures are involved. Letting your girlfriend/wife and her family know what you can reasonably afford to help with is almost always going to avoid problems. Letting them know that your heart is true and genuine can often make life a lot easier.)
Although each Thai-Western relationship will differ, I will recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand his Thai girlfriend or wife and where she is coming from.
To my delight, the book is written in both Thai and English, so your
wife or girlfriend and her family can also read this to understand
Not every single thing in this book will apply to every single relationship, but it does give you something to work from if you are new to this all.
Not the case as Thailand Fever points out. This book really helped me understand so much about the culture and expectations in relationships that I didn't know. The fact that it represents both Western and Thai views in both languages so that each person in the relationship can understand the others culture improves the books usefulness even more.
This book really saved my romantic interest and I a lot of headache!