By Heather Allen
I don’t claim to have a great understanding of Thai politics and
as near as I can tell neither do quite a few Thai people. To say it is
convoluted and complicated is probably the understatement of the year.
That said, I know a few expats who have been in Thailand a few years who
consider themselves not only instant experts (despite the fact that they
have very limited experience of Thai life outside their own circle of
friends) but are more than happy to inform everyone of how right they
are, regardless if those people actually want to hear their opinions.
It is always amazing to me these people who pontificate on other
countries and other cultures regardless of how limited their knowledge
is. I have a British friend who, despite never having been to the United
States is convinced he knows it all simply because he has seen it in the
movies and television.
It is the same know-it-all attitude one hears on bar stools around the
world, I suspect. Certainly one hears it here in Chiang Mai and whilst
one of the biggest “experts” I have had the tedium of being forced to
listen to, is rather young and can some day claim that he was simply
na´ve and young, not all of them are young or na´ve. It is perhaps worse
when the know it all is someone who is old enough to know he or she (we
certainly cannot limit this arrogance to men) does not know it all. As I
have aged I have learned that the older I get the less I really truly
Of course not everyone who gets older actually does get wiser and as the
saying goes, “There is no fool like an old fool”. And sometimes a young
fool too. So, a few words of advice from someone who knows enough to
know they don’t know enough, sometimes it is best to keep your opinions
to yourself. Most people are not really interested and if they are they
will ask you. Most likely, no one will be asking.