Thailand - Are All White Males In Asia Losers?
Following my October 2017 trip to Hoi An in Vietnam I became quite obsessed with Vietnam, a country which previously I had no interest in. I read books, read websites, and I watched YouTube videos.
It wasn't long before I came across Troy Nguyen's YouTube channel and I enjoyed his videos. With the name Nguyen, Troy is obviously of Vietnamese ethnicity, but he speaks pure Strine in exactly the same way as a native Australian. He is also bilingual and speaks fluent Vietnamese.
Assuming too much can lead to trouble, but because of the way he speaks I would imagine that Troy was born in Australia to Vietnamese parents. He is around 30 and therefore could be the offspring of Vietnamese refugees.
When Saigon fell to North Vietnam in 1975 an enormous number of south Vietnamese left to settle in other countries. Around 80,000 moved to Australia. I could be wrong, but the timeline fits and Troy is from Saigon in South Vietnam.
He has some excellent drone footage of various parts of Vietnam and I like the way he travels, which is how I like to travel in Asia. Like me, he avoids tourists resorts, and just rides a motorbike into 'real' Vietnam. He also makes a point of giving money to financially disadvantaged people. The amounts of money involved are nothing to most Westerners, but a lot to poor Southeast Asians.
His ability to converse with the locals is something that 99.999% of foreigners can't do in Vietnam (this also applies to Thailand, where I live) and he also understands the culture very well, thus allowing him to provide cultural insights. These abilities, combined with his skill in editing videos, which is very good, make his Vietnam videos very watchable.
From his comments it becomes apparent that Troy doesn't really care for Australia or Australians, but he loves Vietnam and Vietnamese people. He also has an eye for the girls with plenty of lingering camera shots on young, pretty girls and lots of close-ups of breasts and bottoms. Possibly some of this is near the mark, but there is nothing wrong having an eye for a pretty girl. If he is guilty, then so am I.
However, as I watched more of Troy's videos I started to hear some of his other opinions and he doesn't tend to hold back. He has some very strong opinions on Caucasian males who start new lives in Asia.
Basically, he holds that all white males in Asia are either sex tourists or sexpats, and that they are all losers. According to Troy, white males who go to Asia to teach English do so because they are incapable of getting employment in their own countries and they prey on young, impoverished Asian girls because they can't get laid at home.
There are no exceptions, therefore, this applies to me, to some of my website visitors, and to hundreds of thousands of Caucasian males living in Asia.
In those countries where there is freedom of speech, which doesn't really include Southeast Asian countries, everyone is entitled to have an opinion and that applies to Troy too. I know that he is wrong in his thinking and although it doesn't bother me what he believes, I thought I would try to respond.
My Initial Response
Firstly, I detect an element of hypocrisy with Troy's assessment. Most white males who go to live in Asia do so because they aren't enamoured with their own societies and/or because they are attracted to Asian females. Troy is exactly the same. However, because he is of Vietnamese descent he believes it is perfectly acceptable for him whereas it isn't for men who aren't of Asian descent. What's the logic behind this? And why aren't white females in Asia losers? Why just white males?
Any point that Troy was hoping to make is invalidated immediately by his insistence that 'all' white males are losers. This is obviously wrong and by making such a stupid general statement people will immediately disregard any other views he may have.
Winners And Losers
What is a winner and what is a loser?
This may seem like an obvious question, but I think that a lot of people simply accept the views of wider society and don't really give this question a lot of thought.
I have heard so many times throughout the course of my life that 'x' person has done well for himself/herself based purely on job position, salary and/or material possessions. Society tells us that people on high salaries who possess lots of things are winners.
The term 'loser' has become a catch-all term for those people we don't like or don't agree with. When the book 'Fire and Fury' was published that exposed details from within the Trump White House, Trump described its author, Michael Wolff, as a 'total loser'.
In my humble opinion, both definitions are wrong.
I have worked in the corporate world and I have friends and relatives who have reached the position of CEO for large organisations. Society tells us that reaching the top should always be our goal, but the higher people go in an organisation the more work and responsibility they have, and the less time they have to spend with their families and do things they enjoy doing.
I believe that for everyone there is an ideal lifestyle, and that these lifestyles are very different for different people. If you feel really alive working in a large corporation and are happy to devote your life to the company, good for you. Go for it. Personally, working for a large corporation ended up making me feel quite depressed.
If, deep inside, you love animals, only feel really alive when you are in the presence of animals, and want nothing more than to work in an animal sanctuary or zoo, go for it.
My definition of a winner is someone who has worked out what it is they really want from life and has made positive steps to get what they desire. In both examples I used people can be winners.
A loser would be a person who loves animals and only feels happy when in the presence of animals that pursues a career in banking because of societal pressure and feels miserable every day he/she is at work.
Many foreigners living in Thailand who aren't English teachers like to target English teachers as 'losers'. My experience has shown that this isn't always the case. Some teachers I have met absolutely love their jobs and by doing something they love they are winners.
Conversely, I have seen a lot of foreigners in Thailand who teach English and they obviously hate the work but they have no choice because they need the job for financial and visa purposes.
Troy gets very upset about sex tourists and sexpats, but they aren't worth worrying about. Firstly, there is no point getting upset about something over which you have no control. No matter how much he hates sex tourists and sexpats, he will never stop their presence in Asia.
Secondly, maybe he should actually feel pity for them? Grown men who have discovered prostitution in Asia are thje same as 13 year-old boys who have discovered masturbation. Sex without any commitments may be attractive to many men, but eventually there will come a time when they need more out of life or they may simply get bored. By the time they realise this it may be too late.
When I started getting very disillusioned with my old life I tried to take a deeper look at life to discover what was really important and what wasn't. A couple of friends were very insightful, including one I referred to above who is now the CEO of a major airline's cargo division.
He referred me to a book called 'Finding Your Own North Star' by Martha Beck. I am not a fan of 'self-help' books, but this isn't really a 'self-help' book.
Human beings have an intuitive way of thinking, which sometimes we refer to as 'gut feeling' or 'sixth sense'. In almost every case this is what we should be acting upon, but we don't. This is the feeling we get from our 'heart'.
The problem is that we often allow our heads to overrule our hearts. This is a problem because our heads don't contain our true feelings and intuition, instead, they have been programmed by society. Society says that we should be good students, get steady jobs in banks, be good citizens, pay our taxes, etc.
This is for the benefit of society, not for the benefit of our own happiness. Martha Beck's book is basically about connecting with our intuitive selves and leading lives that make us happy, not leading lives simply because of societal pressures.
I met so many people when I was in the corporate world who could see no further than the company mobile phone, laptop computer and company car they used. It's incredibly naive, but a lot of people still think this way. In my eyes, these people are the losers regardless of their salaries or material wealth.
Adam Bradshaw - an undisputed winner in Asia
For those not familiar with Adam Bradshaw, he is a young American who came to Thailand as a missionary. The organisation he worked for arranged lessons in Thai and he quickly realised he had a flair for the Thai language. He learnt to speak Thai fluently, has his own Internet TV channels, and appears regularly on Thai TV. I met him a few years ago when I took my kids to Dream World in Bangkok. He's a really nice guy.
Some people would say he is a winner because of his language skills, because of his new found fame, or because of the income he now receives. In my view he is a winner because he worked out what it was that made him happy and followed that path. He obviously enjoys what he does very much.
There are both losers and winners in Thailand among the expat community. I have spoken to English teachers who absolutely love their jobs and they are winners. On the other hand I see lots of people who ddidn't like life in their native countries and they escaped to Thailand hoping for happier lives, but without working out what it was that made them happy. In Thailand they become just as unhappy as they were previously. They are the losers.
The vocabulary Troy uses indicates he is an intelligent person and he also shows compassion towards others. I don't believe he is a bad person, but he seems to have a few issues. I'm not sure what is behind his dislike of white Western males, especially those in Asia. I don't know whether he had any bad experiences growing up in Australia or whether he was subjected to any racism.
Modern Australia hasn't got a great history. The continent was taken over by white settlers with no regard at all for the native inhabitants who, for many years, were treated very unjustly.
It's a large country and initially there was a big problem with under-population. Australia introduced the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme after WW2, which is why there are so many ten pound Poms in the country, but it also had the White Australia policy, which barred immigrants of non-European descent.
I have visited Australia three times and even as a white Caucasian I found myself a target of discrimination for some Australians as soon as they heard my accent. This is the main reason why I have never particular enjoyed visiting Australia. Many, not all, Australians have big chips on their shoulders and a dislike for the English. I believe it is getting better, but there still seems to be a lot of racism in Australia. Pauline Hanson has her detractors, but she also has a lot of supporters.
Sledging is rampant in Australian sport and there is also a culture of bullying in Australia that can have devastating consequences.
The other thing that will help Troy is understanding that many things in life are beyond our immediate control and it can cause mental problems if you want to change something, but can't. No matter how much you detest certain types of people, there is nothing you can do. I don't like sex tourists and sexpats, either, but maybe they deserve pity rather than hate.
He needs to get over these issues because they are stopping him from doing what he does well. He has a lot of talent and with his language skills and knowledge of Vietnamese culture he can make YouTube videos that are far more insightful and watchable than those made by Westerners in Vietnam.
I also believe that all people should spend some time thinking about those things in life that are important and those that aren't. Not only does this analysis help to improve your own life personally, but I think it can make the world a better place.
Simply striving for wealth and material possessions all the time will continue to cause a strain with the planet's environment natural resources and that will be detrimental to all of us.
Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.
One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. Each link on the right will take you to the relevant page on the Agoda website where you can see photos, read reviews, and book on-line. I use Agoda to book all of my own hotels in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Agoda hotel rates are usually always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people. Here is some analysis I did regarding booking hotels in Southeast Asia.
Booking.com used to be more expensive than Agoda, but when I have checked hotel prices recently I have found their rates to be quite competitive. Unlike Agoda, you don't need to pay at the time of booking with Booking.com - you can simply pay at the hotel when you check in. Also, Booking.com show you total prices whereas Agoda show you a price and then add on 17% for tax and service charge.
If you wish to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined.
Images of Thailand