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ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


zero alpha posted:

Because he and China were opposing and sabotaging USSR aligned movements after the Sino-Soviet split? Not sure, I'm just trying to remember if something weird went down with the USA and Prince Sihanuk or whomever that inadvertently destroyed the resistance to the Khmer Rouge. Some NPR story from a long time ago I think, but I could be mixed up.
So far as I know, the US kept its boner for Lon Nol from the time they began supporting him as an anti-KR puppet regime until that regime's inevitable fall. The only story that comes up in terms of our support for the KR tends to be post-Vietnamese invasion and it's fairly strained in some areas. The Chinese and the Thais definitely conspired to arm and quasi-shelter the KR via the Thai border and the many refugee camps there, with China giving direct material aid. There's a claim you hear bandied about a lot that the US was giving material aid in the same fashion, but as I recall when you trace it back from all the places you see it, it ends up coming from a totally unsubstantiated account by one guy who spoke to Pilger or somebody on one occasion. Given all the horrible poo poo we did in SE Asia for which there is evidence, a lot of us find the claim suspect at best.

Prior to Lon Nol Sihanouk was playing as careful a game of double agent as he could between the non-Communist powers (US and allies) and the communist powers (China and allies) with the US, China and Vietnam being the primary actors and the Thais as the regional US proxy (to a degree), but with pressure on all sides from all countries there was no way he could keep that up. He basically kept Cambodia independent and out of the war for as long as possible, then a domestic political rivalry and Chinese stupidity brought and end to his rule. He says the CIA conspired with Lon Nol, but again there's no proof of this (though given Lon Nol's politics and the US opinion of Sihanouk it sounds plausible) and Lon Nol was an elected politician with long-term ambitions against Sihanouk and for independence against the Vietnamese. It'd be nice to think that the US was the primary actor here and there's no doubt that the Vietnamese war as the backdrop was the event that drove all other action, but localizing just to the specific events surrounding Sihanouk's rule, the coup and Lon Nol's administration it seems pretty clear that it had been internal political squabbling coupled with China being incredibly hardline at the time and demanding so much of Sihanouk that he could no longer deliver without alienating too many of his fellow Khmer. Recall at the time that Vietnam and China had basically forced him into allowing them to use his country as a military base and supply route.

There's that old Ho Chi Minh quote, "The last time the Chinese came, they stayed a thousand years. The French are foreigners. They are weak. Colonialism is dying. The white man is finished in Asia. But if the Chinese stay now, they will never go. As for me, I prefer to sniff French poo poo for five years than to eat Chinese poo poo for the rest of my life." In Cambodia, so far as I can tell from discussions, the US is viewed a lot like that. They came, they lost, they left but the Vietnamese were still next door and eventually occupied the place. The Chinese are viewed more favorably at least compared to the Vietnamese simply because A) they're the emerging power and B) they didn't occupy Cambodia for a decade. So while we all know the lesson about how devastating and stupid our involvement in the breakup of Indochina was, the lesson most people miss myopically is how stupidly the Chinese behaved at the time - Pol Pot was one of Mao's protege's and the Chinese were their patron during the Year Zero days until sometime after the Vietnamese invasion. If they'd simply adopted a more pragmatic attitude toward Sihanouk they could have helped on their part to avoid a genocide and, as importantly, would have had an allied state. Unfortunately, as I recall, China was in the throes of one of its extremist ideologue tantrums at the time and that extended to foreign policy.

What they ended up with was a Vietnamese occupation in Cambodia and, eventually, the Vietnamese puppet ruler seizing control during the uncertainty of the UNTAC-era election. He remains in power today and while he's pragmatic and will deal with anyone, you'll notice very quickly here that the primary wealthy regional patrons are the Japanese and Koreans (thus far) and not the Chinese, with the Thais and Vietnamese doing tons of business here. And America, of course, whose currency is the currency of this dollarized economy and who gives special garment-related quotas to the country in return for some love from Hun Sen.

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2012 around 12:38

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ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


It's a very fraught topic. I've been dealing with it for about 7-9 years now, I guess, and I still don't have a grand, internally consistent opinion of any kind that gets beyond the basic fact of my having been born very lucky and their having been born considerably less lucky. One thing that's for sure, my opinions have changed a lot since having to live directly around the people who sew soccerballs for us. You do a lot less projecting some misplaced shame onto them for their lives once you see them as people and not just as piteous things in a newspaper article or on a TV screen. That doesn't make the wealth disparity palatable by any means, but it makes it more complex for certain.

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2012 around 12:09

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Of redistributing it to Chinese workers instead of Americans

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


french lies posted:

I guess this goes back to what we were saying earlier: China's arms build-up isn't a threat to the West, as the US right would have you think, but it does carry significant implications for its neighbors. I'd be interested to see how far the US is willing to go to protect the Philippines if it does come down to a military confrontation over the Spratlys.
This kind of thing concerns me, because America's #1 focus under this administration is now building influence in the Asia Pacific region through diplomacy, economic incentives and military agreements. A lot of countries around here are in very tight with our military and have reciprocal defense relationships with one another and the US (stuff like Cobra Gold is commonplace throughout Asia). Noynoy isn't a particularly strong President from what I've gathered via Pinoy friends and he's seen as fairly pragmatic (also not facing election right now), so his inclination might be to cut a deal at the last minute. With DC on his back, though, dangling American aid and other candy, the picture gets more complex. Still, The Philippines isn't Korea or something, it's a ragtag archipelago Republic that has no real heft and no longstanding issues with China, so hopefully cooler heads will prevail.

Out of curiosity, one thing I don't know about all this is the genesis and the veracity of who holds what. Is this stuff in total limbo, or do the various pieces of dirt in question actually (probably) belong to one side or the other?

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Apr 11, 2012 around 02:05

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Curved posted:

In another piece of just weird news, apparently "we all know that the Philippines were historically a part of Chinese territory..."

http://tv.sohu.com/20120508/n342659555.shtml

This is an odd turn to take with the water rights arguments that have been taking place recently. I feel like the Chinese won't react too negatively to this, but the Philippines are not going to be happy (if it ever gets to them).
Hahah, I'm going to forward this to my Pinoy friends for comment and see what comes back. At least the Mormons wait for you to die to baptize you.

This is, by the way, possibly the best thread in the forum. It's really fantastic. Too bad Thailand has near-zero geopolitcal significance. I have to settle for making GBS threads up the China thread with tangential commentary once in a while. Talk about the four-nation ring road, damming of the Mekong or the train projects throughout SE Asia being financed by China and I'm here! Heh.

EDIT: Response from my Pinoy friend...

quote:

No!!! I will strangle the first Chinese I run into anywhere today.

drat it, Scarborough Shoal is far closer to the Phils than in Shina or anywhere! gently caress! I hope Andres Boni resurrects from the dead and shows those small dicks his machete skills. Heheheh.
Please forward to CCTV. Intra-Asian rivalries are the best.

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at May 9, 2012 around 03:09

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


They are indeed! Still, they're usually not germane here, sadly

The Thai-Chinese (largely from some place they pronounce as Dtachieu?) pretty much run the country on a day to day basis, barring the occasional Thai-dominated military overreach. They're also incredibly wealthy by international standards. There's a decent book - not great, but decent - called Asian Godfathers that features the richest/most powerful men from SE Asia (at that time) including HK and two of the guys in it are Thai. I hear a couple of Thai companies (all large Thai companies are run by Thai-Chinese), including CP, actually have a significant foothold in China - but this comes from Thai people, who are lovely, but about as jingoistic as we Americans.

EDIT: On a humorous note, I asked a Singaporean friend who lives in Thailand once why the wealthy Thai-Chinese are a bit (this is a stereotype, but it's not entirely inaccurate) inattentive to the existence of anyone not driving a Mercedes and he said, "Oh, they call come from Dtachieu (?). Chinese people from that region are well-known arrogant cunts."

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at May 9, 2012 around 03:18

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Modus Operandi posted:

Like for instance Thais outright manufacture their history and it's full of magic and fantasy. Anything to avoid admitting that they might have been part of the Khmer empire.
I wore my Cambodian "Preah Vihear - Kingdom of Cambodia" t-shirt in the neutral territory of Laos and a friend's Thai wife, who has always been very nice, was there. She asked why people were laughing at my shirt and he explained what it meant. Afterward, she was pissy with me for the rest of the trip, heh.

Yeah, the whole, "Your religion, your dancing, your royal dress, your building style - you stole it ALL from Cambodia" thing is always fun for pestering the girlfriend.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


LP97S posted:

Yeah I know that, it just gets to be a pain when people seem to fight more over who was what 5,000 years ago and it's fun to make fun of it while seeming to ignore a lot of the controversies from the last century. The fun thing is when basically all of Asia gets angry at a Japanese politician saying something very, very terrible.
Wasn't there some phrase from either Ho Chi Minh or a famous Japanese general that went something to the effect of, "The reason the West always dominates us is that when there's a conflict, they'll put aside their differences and work together to win, while we'll squabble with one another and individually either cut deals with them or fall to defeat." I know I read something like that (much more eloquent and succinct) somewhere years ago in the context of a noted Asian's commentary on relations between the countries and the history of colonialism (obviously the West's dominance is far more questionable these days, especially heading into the future).

I was always an enthusiastic supporter of our multiculturalism in America (believe it or not, it was a major topic of some complex political controversy when I was younger), but I didn't truly appreciate what a valuable asset it is as part of the national character until I lived and spent time in the ethnically nationalist countries of East Asia. I mean, imagine an American of one race saying to any person on the street, "Oh, you speak English!? You're very smart!" based on their appearance, as happens in Asia constantly.

I know, I know, every country here has a bunch of ethnic minorities, but living in most countries here you know pretty well how that works out - you're either "Thai" (whether Thai-Chinese or actually Thai) or you're part of some powerless hill tribe or you're a Muslim separatist or something. If you manage to eke your way out of the minority and gain wealth and power in mainstream society, you become "Thai" magically. I'm guessing it's the same way with Han Chinese in China, probably even more strict, and Korea, and Japan and so on. Obviously it gets very fuzzy once you get south of Thailand where all the archipelago nations and former British colonies are.

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at May 9, 2012 around 05:52

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Ronald Spiers posted:

Hey look another Asian island dispute:
This'll make the Koreans happy, they're the major tourist group there (largely made up of factory bosses and people who can't afford to send their kids to Western countries to learn English - commonly loathed by Pinoys for how they treat the locals).

EDIT: I assume Chinoy allegiance is to the Phils, but I've never asked any Filipino-Chinese friends. Someone ring up Amy Chua!

EDIT EDIT: Come to think of it, this'd be handy here too. When you live in a heavily touristed country you can make a laundry list of the most annoying nationalities to deal with as tourists. I have a bit of a soft spot for the stereotypical Chinese tourist as they (more often than some others) alter their behavior when they realize they're being obnoxious to everyone within shouting distance, but they're still on the list. So, you know, if we can gin up a conflict China and Thailand I'll support that. India and Thailand would be most preferable, especially when dealing with airport queues.

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at May 10, 2012 around 12:10

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Chinese tourism (for the masses, which is who we're talking about) is packaged and largely driven by cost - safety and entertainment value are way down the list. As long as you can smoke like a chimney, ride together in a giant bus with your entire extended family and haggle over fake Louis Vuitton bags at every stop they'll buy tickets. That said, I don't recall them being huge tourists to the Phils over the years I spent there, but I doubt it was safety related. Tons of Japanese and Koreans, who are much less price-sensitive than the Chinese.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


HK must remain corruption-free so that everyone else in the world can use it as a base to launder their corrupt activities through. Everyone in Asia knows this, probably much of the rest of the world with any assets, heh. It's the rare exception to the honor among thieves rule. Of course that's a purportedly separate issue from politics, but Singapore was always super-high on the transparency index while suppressing any negative media coverage and prosecuting the poo poo out of critics - until this year there were a huge bunch of revelations about all this PAP corruption that had been stifled. It seems more likely that the rule is Don't Ask, Don't Tell & Don't Commit Crimes Domestically.

When someone tells you an Asian country is transparent, it's like someone telling you that America doesn't have bribery problems because the FCPA is strong and we force lobbyists and campaign donors to report their bribes donations and activities. Lord only knows what the politicians are into.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


It's not China, but supposedly there's a sole proprietorship option available here in Thailand - of course you can't get a work permit to work for your sole proprietorship unless you hire 4 Thai employees (or pay taxes on 4 Thai employees anyway) as with any other business - that's 4 for every foreigner holding a work permit under the company. I mention it because it cracks me up. The way this poo poo works in Thailand is surely even more hysterical than the way it works in China. Surely you guys aren't forced to hire a set number of local employees simply in order to get a work permit to work legally in your own business?

(BOI is a different topic altogether, as is people holding Thai citizenship or PR, the latter of which hasn't been issued in nearly a decade to any foreigners due to some hilarious politician at the top who, for no known reason, simply refuses to sign any fully vetted PR applications)

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Here, Modus is right, it's (at least in large part) people looking to kill time, but at the good university (Chula, Mahidol, Thammasat, etc) and international school level it seems to have gotten better. The worst of the worst have moved on to Cambodia.

What's frustrating here is watching the administrators gently caress the educators who care. I have an old friend that's taught here for about 15 years who has a degree in economics and a masters in English Lit who is very, very intelligent and over the last two years I've watched the university he works at (considered just below the top top tier) move him to a bullshit department and gently caress him over because he's friends with some dean that the dean in his department doesn't like. Beyond that, he's also constantly pressured to just pass wealthy kids who have failed one of his classes and are re-taking it. He's now moving to another country, slowly.

I have nothing to do with academia because of the old "the stakes are so small" joke (other than mentoring MBA kids) and this kind of nonsense is exactly why. He's hardly the only person I know facing this kind of garbage either. Everywhere has bureaucracy, but I don't hear these kinds of complaints out of friends at ISB, Thammasat, Chula, Mahidol or NIST. Don't know anyone at Pattana. Maybe it's true everywhere, but there does seem to be a growing sense of the need for professionalism. At the end of the day, the really on the ball wealthy don't want their kids getting a poo poo education and the middle class are catching on too.

So, what I intend is that, yeah, a lot of loafers come here to earn beer money, but there are dedicated educators who are broken by the idiocy of the combined academic bureaucracy and status/face nonsense. There's a whole other paragraph here about the pressure for wealthy Thai-Chinese families to have an academic who does what's expected and finds out they are the underachiever of the family, requiring this person to then bolster their fading sense of confidence by making life miserable for their subordinates.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


There actually are several strata there, at least in Thailand. The families who have the means and value education in a sincere way spend a lot money and time making sure their kids actually do learn things. That group is increasing in size. The rest, yeah, status.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Yeah, I'm incestuously intertwined with the latter group now. I don't want to go further into that discussion except to say that while there's no clear dividing line, there's a pretty broad distinction between the performance of the kids of historically wealthy Thai families and newly wealthy Thai-Chinese families, the latter of which have been taking over the country's economy and, slowly, politics for the last 50 years. The former of which have been selling off ancestral land holdings at record pace to the latter to finance cars, condos and a free-wheeling lifestyle. Still, that's a bit (not huge, but a bit) or a broad brush.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Yeah, heh. I think he was on the debate team at Oxford? He speaks better English than half of my high school class. One of my favorite things about the wealthy elite Thai-Chinese is playing the "Oh you're just Chinese" card. When Thai people are pissing them off they're Chinese (e.g. "Lazy workers!"). When you accuse them of being Chinese, they're Thai. When you accuse them of being Western bananas or whatever, they're Asian. I don't even really care, I just like prodding the privileged who run this place and have tons of underpaid servants and laborers. I used to play Maggie's Farm in MBA mentoring sessions during breaks, but no one even remotely got the irony.

It's become one of my favorite sports in a country where the dominant mode of discourse for discussing ethnicity is, "Ha ha, the new girl at the office has dark skin!!! Talok!!! She'll never find a husband 55555" "Why do all my Burmese migrant workers constantly leave How can I afford a new Mercedes!?!?"

Also, have you had the good fortune yet to have a taxi driver red shirt tell you that the Chinese are ruining Thailand and then refuse to accept that Thaksin is even remotely Chinese? This place has a 40/60 chance of becoming a really stupid version of Bumiputra Malaysia in the next 10 years, heh.

[/THAIJACK]

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


I wonder if it works in China like it works in Thailand. In my role I consult with businesses to use online marketing to, basically, make more money. About 50/50 on Western clients I can communicate value to them about what I do and they're far-sighted enough to understand (the rest are absurd or thieves, or both). Thai (mostly Thai-Chinese) prospective clients are getting better as the next generation are taking over the businesses, but usually it's like, "Hah, we get NO BUSINESS from the internet, why would we spend money there? Just build web site." "Yeah that's because neither you nor anyone you know has any idea what you're doing because you're all operating like it's 1975, so go hire your nephew, web sites ain't what I do, Somchai." The pugnacious ignorance is what surprises me. I have this sneaking suspicion that the sheer amount of competition in China must force more companies to be forward-thinking as opposed to the entirely closed shop that is Thailand. We ran into that kind of arrogance tons in the early days in America (1997ish), but it didn't take much to get them to give it a go because of open competition. Today you've got mostly Western founded and run companies here whose entire multi-billion dollar existence is predicated on successful internet marketing and the entire old-man-run Chinese factory and tourism sector is still "pffft I call my friend in Singapore na?" But, hey, they make money, so why would the old line care? Hab Mercede-, hab 3 house, hab 10 maid, etc.

This next generation is much better prepared, but the dynamics of Asian family business, which exist separate from whatever superficial rules they pretend to adopt to satisfy institutional concerns, don't favor giving enough power to the younger generations to make a difference until they're easily 30-35. That's seriously retarded advancement, at least here. Some of what I've learned about this topic is absolutely fascinating with regard to financial structures and so on.

This goes right in line with the topic of English language, too. Nowadays I have the occasional friend saying, "Can you get me a contact at Unilever? My uncle went in and didn't speak English and the French guy walked out of the room." Granted, I would never disrespect an older Thai man like that in his own country (leave that level of arrogance to the arrivistes), but the point stands. The pressure is on here, at least a bit.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Yeah, that's about right I think. I've mentored a couple of Chinese exchange students in the MBA program and there's a big difference in their estimation of the online market 99% of the time. We do get some very savvy Thai kids through, but it's like you allude to, everyone gets a share based on who they are. Welcome to the patronage economy, heh.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Arglebargle III posted:

Am I supposed to give them some sort of internet cynic rant?
Please do this! Just draw a big smug-faced smiley on the whiteboard and walk out of the room like the haters-gon-hate cartoon.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


I know, I was just being facetious, heh. From what I've seen, I agree with what you're saying generally, that people here are often just scoring rhetorical points on the backs of easily flogged bogeymen. That said, it's not like there's not a sizable contingent (that grows exponentially - I have no idea what that means - as you head South). Still, I've never taught and my associations are at top universities, so I don't see as much as teachers do.

\/\/\/ I was ridiculing my own unintentional use of a trying-to-sound-like-a-smartey-mans word instead of hitting backspace, heh. Sometimes I catch myself using cheap sentence steroids like EXPONENTIALLY or LITERALLY and I find it eye-rolling enough to just go ahead and make fun of myself instead of deleting it.

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at May 23, 2012 around 05:25

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Arglebargle III posted:

Are you suggesting that the number of crappy English teachers approaches infinity at the south pole?
Yeah, but then it resets when you fall off the edge of the Earth, which is anywhere North of I-10 or South of The Philippines as far as I can tell.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Reminds me of this poll:

http://www.arableagueonline.org/wps..._page/!ut/p/c5/

(scroll down to the lower part of the left-hand nav bar)

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


http://english.sina.com/china/2012/0520/469057.html

quote:

Criminal crimes involving foreign offenders have seen a stark rise in recent years, in particular, when it comes to those illegal aliens, referring to the foreigners enter China without a legal visa, the foreigners stay in China with an expired visa, and the foreigners have a job in China without a working permit.

Some of them even commit crimes in China such as theft, fraudulence, smuggling and drug trafficking.

The reason why these foreigners go so far as to run amuck in the Chinese society and even act wildly against the Chinese law is far too complicated to make a brief explanation.

Perhaps, China's preferential policies in their favor have granted them a wrong mind picture of being superior and privileged to the local Chinese, which is, therefore, falsely interpreted by some as being treated lenient always by Chinese laws.
I'm seriously laughing out loud here. Holy poo poo, there's nothing about this page that isn't loltastic. That whole page is like, "Welcome to the English site, which is written for the domestic audience and not foreigners - just in English." It's nice to see that for all the gleaming PR and money, Chinese immigration officials are possibly even more confused and silly than Thai immigration officials.

EDIT: "It is advisable to bear in mind: 'Only good scouting is likely to preserve the respect and freedom so dear to the heart of the eternal Boy Scout.'" Hahahah, what the?

EDIT EDIT: Oh man, China is awesome - this is like Chinese Bill O'Reilly:

http://english.sina.com/china/p/2012/0520/468975.html

quote:

"The public security bureau wants to clean out the foreign trash. To arrest foreign thugs and protect innocent girls, they need to focus on the disaster areas of Wudaokou (a student area) and Sanlitun (a bar area). Cut off the traffickers, including those who can't find jobs in the US and Europe that come to China to take money, engage themselves in human trafficking and illegal immigration. Identify foreign spies, who live with Chinese women while collecting intelligence and GPS information for Japan, South Korea, the United States and European countries while holding a tourist visa. That foreign bitch has been expelled and closed Al-Jazeera's Beijing bureau. We should kick out those who demonize China."

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at May 23, 2012 around 15:20

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Oh-ho-ho, lest the Chinese crack down on Chocolate City.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


menino posted:

One of my socio linguistics books (Tannen?) said that Thai women often add (or added, maybe it's not in use now) the particle "ka" to sentences, which actually means "slave". Not sure if Reindeerf or somebody else can verify this.
Hah, haven't heard that. Both genders have a polite participle, "ka" for women or "krab" for men. I suppose it's possible that the initial meanings were related to gender-based chattel. I'm no expert on Thai lanuage (Try Pompous Rhombus), but I kind of doubt it because they're so close and because while there have always been culturally defined gender roles, slavery was another concept entirely as I understand it and was ended quite some time ago under Rama V, while the words persevered. Because they act simply as polite participles and are used universally (at least among commoners, addressing royals is different I'm guessing) it seems like they would've fallen from favor had they been some kind of reflexive reference to one's status as a slave. Women also use "ja" and "na ka" casually and I'm guessing there's a female equivalent for "Krab Phom" too, but I can't think of having heard it. Ka and Krab in usage end up being the Thai version of saying "yes" to a question, which is typically, ambiguously Thai. There's no exact "yes" and "no" in the language, you normally acknowledge by restating the verb. The closest equivalent is "chai" (is) or "mai chai" (is not), but they're not interchangeable with yes and no. Answering "Ka" or "Krab" is the wonderful way in which people acknowledge that you said something and seem to communicate affirmation, but have actually only acknowledged that they understood what you said, which is really fun in business. "Please upgrade the database, Somchai" "Krab" - 4 hours later - "Did you finish upgrading the database?" "Oh can not, I not know how."

There were other words for slave and master and a gently caress ton of titles and things, probably similar to Chinese (based on age, social prominence, official title and so on). Interestingly, Thai men no longer have noble titles, but Thai women do (Khunying and whatever).

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Jun 22, 2012 around 23:10

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Modus Operandi posted:

I'm not sure about noble titles but royalty can still bestow other honorifics to both men and women. That white dude who played in some orchestra or made a jazz album in Thailand (I don't remember his name or what he did exactly) was given some kind of honorific by the big man. I'm not sure what the means in the scheme of things but it's probably a nice thing to put in your Thai resume.
I get confused about which is what. For example, old line families still apply the "Na Ayuttayah" or whatever their bloodline to the dynasty is, but that's a leftover. You don't hear men referred to with a title the way you hear Khunying unless he's a monk or royalty (or has some official position that's not to do with a title bestowed by the royals - like teacher). My understanding is that Khunying and the other one, I forget, are the only ones in use anymore. Unless you're in Cambodia and you're Hun Sen, then you just bestow the title Somdech upon yourself and roll with it.

On a side note, apparently some of the more rural folks have taken to giving their kids Khunying as a cheu len (nickname), which is pretty funny.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


THREAD INVASION!

The SOUTHEAST Asia thread is recalling its ambassadors from your hegemonic threadpire, but would first like to ask a question (I would anyway).

Back to being serious for a moment, I posted this in the SE Asia thread:

quote:

China is completely loving its own foreign policy right now and I'd like to hear what the China thread has to say about why that is. I would guess it's because the internal military powerhouse is pursuing one agenda and the internal foreign policy powerhouse is pursuing another and this is the end result. Still, that's just a guess, because pulling this stuff with the South China Sea while the Americans are in the middle of their Asian Charm Offensive is a completely amateur move. China is getting its diplomatic clock cleaned right now in Asia and it had been making steady, silent advances like a motherfucker (still is, but who knows how much longer if they keep this up).
It was in response to a (clearly government allowed) protest against China in Vietnam. The protest was over the South China Sea chicanery, which is causing a lot of anger at China throughout Southeast Asia (and non-Southeast Asia, wherever that is).

I'm not implying that everything there is correct, but I am interested in the astute analysis of the very-serious China thread's denizens. I cannot make sense of why China's blowing its foot off in foreign policy terms this way at this exact point in time. It is an incredibly misguided thing to do, but there has to be some reason it's happening.

Don't read into that, by the way, that I think America is great and China is bad or that being in one country's sphere of influence is inherently better, it's just that there's no other way to look at what's going on right now from what I can tell.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Warcabbit posted:

True, most NYC has ever gotten is 8, as far as I notice. Rained 43 inches in Texas once. My favorite line is the last in the article, though.
I actually lived through that exact storm. My unincorporated, middle of nowhere county holds that record. It was unbelievable. We went from damp ground to a foot or two of water in the house in just a few hours - and this is a coastal plain, not some mountainous area with varying elevations. poo poo was just floating everywhere (including us), heh. Last year, I lived through the several-months of flooding here in Thailand too, which was much worse. I'll take the flash flood, plz. I feel for the folks in China, especially the working folks. If Thailand's response was any indication, it basically just sucks for them and nobody really does much.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Zwabu posted:

Is there a separate thread about this murder case involving disgraced politician Bo Xilai and his wife who are accused of murdering some British expat? Is it a fit subject for this thread?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world...p5AX_story.html

Apparently Bo Xilai was some kind of major power player before everything went sideways for him, now this accusation? Is this a story of major national importance involving some upheaval among power factions in the PRC, or is it strictly a smaller celebrity murder case?

If anyone has much knowledge about this or can put it into better context (sorry if I missed it scanning through the thread), it would be appreciated.
I was keeping up with this for a while, mainly because the whole Heywood angle was interesting to me. The part I don't get, that I read today, though, is that they're saying the wife had him killed because he was threatening her son (who he had helped out and worked with previously). I'm guessing this is just her gambit to paint the guy as unsympathetic to the domestic audience who will key in on the protecting-her-family emotion, because he seems like he sort of wandered into this life as a fixer for some wealthy Chinese and not like the kind of guy who is particularly threatening. What I can't find, though, is any specifics about what these supposed threats were.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


That article makes it sound like you guys have much more literate, considerably less bitter "Leaving [country]" people than we do in Thailand, heh.

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic...om-my-own-dogs/
http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic...aving-thailand/
http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic...d-cambodia-lao/
http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic...leave-thailand/

You should be proud of your literate re-expatriates.

EDIT: Yours need 100% more smatterings of words like "methinks" and "me missus" and "fair play to you" and lots more posturing about how the economy will collapse once you leave - also at least one person has to say something noxious like "the women in [country] is fitter anyway!" to close it out.

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Aug 21, 2012 around 08:41

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Yeah, I can detect satire.

EDIT: Also, thanks to this podcast for turning me on to the Sinica podcast. Excellent stuff. Among the many topics covered, and many guests brought on, I thoroughly enjoy Jeremy Goldkorn's uncorkable cynicism as the primary recurring feature, he's absolutely hilarious.

ReindeerF fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2012 around 18:03

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


MeinPanzer posted:

If a son of a prominent politician driving his Ferrari into a wall while being blown by a Uyghur and a Tibetan doesn't exemplify modern China then I don't know what would.
Hahaha, perfect.

I heard on Sinica or read somewhere that the dad got demoted or reassigned over this. Assuming that's true - it may not be - in China, when someone's kid does something stupid and dad gets demoted like this, does that permanently limit his opportunities or - in the case of well-liked people viewed to have erred temporarily - is it viewed as a minor setback that one must go off and be quiet for before returning? I've seen it go both ways in Thailand, but we're much more chaotic, frankly. I would assume China's much stricter after making a decision to discipline someone, but I have no idea.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


...resting in his dacha.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Ethnic nationalism is a different animal though, in my opinion (PhD, MDPhD, BS). I completely agree that we have varying degrees of pluralism back in the States, but over here in Asia most countries are just getting to the place we were when the Irish and Italians were considered some kind of upright walking gorillas.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


DaiJiaTeng posted:

Fake edit: I read a blog and some weibo posts that made a nice point: When you destroy those cars, you aren't hurting the Japanese, you are hurting your fellow citizens you bought those cars.
I lived through a similar period in America in the 1990s and it was stupid then, too. I mean there were maybe some valid points about international trade and dumping, but mostly it was a bunch of American-made cars with Japanese badges getting destroyed by redneck auto-workers. It didn't get this widespread, though, in property damage terms. There were a lot more staged "come beat up a Japanese car with a sledgehammer!" public events than out of control riots.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


China: We Hate Japan, Will Continue To Act More And More Like Imperial Japan.

I talked about it before in the SE Asia thread, but their approach to all of this has been colossally stupid. They're managing to piss off so much of Asia that there's not going to be much left to work with at this rate. Of course their money and heft will buy back a lot of good will, but they're pissing it away over zero substantive gain.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


America's also taking a case to the WTO against China for supporting automobile and auto parts manufacturers this week (at least it's been announced this week). This seems like it's timed to coincide with shoring up Michigan, Ohio & friends in the election, but who knows. Anyway, just another poker in the beehive.

EDIT: Yes, the same America that owns part of General Motors.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


The best way to stop this is to open a temporary brothel with a giant sign on an island slightly closer to China and offer free rice wine and karaoke.

ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Yeah, that one falls under the "he who steals from me steals twice" rule.

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ReindeerF
Apr 20, 2002

Rubber Dinghy Rapids Bro


Not that example, the tactic. My professional mentor used to say it - as in "he who steals this marketing tactic from me steals it from the person I stole it from first" in reference to the letting civilians into harms way and then feigning shock, which is age-old.

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