Human Pets…

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night depending on where and when this finds you in the world.  Happy Tuesday to one and all and I hope your Tuesday is/was more exhilarating and eventful than mine.  What is it about Tuesdays?  It’s just really that day of the week that sort of drifts by in a haze of routine and we seldom notice it as moves by in passing.  I bet you can’t remember what you did Last Tuesday, right?  We think about Mondays cause most hate it, and when I was young back home Wednesdays were always church night.  Thursday is the early start to the weekend for some, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday can bring along any number of social or personal experiences depending on how social one might be.

Anyway, I’m getting away from the topic on my mind that i wanted to share with you so I’ll stop my ramblings.  I actually sat down last night and recorded a videoblog about this same topic, but it ended up going 12 minutes long and youtube said the file was to large to upload.  Any ideas from you tech savy readers out there?  I tried several times with no success to upload it so I thought I’d better to just go ahead and write it out before the details of the situation left me.

So, there we were, my partner and I, last Friday night having a bit of dinner at the Greyhound Cafe near our condo when the disturbing event took place.  We went right into the restaurant and were seated immediately at the table next to this group of 3 Thais looking slightly bored of each other’s company.  We ordered our appetizer, meals and drinks and then sort of settled into relax as you do after your dinner orders are placed.  It was about this time that this tall, scantily clad Thai woman comes breezing into the restaurant out of no where and pauses in a model like stance before the table next to ours to receive compliments before she joined them.  This tall glamazon was dressed in a black blouse and tiny matching skirt with heels high enough to make a drag queen dizzy.  However, it was her traveling companion that caught my attention more, surprisingly enough.  This tall woman who had seen way to many episodes of “Sex in the City,” had arrived for dinner with her maid/servant in tow.  This little woman with her comes rushing in behind, with her head lowered carrying the shopping and the evenings wine selection.  She deposited the wine on the table and proceeds to kneel down in the floor next to the chair to receive some orders from the glamazon and off she went again on some errand.  Then she returned moments later with parking tickets stamped in hand, where she bowed her head and kneeled down yet again and was thusly shooed away on yet another errand.   She returned about five or so minutes later with a new fresh bottle of red wine and proceeded to take her place next to her mistress, kneeling on the floor head down.  It was at this point the self important woman leans over, tells her servant how cute she is in Thai and pats her on the head like a good dog.  Yes…you are imaging correctly!  Not only that, but the other woman dining at the table leans over and does the same pat on the head and gives the servant her best condescending smile that made my blood run cold.  Then the maid was dismissed with a wave of the hand, sent off to find her own food elsewhere for dinnner.  I kept making subtle gestures at my partner to see if he was watching this scene unfold, but I didn’t want to be obvious that I was gawking at them.  We got outside later and I asked him if he noticed what had unfolded.  The servant thing hadn’t seemed odd to him, but he did comment that every time the glamazon threw her head back and laughed that her face didn’t move at all.  Seems someone had been dipping into the botox fountain a little to heavily, huh?

This scene from “Gone With the Wind,” got me thinking about the social strata or class structure that still exists here in Thailand and how the social hierarchy is accepted and a part of every day life in Thai culture.  There is such a large sub-class of people in this country that seem to simply accept their lot in life, or perhaps it is because they have never been taught the values of self-worth we adhere to so deeply in most western countries.  The upper class here in Thailand rule with absolute authority and go about their haughty lives without question.  It saddens me really, but this mentality is so ingrained in their culture that I dare not share all my thoughts on the subject on how this mentality is perpetuated.  Some things are just not legal to say.  Anyways, just my little 2 cents and hope you found my little story entertaining and somewhat thought provoking.  If not, please stop by again often and hopefully my writings and ramblings can oblige.
Oh, and before I close out this post, I’m sure you’ve already noticed the new little icon I’ve added to my blog in the upper right.  I’d like to say a very special “thank you” to Pizzababe for inviting me to join the Freak Network.  I’ve been a big fan of so many of the blogs and podcasts over there for so long, and when the invitation came along to join them I jumped at it.  Thanks so much again and make sure you guys go over there and check them out.  Have a great week ahead and see ya soon!

3 responses to “Human Pets…

  1. *looks puzzled*

    Hmmm….Interesting. How else is it supposed to be? What is all this talk in front of your Empress? Naughty Tom! You got servants waiting on you hand and foot in the Imperial Palace and don’t even look twice at them. Did you forget your meds?

    The Empress

  2. oh dear, i’m totally flabbergasted! in the philippines, where i come from, maids hang around their “masters” as well. but not the extent of kneeling in front of them, nor the masters tapping the servant’s head like a pet monkey. i hope what you saw though was an absurd exception to the rule in maid-master relationship in thailand.

    btw, i’ve been lurking in your blog for quite some time now and i really appreciate your insights. keep it up!

  3. Thanks for the comments guys, and I’m so happy you decided to introduce yourself and leave a comment Girard. I must admit to having a maid myself that comes in once a week, but I treat her with just as much respect as I would anyone else. She works hard and I would never dream of being condescending to her. It is not uncommon to see maids, nannys, drivers, or personal cooks in southeast Asia and my observation is that most treat their hired help with indifference. However, I have read newspaper articles about Burmese maids being locked away in their rooms at night and threatened with beatings if they dare ask for time off. However, there is a very long list of unethical actions the 5% of people that make up the upper class in Thailand are guilty of. Anyways, thanks for commenting and for the encouragement.

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