The Clips and Trips blog was put together in preparation for our leaving the U.S. on an indefinite world travel adventure which started around August of 2009 and returned us home in December of 2012. If you want to see where it all began, read our mission statement from before we left.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thumbs Up for Me and Eric, Bangkok, Thailand

August 17, 2008

I've never really given much thought to the fact that Eric and I are an interracial couple. No one in San Francisco ever stares at us. Then, we get to Bangkok, and I'm suddenly aware of eyes constantly on us. Since everyone here thinks that I'm Thai, I'm guessing that people are thinking one of three things:

- Eric's a sex tourist, and I'm his rented Thai girlfriend
- I'm Eric's mail order bride
- Eric's an ex-pat and I'm his Thai girlfriend

This old Thai man, saw us in the mall and started speaking to me in Thai. He pointed to me and Eric, and actually gave me a thumbs up. I'm not sure what to make of that. Does that mean, "Good for you girl - You've got a farang to pay your bills" or was the thumbs up intended for Eric? He could've been congratulating us because we make such a handsome couple, but I highly doubt that.

Even the expats are confused. Yesterday, an English expat asked where we were from, and asked if we were in a long term relationship because my English was excellent. He couldn't believe I didn't speak with a Thai accent. Even when I explained that I was born in California, a native English speaker, and my parents were from the Philippines, he still couldn't wrap his mind around my American accent. So, he finally understood when I said, "I'm from LA, I have a Californian accent."

Sometimes, I find myself making an effort to speak in the most perfect, clear English when in public. I don't know why it matters so much to me. I guess I see an older Caucasian man with a young Thai boy, and I think, "EW.." So, I don't want people to see Eric and I together and have the same thought. It's probably just the super, ultra sensitive, politically correct side of me that cares. Whatever the case, I'm getting a kick out of it.


  1. I wonder if a thumbs up means the same there as here. Just goes to show what an easy accepting place we are in the US. Who knew?

  2. Pretty interesting...I hope the stares don't become oppressive.
    Thanks for the great posts!

  3. Maybe you should adopt a really thick Thai accent and tell them you met at a ping pong show in which Eric was the headlining act.

  4. i was a mail order bride last halloween. i should have walked around with eric as my accessory.