Thai younger urban women prefer to live on the surface. Superficial style, the smile and glance, the cool, elegant posture for a photo even for a total stranger are the things that matter. And it makes everyday life in Thailand so exceptionally pleasant. Every day is a new adventure, a new smile that means absolutely nothing and at the same time everything; it means that I am alive! And as Lars Gustafsson wrote somewhere, being alive is an enormous advantage.
Westerners tend to dichotomize between surface and some ”deeper, real meaning”, but forget this romanticism – or let’s call it neoplatonism – for a while. Think, just for a change, that surface is the meaning; there is nothing beneath it. Surface harmony, politeness even towards a person you hate (and you will end up hating him less), the smart dress, the friendly smile meaning nothing but the smile itself. The cool civility of controlling one’s emotions. Classical savoir vivre meets Asian culture.