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Thu 23 Mar 2017
A New Way to Learn
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 30 March 2004 00:00

I have told you once before about my life as a butterfly boy. Back then I had more than one girl at the same time and wasn’t really being serious with any of them. I was just having fun, like a butterfly that keeps flying from one flower to another. There is even a special Thai slang word for this, which is gik. It is like having a girlfriend but there is no commitment.

What I didn’t know was that girls have now started to have their own giks. I have heard that it is trendy for university students, who have chosen to have language as their major, to have foreign boyfriends or giks. It’s a lot cooler and better than using a talking dictionary or signing up for a language course!

Instead of spending time and money studying hard in a classroom, they just turn on their computer and log in to any chat room to find their foreign gik. This way, they don’t have to pay the expensive cost to join a course at a language centre. One such chat room is thaichatbox.com. I have been there a few times when university students are chatting in English with foreigners.

However, instead of chatting online, most of the university girls prefer to meet up in person and hang out with their gik. This way works much better than just chatting online. It is because you are really going to use the language for real life situations. But, different foreigners have different accents so it might be quite hard to start with but it would get better in a while.

The students like to take their gik to university with them and show them off to their friends. However, the relationship between these girls and their gik are not just status symbols, some of them become real boyfriends later. But some are not, it depends on their own feeling and needs. By the way, there are also some girls who just need to practice their English skills and nothing else. These girls are probably only thinking about their gik as “teaching material” only, not as a boyfriend at all.

There is a bright side to this new way of learning. For example, you are going to have more experience and gain some more self-confidence for yourself. You will learn vocabulary much more easily as you will have to use it often and you are also going to have some experiences that you would never get in the classroom or at a language centre.

Now let’s see the dark side of university girls having a foreign gik. I think the most worrying thing for all the girls is the one about misunderstanding. In Thailand, whenever people see a foreigner with a Thai girl, they will think that she is a prostitute. I know that it isn’t fair on a girl. But from experience, this is really how people around you are going to see it.

Also, if you have a foreign gik, for sure you can’t avoid kissing, touching or even holding hands in public. These kinds of activities lead you to sex sooner than you might expect. That’s why the elders around you might not like it.

For me, I think that having a foreign gik is a wonderful thing. I think that it is a great way to learn a foreign language. If you have a friend who is a native speaker, you would have no worries about practicing it. But, make sure you don’t forget that you are also Thai. Thai people shouldn’t do anything that might destroy our conservative culture. It is what makes us proud to be Thai.

If I were a woman, I would find myself a foreign gik that understands about Thai culture. And when I find him, I would act normally and ignore the people around me. I am not doing anything wrong so why should I care about what they think, right? As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else then there shouldn’t be a problem.