Thai costume Thailand

“You’re fat!” And other compliments in Thailand.


  1. Karisa says:

    This is SO spot on!! I hear these subtle ‘insults’ daily. “Teacher, are you tired today?” “You look sick today.”: “You’re so big!” And my favorite, “Your feet are bigger than mine.” 🙂 I used to get offended but now I just laugh. My lovely Thai friends and students don’t mean to offend, they’re just saying what pops into their heads. And, speaking of white skin, I got somewhat of a tan from Koh Mak and several students were disappointed that I’m not super white anymore. Ha! 🙂

    • jessicajhill says:

      Yes, sometimes it’s hard to take, but we have to remember they don’t mean to offend. I’m quite pale after several months in China and northern India where it was cold, so they love my skin….but westerners tend to think we look sickly when we’re pale!

      I just got a substitute teaching position in Trat, which confirms my decision to go to Koh Mak after, thanks to you! I hope I come back with a tan as good as yours!

  2. Richard J. Wilder says:

    Jessica, as usual, my mind pictures a bunch of people complimenting you every where you go. After grad-school in Colorado, you’ll certainly be ready to teach writing.

  3. Autumn Curtis says:

    Haha I love this post. It makes me laugh. I love how you relate to the Thais through two completely different backgrounds. This means you are lovable in every culture! But I already knew that!

  4. eemusings says:

    Ha, I got comments about my weight SO often when I was last back in Asia visiting family (I’m practically skeletal by Western standards but tubby by Asians).

  5. Sara says:

    I literally just came across the comment you left on my blog post from last year! Thanks for the shout out + trust that your beauty crosses boundaries for those who truly see it 🙂

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