I was eating lunch with some of my coworkers the other day and they asked me what the word “Playboy” meant (the server was wearing a Playboy shirt). Now, Playboy is EVERYWHERE in Thailand. You will see a 7 year old girl wearing a Playboy Bunny barrette in her hair and you will see a 60 year old lady carrying a Playboy purse. I have seen teachers wear Playboy shirts at school and I have seen government workers wear Playboy shirts in official meetings. Playboy is EVERYWHERE.
I didn’t really know how to answer the question…for one thing, we were in mixed company & Thais are pretty conservative and they were asking what the word meant (just like they would ask what delicious means in Thai). I told them that Playboy was is the name of a magazine in the United States that has pictures of naked women in it.
They were pretty shocked and there was a very awkward pause before they told me that they thought it meant “to live the good life.” Looking at it from a business standpoint, it’s was an excellent marketing strategy on Playboy’s part given the conservative nature of the Thais, but it feels like they are lying to them…doesn’t it?!?
Anyway, I think I am going to ask my brother to bring a Playboy over with him when he comes to visit…but I think I might feel a little awkward handing a “nudie” magazine to a bunch of Thai men. (I feel weird enough when I am stuck in the room when they are watching porn at the office but to actually give them the stuff?!?). I might have to think about on that one.