If there was a contest who could sleep the easiest and in the most unusual places, the Thais would most likely win hands down.
In the west, sleeping in public is frowned upon, and sleeping on the job can get you fired. In Thailand there is no stigma associated to sleeping in public, and sleeping on the job is not always an offense.
People watching can be quite an interesting way to spend your time in Thailand. It’s not quite as much fun when it happens in the same environment, let’s say an American watching other Americans in a mall in Chicago.
However when you watch foreign visitors to Thailand in an environment which is not so familiar to them, you get to see some really interesting and sometimes hilarious types of behavior.
After having lived in Thailand for way over a decade, I have compiled a list of those behavior types.
Did you ever daydream about being in a place where everything is perfect, where you feel totally at ease and happy? I have not found such a perfect place on planet earth, and to my best knowledge it does not exist.
But some places come much closer than others, and Thailand is in this category. No country is perfect, and neither is Thailand. But there is a good reason why tens of thousands of expatriates have decided on settling here.
Actually there are ten good reasons I can think of.
Just when you thought you have seen Thailand, something totally unexpected happens. Like you happen to be in an ordinary and not particularly interesting town or village, and suddenly there is this gigantic festival happening which transforms the town into an exciting, happening, fascinating place.
This happened to me in the town of Omkoi in Chiang Mai province of northern Thailand. My wife and I were visiting friends there. When we arrived, there was a huge festival going on with music, food, dance performances, and many other events.
If you have children, this is for you! Watch a big high school event where students from several schools in Chiang Mai, Thailand, are competing in sports and dance. The dancing is similar to western cheer leaders, however the sports events are less serious and more fun.
There is ‘sack hopping’, chasing a little ball with green eggplants hanging from the hip, and other fun events. This is not a tourist event, but footage about real life in Thailand. Watch the video below:
In the western world you don’t dare asking a woman how old she is. It is considered rude and intrusive, and many western women will flat out refuse to tell you their age.
The implied concept is that aging is a bad thing for a woman and should be hidden as much as possible. Being secretive about age and even lying about it is considered acceptable.
Now let’s move on over to Asia. Here comes our first time Thailand visitor, a woman for our story, and she is taken aback since people regularly ask her how old she is. Why are they so nosy in Thailand? Why do they pry into such intimate subjects?
I have lived through two military coup d’etats here in Thailand. They were both very uniquely Thai style affairs. Normally we associate coups with violence, shooting, arrests, and political prisons, in other words very unpleasant events.
However Thailand has come up with what I call “velvet coups”. I remember the first one in 2006. The army rolled out tanks in the streets of Bangkok. But instead of creating an atmosphere of terror among the citizens, many Thais took it as a fun event.
They climbed up on the tanks, handed flowers to the soldiers and had their pictures taken while posing on the tanks with the soldiers. No shots were fired and nobody got hurt.
There are lots of motorcycles in Thailand. Most of them are of the variety which we would call a moped or a scooter. They have small engines, between 100cc and 125cc in general, and they cost somewhere in the neighborhood of US $1000-$1300. They are easy to drive, easy to park and they are very maneuverable. And surprisingly they can carry quite a lot of weight despite their small size.
The Thais have been quite ingenious in coming up with lots of methods to use them. I have identified 8 methods how I have seen them used, but this list is by no means exhaustive.