Friday, August 26, 2011

Some useless information ....

On my observations around Thailand and here in Bangkok I have observed a few interesting things that are completely useless snippets of information but I thought I would share them anyway .... :)

1. There are 9 famous bridges over the river here in Bangkok of which I have been stuck in traffic going nowhere fast on four of them...
2. There are no road rules for going around roundabouts here in Bangkok .. It is each man to their own .... And rue the day if you happen to be near a bus or taxi because they do not wait for anyone....
3. In fact no one waits for anyone
4. The lane markings on the road are obviously indicative only and don't actually mean anything at all
5. Sometimes there are sets of lights in the middle of a roundabout
6. Sausages ... Thai people love to eat sausages but they aren't really sausages that we know, more processed ground up god knows what probably flavored in a food technologists laboratory somewhere
7. To drink water, you buy bottled water only
8. At the local 7.11 store (like an old four square shop) you can do pretty much everything - from buying bread, beer, acne cream or cigarettes to paying your power bill, topping up your phone and a myriad other things.
9. Quite often when laborers are working on a building site, they will build temporary accommodation for them on site.
10. If you say "ha" in Thai, it means 5 - if you accidentally say "he" in Thai it is much much ruder - basically a rude word for a specific part of a ladies body.
11. Before watching a movie at the movie theatre all people stand when they play the national anthem with a video of the King.
12. There is a certain way to bow appropriately - and I haven't quite mastered it yet.
13. Sitting for an extended period of time on your knees when at a temple is incredibly difficult and painful after a while if you are not used to it.
14. Thai people drink beer with ice (and I love the local beer called "Leo")
15. If you want to you can buy a packet of cigarettes called SMS for 30 baht (about a dollar) ... But they should be called SOS because they make you cough up your lungs.
16. When going to the toilet in a traditional toilet you use your left hand for you know what.
17. One more road one ... Speed limits are indicative only ... Actually, I think they mean go at least 40kms faster than the advertised speed limit
18. You can fit a shit load of people and stuff on ..... Scooters, trucks, 4x4's, bicycles, basically any kind of transport.
19. My favorite dish ever ... Raw prawns with garlic and chilli can be bought here at a road side stall for about $2 and is absolutely delicious ... Back home it would cost $30
And 20. I am in love with thailand and could quite happily live here for a few years .. The people are great, I love the hustle bustle and have got used to the great weather. :) I have no doubt I will return again,maybe even to work.

In the meantime though I have booked in for Thai classes ... :) ... They start tomorrow morning at a Thai language school only about 500m from the condo. I am quite excited as I am determined to be able to hold a simple conversation and have been enjoying learning a few new words every day. It has been a while since I have been a student so I am doing one on one tuition for 30 hours, 3 hours at a time, so by the end of September hopefully I can say a few more words than just how much and thank you :)

Thanks for taking time out of your day to follow my blog. Cheers, Nick.


MasterBry said...

Interesting and incisive Nick.

Surly part of what makes it endearing is the main part of what their problem is also ?

If your paying $2 for a meal, surly that's part of what leads to the desperation of a people ?
(Desperation: by that I mean the prostitution of the girls and lady boys etc, the sale of suits at at road side (as mentioned in your blog earlier) etc etc).

It seems to me a bit of a "Catch 22" situation, that what makes this country so interesting to a falang, is based primarily on your strength of dollar?

Or would you say, for example Yammies family, that they are happy with their "dirt floor poverty", or more they are accepting of their poverty, and as is human nature, making the best they can of the situation ?

I am just interested Nick in your thoughts, not judging anyone :-)

Nick said...

Some really good points Bryan.

I think you are right in a number of levels.

Poverty is a relative term I think. When earning Thai bhat, you can live comfortably if within the confines if the Thai economy. Relative to earnings, some costs are comparable to those in new Zealand.

I think in regards to falang, the only reason that aspects of Thailand are so great is exactly as you say about the strength of the foreign currency.

What is interesting, is the attitude that everything in falang land wherever that may be will be magically better. This I think is how Thai girls and the like get trapped in to horrible situations when going abroad.

If I look at yams family, they ay be "poor" in relation to some things but really it is more that they live differently and do not have the same focus on "things" as those of us in the western world do.

Cheers, nick.

Unknown said...

Best of luck there, Nick!

We just moved to Germany for a year, and I think I'm going to get in some Germany classes myself. It should be a blast, I'm having a lot of fun just figuring out what the road signs say, though I've got a basic idea of a lot of words since I speak English, I can't imagine what Thai is like...

I leave for a little while and you're in Thailand? What the hell is going on?

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