August 30, 2019 By bangkok7
Hey internet, it’s Seven. Below is my 10th and final list of top 10 tips on the topic of Thailand. Hopefully you’ll find it useful, or at least mildly interesting. Happy Friday!
“1-PDA (public displays of affection) are inappropriate. Do NOT make out with your partner—Farang or Thai—in public. It’s considered very rude and low-brow.
2-In the bars, games are foreplay. Connect Four, Jackpot, Jenga, even pool are methods of flirtation, so don’t play too long with a girl you’re not interested in, and don’t play with a man—unless you plan to take him home with you.
3-Don’t stare at the massage girls and bar girls lingering in the doors of their businesses. Thailand isn’t a zoo, and just because it’s uncommon in your country doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to gawk at people as if they were animals on display. Show some level of decorum. Or take a picture—it lasts longer.
4-Speaking of the massage girls and bar girls, you don’t have to ignore them when they (or anyone else for that matter) say hello to you. It’s not as if a response is an agreement to buy sex or take them home. Show some courtesy, for God’s sake, and say hello. Or smile, or wave. But don’t just ignore them. That’s rude.
5-Don’t tick off the Russians. It’s true that they will tick you off with regularity. They are grim and horrible, rude and thoughtless, and have infested Thailand like gigantic puffy sunburned cockroaches. But keep it to yourself. That’s just how they are; they don’t understand the meaning of courtesy, manners, or human decency. Their culture is devoid of those things so there’s no point in getting worked up over it. Plus the Russian mafia is prevalent in Thailand, and you don’t want to end up buried in the jungle.
6-Ladyboys are people, too. More importantly, they can be a great friend to you, or a great danger, depending on how you treat them. Yes, they are forward—even aggressive. Yes, they have trouble taking no for an answer. But it’s very important that you not get on the bad side of a ladyboy. They have their own gang-ish network, and in an altercation, dozens will emerge from seemingly nowhere, armed to the teeth and wanting your blood. On the other hand, if one ladyboy considers you a friend, then they all will. They are not freaks, they are people just like you and me. If you treat them with respect, the reward is substantial (no one crosses the ladyboys, and as their friend you are subsequently under their protection), and if you don’t, you could wind up with a stiletto heel in your skull, or buried in the jungle.
7-Every step is a potential broken toe. The Thais have an uncanny ability to create walking surfaces that are haphazardly uneven. Therefore if you’re not constantly watching where you put your next step, you’re begging for injury. Also, Thais have a talent for creating surfaces that, once wet, become the most slippery surfaces known to man. Concrete, tile, even dirt become slicker than ice. So if you’re in the shower, or out on a rainy day, be very VERY careful. Or risk being hospitalized.
8-If you’re a man and you go walking down the girly-bar soi, bar girls will grab you and try to pull you into their bar. If you don’t want to be grabbed, don’t walk down the soi. If a girl grabs you that you don’t want to grab you, BE POLITE. Say “Mai ao, krab” (no thank you) and pull away GENTLY. Nothing looks as lowbrow as an ugly farang acting like he’s been infected by a leper. Maybe instead of being a jerk, you should be grateful that a woman even made the effort to touch you. Because let’s be honest, outside of Thailand, most women wouldn’t even acknowledge you exist. So don’t be a jackass—be cool.
9-For those male Farang who think they are “too good looking” to pay a bar girl, you’re in for a rude awakening. In the US and Europe, people place value on physical attractiveness, but in Thailand nobody cares what you look like. I knew a handsome guy who came here and proudly refused to pay for sex. When the bar girl quoted him her price, he said “Look at me! I’m too hot to pay for sex, you should want to go with me for free.” The girl laughed in his face and went home with his ugly friend. She has slept with a great many men, some handsome, some not. It makes no difference to her. She gains nothing by sleeping with a handsome guy. She’s there to put food on the table for her kids. So if you want your looks to work for you, don’t come to Thailand. Nobody cares that you’re hot.
10-Bartering is part of the shopping experience, but it’s not a war and the vendor isn’t your enemy. You don’t need to be angry, sullen, or combative when bargaining. In fact, it makes you look like an ignoramus if you do. So be friendly, smile, have fun with it. Don’t be rude and don’t get angry.
The main point you should take from this list is, be polite. And watch where you’re going.”
A year on, I think this is all still good advice. Except maybe the reference to Russians. I wrote this when I was living in Phuket, where there’s a much more prevalent presence of Ruskies. They’re also pretty common in Pattaya, though other mafias are more visible (looking at you, Indian restaurant mafia!). Here in Bangkok, they’re not much of a problem. The people to watch out for in the capitol are mainly Chinese tourists who’ll run over you on their way to the mall.
Anyhoo, that’s it for my top 10 lists and for this week’s frowback. Swing back by on Sunday for the weekly, and cheers to a weekend of fun in the greatest country in the world: Thailand.