Met this guy and his family last night. They’d never been to Thailand and he had some questions…
1. Q: “I can’t imagine that anyone in Thailand ever dies of a heart attack. Don’t they stress out about anything?”
A: Nope… they really don’t. I can’t even remember one instance where I heard a Thai say anything about worrying what is going to happen in the future. They are not oriented to be looking at the future, and definitely not worrying about it. Anxiety and worry seem to be missing entirely from the culture.
Anybody experience anything different?
2. Q: “The roads are just…” (he couldn’t find the words for a long time) Eventually he came up with it… “Are there are no RULES in Thailand.”
A: No, there really are not. That’s why I stay here. It’s really nice to not worry about the ridiculous things in life like speeding 10 mph over the speed limit. He told me a story about visiting Miami, Florida ten years back. He was speeding a bit to get to a place he had a reservation – about 10 mph over the 55 speed limit. A big highway patrol officer grabbed him by the shirt and said – I AM THE LAW, when he asked the cop to show a photo and prove he was speeding.
Whether true or not – whatever, the point is that there are laws in Thailand, but the police and everybody else is not that strict on enforcing them. At all. Public pressure to enforce something – leads to more enforcement, but in general the Thais are live and let live type of people.
I hate to say it, because the mere mention of Apple makes me cringe, but, “It just works.” Thailand just works. Things work themselves out. Some people love it and some can’t deal with it. At times I’ve embraced it – and at times I’ve ranted and raved, probably like a lunatic. Eventually I come to terms with it and accept it, or just work it out. There’s nothing else to do.
Life in Germany was considerably different, he said. He couldn’t imagine a life in Thailand – his head just couldn’t wrap around it.
I think that must be the feeling a lot of people have about moving to and living in Thailand. Those of us from the west just can’t wrap our heads around it. It takes years for most of us to really adjust and start living even a little bit like Thais. Most of us cannot. I see it everyday. I have friends that have lived in the country for years and years… and they’re still holding onto the US, UK, Canadian mindset.
Thailand is an amazing place to live… I hope it stays this way.
What do you think?