Saturday, January 9, 2010

the unnoticed

like most countries not familiar to us, thailand has a few quirks and certain rules that i've picked up on.

1.  they drive on the right hand side of the car and the road. so if i'm crossing the road, i have to watch which way i turn my head and check for cars before i cross. cuz it's natural for me to look left, then right, then left. here, it's right, then left, then right.


2.  taking a motorbike is quicker transportation than taxis (obviously) when there's traffic. these guys drive in between cars and on sidewalks and bypass lines. and they don't get in trouble by the police.

3.  unfortunately, most third world countries hide their pollution and trash problem. it's such a huge concern. they just leave it in open fields or open spaces and don't do anything with it. it doesn't help when people litter and throw things in the bushes, like my taxi driver did today. grrrrrrrr... i wonder what the government is actually doing to address this problem. i wanna help, but for now, i am reducing, reusing and recycling.



4.  i luv seeing familiar name brand products with thai writing on it. it's so odd, yet not odd.




"y-ing" with ronald mcdonald ("y-ing" is a sign of respect to someone. the deeper the "y" or the deeper the bow, the more respect you have for that person).

5.  they literally worship the king here. ya know how we used to worship the queen of england back in the day? now it's just more a sign of respect. well here, they respect the king so much, that they celebrate his birthday and it's a holiday and on certain days they wear pink to pay heed to him. he is a good king though. (what i found out is that the king and the government are different. the government actually rules the country, i'm not even sure what the king does. just a symbol of royalty?)


oh yah, and also, before the beginning of a cinema showing (they call it cinema) we stand up and pay respect to the king by watching and listening to a short clip of the king, while a chorus sings in the background. very powerful.

6.  you don't tip here. that's self-explanatory. where else do they not tip? i think philippines and some other asian countires?

7.  their parks are amazing and so well-kept! ok, so we have stanley park, but what other nice parks do we have? we have a couple other small ones. but here, they are magnificent! (yes, that's the word i was looking for). they are huge. some you can workout in. a lot of people run outdoors in the humid heat. there's an outdoor gym. and most have lakes or ponds with creatures like turtles, koi fish, komodo dragons and toads.





8.  there are ants here! no duh! so last year, when i was here there were no ants in my apartment. but then i remembered it was cuz i had a cleaning lady. well here, i don't. i clean myself. (i hope that doesn't suggest, that i'm dirty?) but 2 weeks into my new place, i had the arrival of the ants! i was like what? so now i've been careful to take out my garbage before i go out and to clean up thoroughly after eating food.

9.  cold showers are always the best. pretty much obvious being in a humid seeking, heat-ridden city. the mornings are best, when i wake up sweaty and can walk into the shower and get cooled off with some cold water. also, wherever you go, air conditioning is almost always present. taxis, malls, stores. (another obvious thing, but i can't member where i use air-con in vancouver. maybe the gym? but i always roll down windows if i wanna keep cool).

10. at 6pm everyday, in certain places in bangkok, the world stops. hahaha...for real. now what do you mean nik? well i mean, that the king's song comes on and no matter what you are doing, you go into a time warp and you stop moving. i luv going to lumpini park just to watch it happen. at 6pm the song comes on and i stand there amazed watching and waiting like everyone else. if they're running, they stop. if they're eating, they stop. if they are biking, they stop. even the dogs stop barking, it's kinda eerie. it's like they know what's up.












ps- the ants are gone?! where did they go? i think they're hiding somewhere in my room, ready to pounce if i leave garbage out in the open and go out... (but right now, it's a relief!)

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