Thailand is a wonderful country. It is also a very very strange country. Day in and day out I see ridiculous things _ most of which don’t even phase me as I near my one year anniversary in Bangkok. Yet, the most absurd things deserve note for those living in far more conventional places. And for most of them there is one universal explanation (utter by many a befuddled expat): It’s Thailand.
Today I left work for a brief lunch break and passed a couple of Thai women, wearing wellies, pouring water on the entrance to a parking garage and using an electric floor buffer to clean it. What possible use could this have? Is it not essentially a road that will perpetually be dirty? Why do they do this? Because it’s Thailand.
I was on a motorbike after work going to the pool to get some sun. But a few minutes into my trip, I saw the forbidding clouds indicating an impending storm typical of the rainy season and decided to go home instead. But despite telling my motorbike driver the change in address, he still took me to my original destination before turning around. The whole ride home I was formulating my argument for not paying him extra as I was convinced he would try to swindle me. Turns out, he accepted my 50 baht and drove off. What’s the reason for this paranoia? Everyone tries to swindle the farangs (Westerners). Because it’s Thailand.
And last night I was about to turn onto my street when a motorbike driving through the intersection bit it. He took the turn too hard and the bike slide right out from underneath him. Did he call the cops? Was an ambulance summoned to ensure there was no massive internal bleeding? No. He just dusted off his broken mirror, dragged his bike to his discarded flip flop 10 feet away _ the only casualty of the accident _ and drove off. I was on a motorbike. Second thoughts about jumping on? Not a one. How come??
Because it’s Thailand.