12 Signs That You Have Been Living In Thailand For Too Long…

Thailand blogpost picture

1. You’ve come to terms with the fact that you will never be on time for anything, EVER again…

I used to get so offended when people would turn up 1 or 2 minutes late for something. I saw it as a form of disrespect. Like you don’t even respect me enough to be on time for something. A few years after living in ‘Thai time’ soon makes you forget about time in general. Now ‘meeting someone at 9’ means that 9 o’clock is the time I’m aiming to leave, and more often than not I don’t even leave until ten past nine…

2. You wonder how you lived without the bum gun…

Half of you will be exhaling in nostalgia, while the other half will be saying ‘Eww…’ The fact is everyone looks at the bum gun when they first see it and thinks, “I guess I’ll just have to slum it…” Then after using it a few times they wonder why on earth western countries don’t use this amazing invention. And when you go back home, you wretch at the fact you now have to use tissue paper to wipe your bum rather than spray it with a jet stream of water, which in truth is far more hygienic.

3. You refer to countries in Europe, North America and Oceania as ‘Western countries’…

When I say ‘Western countries’ I still immediately think of Will Smith and Dru Hill singing about ‘The Wild Wild West’, but after saying “Countries like England, America, Canada, Australia, and so on…” for a few months, you switch to saying ‘First world countries’, but this sounds quite arrogant so in the end you start to pick up the local English slang and say ‘Western countries’ instead.

4. 7/11’s become essential landmarks when describing directions…

Thai streets are extremely complex. They have things called ‘soi’s’ which are essentially smaller roads. However these roads have the same name as their larger counterparts. Normally a Thai person will tell you to go to ‘Soi 27’ and look at you like an idiot when you have no idea where that is. They then helpfully tell you that it is ‘near Soi 25’, so you give up and try to find it yourself. Because of the the fact there are sometimes multiple 7/11 shops on one street, most people now use these as stopping points. “Turn left at the second 7/11” This tends to be far easier than memorizing where all the soi’s are on every road…

5. You forget how to listen to people

This applies to any foreign country I think; After a while you get used to hearing people speak slower to you. This happens more in Thailand because realistically you can only legally work as an English teacher here, so you spend the majority of your day listening to people speak broken English. (Or you spend your time learning another language, which is equally as bad as you are slowly phasing out your native tongue whilst learning a new language…) Soon zoning out is a common occurrence because you get used to the fact that when someone speaks to you in a foreign language, you’ve already accepted that you are not going to understand 70% of what they say before they have even spoken. Then when you meet someone from your own country who starts to talk to you enthusiastically, you panic because you can’t understand a word they are saying. And ‘can you speak a bit slower please?’ Isn’t going to fly with someone who is from a place that is geographically an hour’s drive from where you grew up…

6. If you do not forget all your problems after saying ‘Mai pen rai’, then you are simply an evil, bitter individual…

You are driving on the road, and someone cuts across three lanes, nearly killing you. In England it would be considered normal to scream at that person and possibly get in their face at the very least. In Thailand you must say to yourself, ‘Mai pen rai’, which roughly translates as ‘don’t worry’, and move on. Most people find this laughable at first, but if you don’t start doing this quickly, you will begin to hate being in Thailand. Thailand is a great country to live in, but you MUST possess a positive attitude or it will wear you down in a matter of weeks. ‘Mai pen rai’ is a good way to maintain that positive attitude, even when things are looking tough.

7. You ignore your phone whenever you get a message…

I often don’t see messages from friends for over 24 hours. This sounds surprising when nowadays almost everyone keeps their phone in their pocket. Even more so that more and more people own smart phones. However in Thailand you get between 3-6 advertising messages a DAY. So when your phone rings you roll your eyes and ignore it, only to see a week later when you are deleting your messages like you are clearing out your E-mails that 6 days ago one of your mates said he was in town for a day and asked what you were up to…

8. You get offended and/or angry when a night out costs more than a fiver…

You’ve had an incredible night out, drinking far more alcohol than you should have. Then you look at your wallet to see the damage…

“500 baht (£10). Wow, I love it here!” You grin to yourself after being here a few months. A couple more years down the line the exact same scenario makes you grind your teeth.”How the hell did i spend that much money?!?” You angrily think to yourself. Then when you go back to your own country you shake in fear at the prices they charge for…pretty much anything.

9. You get offended and/or angry when a meal costs more than a fiver…

Same thing; you’ve just eaten chicken fajitas at a Mexican restaurant and it was amazing. You lean back thinking how lucky you are to eat at such a good restaurant, then you look at the bill…

“300 Baht (£6)? YOU SHOULD BE WEARING A MASK IN HERE!!!!!!!!!”

10. You are much healthier and you can’t explain why…

Well, you CAN; you have time to do things you didn’t in the past. Going to the gym, running, cycling, avoiding fast food restaurants to eat at healthier options and learning martial arts. Soon you are super fit but because it is part of your every day routine, you have no idea why you look and feel fitter…

11. You have multiple battle scars over your body…

Motorbike crashes, burns from exhausts pipes or even stupid drunken antics. These scars are a story to tell the grandkids. And when someone back home innocently asks about your scar, there will never be a moment in our life when you feel more cool when you respond, “Oh, I got that when I had a motorbike crash in Thailand, but you don’t want to hear about that…”

12. The word ‘Kap’ becomes a perfectly acceptable response too ANY statement, question or reaction…

‘Kap’ more or less translates as ‘I don’t necessarily understand what you just said, but I acknowledge that you are talking to me…’ It is incredibly frustrating in work situations where you have to delegate, knowing full well that they aren’t listening to you but you can’t call them out on it because they said ‘Kap’, but it can help you out of any awkward situation. It is considered a polite word as well, so you will never offend someone just by saying Kap when whoever is talking at you stops talking. Now I have to make sure I don’t do this to someone when I leave Thailand, otherwise people will look at me like I’m absolutely mental. Wish me luck!

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “12 Signs That You Have Been Living In Thailand For Too Long…

  1. haha I thought the way to finish the loo like the Bum Gun happened long long ago. Last time I watched a show describing toilets and how people clean bum in Roman times. They used a stick with cloth on the top of it to clean . I guess it is similar to Bum Gun. OMG I will just have to slum it ,too. hahaha so do you need to clean the Bum gun after using it? Since many people use the same …….

    • Ha ha! No, it’s a jet of water, so it shoots water at your adult regions. Hence the name ‘bum gun’. It seems horrendous when you see it for the first time but it is FAR more hygienic and easier.

      One reason i assume they don’t have it in countries like England is because of health and safety; since it is a powerful jet of water, you could easily shoot it at an electrical socket and let natural selection do the work for you…

  2. Pingback: 2 Days of Lukas and a ‘Roh’ cameo… | sirlewisofclarke

  3. Pingback: Teaching in Lampang with ‘The Henderson’ | sirlewisofclarke

  4. Pingback: Vigan, The Philippines | sirlewisofclarke

  5. Pingback: Stop 4: Bristol, cousinly bonding playing Peggle 2 | sirlewisofclarke

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s