I’ve been living in Thailand a few months now and I feel like I’ve learned a few things. I know that I have much more to discover, so here’s what I’ve picked up so far.
1. While in a minibus, taxi, or even a motorcycle taxi, its best not to watch where they are going. Trust me, it will save you a lot of heart attacks. The first time my cab driver sped up to pass a slow moving vehicle by using the oncoming traffic’s lanes I thought I was going to pass out, especially when the car I occupied barely missed the traffic whizzing towards us. Now, my favorite pastime is to watch the other passengers in my minibus freak out!
2. You will never get anywhere at the time stated on the schedule, but you will eventually get there. It might be hours later and you’re past your frustration point, but you will have made it to your desired destination. Countless times I’ve checked my phone every 2 minutes to see if the bus will be on time. It never is. Fifteen minutes late. Thirty minutes late. Two hours late. It’s all the same to them. Just remember. You’ll get there. Eventually.
3. Take a deep breath and go with the flow. That’s what the Thai’s do. Just know, you can’t control what you can’t control. If they don’t want to listen to you, they will act like they don’t understand what you’re saying. But they do. Even if you’re saying it in a nice way, they don’t care, they will look at you and smile and nod. And you know what a smile and nod means? It means they have no idea what you’re asking of them. Or that’s at least what they want you to think.
4. Even though you may not be accustomed to a lacsidasical attitude that Thai people have, get used to it or it will drive you insane. They move slowly. They stop to chat to their friends. They might even take a few minutes to grab something to eat, and also eat it in the restaurant, and then even order a cup of coffee, and take their time drinking it, all while you are waiting in the car. Just relax. It’s what Thais do best. We should take some notes.
5. Safety is not an issue. It never was. It never is. And it never will be. Enough said.