By Heather Allen
As much as the perpetually late arrival of the majority of the
population in Chiang Mai becomes tiresome I have to say I appreciate
their relaxed pace of life and their appreciation for taking time out
to, as they say, “smell the roses.” This is something we in the Western
countries could do well to learn. Trying to make arrangements with some
of my non-Thai friends is quite difficult as they seem to have
difficulty in finding time to sit down, have a coffee and chat.
Many of these people are retired and whilst I commend them for keeping
busy and having full lives I wonder if perhaps they should be a wee bit
less busy and spend more time on themselves and their friends. Not that
I feel neglected but that I find that I feel better; happier, more
relaxed and less stressed when I do learn to slow down and not try to
fill my days with endless tasks.
Chiang Mai people are known nationwide for their jai yen approach to
life, their relaxed and slow pace of life. Sure, in large part many of
them are late for everything but then you also don’t see too many other
people stressing because a person is late. This does make it rather
difficult to plan things and some people I know have taken to lying
about start times, telling people to be there at 6 p.m. fully intending
for the event to start at 7 p.m. This is a bit hard on those of us who
do arrive on time. I have taken to arriving late myself now, knowing
that the party will not start anyway and that in all likelihood I will
be the first one there if I go on time. So, that makes me one of those
late people too.
The best thing about it however, is the fact that nobody gets upset over
it. They take things in their stride and don’t get overly upset over
small things in life and those things over which they have now control
or power. Perhaps not a bad attitude to have and certainly one conducive
to heart health.