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Rude foreigners
Dear Emma,
I was recently in Tops Supermarket and whilst I was hoping to buy some crisps I was thwarted in my hunt by two men busy complaining about how their favourite crisp was no longer in stock. It was a bit annoying that they were standing in the way and failed to acknowledge that they may have been blocking others but even more disturbing was the way they spoke to each other.
I understood them, of course but many Thais would not and all they would understand was the aggressive angry tones and the profanities both men used to pepper their language as they complained about the store manager who was so incompetent as to not keep their wishes in mind when ordering. The effing this and effing that was rather horrible but even worse was their rude and aggressive manner. I walked past them thinking to myself that it was no wonder there were some Thai people who did not like foreigners. These two were perfect examples of the kind that leave a bad impression on those they encounter and make the rest of us look bad.
I do not understand these people who come here and expect everything to be exactly the same as it is back home. I am just grateful to get the goodies I love when they are available. If they are not well, such is life but I don’t spend all my time and energy complaining about it.
I would hope that Thai people would realize that we are not all this horrible but I am fearful that as there are rather more than a few horrible foreigners living here that they may think the nice ones are an anomaly.
Apologies to the Thai people

Dear Apologies,
Emma feels your pain. She, too, has encountered these awful foreigners who usually have the audacity to complain about rude Chinese tourists as well! Most of the ones like this could give lessons in how to be surly and unpleasant. Unfortunately, those are not the lessons we want people to learn.
Emma suggests that you counteract their unpleasant behavior by smiling and being pleasant to everyone you meet. Whilst it will most likely have no effect on these people it will, at the very least, give Thai people a better impression of the foreigners who live here than the two you encountered.

Loud phones
Dear Emma,
Pardon me while I complain about a pet peeve of mine. It is people who have their phones set to make noises at every single notification. The world does not care if you received a Line message, Whatsapp or whatever! Even worse are people who take their phones into places where they are not going to use them and yet do not turn them to silent or turn them off. Whether it is the cinema, the gym or the temple, it seems many people cannot live without their phones and notifications coming from their phones.
Then there are the people who answer their phones in places like cafes or restaurants where people are trying to have a social time and then speak loudly into their phones as if the world also wants to hear their conversations. I have found that these loud talkers don’t respond to significant looks from those around them.
Short of shushing them or walking out I am not really sure what to do with these people who think their phones must not only dominate their own lives as well as those of everyone around them.
Fed up with phones

Dear Fed up,
Emma agrees, there seems to be a lack of awareness from many that their mobiles are not the center of the universe much less that they are annoying in their mobile use. This lack of courtesy for others is a widespread symptom of everyone’s addiction to their phones, to social media, to messaging rather than dealing with people face to face.
Emma attends a local fitness center and half the people there are on their phones in between lifting weights and using the weight machines. One girl seems to use her phone more than the machine she sits on. Difficult for those who are waiting for her to finish since it seems to take three times longer than anyone else. Another takes her phone into one of our fitness classes and actually answers the phone in class. It is disconcerting to say the least.
However, Emma is afraid that we are fighting a rise tide of unawareness and has simply surrendered to the inevitable – that everyone has a phone and everyone is on it all the time. If someone talks loudly on the phone when I am in a conversation with others I simply speak loudly so that my friend can hear me over the other’s phone conversations. If the person on the phone is inconvenienced well that is only fair.

Rainy season starts
Dear Emma,
The rainy season is obviously starting and the city has started spraying for mosquitoes periodically around my neighborhood. All well and good but some notice would be nice so that I may close my windows and doors before the pesticide haze reaches my home!
I realize this is a useful thing and is supposed to combat dengue fever, which I do not want to contract I should add, but still neither do I want to breathe in that smog.
I have learned to recognize the sounds of the blower or sprayer and rush to close my windows and doors, hopefully catching it in time before I have to breathe it in.
Not a fan of mossie smog

Dear Mossie,
Whilst Emma agrees with you in regards to not wanting the mossie smog in her home the danger of dengue fever far outweighs the inconvenience of the smoke they use. A friend of mine contracted dengue fever here in Chiang Mai and was very ill and ended up in hospital over it. So, Emma rushes to close the windows and thanks them for doing their best to keep everyone healthy. Emma also ensures that her screened windows remain closed, with no holes in it and that she keeps all the pots for her plants emptied. Whilst Emma has no control over what her nieghbours do or do not do at least the man from the city spraying for mosquitoes will help keep them under control.