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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.