When traveling throughout Thailand, you will not doubt notice just how amusing our habits are to the Thai people, who laugh and giggle at our antics which serve as a source of great amusement to the local population.
The same too can be said from the perspective of the traveler to this beautiful and amazing country. Having traveled to Thailand many times I am still struck by some of the strange habits of the people of Thailand. Let's take a look at some of the wacky things they do.
Strange Thai Behavior.
1. Thai's Accept Gifts From Others Without Opening Them.
While I have no real idea why this occurs, I suspect it's to avoid embarrassment in the event the gift may be a little on the cheap side.
2. Throwing Trash Out Of A Moving Vehicle.
Believe it or not this activity is seen as an act of goodwill toward keeping the thousands of street cleaners employed.
3. Thais Put Ice In Their Drinks When They Are Feeling Cold.
This one I cannot come to grips with at all, when I ask the question, I am greeted with a smile and a giggle. Just another one of Thailand's great mysteries I suppose.
4. Set The Air Conditioner On The Lowest Possible Setting.
I think if it was at all possible to reduce the air conditioner temperature to lower than 18 degrees, they would most surely do it.
5. Skin Whitening Phenomenon.
Thai's use any number of products to whiten their skin. In the absence of any drug store creams or lotions, the default go-to product of choice is talcum powder.
6. Sunbathing With Clothes On.
The Thai people cover themselves up from the sun's rays in order to keep their skin as white as possible. A walk along any beach will demonstrate the lengths to which they will go to cover up.
7. Thai's Love Stinky Food.
They agree the smell is bad, but tell you it tastes so good. Consider the Durian fruit as just one example of this, not to mention the preserved eggs.
8. National Nasal Decongestant Addiction.
It seems the population are addicted to nasal inhaler products, using them for curing anything from the common cold, headache and even sea sickness.
9. Hold Ignited Fireworks In Their Hands.
Utterly cringe worthy to watch, Thai's seem to have no concern for the imminent danger pending when holding live fireworks in their bare hands.
10. Thai's Roll The Letter 'R'.
Thai people are unable to pronounce the letter 'R', so the letter is often 'rolled' or totally omitted from the word. Although my name is Sandra, I'm often called Sanda when in Thailand.
11. Insect Eating.
Personally, I cannot account for the attraction to bug eating. Cockroaches, crickets and grasshoppers are readily available for purchase at food stands, either by the 'crunchy' bag or on sticks.
12. Toilet Paper Table Napkins.
The Thai people really are a practical bunch using toilet paper as table napkins is just one example of this. Toilet paper is also used to wipe and clean just about any surface. Whereas most of the western population use paper towels for this purpose, Thai people use paper towels to absorb excess cooking oil when cooking only. For almost everything else, they use toilet paper and or tissues.
13. Ketchup And Mayonnaise On Pizza.
Thailand is not known for it's cheese although there is ready access to the product at any supermarket from a range of imported goods. As a result, cheese as a topping can be an expensive addition to any dish when ordered at a restaurant. Often used as a replacement by the Thai people is mayonnaise or tomato ketchup, which is provided at some restaurants including Pizza Company chain restaurants. While the use of mayonnaise represents a substitute for cheese, ketchup is seen to add sweetness to a pizza. Western food must seem so very bland to a Thai, after being raised on the complex flavors of Thai food.
14. KFC And Cutlery.
One bizarre treat for any westerner visiting Thailand is to head over to a local KFC and watch in awe as the locals tuck in to their chicken pieces using a knife and fork instead of using their hands. Another phenomenon to look out for is when Thai's order a drink with their meal but do not drink from the glass until after the meal.
15. No Concept Of Time
Thai people are champions at saving face and will always avoid communicating bad news or to admit making a mistake. Any delay on arrival at a destination or a forgotten appointment is brushed aside without so much as an explanation. This tip should be considered when making important appointments with a Thai, such as arranging and airport transfer by car. Thai's live in the moment with not much concern for the future, or worrying too much about things in the past. They prefer to live their lives simply.
16. Repeat, Repeat
Thai people like to repeat what you've said word by word and smile or laugh along with it. After experiencing this many times, I've come to the conclusion it's a delaying tactic to give time for them to understand the question or sentence, then providing a reply.
17. Lemon And Lime
In Thailand, if you ask for a lemon you will be given a lime, they are one and the same thing.
18. Feet Washing On Arrival Home
I really appreciate this ritual. Near to the entrance to most homes in Thailand you will see a vessel of some kind, usually something like a clay pot, filled with water and a ladle nearby. Thais remove their shoes before entering a home, and will rinse their feet before entering the property.
It's seen to be part of a cleansing ritual where the feet are the lowest and most dirty part of the body - that’s why you should never put your feet in a higher position as your or anyone else's head or much worse still, stand on a baht note or coin as it has the King’s head on it. That’s why Thai's always like to keep their feet as clean as they can especially when moving from outside, back inside again.
This ritual is actually said to be an old belief. Thai elders state that failing to clean the feet before entering a house is to bring bad luck, bad energy bad feelings into the home. As many Thai's live in apartments, they may rush indoors heading straight for the bathroom to wash their feet, leaving them relaxed and clean.