These are things that neither make me love nor hate Thailand — they’re all just things that I find kind of weird.
1. Monks Are People Too
Before moving to Thailand, I had this perception that monks were these ultra-holy beings that live separate from the common man. I’m sure they are indeed very holy, but they’re also just normal people. They walk around the streets, catch taxies, get slurpees at 7-11, laugh with their buddies, etc. They’re not that much different than you and me.
2. There’s A Monopoly on the Silverware Market
I kid you not: every single Thai restaurant uses the same silverware. It’s the same silverware we have in our apartment, too. Why? Because that’s the only kind of silverware available. Fancy Western restaurants have nicer silverware, but other than that, it’s all exactly the same stuff made by the same company. Those guys got it good.
3. Waiters Hover and Don’t Check In
Two weird things waiters do here: 1) They don’t give you time to look at the menu and hover over your table almost the second you sit down. This always create a weird pressure to pick something quickly, which usually leads to us ordering something we’ve already had there. 2) Once they take your order and bring you your food, you never see them again. In the U.S., waiters are constantly checking in to see how you’re doing (often too frequently), but not here.
4. Food Doesn’t Come All At Once
I’d say 95% of the time, Alexis and I don’t get our plates at the same time. Probably around a third of the time, the time difference between being served is so severe that the other person has already finished their meal before the second dish even arrives. Of all the weird occurrences on this list, this annoys me the most.
5. People Sit Right Next To You in Movie Theaters
The first time it happened, I thought it was just a one-off. But then it happened again. The first time it was to Alexis, and the second time to me, which further proved to me that this is something that people here do as opposed to it just happening to happen once for some reason. There was very literally at least 50 other seats available. We were maybe two of only 10 people in whole theater and someone felt the need to sit right next to us. Weird.
6. No Business is Ever Crowded
Just like that empty movie theater, we have never seen a restaurant, massage parlor, etc crowded to the point where we’ve had to wait. There’s only been one time in four months where I can remember this happening. And we eat out every day. Maybe this has something to do with it not being high season for tourists though. I guess we’ll find out in a couple of months.
7. Thais Listen, Almost Exclusively, to Covers of Western Songs
Thai people absolutely love covers of popular western music. The vast majority of the time we’ve heard Western songs here, it’s been a cover. “Zombie” by The Cranberries is a national favorite, apparently. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard covers of that song in the past four months.
8. People Use the Sewers Directly
In America, the sewers are for rain run-off and where your plumbing goes. In Thailand, the people go straight to the source themselves. Brushing your teeth? Spit it out into the sewer. Cleaning your wok? Dump it right into the sewer.
Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with these differences — I just find them kind of weird. These are things that I never read about before coming to Thailand, nor would I expect to read about things like this for that matter.
Why would someone write about the silverware monopoly or people brushing their teeth in public when there’s beautiful beaches and lush jungles to cover? We are Roses on the Road, everybody. Here to bring you the on-the-ground news nobody cares about.