I have been living in Thailand for around a month now. I have visited here many times before, but this is the first time I am actually living here. As such, my interaction with Thais has been quite different from other times and for most part, I have found them to be inscrutable. However some aspects of their (unique) character has struck me, which I would describe below:
- Most Thais have their main social circle at work. Unlike people who come to office just to work and then go home, most Thais are actually pretty good friends with their colleagues. They even spend extended hours at work (even if it is not needed) just to be close to their colleagues/friends. I found this very weird for the first few days; people at work well past dinner, but then I realized it is more of a “social” thing rather than an “overwork” thing.
- Thais love ice in everything. All their drinks are 70% ice. Even some of their desserts are full of ice. Whatever ice is left after enjoying the drink/dessert, they happily eat.
- Thais are extremely polite. Most Thais (especially in the service industry) will go out of their way to be courteous. On top of that, they are also very non-confrontational which means you will hardly see fights or arguments on the streets.
- For some reason, most of Bangkok malls are full of banks. Most malls have branches of all the major banks and they are open for extended hours and over the weekend. Strangely, the main branches elsewhere have short hours on weekdays and are closed on weekends.
- Thais don’t seem to be very fond of wearing jewelry. Also, jewelry stores are not very common in markets or malls (Unlike India) and can only be found in some specific areas.
- Thais love the colour pink. Unlike other countries, where the colour Pink would be considered overtly feminine, in Thailand, pink is common everywhere. You will find things like pink clothes (common among both genders), pink cars, pink branding, pink bikes, pink buildings everywhere.
- Thais love air conditioning. Be it offices, restaurants, malls, taxis, air conditioning is typically dialed down to an insanely low temperature. Most people from other countries would find indoors too chilly.
- Out of all the countries I have been to, Thailand easily has the highest ratio of women in the workforce. Almost everyone in the service industry is a woman, in the tech industry, the ratio is much higher than other countries & women are present at all levels. In fact 15-20% of taxi drivers I get here are also women, which, frankly, I have never seen anywhere else.
Looking forward to getting to know them even better over the next few years.