Sunday, March 02, 2008

Thai Culture

Thailand is a very bright and exciting country. I have to think that the people and culture have a lot to do with this.
Thai people can be described in many ways. Most of all they are friendly. We’ve been on our bikes for five days now and we wave and say hello to most people we pass. In Bangkok, we stopped and chatted with a few different people. They weren’t shy and usually asked us many different questions. They definitely took notice of Chris and his height – Thais are not big people.
The language thing is definitely difficult at times. In Bangkok a lot of people spoke a little English. Now that we’re out in the smaller towns and cities, we are living and dying by our little phrasebook.
The living standards vary. Bangkok was a huge city and obviously contained the wide spectrum of living conditions. We noticed people living in small rooms in alleyways and we saw huge upmarket apartment buildings. Regardless of the living structure, everything seemed to be kept clean. Every morning you would see all of the trash from the night before being collected and hauled away. Every shop owner would be sweeping their shop or section of the street in the morning before things started hopping.
We don’t know all the in and outs of the family structure. We did find out from a taxi driver that all kids go to school. We really haven’t seen any children hanging around at all. I guess the government funds education here. It appears that Thais don’t have huge families. I would guess that there are 2-3 children per family.
Everywhere we go there is constant motion from sun up to sun down. Everyone seems to have some sort of job. In fact, we’ve noticed that there seems to be about a 3:1 ratio of employees here doing the same job in the US. Even the people begging have some sort of talent. In Bangkok, we passed a few blind people who were being lead around town while they were singing on karaoke machine.
Overall, the people here are very respectful of themselves and others while having a vibrancy and energy that is unmatched.

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