You may have a list of things you expect or know that are different between Thailand and England, but this list is not the normal things. Of course Thailand’s hotter, and of course they eat different food.
5 ways Thailand is different from England:
- The kerbs (curbs for the American reader) are much, much higher. UK standards for a kerb’s height (yep, they exist) set the height at 100mm unless there is significant danger of a heavy vehicle overrunning it, in which case 300mm. I haven’t gotten a tape measure out, but Thai pavements are much, much higher than the typical 100mm. If I was guessing, I would say 300mm (1 foot in American). This is because there’s a rainy season. When it rains, it really rains:
And even the rain in the picture was able to flow away within 45 minutes.
- Physical contact. In Britain and America, if a stranger touches you, you had better be in the underground (subway in American). There are no circumstances where you would put your hand on someone else’s arm, back, bottom etc.
But in Thailand, though you will learn that “Katord” means “excuse me” or “sorry”, it really only means it as an apology or as a way of getting a proprietor’s attention. One does not excuse oneself before squeezing past, one uses one’s arms.
- Cooking. In Europe and America we cook at home. This is the way that we eat unless we have spare funds, want to be sociable or are feeling lazy. A meal at home is always going to be cheaper than the same meal out.
But in Thailand, that just doesn’t happen. You will not find an apartment with an oven, or even a place for a stand-up cooker (stove in American) to fit in the kitchen. And it’s much cheaper to eat out. Not just street-food, but also in ‘food courts’ found in every mall and most large supermarkets. These food courts have a central cash desk where a money card is purchased, and the stalls in the food court only accept these cards. When you’re done buying and eating, you return the card and get your change.
- Having friends over. I don’t need to explain that we do that in the West. But not in Thailand. Want to hang out with a friend, do it out.
- Sugar. Thailand is famous for its chilli-based meals. Thai people like their food hot, right? Well, yes, but they like things sweet more. Coffee? Too sweet to drink. Tea? Too sweet (unless you say “nit noi”) to drink. And what goes better on a Pad Thai than a bit of MSG? Well, sugar, of course.