What Makes Thailand Not America

Thailand is different from America, but not always in the way you might think. So here is a list of things I have experienced in my 2nd trip here.

3nd printing of this book, wow?!
3nd printing of this book, wow?!

1. Hotel service is crazy fast and efficient

We had just run out of toilet paper in our hotel room here in Chiang Mai, so we went to the front desk to ask for more. The kind Thai man at the desk said they would have it delivered, so we continued back to our room. Right after the elevator door opened on our floor, we could hear a knock on a door, turns out it was another man, holding 2 lovely rolls of toilet paper, knocking on our door. So in less than a minute, the thing we wanted, arrived at our room before we did, that equals great service. It is odd though that this happens in the same country where I have paid 5 baht to use a public restroom. Nevertheless, within our hotel, the sheets are tucked well, doors are opened, and our room key powers the electricity in our room in order to save energy (or money).

2. I met my first co-worker here in Chiang Mai and not in Austin, 8878.8 miles away

Now this one isn’t normal, but it can happen here in Chiang Mai. You see, I haven’t even met the man that hired me, in person, but I go to the other side of the world and I meet a fellow IBMer. It isn’t that he just works for IBM, but that he works in the same city as me, meaning that he is also one of my first connections in Austin. I won’t say much more other than there is something crazy and cool about that.

3. Sometimes you get a great meal for $2 or an ok one for $15

Good luck finding a nice neat list of restaurants in Thailand, because there really isn’t one. There are so many hole-in-the-wall places that have no internet presence, but they can have the best thai food! My wife and I sometimes think of this trip as a foodcation because food is figuratively on our itenerary. There is just so much good here that can be really cheap, if that is what you are looking for. The food service is also really good because you better be looking hard at your menu, otherwise if you make eye contact, they will be running to your table looking to serve you, take your order, or give you the check. I have no complaints though, food is a big part of our lives and that is true for the Thai people as well.


4. We get 4 menus at Americanized coffee shop and nothing at others.

This one isn’t too crazy, just wanted a place for the above picture. I am just a tourist, but I don’t think I need that much food documentation.

5. Pictures with Thai soldiers like it’s Disney World.

During the Thai walking street on Sunday, there are a good amount of soldiers walking around, so naturally the Thai people chose one to have pictures taken with. Just like you would with Mickey Mouse, the soldier was even smiling as people lined up to get their picture when their main objective here in Chiang Mai was to keep the peace. I guess everyone has time for a picture.

 6. This bathroom sign:


The right one is men, the left one is...
The right one is men, the left one is…

That is all for now! Hope it was interesting to see a few differences, an American might find funny.


2 thoughts on “What Makes Thailand Not America

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