Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Thai Society and culture, Living in Thailand.
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lee
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Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Post by lee » September 4, 2009, 12:17 pm

Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani
By Steve Graham (Magazine Issue 10) © Udonmap.com

Having spent some time in Udon Thani, I am sure you are well aware of the familiar Thai customs and traditions that are known to the majority of visitors to this country; however, there are some aspects that you might not be aware of.

Have you ever had the occasion to open a door for someone in a crowded area such as Robinsons and found that you remain standing by the door until security removes you from the building as they are closing for the night? What was even more frustrating was that I didn’t get a tip from anyone, except from my children that is, who told me not to open the door for anyone again.

Coming from England, the land of “Poo Dee Angrit” it has taken me some time to get over this. Now I have to suffer the embarrassment of waiting for someone to open the door and then slip in without anyone noticing, which is pretty difficult if you are as fat as me!

Robinsons has obviously seem my dilemma and they now have a smartly dressed gentleman holding the door open for people as they walk past him, oblivious to his existence. I always say thank you as I go past; however, I am sure he thinks that I am crazy.

Another custom which causes me some concern is when I am driving my car and have to pull out into a major road. This procedure can take more than 20 minutes and normally will only been completed because there is a break in the traffic due to an accident further up the road.

To get over this problem, I always have an adequate supply of reading material, food and water, so that if that trip to the shops takes longer than three days, they won’t find the shrivelled body of yours truly clinging onto the steering wheel in hope.

It is the same for pedestrians. When I am driving, I try to stop and let people cross the road. I don’t ask for much, a thank you would be nice; however, this rarely happens, leaving me with the feeling that maybe I shouldn’t have stopped in the first place.

My language is a bit fruity at the best of times, so this gives me the opportunity to express myself and the chance for my children to learn more about the wonders of the English language.

It is also a problem when the roles are reversed. When I am a pedestrian, days can go by before anyone will stop on a busy road to let me cross. I feel like just walking out and letting them hit me. I am sure the damage to their car will be worse that the damage to myself.

The problem is not with anyone else, the problem is with me. I find it difficult to let go of some of the cultural aspects from the UK. If I am to fit into the lifestyle of Udon Thani it is me that has to adjust, not the other way round.



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wazza
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Re: Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Post by wazza » September 4, 2009, 3:35 pm

The guy holding the door is not there to make it easier for you !

Look in his hand and u will see a small little counter, Central are trying to monitor the number of potential consumers thru the door.

Now they dont monitor all entrances , up by the news agent, or from the downstairs car park, so those figures arent going to be reliable for sure.

Last week some major brand name players were all seen in Central Udon, observing and having presentations etc inc Starbucks.

Maybe Starbucks pulled out of UD Centre and choose to look at Central Udon ????

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Re: Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Post by Marmite The Dog » September 4, 2009, 3:41 pm

A very nice way to say that Thais are ignorant. Good job, Steve.

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beer monkey
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Re: Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Post by beer monkey » September 4, 2009, 3:46 pm

It is the same for pedestrians. When I am driving, I try to stop and let people cross the road. I don’t ask for much, a thank you would be nice; however, this rarely happens, leaving me with the feeling that maybe I shouldn’t have stopped in the first place.
Done this many times....but not worried about a 'thanks'....its more that thoughts go through my mind that other won't stop and speed past and plow into the pedestrians that i have let cross, always looking in rear mirrors for that bike or truck coming from behind..
Can You Dig It Dug.?

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Re: Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Post by Fawn » September 4, 2009, 10:50 pm

Marmite The Dog wrote:A very nice way to say that Thais are ignorant. Good job, Steve.
No, he didn't mean that, Dafty, he said:
Steve wrote:The problem is not with anyone else, the problem is with me. I find it difficult to let go of some of the cultural aspects from the UK. If I am to fit into the lifestyle of Udon Thani it is me that has to adjust, not the other way round.
This is what we expect of people coming to live in the UK, nothing wrong with that. It's ignorant to move to another country and expect its people to abide by your culture (unless you've crossed the border in a big battle tank). So what's the point of living in that country if you don't like its culture?

I can't decide if you're chucking in these one liners as flamers or if you're really that silly. Never mind, keep 'em coming, they're amusing to a degree. :D

got my speedo photos yet? :shock:
Doug! Doug! Doug!

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banpaeng
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Re: Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Post by banpaeng » September 5, 2009, 8:25 am

Mr. Fawn we do not agree very often but on this one it is agree 100% or loy percent.

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Re: Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Post by Allen A Hale » September 5, 2009, 10:44 am

Fawn wrote "It's ignorant to move to another country and expect its people to abide by your culture (unless you've crossed the border in a big battle tank)."

Even then it doesn't work out very well - Iraq, Afghanistan - just a couple of examples.

As for stopping for pedestrians, I find them to be more in a state of shock that someone has stopped for them than them acting "impolite". Rather than finding it annoying, I find it amusing and move on with my vehicle as well as my life.

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Roy
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Re: Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Post by Roy » September 5, 2009, 12:21 pm

I often complained when letting other motorists ahead of me or allowing pedestrians to cross the road that no thanks was given as you would expect in England but the wife has just about managed to change my mindset after a few years of trying.
She informs me that when you commit an act of kindness you do this because your heart is good and not with the expectation of anything in return, not even a thank you. A bit like giving alms to monks who never acknowledge your gift. Acknowledging your act may some how even lessen your deed and everyone else understands this so they don't do it.
So now when I let a big stream of traffic in front of me and I do not get a single, slight nod of the head I zen out and marvel at all the merit I have just made.......... NOT! :lol:
Free the Doug 1

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Re: Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Post by beer monkey » September 5, 2009, 3:32 pm

I let them cross, and we all know what its like trying to cross a busy road with motorcycle grand-prix riders coming at you in all directions.....as i hope in turn others will let me cross when i need it, and they do at times, been on crossings..(The Faded Paint on the road that resembles a pedestrian crossing anyway)....and yes drivers do stop..well sometimes, its a start anyway.

I keep the door open for others to pass through....at first you expect a nod or thanks, but its very rare...but now don't expect anything and not worried about it either i have done my bit...slowly they change.
Can You Dig It Dug.?

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parrot
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Re: Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Post by parrot » September 5, 2009, 5:21 pm

Almost guaranteed smiles await those who allow pedestrians to cross at the zebra crossings near the main circles....or any other zebra crossing. I usually urge them on with a gentle hand wave, as I think most folks aren't expecting the traffic to stop for them.

During a one-year stay in California, I quickly became accustomed to stepping off a curb (at a crossing) and have all traffic stop in its tracks. That was nice....until I returned to Connecticut and tried to do the same thing. Different state, different rules.

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Re: Adapting to local customs in Udon Thani

Post by aznyron » September 5, 2009, 5:29 pm

parrot just make sure your in the cross walk other wise you get a jay walking summons and that applies to AZ as well as CA it a good law but it would not work in thailand you can not even to get them to stop at a red light just remember to look both ways before you cross here almost got wiped out by samlor across from Mojo as well as two kids on a M/B they were going the wrong way but i guess they can not read Thai

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