But for those of you that have visited the Kingdom this may seem like a contradiction in terms, because the chances are, you have been in situations where there seems to be a lack of "logic" applied.
You may think I'm being anti-Thai or trying to create an unfair cultural stereotype but this is not the case at all.....
My current girlfriend is Thai as was my ex-girlfriend and I have nothing but good things to say about the majority of Thai people that I have encountered across all walks of life.
I believe that the Thai's are the warmest and friendliest people you are ever likely to meet anywhere in the world....however, many lack, what we in the West would call, "common sense".
Or as the late grandma Penfold might have said "some of them are as green as cabbage looking".
My favourite example is when I checked into a small Bangkok hotel in Soi 4 Sukhumvit and was told the shower in my room was faulty and there was no-one available to fix it that evening but I would be able to use the shower in the room along the hallway. When I asked if I could swap rooms I was told this was not possible because the room with the functioning shower was already taken. Bewildered and after several minutes of conversation, it transpired that the other guests who had resevered this room would not be checking in until 11am the next morning. As I was checking out at 6am to catch a flight, I asked again if I could stay in the room with the working shower...."no" came the reply as they would have to clean the room again.....in vain I tried to explain that by sleeping in one room and showering in another they would then have to clean two rooms...instead of letting me stay in the room with working facilities and just having the one room to clean.......!!!!!!
No common sense......
Another example of "Thai logic" also involved a hotel in bangkok. I had been staying in Hua Hin for several months and was doing one of my monthly visa runs, which required an overnight stay in Bangkok followed by a Minibus journey to Poi Pet/Arranyprathet on the Cambodian border, the following morning. I asked my girlfriend to phone ahead and reserve a room, knowing that I was more likely to get what I wanted and there wouldn't be any language difficulties. I also asked my girlfriend to explain that I was travelling from Hua Hin by car (a journey of 2.5 to 3 hours) and might, therefore, be slightly later arriving if the traffic was heavy. As anticipated, the raods were chocker block and I was nearly an hour later arriving at the hotel. Upon arriving at the hotel I was told that there were no rooms available, and the room I had reserved had been given to another customer. Having endured a 4 hour journey and negotiating the perils of Bangkok traffic, I was just about ready to blow a gasket and open a can of "whoop ass" (as our Yankee friends mights say). However, knowing the importance of not losing your temper in Thailand and showing as much Jai Jen Jen as I could muster, I tried to explain that I had made a telephone booking and couldn't understand why my room had been given to someone else. Eventually, having spoken to the manager, I was told that they had a junior suite available, but I would have to pay 3 times more than the rate for a standard room. Naturally, I told them as politely as possible that I would go elsewhere!!! So not only did they lose my custom that night but also any future custom, as I will never again stay at that hotel!!!!
In the West, I would have been offered an apology and been given the suite for the price of the standard room because it was the hotel that had made the mistake and double booked the room. The hotel may also have benefited from my repeat custom as a result of their good level of customer service. But in Thailand this was not the case because the hotel management did not want to lose "face" and admit the mistake was their's.
No common sense........
When I first came to Thailand in 2003, a friend and I were in the back of a Tuk Tuk exploring the city and also on the look out for the naughty nightlife!!!! We were going along Ploenchit at about 50+ mph, the traffic being unusually light, and as we were approaching the junction near the Erawan Shrine, the driver took both hands off the handle-bars and made a wai towards the Buddha in the shrine. This took about 20-30 seconds!!! So we're travelling at 50 mph straight ahead and he’s looking 90 degrees to the left. I can state categorically that my "shit-your-pants-ometer" went up a notch or two that day!!!
No common sense......
I hope you've enjoyed this post and I will endeavour to get the next post listed asap.
Over and out