I love Thailand. In fact, most of what I write about on here is about how great it is. However, on the eve of my return to America (for 3 weeks), I want to reflect on the things in Thailand that I will not miss. Not even a little bit. If I never had to deal with/see any of these things ever again, I would be happy, but I know they will all be awaiting me upon my return in January. I’m sure just to even out the fact that I won’t have to encounter any of this stuff for 3 weeks, I will probably have to deal with no fewer than 3 of these things on my first day back, triggering a reverse, reverse culture shock meltdown.
10 Things I won’t miss:
1. The slip and slide on the womens’ bathroom stall floor caused by the ubiquitous Thai ass hose. You don’t want to use toilet paper? Fine. But could you at least exercise some control when using the hose so that I don’t have to step in whatever you hosed off your butt? This thing is so gross in so many ways. I just can’t even….
2. Taking, at minimum, 8 minutes to order/attempt to order one cheese pizza on the phone. I say “attempt” because only about 60% of these missions end in success. Sometimes when nearing minute number 7 of explaining that I just want a cheese pizza (not seafood supreme or hot dog explosion), the person taking my order will say “Chee pizza finit” – which means, we’re all out of cheese pizza. As an American, imagine this scenario occurring over an 8 minute phone call. Feel my pain.
3. Paying a significant amount in taxes and still being charged a “foreigner” fee at national monuments/attractions because I am white. Ok, I am willing to meet Thai people halfway on this one and say that maybe it’s ok to charge tourists more because they don’t pay taxes here. Fine, that’s reasonable. However, when I am charged this fee and I am paying more taxes than the majority of Thai citizens, and my expat friends of Asian descent get to walk in for free because they are Asian, I get mad.
4. Squat toilets. And the people who say “oh they’re not that bad”. I’m not sure which thing annoys me more. I think the latter because there is no way that standing precariously on the edge of wet, polished porcelain, often when drunk, while trying not to pee on your feet or soak your clothing in standing “water” or accidentally slip and end up with your foot in the hole is “not that bad”. It’s pretty F-ing bad.
5. Being literally twice the size of most adult women (and many men) despite wearing a US size 4/6 and then having those same women say to me “I so fat! I need to lose my weight”. I take solace in knowing that part of the reason I am bigger is because I have muscles, that I could use to punch those women in the face with.
6. Going to the gym to do a real workout while Thai people hog all of the equipment and literally do nothing with it except take photos to put on Facebook. Thai food is not forgiving to the waistline of Western women, but Thai girls can eat it like Kobayashi and not gain an ounce. So I find myself at the gym cursing them while they walk at a .5 on the treadmill and I try to jumping-jack away the green curry.
7. Saying the phrase “I just want a god damn sandwich!” after trying for 40 minutes to find one that isn’t – A: prepackaged Wonderbread and mayonnaise, B: prepackaged Wonderbread and tuna (?) or C: prepackaged Wonderbread and some kind of brown paste.
8. Having to pee really badly and waiting 5 minutes for each Thai girl in front of me in the bathroom line to update her facebook status then take, edit and post a selfie from inside one of the two bathroom stalls. Besides spraying the ass hose everywhere, this is the only other logical explanation for what’s going on in there.
9. People not knowing who Adolf Hitler was or thinking he was just a “bad army guy” or even worse (yes this is true), that he is a comic book villain like Doctor Octopus. I’m not sure if this is more annoying or frightening. When I tell my students to choose someone famous and tell the class about them, someone always chooses Hitler; and then proceeds to talk about how he was the president of Germany and other benign facts, with no mention of the Holocaust. Geez, no one ever gives that guy credit for all the positive stuff he did.
10. My archenemies – Bangkok taxi drivers, for so so so many reasons. Even Thai people will agree with me on this one. It is illegal to refuse a ride to someone, apparently, unless you are a taxi driver. They have perfected a look of disgust that they use when they refuse to take me to where I want to go that would be appropriate to use if I were telling them that I just shit my pants and want to sit in their cab, not that I want to go 10 minutes down the street. I’m not even going to get started on how they shamelessly rip off everyone, even Thai people. I saw an article recently from hotels.com, that ranked Bangkok’s taxis as #8 in the world, and my immediate reaction was, oh there must have only been 8 cities surveyed.
Let me first say this again: I love Thailand. Secondly, I am aware that all Thai people are not like this, just like all Americans aren’t fat, but we are all loud. If these are my biggest gripes, I’m in a pretty good place. Don’t feel left out America, I will be doing the same for you in 3 weeks upon my return to the Land of Smiles and 8 minute pizza ordering.