Thailand – what is there to rant about?

(I found this today in the Thai media, written by Brit. There are so many expats in Thailand who just don’t appreciate the life they have, constantly griping about one petty thing or another, things they should expect in a developing nation. If you don’t find this funny …)

I had just got back from my summer holiday in the UK. Mindful that I hadn’t ranted about anything in Thailand for a couple of weeks and feeling, albeit at a distance, that my news editor was breathing down my neck for a story moaning about something in Thailand…….

I wondered what to do.

Lacking inspiration at my keyboard, I decided to go out for a walk with my one-year-old daughter. It was hot and I was in a bit of a gruff mood.

Surely it would be easy to find something to rant about on the way. I’d probably have a dozen things to get off my farang chest before I even got to Villa. Pavements, traffic, danger, noise, violence, mayhem, knife crime, road rage – surely it was not a question of if but how many gripes I would come back with.

And if all else failed, I could whinge about the prices in the supermarket – that’ll stir up the readership.

So off we set. The local school was turning out. There was no sidewalk and the soi was jammed with cars. But all the passing vehicles stopped to let me through with the buggy – many waiting for as long as a minute. The drivers even smiled as I took my time.

Damn – why is everyone so bloody polite? Don’t you people know how to hoot or drive me headlong into the gutter? Nobody seemed to have the slightest inclination to do so.

So the main road was reached. Surely I’d be nearly mowed down by a motorcyclist on the sidewalk and I could justifiably rant about that. Aha! One was on the pavement – but damn and double damn – he let us pass and smiled amicably before he proceeded slowly on his way to a delivery.

Not just that, the way was free of vendors – completely unimpeded.

I was beginning to fear the worst – at least for the outward leg – as close on a dozen young ladies, old ladies, young men and old men – all smiled appreciatively at me and my daughter.

OK, they probably thought I was her granddad but it would be churlish to rant about that.

Further disappointment awaited at the shopping center of Major Ratchayothin. Two teens in school uniform held the main door open for me to pass, one even uttering “Good Morning” to me.

It was afternoon, but ranting about English standards was clutching at straws.

At the back door, the guard held open the door then had the temerity to stop the traffic in the side soi so we could pass without danger. He saluted and said “khrapom” to my almost grudging “khop khun” – after all, I had been cruelly robbed of ranting material again.

In Villa, they had completely reorganized the orientation of the shelves while I’d been away and I didn’t know where anything was anymore.

Once again, my thunder and indignation was stolen by the charming sales girl, who understood my Thai, showed me around and offered to carry my shopping basket as “granddad” was clearly struggling with both that and the buggy.

Damn these people’s consideration.

Tragically, Weetbix was still on offer and though Branston was exorbitantly priced it had also been before I left for the UK. If I ranted about that I’d be a laughing stock and told to go home back to my country and not bother wiping my feet on the way out.

I trudged out dejected…..even the electric doors worked perfectly.

Desperate, I went into the bank – surely there I could muster up some cock-up. No….if anything they were about 10 times as efficient and 100 times as pretty as those people I’d dealt with at Barclays.

On the way back, it was just more smiling faces, more cheery greetings from total strangers – even a look of love and respect from the motorcycle taxi boys, as well as another salute from the old cop sweltering in his tight uniform on his paak soi traffic duties.

A bag lady out feeding the soi cats, smiled and stroked my little one’s hair and said “naa rak”.

No, I’d be more two-faced than the worst Thai politician if I was to pretend I was concerned by that.

I got home, the security guard waved at my daughter, the lift worked as usual, I entered my quiet and peaceful condo, kissed my beautiful and still young-looking and smiling Thai wife and put my gorgeously cute Thai/British daughter to bed for her afternoon nap.

I made myself a cup of PG Tips and relaxed in front of the keyboard ready to write.

Why the hell was there a need to rant? I was back in Thailand and all was well.

No wonder I love it so much. – Rooster/

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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