In just the last few hours that I have been in Bangkok, I have come across a lot of oddities that I found (as a person living in Australia). Here is a somewhat humorous (no offense intended) list:
1. Thais will go out of their way to extend their help/hospitality to the tourists, as opposed to the other way round in other countries (read Australia).
2. Used toilet papers go, not into the toilet, but in the bin to accommodate Bangkok’s sewage system. This will come across as quite a shock, but you will (have to) get used to it.
3. Thailand won’t let you claim your baggage until you get a visa on arrival if you have an Indian passport (or one among 25 other countries). So, pray solemnly to God that your checked-in baggage is not stolen, because it won’t be until a few hours that you get your on-arrival visa.
4. Seeing as though I only use card payments in Australia, it came as a shock to me that there was not a single currency exchange store/shop at the Bangkok airport willing to accept debit cards, and only one that would accept a credit card. The initial shock quickly turned into despair when I realised I hardly had any cash on me and was only carrying a debit card.
5. Lady janitors, in men’s toilet, packed with men doing their, um, thing, is quite commonplace. This, I think, is the first step towards gender equal toilets.
6. When making microwave popcorn, after you check in on your popcorn midway through the cycle, you won’t have to press the Start button to resume the cycle – just slamming the microwave door shut should cut it. How convenient!
7. Most Thais (including youngsters) don’t speak/understand so your best effort to explain in English would be using simple, single, self-explanatory words. Now that’s difficult!
8. Thais, from what I noticed, like their English quite simple and straightforward. And this is reflected in all their English signboards. For e.g. “No stop here. Line move ahead.”
9. Thai massage parlors dot all parts of Bangkok and are dime a dozen. And while you pass by any of these massage parlors, you might get spruiked/catcalled (especially if you are male), which is embarrassing, to say the least. I am all for gender equality, but please spare me this!