From the Blog

June 25, 2016

What is it to be Thai-ish?

When you eventually unpack you’re bags and make Thailand your permanent home, you begin to look back at what has changed since you first came to the ‘Land of Smiles’ it’s then you realize little has changed except YOU.

Here are my suggestions of the changes that occur in most of us, who now call the Kingdom Home


What is it to be Thai-ish?


Then-There is a right way to do things


Doing it the Thai way What is it to be Thai-ish?


NowYou now accept TIT (This Is Thailand) and how ever the rest of the world does things….Thailand will have its own way of doing it.

 Then-7-Eleven convenience stores seemed to be every-where and serve little purpose


What is it to be Thai-ish? 7eleven


Now they always seem just that to far away when you need them, you now find you cannot live without them as you do most of your shopping there, even though it seems you never buy a lot of anything, as you eat out twice a day almost every day of the week, so what is there to buy!

You amazingly no longer find the noise of the door chime annoying

Then-Street food was only for holiday makers to try once


What is it to be Thai-ish? street food


Now you know just where to find your favourite food cart, you can now spot the difference on what each vendor is selling from 100 yards and you know how to ask for it to be not too spicy

Then-Lady boys are not easy to spot and are strange


What is it to be Thai-ish? ladyboys


Now Your radar can now spot one from 50 yards and you now realise that actually they are not strange they are just who they are.

What is it to be Thai-ish?


Then-Air conditioning is a must


What is it to be Thai-ish? air con


NowPutting on the AC gives you a cough and a runny nose and is avoided like the plague; a fan running on its lowest setting is more than enough. You even look for bars and cafes where you can sit outside in the shade and away from AC.

Then-Fresh vegetables look odd


What is it to be Thai-ish? thai-fruit-assortment


NowYou now know that just because a vegetable or fruit is not a uniformed size or colour, it does not mean it is not OK to eat….oranges may not be all orange, bananas are not always large and yellow etc.

Then-Showers have to be hot


What is it to be Thai-ish? sweating


Now A cold shower no longer takes your breath away as you stand under it, and because you do not have the AC on, you can now get dressed knowing you will no be soaked in sweat, immediately you leave the room.

Then-Cinemas are too cold to sit in


What is it to be Thai-ish? too cold


NowYou accept they are always going to be cold, the AC is set to max as there is no natural ventilation and without the sub-zero temperatures, the vast expanse in this humid country, would soon smells of rotten socks.

Then-Mobile telephones are used with others in mind


What is it to be Thai-ish? distracted-driving-on-motorcycle


Now You find yourself accepting that Thai’s cannot hang up the phone even in the cinemas, or while holding a conversation with you, the checkout girl, or even a police office, and it’s normal to ride a motor bike one handed while on the phone.

Then-Must top up the sun tan


What is it to be Thai-ish? sun burn


Now Why go out in the sun it will be there again tomorrow, you also find yourself crossing the street just so you can walk in the shade. That’s if you have to walk anywhere; no one walks in Thailand not when you have motor bike taxis, songthaew’s, tuk-tuk’s and taxis everywhere.

Then-Street vendors are annoying


What is it to be Thai-ish? street vendors


Now You now do not even blink if you get a sudden tap on the shoulder when you’re eating in a restaurant, or worse if you are attending a funeral and you turn to find someone trying to sell you a lotto ticket.

Then-You Wai everyone first


wai What is it to be Thai-ish?


Now You know that you should not be the first to Wai everyone, as there is a class, social and age thing on who Wai’s who first. Best to wait for others……. that way you cannot be wrong.

Then-Wearing shorts with flops all the time


flipflops What is it to be Thai-ish?


NowIts only after you notice for the hundredth time, that the wife or girlfriend has taken an hour to get ready to go out for a meal and you look in the mirror, to see you look as you are ready for the beach, its then the penny drops and you start wearing a long pair of trousers, a shirt and shoes out of respect to the Mrs.

Then-Being punctual is the norm


What is it to be Thai-ish? thai time


Now You now realise there is such a thing as THAI TIME and no matter what you do…… you always find you are late getting somewhere. Being punctual will mean nothing as everyone else is on Thai Time anyway.

Then-Constructive criticism is good


losing-face What is it to be Thai-ish?


Now Not in Thailand where admitting you are wrong is to ‘Lose Face’, that’s when surrounded by a sea of smiles you eventually get it, the reason Thai’s smile so much is that, it is an automatic reflex, which helps them all avoid losing face and where ‘a smile’ does actually‘ say a thousand words’


Then – Chillies are to be avoided


What is it to be Thai-ish? chillies

Now  – You seek out the bowl with fish source and chillies and spread the content over your meal as you need that extra kick

For those of us that are lucky to live here and who eventually wake up, to notice it really isn’t the land of Smiles that has changed……it can’t and shouldn’t just for the sake of others……we as guests in this country have to change and become a little bit more…… Thai-ish



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  1. J West - August 13, 2016 9:58 pm

    Hah….funny….it was journalist Bernard Trink who in the 1960’s coined the term ‘T.I.T’ in his Bangkok Post column ‘The Night Owl’. We talked of many of the same things 50 years ago….Welcome to Thailand…let the ‘discovery’ begin…..

  2. Karen - August 13, 2016 2:39 pm

    “accept” rather than “except” in a couple of instances – onwards and upwards!

    • Chris Tuffey - August 13, 2016 2:49 pm

      thanks for the heads up post updated and writer scolded and sent to the back of the class lol


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