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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I left my passport in a bank - like a complete dope. Last night, the bank called my mother in law and told her they had it and come and collect it.

Great, got it this morning, no problem.

The thing is, how did they know to call my MIL? Well, I had used that bank to receive Westrn Union transfers - in which they keep a copy of the passport. So they checked, and found me by passport number. Going then to the WU forms, they got a contact address and phone number (my home number). The MIL answered the phone.

Pretty clever if you ask me. How many banks in the west would go to all that trouble? I thanked them perfusely, they just giggled and shrugged. :clap2:

So many people (expats and tourists) I hear often decry the Thai workers here - calling them incompetant, lazy etc, but time and time again I have been completely amazed at how efficient, caring and un-lazy they can be (doing work that they could easily shirk).

It would ahve been easy to just put it in the safe and wait to see if soime idiot farang turned up looking for it. As I visited 3 banks, my landlord and the place I rent a bike from (not including several supermarkets) yesterday, I probably would never have found it!

In a car park of the Cenbtral Airport Plaza (shopping mall) a month or so back, I flipped my bonnet to check the oil of my car. WIthin two minutes, two guys turned up (having left their work van) and asked me if I needed a push. It was very hot, dusty (back car park) and I am hardly a sexy female they could be chivalrous too!
 

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true!

I couldnt agree more! I do not live in Thailand but i go for at least a month every year. I have found that I always get treated better there than here in Canada where i live.I am in my mid 20's and dont look like i have money but i go out of my way to smile at all the Thais and talk to them as i would a friend at home, you would be amazed at what this gets you and how well they remember you. I have been invited to dinner at the home of the owner of a spa, had free cooking lessons at several restaurants and even had a tour agent invite the girlfriend and i to stay at her place, not to mention all the wonderful random people we have bumped into along the way that have shown us places we would never have seen. Or the time we doubled alone a busy highways for 80km to a dam and when we got there met some locals who didnt speak a word of english yet we had a fantastic time spending 4 hours shooting sling shots and enjoying the constant stream of food and juice they brought us, the loaded our scooter into there truck and drove us the 80km back to out hotel, we found out when we bought them dinner at our hotel that they were from 60 km in the opposite direction! yet they new the place we said we had to go and had no problem taking us there and even insisted on paying for at least there beers since we dont drink lol. I think its only the loud *******s that have problems with the Thai's seeing as i have been behind loads of them in lines that dont get any help at all from the "non english" speaking Thai and leave angry, yet when i speak slow and laugh at the situation i get whatever it is im looking for usually with alot more than i expected. Its funny to me when farangs start acting like they run the show in Thailand, is it that hard to sit back a sec and think how would you like a tourist in your country to treat you, if it was nearly as bad as some of these guys i have seen in Thailand i would knock the **** outta them
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So true, a smile is soooooo important here. I always smile at serving staff and even pople that meet my eye in the street - almost to a person their face cracks into a smile (right to their eyes). In the UK if you smiled at a stranger in the streey they would either think it was a challenge or you were bonkers!

Its also a great way to get out of trouble.

Thais are not very expressive on their faces, so they read what we would construe as just showing emotion as an extreame. A frown could mean you are concentrating, not sure about what is being said to you or just a mild disagreement with what is being said, often a Thai would interpret this as anger. It took me a fair while to learn to keep emotions of my face, just slightly turning my nose you when someone asks if I'd like some more food, to me it meant "I'm full and couldn't eat another bite", to my host it looks like "That's disgusting I wouldn't touch another crumb". If I don't smile when I see my college students, when I walk into class, they think I'm angry or upset.
 

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I too left my passport in a Bangkok bank and they went to considerable trouble to find a hotel number I'd left with them ages before. I got the passport back just in time to fly out.

Driving my jeep, it ran out of fuel late at night. A motorbike stopped. He drove off to a filling station and came back with the diesel in a plastic bag and got it into the tank without spilling a drop. He refused to take a tip.

I drove on in the opposite direction and stopped to call Cat to tell her why I was late. And there he was again. He had followed me to make sure I had no problems.

'Kon Thai jai dee!'

Andrew
 

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I too left my passport in a Bangkok bank and they went to considerable trouble to find a hotel number I'd left with them ages before. I got the passport back just in time to fly out.

Driving my jeep, it ran out of fuel late at night. A motorbike stopped. He drove off to a filling station and came back with the diesel in a plastic bag and got it into the tank without spilling a drop. He refused to take a tip.

I drove on in the opposite direction and stopped to call Cat to tell her why I was late. And there he was again. He had followed me to make sure I had no problems.

'Kon Thai jai dee!'

Andrew
Wow, these people sound like angels. But I would not be so popular there, I don't think as I have a poker-face. I don't even smile when I joke, deliberately so to test people to see if they have the intellect to get my humour!!

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Smiling is infectious, they say, at least I hope it is for your sake should you go to the Land Of Smiles! It is pretty important to adapt to the ways of the country where you are a guest, and polite behaviour - reflected at times by a range of different types of body language, including the smile - is no exception.

The culture is so 'alien' in some respects, that a Nobel prize-winning Thai genius probably wouldn't always get your jokes. The Thais have a great sense of humour, but it don't always correspond to what we see as being funny!
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Loved the stories above - over my three years there the bad experiences with Thais were by far outweighed by the positive ones. Plenty of examples of altruism and kindness, the like of which you would rarely see in the increasingly 'look-after-number-one' West.
 

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I am disabled. the offers of help and kindness I have received in Thailand is amazing. In my own country most times I would get stomped on. Just another reason why I decided to live in Thailand. Kind people.
 
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