I am always asking myself why I like Thailand so much. Previously, when living in New York and Singapore, I couldn’t wait to get out of town every weekend, as I found myself to be much happier on the golf course.
So what is so different about Bangkok?
1. It can not be the terrible traffic jams although this seems to be becoming the norm in all major cities of the world.
2. It can not be the smog that periodically envelopes the city.
3. It can not be the pedestrian walkways that break a western safety rule every 5 feet.
4. It can not be the local tourist attractions as I have seen them all countless times.
5. Maybe it is the variety of golf in Thailand. As mentioned in prior posts, with over 60 courses to choose from, Bangkok just may have the most golf courses within easy access as any major capital in the world.
6. Maybe it is the food. The Thais do have excellent cuisine at incredibly low prices.
7. Maybe it is the fact that you can do anything in Bangkok any time of day or night.
8. Maybe it is the incongruity of East meets West on every street corner. A 5 Star luxury hotel sits beside an open air noodle shop selling food for $1 US. The latest BMW 745i sits at a traffic light besides a “Tuk-Tuk” with a Thai family of 5 aboard.
9. Maybe it is the fact that, if you don’t like the food in one restaurant, you can ask the waiter to go across the road to another restaurant then have food delivered. Try that in a restaurant in the USA or Singapore.
Actually, I know it is not any of these things, but rather it all boils down to the Thai people.
We have all heard the “How You Doing” greeting, which seems to exist all over the USA. How many times have you heard that and wished that the person really cared about what I answered?
Well, in Bangkok EVERYONE means it and also smiles whilst saying the Thai equivalent, “Sawasdee”. Examples of this I see every day. There is a little old lady who sits selling her 10 baht per kilo bananas all day long on my local Soi, and who ALWAYS greets me with the biggest of smiles and “Sawasdee ka”, despite the fact that I have in over 2 years yet to buy a banana!
How about the manageress at my condominium? She, with greets me day and night with a big SMILE while happily paying, from her own pocket, my monthly bills and postage due for mail, whilst only telling me about it after the fact.
Did you know that, some years ago, Thailand was called Siam? Do you know what that means in old-fashioned Thai? It actually means SMILE. Can you believe that a country was called SMILE? Well I can and all I can say is that I wish more countries would act like the Thais and smile more often. But then again, maybe I don’t as I might then never have come here and would have missed the wonderful experience that is Thailand!
If you have any Thai SMILE stories please feel free to post a comment or if you prefer send me an email at my Thailand golf vacation company and I will take care of the posting duties.