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Steer clear of footwear inside temples and Thai Homes

CHAPTER THREE

Don’t Do This Again!

6.) Don’t wear footwear inside temples, or for that matter inside Thai homes. Walking in with the filth from the streets on the bottom of your shoes is not appreciated. Look around you, you’ll see little clumps of shoes sitting at the bottom of the steps before you ascend into the temple. That’s your clue to do the same thing.

7.) Just because Thais don’t say anything to you when you turn up half-naked to view a temple, doesn’t mean that its okay. They are secretly vomiting at the level of disrespect you are showing. That’s not really a smile that they are giving you, its a grimace combined with a compelling wish to bite your head off.

If you ever cause a situation where the average Thai is forced into asking you to cover up or act respectfully, you have driven them to the equivalent of a 9.9 tremor on their self-control Richter scale. You really don’t want to witness the explosion when they hit 10.

You’re on a vacation, not a world tour of how to p*ss off your hosts. Be modest and respectful according to Charming Asia Tours.

Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall, Kanchanaburi

8.) Guys, lay your hands on a Thai woman, any Thai woman, without her express permission, then expect to get your head kicked off your shoulders. Lay your hands on a Thai woman, however innocently, in front of her boyfriend, then don’t expect to get your head kicked off your shoulders – its now a certainty.

9.) You may read elsewhere rules that tell you don’t touch Thais on their heads, and various other sundry tips. Lets make it easy for both sexes – just don’t touch Thais at all, and that will be fine.

10.) Thais regard feet as unclean – point your feet at them and, eh – you’ve just insulted them. Step over a Thai when they are lying down, expect a visit to the hospital after they jump up and dance on your head with their feet.

CHAPTER FOUR

Spicy Too Much

11.) Thai food is amazing and cheap – try it anytime you get a chance. Thais don’t expect you to like spicy food, and they’ll often question you if you really can eat it. Some of the Thai food is fiery beyond belief so here’s all you need to know –

If you don’t want your food to be spicy say – my pet.

If you want it a little bit spicy say – pet neet noy.

Neet noy means “a little bit.”

If you want your food spicy say – pet mak, or pet mak mak if you want it to blow your head off.

Mak means a lot, so you can guess what mak mak means.

12.) Yoghurt is your friend – its available in lots of corner stores, 7/elevens and the like. Yes, you get 7/eleven in Thailand, they’re everywhere. For the Brits, you also get plenty of Tesco stores.

If you get caught out by something which is far too spicy and is actually causing you pain, reach for a yoghurt. Take your time eating it, you’ll be okay in a couple of minutes. Don’t drink water – it makes it worse.

Delicious Spicy Tom Yam Kung, Spicy Prawn Soup.

13.) Expect your spicy food to want to make a rapid and painful exit. The good news is that you’ll find a hose in most Thai washrooms that’s perfect for cooling down your nether regions when that happens. That’s the little hose next to the pan – practice with it when you are at the hotel, you’ll come to love that hose. You really will.

14.) If you encounter a traditional squat Thai toilet, good luck with that. I still can’t work out quite how to use them, especially the eh, clean up part after it. So – always have some tissues in your pocket, and try to forward plan your toilet routine.

Get it wrong and you’ll be saying to yourself – “I should have listened to The Blether.”

15.) Small change is your friend. Don’t be in a rush to get rid of small denomination notes. You’ll find that handing a Thai market stall owner a one-thousand baht note is the equivalent of giving them a fifty-dollar bill for a two-dollar transaction.

Spend the big notes in 7/eleven, and keep hold of the small stuff for the rest of the businesses.

Right, we’re going serious again – backpackers in particular – pay attention to the next one.