Unreliable Bangkok 5: Polite

Photograph of street sweeper equipment in Thailand

One of the most important differences between Bangkok and Sydney is that Bangkok isn’t full of arseholes. I’ve already mentioned that Skytrain security staff are helpful. Unlike CityRail’s. But it goes way beyond that…

In virtually every bar in Bangkok, you don’t pay for your drinks up front. You sit, you order your drinks, they go on your tab, you consume, you enjoy the company of your friends. And when you’re ready to leave, then you get the bill. In virtually every Australian bar, though, you pay for your drinks in cash at the time of serving, thank you very much.

In other words, Australian pubs operate under the assumption that you’re the kind of arsehole who’d leave without paying.

Is this because Thais are more trusting? Or gullible? No, it’s because Thais are more trustworthy people.

Because they’re not arseholes.

If you look at the photo (above), you’ll see a dustpan and broom leaning against the concrete post on the left. They belong to the street sweeper. She (all the street sweepers I saw were women in practical straw hats) leaves them there at the end of the day, unlocked, and knows that they’ll still be there when she needs them again the next morning.

You simply can’t do that in Sydney because you can almost guarantee that the dustpan and broom would be either (1) stolen (who steals a dustpan?), (2) vandalised (what sort of desperate arsehole does that?), or (3) thrown into the canal “as a laugh”.

Because, as I say, Sydney is full of arseholes.

This post is part of my series “Unreliable Bangkok”. Why not explore the others?

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1 comment

  1. 'Pong’s avatar

    Well spotted. I never thought of that before. Thais are very considerate and too much in many cases.

    Moreover, when I was there, a Thai friend of mine kept telling me to leave my bag in her car even though it’s full of valuable gears because it’s very rare someone would break into a car and steal. In the other hand, back in Sydney, a colleague’s car was broken into just for a set of cutlery. I think Sydney has also created the ambient of fear and paranoia.

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