Sawadee Khrab (Hello!)
Ok, if you don’t speak Thai, there’s this “khrab” and “kha” thing you have to say if you wanna be polite. So if you wanna say thank you (“kab koon”), guys have to say “kan koon khrab” … and “kab koon kha”.
If you want to say “yes”, you say “chai”… but to say it nicely, you say “chai khrab” if you’re a dude.. and “chai kha” if you’re a girl.
- someone give you directions and you’re grateful – you say “kab koon khrab”
- you meet someone – you say “sawadee khrab”
- you see a ladyboy making out with a white tourist dude – you say “you’re in for surprise khrab”
- you see a street food vendor washing used dishes in a nasty dark murky water and using it for next customer – you say “what the F*CK khrab”
Now you get the point.
Day 2 in Bangkok, I was at a restaurant and the waitress apparently spoke awesome english. I was kinda shy about speaking Thai so I kinda mumbled “sa…wa..dee.. khrab”. She looked at me funny and said “sir, we don’t serve crab here. If you want seafood, go next door.”
Ok my last post on Thailand, according to my Thai friends, was a bit too negative.
I admit it was a bit bashing because I had this high almighty view of Thailand and when I got here, my expectations were not met.
So from now on, i’ll post the good and the bad… But bad first, because well, that’s more interesting. ;P
Ok, I keep talking about this but you have to really experience it yourself to really understand how shitty it is. If you think 405 in LA during rush hour is bad, trust me.. you ain’t seen nothing.
Bangkok traffic starts at 8 AM and ends at midnight.
What’s worse, there’s hardly any red lights. In another words, every road is pretty much an expressway and merge points.
And people don’t really seem to obey the traffic laws. Street signs, traffic lights (if any), and lanes are all just suggestions.
Yeap.. that’s a car parked diagonally. Apparently the street food here is THAT good.. that you GOTTA have it.
I’m not talking about simple lane changes. People make U-turn wherever they FEEL like.. and they turn wherever they FEEL like.. and they park wherever they FEEL like.. Oh yeah, and stop completely and/or go reverse in the middle of the freeway because they FEEL like it.
One time, I was at a traffic jam near RCA (that’s like the Ibiza of Bangkok) and I saw
- people stop and park on the side of the freeway.. then proceed to walk to RCA while cars were whizzing by 30-40 MPH (this was the beginning of the freeway)
- going into RCA area.. I’ve noticed kids getting out of the taxi in complete traffic jam (i.e. moved about ½ mile in 45 minutes or so) and smoking on the freeway because they couldn’t smoke in the taxi. All I could think about when saw this was “natural selection”. The stupid don’t live long enough to breed.
And I don’t blame the people wanting to go to RCA.. i mean who wouldn’t want to see this?
Am I right, guys? (especially you white guys…?)
I digress… anywho… where are the cops?
Shit, beats me. (Not literally… well, not yet anyway. Who knows what these cops are capable of …).
They’re hardly ever on the streets… if they are, I see them
- doing literally nothing – one time, saw a cop taking a nap on his motorcycle on an intersection
- blowing their whistle and making gestures but they don’t actually seem to direct anything. I think they have ipods on and are blowing whistle to their music in their ear
(Not making this up: Bangkok cops carry LV bags.)
That’s the funny thing about Bangkok.. outside of cars, they seem to be really nice, caring, and law obeying.. but when it comes to driving, they don’t give a shit. Like laws don’t matter once you get into a car.
But what is even more amazing is that people here don’t honk much.
If you were in US and someone cuts you off, what do people do? Yea.. flip you off and tell you that they’re gonna eat your kids while dancing your mama’s grave, right?
Drivers in Thailand are much more tolerant and more patient.
I hardly see any road rage.. Sure there are are pricks that won’t let you in, accelerate to block you from merging into your lane, etc.
But most of the time, they are quite nice about it.
One time I was trying to go to Weekend Night Market in Chatuchak district and holy crap.. it took 2 HOURS just to be able to get to the entry point of the parking lot.
And it’s literally about a mile from where I’m staying.
The traffic is choking the city.
I imagine millions of man hours are wasted on the streets of Bangkok every year.
Mr. Thailand King … please fix.
1. Holy SHIT.. Thai women are HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT.
Tall, tan, and amazingly sexy legs.
Did I mention they’re tall? I’m not talking Asian tall.. im talking tall like white people tall.
I think average height here must be 5’6 for women.
First 5 days, my neck was sore from overextending in both directions.
2. The subway / skytrain system is insanely clean & super advanced
If your ride the BRT (Bangkok Rapid Transportation) or the MRT (Mass Rapid Transportation), you would never think that you were in bangkok.
Super futuristic and clean.
But if you ride the bus system in bangkok.. ugh.. make sure you have a good health and life insurance before boarding because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
One time I was going from Mo-Chit BRT station to Central LadPhrao by bus.. and that was the last time.
You’ll notice the buses don’t FULLY stop at certain stations. It’s more like a rolling stop and you have to hop on because ain’t no bus driver stopping for anyone.
I’m serious. I missed the 1st two buses because I wasn’t sure how this worked.
The dude collecting bus fare in the back is telling me to jump on but im thinking “oh hell naw”… but i’m seeing girls half my age jump on without any hesitation whatsoever.
Crap. I can’t be seen like a little b*tch so I grabbed my balls and scream “AHHH SH*T” and just jumped on.
So you think the hard part is done right? WRONG.
There’s NO freakin’ AC in a bus with 40+ people in the hottest country in the world in the hottest time of the year.
I was on it for 12-14 minutes at best. Felt like 3 hours. Ugh…
Don’t ride the bus.
Ride the MRT/BRT. Avoid the motorcy (motorcycle taxi) unless you like prairie dogging while on that tiny little moped whizzing through the insane traffic jam death trap.
3. Street/Stray Dogs
They are everywhere.
On side of the street. On overpass bridges. In residential and commercial neighborhoods. Under cars. In temples.
I mean, everywhere.
Because I’m a dog lover, they appear in my sight more than most people.
When I got here, I thought “why the F are they treating these dogs like that?”
Of course, I just got off the plane so I had the filter lens of a westerner.. so all I could see is how they have no homes, how they are ignored, and how they seem to have bad health in general.
But boy, I was wrong.
These dogs are FAT.. not because there’s so much food to scavenge, but because people feed them. Sure, I am sure they’re not getting gourmet meals or dog food, but people go out of their way to feed them food.
I saw so many overweight dogs that just eat and nap pretty much all day.
On top of that, they are INCREDIBLY friendly. In another words, they are treated well (and hence treating people well). I’ve yet to meet a street dog that was aggressive or mean. If anything, they’re shy dogs.
In fact, today I noticed an old woman in my neighborhood taking out her time to remove fleas from the stray dogs in her neighborhood.
Apparently, there was an attempt by the Thai government to get rid of stray dogs altogether to make Bangkok a cosmopolitan city that can compete with any other “international city”.
But people treated their neighborhood stray dogs like their own dogs and were in up and arms about fighting this new policy. Eventually the government gave in and released the dogs back to their neighborhoods.
And even though they look stray, it looks like they have their “master” that they follow around.
So technically they’re not “stray” dogs.. they’re just dogs whose masters raise them on the streets.
Of course, small cute dogs (like pomeranians and chihuahuas) are raised in homes.. eating good food.
4. Did I mention the Thai women are HOT?
Me and some a stray dog that gave birth to 7 pups. Cute as shit.
Tourists everywhere in Bangkok.
Thing about being a tourist.. u hate seeing other tourists like you.
Damn tourists. They ruin everything.
It was so damn hot that these kids were playing while their mom (street food vendor) was working.
Cute as hell. They were telling me “no no no” after.. but oh well, screw you kids. You’re permanently branded on my blog… mUAHAHAH!
Trying to act all holy.
Is it working?
Getting blessed by a buddhist monk.
Funny story.. one of the monks you don’t see in the pic and I had a conversation:
Monk: Chinese or Japanese?
Me: Korean American.
Monk: North or South?
Monk: <hahahaha> You funny. Gangnam style?
Me: Damn right.
She no likey me take picture wid’ her.
Never heard of Psy apparently.
Oh well, tough karma lady. I took one ANYWAY.
Pad thai in Thailand is VERY different.
And portions are very tiny.
So this is pretty common..
A mom or caretaker working at a restaurant and her kids just hanging out at the BACK of the restaurant.
You can’t really tell but that floor is straight up NASTY… by any means, if this happened in US, child protective service would be there in a second to confiscate them.
I wish internet had a way to convey smell.. b/c the smell in the back of this restaurant was straight up foul.