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Space and Time in Thailand and Europe


laolover88
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After many years I still have not sorted this!

I appreciate, greatly, the Thai sense of personal space. No-one here bumps into you, unlike London, Paris, where you are barged into the gutter endlessly, No one invades that space, even people who come to the door stand in the road rather than knock on a door. Unless of course there is a queue, but that is the exception, but that has been solved in most places by the ubiquitous use of digital queues, unlike europe. But if a Thai gets into a car all sense of space appears to go out of the window.

A famous cosmologist said: Time is what prevents everything happening all at once. Space is what prevents everything happening to me! Now time in Thailand appears to be perceived as slower process than in Europe. I can't put my finger on it; Can you? Of course some things like food in restaurants appear in the twinkling of the eye unlike europe; but other things like behaviour at green traffic lights, simple requests in banks, etc a slowness to pick up on anything that is not totally explicit? Not saying this is bad, but different and difficult to adjust to?

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Took a taxi from outside of Bangkok yesterday. 4 hour drive. He was supposed to show up at 9 AM. He got there at 8:30 AM parked across the street and called me and requested I come outside when I was ready. We got to Bangkok for my appointment and everyone was on time. It took me 30 minutes to transact my business. I rented the taxi for the whole day for 3000 baht. I think that was a good deal. He drove safely and had a good AC.

What was it that Forest Gump said to Mrs. Blue?

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Heat is a factor,because it is so hot here things have to be done at a slower pace,an example i helped my wife and her cousin clear some land,i hoed in like i would in Australia or uk,slashing madly at bushes and trees,whilst they gently and slowly moved around,after an hour i was on my knees they where fine, still moving with that slow purpose,and i had never really thought about the space thing but i agree,i have never that i can recall be barged here and people are generally polite,the car thing well,if going on a journey i think they like to have company as it is not sanuk on your own,same as eating,thats my take on it op,and thanks for an interesting post,rather than the one that keep seeming to come up about why tv members moan about Thailand all the time.

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I think you are smarter than your playful observation suggests. Time does happen in the mind; this is undeniably true. Anyone who recalls the saying of a cosmologist kinda gets it. I think I see your point. Generally, when cultures are attuned to the more natural cycle of day/night time does appear differently- but I am unsure it does so for them (Einstein/Doppler- i think :-).

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Heat is a factor,because it is so hot here things have to be done at a slower pace,an example i helped my wife and her cousin clear some land,i hoed in like i would in Australia or uk,slashing madly at bushes and trees,whilst they gently and slowly moved around,after an hour i was on my knees they where fine, still moving with that slow purpose,and i had never really thought about the space thing but i agree,i have never that i can recall be barged here and people are generally polite,the car thing well,if going on a journey i think they like to have company as it is not sanuk on your own,same as eating,thats my take on it op,and thanks for an interesting post,rather than the one that keep seeming to come up about why tv members moan about Thailand all the time.

Right arm Marko. Climate is a major factor in the development of a culture.

You have learned something the other "mad dogs and Englishmen" never pick up on: it's very hot out there; maybe that's why Thais do this or this and this. Maybe that's why I don't understand that or that.

I don't want to come off sounding like a new age crystal gazer, but, while you took to the task with primary focus on knock-it-down-dig-it-up-git-'er-done, maybe they were not just hot but being more cognoscente of their actions, more mindful, in a Zen way, of the life they were ending when they knocked down a bush. You know, there are spirits everywhere (who are we to say there are not?) and one should take such actions in a respectful manner.

'nuff said

~

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Heat is a factor,because it is so hot here things have to be done at a slower pace,an example i helped my wife and her cousin clear some land,i hoed in like i would in Australia or uk,slashing madly at bushes and trees,whilst they gently and slowly moved around,after an hour i was on my knees they where fine, still moving with that slow purpose,and i had never really thought about the space thing but i agree,i have never that i can recall be barged here and people are generally polite,the car thing well,if going on a journey i think they like to have company as it is not sanuk on your own,same as eating,thats my take on it op,and thanks for an interesting post,rather than the one that keep seeming to come up about why tv members moan about Thailand all the time.

Right arm Marko. Climate is a major factor in the development of a culture.

You have learned something the other "mad dogs and Englishmen" never pick up on: it's very hot out there; maybe that's why Thais do this or this and this. Maybe that's why I don't understand that or that.

I don't want to come off sounding like a new age crystal gazer, but, while you took to the task with primary focus on knock-it-down-dig-it-up-git-'er-done, maybe they were not just hot but being more cognoscente of their actions, more mindful, in a Zen way, of the life they were ending when they knocked down a bush. You know, there are spirits everywhere (who are we to say there are not?) and one should take such actions in a respectful manner.

'nuff said

~

whilst i appreciate your reply,i don't think they gave a fig about choping bushes down,they just knew the right pace to go at,sure they beleive a lot of the bigger trees have pee in them,but these were saplings and brambles and grass we are talking about,and forgive me if i am wrong but zen buddism comes from Japan does it not in Thailand Buddism is the Thervada school,also i think this is only a thin veneer over their mostly animist beliefs,so unfortunatley i have to say your last paragraph does make you sound like some new age crystal gazer,and one not very well informed about the Thai mindset or religion.

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Right arm Marko. Climate is a major factor in the development of a culture.

You have learned something the other "mad dogs and Englishmen" never pick up on: it's very hot out there; maybe that's why Thais do this or this and this. Maybe that's why I don't understand that or that.

I don't want to come off sounding like a new age crystal gazer, but, while you took to the task with primary focus on knock-it-down-dig-it-up-git-'er-done, maybe they were not just hot but being more cognoscente of their actions, more mindful, in a Zen way, of the life they were ending when they knocked down a bush. You know, there are spirits everywhere (who are we to say there are not?) and one should take such actions in a respectful manner.

'nuff said

If you are going to use his phrase at least you should thank Mr. Bernard Trink.

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The old saying...2 objects can not occupy the same space at the same time...has never driven in Thailand...

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I appreciate, greatly, the Thai sense of personal space. No-one here bumps into you, unlike London, Paris, where you are barged into the gutter endlessly,

Are you sure?

Thais barge into me every day, especially stupid kids with mobile phones. Females worse. Yesterday I just barged at two Thai fishwives who needed the whole sidewalk to gossip and had no clue that other people wanted to get by.

Thais are unable to do two things at one.I believe that I can do 3-4 at once...watch TV while speaking on the phone and doing the ironing at the same time, all the while making sure the spaghetti doesn't stick. Am I normal? Or just not Thai?

Eddy

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I appreciate, greatly, the Thai sense of personal space. No-one here bumps into you, unlike London, Paris, where you are barged into the gutter endlessly,

Are you sure?

Thais barge into me every day, especially stupid kids with mobile phones. Females worse. Yesterday I just barged at two Thai fishwives who needed the whole sidewalk to gossip and had no clue that other people wanted to get by.

Thais are unable to do two things at one.I believe that I can do 3-4 at once...watch TV while speaking on the phone and doing the ironing at the same time, all the while making sure the spaghetti doesn't stick. Am I normal? Or just not Thai?

Eddy

You have apparently never watched a Thai young lady put on makeup, talk on a cell phone, wave at a friend and drive a motor scooter at the same time.cheesy.gif

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"the Thai sense of personal space".....

What should we say? no bashing them but... they have not the same sense of personal space as we have...

The come to look in your wallet if you open it...

They look over your shoulder when you are standing at an ATM

They come stand on your foot when you are sitting on a chair in front of the bank teller...

They press themselves against others in the cue in the supermarket ( either shoulder wise or chariot wise )

They park behind you, so close that you are afraid to turn on your blinker

They park themselves in front of your bike, even if you just want to drive off...

They consider putting their hands on your arm, leg, shoulder as an friendly gesture...

They don't understand the western principles of having a comfort zone...

They will enter your garden without asking you, taking your fruits and smile at you...

Anybody been in Thailand over an prolonged time can state his experiences...

Above mentioned, happened to me personally, plural times...

Its all how we perceive their normal behavior...

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"the Thai sense of personal space".....

What should we say? no bashing them but... they have not the same sense of personal space as we have...

The come to look in your wallet if you open it...

They look over your shoulder when you are standing at an ATM

They come stand on your foot when you are sitting on a chair in front of the bank teller...

They press themselves against others in the cue in the supermarket ( either shoulder wise or chariot wise )

They park behind you, so close that you are afraid to turn on your blinker

They park themselves in front of your bike, even if you just want to drive off...

They consider putting their hands on your arm, leg, shoulder as an friendly gesture...

They don't understand the western principles of having a comfort zone...

They will enter your garden without asking you, taking your fruits and smile at you...

Anybody been in Thailand over an prolonged time can state his experiences...

Above mentioned, happened to me personally, plural times...

Its all how we perceive their normal behavior...

Sometimes the hands go further than the arm ,leg or shoulder,but of course i would not know being like 99% of tv posters married to a girl who works as a cashier in a bank!

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"the Thai sense of personal space".....

What should we say? no bashing them but... they have not the same sense of personal space as we have...

The come to look in your wallet if you open it...

They look over your shoulder when you are standing at an ATM

They come stand on your foot when you are sitting on a chair in front of the bank teller...

They press themselves against others in the cue in the supermarket ( either shoulder wise or chariot wise )

They park behind you, so close that you are afraid to turn on your blinker

They park themselves in front of your bike, even if you just want to drive off...

They consider putting their hands on your arm, leg, shoulder as an friendly gesture...

They don't understand the western principles of having a comfort zone...

They will enter your garden without asking you, taking your fruits and smile at you...

Anybody been in Thailand over an prolonged time can state his experiences...

Above mentioned, happened to me personally, plural times...

Its all how we perceive their normal behavior...

I have read a few of your other posts. You are the kind of person Thailand needs (qualified engineer with good ideas and ability). Too bad these things have happened to you. I've lived in Thailand for 10 years and none of the things you describe have happened to me. Good luck. Maybe you will meet better Thai people in the future.

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