Features Traveling 

How to piss off someone from Bangkok

Land of Smile. Happiness. Big Mango. City of Angels. All sounds awesome and as if Pharrell wrote his song ‘Happy’ just for us. But don’t be mistaken, Bangkokonians (yeah!) can be pretty pissed. So if you don’t want to get roundhouse-kicked (’cause everyone in Thailand can do Muay Thai) while hanging out in Khaosan Road be sure to not do the following things:

Food “Hey you eat those cockroaches and strange bugs, right?” Most of my friends or people I met that came to BKK asked those questions. While I can live with those stereotypes native friends got a little pissed about such a question. Why the heck should someone from BKK city eat bugs and shit? Chances are high that you, as a tourist, eat more ‘funny’ stuff than people from Bangkok ever tried. BKK peeps are like any other big city kinda type. A bit snobby and to ‘good’ to eat ‘unclean’ food. Oh yeah. Of course you see ‘weird food’ here in BKK. Scorpions, fried bugs or any other kind of insect for that matter. But guess what: Those vendors sell it because of you. You’re the idiot who comes here and spends as much money for fried bugs as it would take to have a decent Green Curry Chicken dish somewhere around the corner. But good on you, keeps the mystery.  

that is how every bangkokonian goes to work.
that is how every bangkokonian goes to work.

Ethnical Appearance “Wow, you don’t look like someone from Bangkok”. That line is something that probably most people from BKK have heard at least once from a tourist. So how does someone from Bangkok then look like? There are around 12 million people in the bigger Bangkok area. Lots of cultures, different backgrounds, heritage, etc. It’s like going to New York and looking for the ‘typical New Yorker’. The cool thing about Bangkok is that there are so many different kinds of people and cultures. Don’t stereotype toomuch ’cause the one thing all of those ‘false’ Bangkokonians have in common is a mean right hook to your liver.

Politics.  Yeah. You watched the news back home on CNN, NBC or Fox (go away!). That does not make you an expert on Thai politics and comments such as ‘hey there’s nothing burning here in Bangkok” are not funny. At all. Bangkok has seen it all. The most peaceful as well as the most brutal crack downs so keep your opinion to yourself. Period. The same goes for stupid references to red or yellow colored clothes by the way. And referring to someone who wears a Manchester United or Liverpool shirt as ‘red shirt’ isn’t funny, wasn’t funny and never will be funny.

One night in Bangkok …and the world’s your oyster. Yes. We know. Shut up.

The traffic It sucks. Big time. Everybody here knows that. People who live here have to fight it every single day. You decided to come here on holidays. It’s your choice! So don’t you dare to rub the shitty traffic into our face. You are here because you want to be here. Live with it. Make it work.

Public Transport See traffic.

The smog / rubbish Yes, yes, yes. There is lot of rubbish and smog here in the city of angels. Why? Because there are 12 million people living here and 47 kazillion tourists visiting who, thanks to currency exchange, feel like kings while  throwing around their money. If you all would rather go for eco-friendly tourism and actually watch the shit that you’re purchasing or paying for we all would have a better and cleaner life here. You might wanna think about that next time you’re blaming locals for all the shit here. It’s quite likely that the biggest pile of shit comes from your “super cheap all inclusive” hotel.

The ‘freeze’ So there’s a rule saying that Thais have to stand still when they hear the national anthem which is being played at 8 in the morning at 6 in the evening. That might look funny, in Bangkok even more due to the huge population, but making fun of it each and every time is not only a bit annoying. Btw. If everybody else stops moving you might want to not be an ass and also stand still for those 30 seconds.  

Chill out when the rest is in a hurry Yes, you’re on holiday. Woohoo. That’s awesome. Chances are that most of the other 12 million people in BKK are not. So it’s super awesome that you’re taking your time when your walking up to a BTS or down to a MRT stop but if we miss our connecting bus, train or whatever because of you being in holidays you don’t have to wonder too much when you feel an elbow to your rips.

Bangkok is just like Singapore. Or Kuala Lumpur. Or any other city in Asia.  Yeah and New York is just like L.A. just like Chicago just like London just like Zurich just like Rome… Just because we’re on another continent and different to your home doesn’t mean it’s all the same here. A little bit of appreciation towards the country your in right now won’t hurt. “The West” is not all the same, neither is “The East”.

Bang-kok. Got it? Bang. Kok. Like Bang and cock. Got it? Got it? Naaaaaaaaah. Mate, you’re the first one to make that joke! Nobody ever thought about that but if you think that’s too funny of a name for a country’s capital why don’t you go ahead and try to say the offical Thai name of Bangkok?

Ask girls ‘how much’.  That goes for all of Thailand of course. Doing this just shows one thing: That you’re a jerk. In general you should remember that if you don’t head to designated areas girls are never ‘for sale’. If they work in that kind of line, they’ll approach you anyways.  

“That could be more efficient” Those 7 waiters in a small restaurant or the 23 employes in the local sports shop at the shopping mall are a bit too much in most cases but it also leads to less unemployment and a more fun work environment – at least for the people working there. Same goes for the bus lady that sells tickets and the rest of our ‘inefficient’ workflows. Believe it or not, it’s not all about making things more efficient. Well, at least not here. Live with it.

Punctuality. Alright. I hate, hate, hate it! I do. Being unpunctual sucks big time. But that is something you, me, nobody in the whole wide world will be able to change here. So don’t bother, don’t complain. Relax, get a coffee, listen to the made up stupid excuses (weather, hot, cold, rain, traffic, protests, flood,…) and then move on. There’s no need to keep bringing up that someone has been late over and over again. It won’t change anything.

Same same *giggle* So you found that shirt that says ‘same same’ on the front and ‘but different’ on the back. Congratulations. And you might have heard some Tuk Tuk or Taxi driver saying ‘same same’. That does not mean that everybody in Bangkok (or Thailand) says that all the time. And even if someone says it I guess he then speaks more English than you speak Thai. Right?

Hangover references.  It’s 2014. They are a little out of style, don’t you think? Not as annoying as ‘the world’s your oyster’ – but going there.

Yo Bangkokonians! Did I forget something? What pisses you off the most? Shout out in the comments! The idea was, of course, inspired by the series of posts over there Matador. [image credit: Thai-on]

Sascha Funk

Founder / Editor at My-Thai.org
Sascha is the publisher of my-thai.org and switched from an online marketing agency life in Europe to a teaching and education life in Thailand. He also writes about Teaching & Technology.

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