Moving To Bangkok – First Timers Delight
So many people have come to Thailand on holiday that it’s rare for someone to move here who hasn’t been a tourist. Thailand is the number one favourite tourist destination all over the world, so even if by some chance a first timer is moving here with no experience, it’s seldom they don’t know someone who hasn’t visited the kingdom or looked at the photos and listened to the stories.
Even for the frequent visitor though, the act of moving here should be cause for excitement as no vacation is a substitute for becoming a native here. It’s different when armed with a few words of vocabulary, and a knowing jaunt to your walk on how to conduct one’s self, or where to go and what to do.
If you’re planning to relocate here there are plenty of earlier articles outlining the kind of properties and locations to consider but it’s useful to have a primer on the kind of insights that few guidebooks are unable to provide.
Most Thais are Very Proper
The greatest mistake a new resident can make here is to consider their office colleagues in the same manner as they have interacted with Thais while on vacation. Most of your new fellow workers will be well educated and may take a dim view of your holiday escapades.
Thailand is a land of contradiction and so while it may be very normal for a male colleague to slip away to a massage parlour from time to time, don’t expect them to discuss their private affairs with you and for heaven’s sake don’t assume any of your female colleagues are ok with prostitution.
They will be horrified to learn that any Western males have intimate experiences of this layer of Thai life, so if you do have worldly insights keep them to yourself, and refrain from making light of it or a topic of conversation, as your repartee will not be appreciated.
Learning to Speak Thai
Most Americans and English are terrible at learning new languages. It’s not only a disadvantage at a comprehension level but it’s also a neurological wasteland as the fluent linguist can adapt to different situations and digest new information better than the monolingual person.
Everyone has different learning abilities and levels of cognitive skills. There are a few bits of advice to learning Thai that are seldom provided by the best teachers, the most expensive schools or during the most intensive training. The first is that Thai is a very easy language to learn. It translates word for word in a basic manner that is less complex than Indo European languages.
To get up to a functional level in Thai is not all that hard. Five hundred words will see the average person through a lifetime in Thailand and this is just under two words a day if we’re serious for a year. The trick, the really difficult part, and the bit no English person likes to do is to lose all their silly inhibitions and sound stupid. Thai is a tonal language and so there are 5 ways to say the word cow. If you’re not trying to sound silly copying those different ways you’re not really trying at all. Sound stupid and you’ll one day sound very clever. It’s that simple.