Thursday, January 20, 2005

Wow, land of smiles and beautiful women

I was reading one of my colleague blog, he is currently in Beijing. I think sometimes its fun to work in different countries and experience different culture. Back then there is no such thing as blog, no digital camera and even email is not so rampantly use. When I read his blog, it bring back some of those memories that I have in Thailand. I remember when I was told that I was assigned to Thailand, it was a feeling of “Wow, land of smiles and beautiful women”, hahaha.

Some of my colleagues also have some weird ideas and impression of Thailand. They have the impression that Thailand is a wild west whereby most of the citizen carries a gun and goes around robbing and kill people. They actually suggested to me to wear a worn out and torn shirt to work, this is to ensure that I will not get robbed. They also said keep my rolex watch (I do not have one) and take out my casio or swatch, carries only enough money to survive one day. If I can afford, buy and wear a bullet proof vest.

At that time, my relative was also saying that there is a lot of disease running around. Disease like hepatitis, aids, sexual disease and etc, I was advice to go for a hepatitis vaccination first before I go there. I was advice not to use public toilet as it might lead to some sexual disease if my body get in contact with some unwanted contaminated bodily liquid. They also remind me, that I should stay away from bars, massage parlor and abstain from doing anything that a small kid will not do, hahaha

That was nine years ago, since then I have worked on 3 projects in Thailand. I am married to a beautiful thai lady. Together with my wife we have bought a house in Thailand. Over that period, I have travel to quite a number of places; I have endured below freezing temperature in the mountains area of Chiang Mai. That was really the first time I felt cold until my whole body was shaking beyond control. I have been to a lot of interesting places and learn some interesting culture.

I remember there are times that I was tick off by my wife as I was crossing my leg and back then my calf is big so my foot will dangle in mid air and it will point to another person sitting beside me on the bus. In Thai culture it is rude to point the foot to someone, there are times it result in fights and the perpetrator will end in death. Of course another interesting culture is the “Wai”, the pressing of both palm (like praying) and put it near your heart or chest. I also understanding the height or placement of the hand depends on the person that you “Wai” to. If the person is an elder, monk, royalty, the higher the “Wai” should be.

I think that is one of plus side of working in another country, we get to explore interesting place and expose to unique cultures the “local way”. For those who is interested in reading something in regards in working in Beijing you could refer to my colleague site which is he has just been transfer to beijing. In the mean time, I still feels “Wow, land of smiles and beautiful women” when I am in Thailand.

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