Why are Europeans so impatient with tourists?
Wherever you meet people in Thailand, you can see them smiling. The friendly serenity of the Thais does not get lost in extreme situations any more than impatience is alien to them. Small adversities in everyday life, such as standing in line for a long time at the ticket counter, are no cause for excitement. Because according to the Thai philosophy of life, nothing is so dramatic that it could spoil the good mood or the fun of life. This attitude towards life dominates the everyday life of the Thais, so that as a visitor to the country one should easily adapt and take some of it home with you.
The Thai people always deal with each other very respectfully and calmly. As a visitor you should adapt to these customs and not attract the locals with a loud or unfriendly tone. Anyone who gets loud with problems, appears too excited or even “completely explodes” only contributes to not being taken seriously.
The traditional greeting in Thailand is the wai. The hands are folded flat between chest and face as if in prayer, the head is lowered slightly forward and a friendly smile is conjured up on the face. However, this greeting hides a lot more information about the person who greets you than it might suggest at first glance: Depending on the social status or age of the other person, the position of the hands and the bending of the head are adjusted. For travelers, the easiest way to answer a wai is with a friendly smile and a quick nod of the head.
You should avoid touching a Thai person on the head, because this is considered the seat of spiritual and human dignity. It is the seat of the soul and therefore the most sacred part of the body. Even caressing the head of a child, which is meant to be affectionate, often has the opposite effect. Also, one should actually never “look down” at someone else's head, which cannot always be avoided by the normally tall Europeans. The foot, on the other hand, is dirty, unworthy and therefore also offensive! You should never point your foot at anyone or anything, let alone step on someone with your foot.
Tenderness between a man and a woman in the presence of others is not common in Thailand. Even with young couples in love, it is not customary to hold hands, kiss or cuddle in public.
Hotel and restaurant bills usually include 10 to 15% for taxes and service. However, it is quite common to give additional tips at will. Especially if you were satisfied with the service. However, you should avoid tipping smaller amounts under THB 10. Tipping is not necessarily the norm for taxi drivers. If a taxi driver has proven to be particularly friendly or helpful, however, a tip is also appropriate here.
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