15 June 2011


Some rules for living are proscribed by law and others are instinctive. Together these rules provide foundation stones for social life. It might well be said that in small, subtle ways these "rules" constitute the very character of a particular culture. Here are some surprising "rules" that are endemic in Thailand:-
  • If driving a car never stop at a pedestrian zebra crossing, even if there are people actually walking across it.
  • If you own a motorbike, feel free to ride it as fast as you wish along pavements where pedestrians are walking.
  • If you own a motorbike, please don't wear a helmet.
  • If you own a two-seater motorbike feel free to transport your entire family on it - babies, animals and all.
  • If you own a motorbike make sure you use a mobile phone when in transit.
  • If you are active in a political party, feel free to erect giant posters on pavements so that pedestrians cannot get past them without stepping in the road.
  • If you are a waiter or waitress, as soon as you have delivered the menu you must stand next to the diner impatiently waiting for his order.
  • If you are a waiter or waitress make sure that you habitually get diners' orders wrong. Bringing starters to tables after main courses is advisable.
  • When riding on buses, never talk loudly - keep quiet apart from when your obnoxious ringtone goes off - then you can talk over your mobile phone as loudly as you wish.
  • When standing on a crowded metro or "skytrain" you must face forward - not backwards or to the side.
  • If you are an attractive young woman you must wear tight skimpy shorts or very short dresses to inflame the passions of passing middle-aged "farangs".
  • If you are a woman you must not touch a Buddhist monk.
  • Do not touch other people's heads.
  • Do not talk about the King of Thailand who is as venerated as the Lord Buddha himself.
  • If selling wine in a supermarket, make sure the bottle price is at least double the average European price.
  • If you own a dog there is no need to have it on a lead or anything like that - just let it roam the streets so that it can make a pack with other street dogs.
  • If you are a car driver, you must only use your horn in dire emergencies - never to express annoyance or frustration.
  • Drop litter where ever you want to.
  • If you operate a business, employ large numbers of people, specially selected because of their low levels of competence.
  • If you own a business, pay your workers as little as you possibly can so that they only have enough for basic survival.
  • If you own a construction business, ignore normal health and safety rules and irritating building regulations that get in the way of progress.
  • If you are a market trader, do not harangue or hassle potential customers as such behaviour is considered most impolite.
  • At supermarket checkouts, never help the shopper behind you by putting the plastic divider on the conveyor belt for them.
  • Take off your shoes before you enter somebody's home or any Buddhist temple.
The country seems to have many other "rules" like this. The longer I have stayed here in "The Land of Smiles", the more I have noticed these odd codes of conduct. They remind me that I am far from home.


  1. What, no skimpy shorts or short dresses for Sheffield women?! You want to get o'er to Barnsley as soon as you get back 'ome, lad!

  2. BRIAN I think it is only Barnsley men who wear skimpy shorts and short skirts as the town is filled with cross-dressers and transvestites.

  3. all the things that the lovely judith chalmers never tolduson WISH YOU WERE HERE

  4. Elf and Safety would have a field day!

  5. The doctor is in.

    I think that because your visit to Thailand will be ending soon, you are concentrating on the bad things (instead of the good things about which you posted earlier) to make your departure easier to bear.


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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