Look, I know I’m on shaky ground here but I’m pretty sure my wife will find some amusement in all of these and to be fair it is pretty funny. I’ve been in long term relationships with both western and Thai women and my (Thai) wife and I are about to celebrate our 4th anniversary. There are some distinct differences / idiosyncrasies when it comes to being in a cross-cultural relationship with a Thai and I’ve tried to concentrate on specific aspects that differ. When embarking on a mixed race marriage / relationship you are opening yourself to a wonderful world of love and laughter, but also a world of cultural differences and it’s absolutely essential that you welcome the whole experience with open arms and an open mind. For every successful Thai / Western relationship there are ten that fail so that open mind is absolutely paramount. So here goes with some interesting and quirky things that you can expect in a relationship with a Thai.
Thais are big on personal hygiene and whilst I wouldn’t consider myself a slouch in that department, my wife is very quick to point out if I haven’t showered or brushed my teeth at the appropriate times, even if it’s after I’ve fallen asleep on the sofa.
Unidentifiable Foodstuffs in the Fridge – On many occasions I’ve gone to the fridge in search of a tasty snack and I’m greeted with bowls of gross looking matter that wouldn’t be out of place in a horror movie. Takes a little while to get used to.
Food Being Forced on You – Here is how this instance usually plays out: ‘Honey, try this’…..’What is it?’….’Just try it’……’I don’t want to, I’m not hungry’………’Just try it’….’I don’t want to, I’m not hungry’…..’It’s really nice, you’ll like it’ (food being projected towards mouth without consent).
Old Wive’s Tales – Bizarre cures for every ailment known to man are passed down through generations in Thailand so don’t be surprised at some strange suggestions to antidotes for your illness / ailment. e.g. ‘I’ve got a bit of an earache this morning’….’Well just pop a bit of butter on your tummy and you’ll be fine’.
Crazy Superstitions – Thais are very superstitious and you may need to be sensitive to this fact. Most Thais believe in ghosts and karma so conduct your behaviour accordingly, you may need to listen to a ghost to find out what the winning lottery numbers are. Some curious superstitions include: bad luck if you get a haircut on a Wednesday, your finger will fall off if you point at a rainbow and if a tokay gecko sounds off when you leave the house it’s warning you that something bad will happen.
No Sense of Time – We’ve all heard of Thai time and it really is a thing. Thais take a much more relaxed approach with getting to places on time (which is in stark contrast to myself) and it’s one that I personally really have to work on. I’ll often be saying things like ‘Honey, shouldn’t we be getting ready?, ‘We need to be there at 13:00’ etc etc. And let’s be honest, most of the time it actually doesn’t matter that much if you’re a bit late.