Thailand General: Social Order


Thailand General: Social Order




Judging by the number of coup d’etats Thailand has undergone for the past two decades, and if you have never visited the country, you may find what I have to say here counter-intuitive and surprising. One of the first observations I made on the Thai people as a collective unconscious social unit is that they are capable of acting in a crown an intelligent, efficient, organised, and considerate manner. That, my friends, I can say of no other nation I have experienced. It is a wonderful feature which I admire every day that can be observed in every socio-economic bracket of Thai society although social norms vary slightly based on differences in purchasing power and education.

As a way of example, I am going to use what takes place at the BTS train stations. I have taken the subway in many countries and, especially in Asia, there are usually visual indicators on how to considerately and efficiently use the subway. I am referring to visual indications such as arrows pointing out where to stand when the train arrives, where to exit from and how to line up while waiting. Despite these being ever-present in most cities that enjoy having a subway infrastructure, they are universally being snubbed by most passengers. I am going to start with the worse I have seen – Shanghai. There people using the subway not only try to defy common courtesy rules, in addition to those of the visual indicators, but they also challenge basic rules of physics. Every time I tried to exit the subway car in Shanghai, I was sure to run into a mob of people who, at the same time as me and with the same intensity, were moving to get in, thus making it impossible and rather unpleasant for me and the rest of the passengers to vacate the train. I value my bodily integrity, so having to wrestle my way out of the subway regularly took a toll on my experience in the country. Not to mention that many of the people who were trying to enter were also carrying some monstrous pointy luggage which they were not shy about using as an entry weapon. This Shanghai idyllic scene is probably on the far end of the spectrum of comparative passenger behavior.


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