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Is Thailand Pissing You Off?

It's all great to hear about how cheap and wonderful things are here, you can pickup girls like apples on a tree, wild crazy hangover nights that cost less than 50 bucks, but that's mostly for tourists. Living in Thailand is a lot of hassle and seriously aggravating and often times smelly and dirty. Life in Thailand is far from rainbows and butterfly's, get over that right now! The mystical garden does not exist!

Now 6 years in Thailand i'm only just starting to down. You know there's so many things that affect you living in Thailand that you just wouldn't have to deal with back home. There's a reason things are cheap in Thailand because most of it doesn't work. Just trying to find a place to live that has decent plumbing is a gamble in it'self.

It's not that shit just doesn't work either, the locals will simply ignore you.  You'll become a ghost.......unless your on your own anywhere anytime people will ask about you, talk about you, right in front of your face without acknowledging your presence. This also happens at the most convenient times like receiving change at the gas station or buying groceries at Tesco. Sometimes it's not only annoying, but can make you feel like a leper as a rural bus fills up and no one sits next to you.

You're always an outsider in Thailand and so folks tend to create their own social network of expat friends. To get an idea of the type of person that lives in Thailand go check out the forums o ThaiVisa.com where the majority of expats socialize online. Thailand can be a lonely place full of lonely people.

Visa's are annoying but understandable, but having to report every 3 months with an address you can just make up is another thing that will piss you off. Just staying a night at a hotel the owner has to report the fact to the police, while the majority don't, still the whole practice pisses off the locals too. Thailand makes up these stupid rules all the time! I remember in the 90's they made you declare your cell phone when entering in the country. They would seriously have people inspecting them, there was all this paperwork and nonsense you had to go through, yeah they got rid of that now, instead they introduced all these other dumb rules that you have to put up with.

Ordering food in Thailand. Possibly the most frustrating thing and expat can do is to order food and expect any kind of service. Thai's are scared. They are scared of everything, even every house has a little house out the front for the spirits because it would be scary without one. People will not approach you, help you, or even ask if everything with the meal is fine. Find a worm in your meal, no worries mate, the waiter will kindly take it off so you can enjoy. Oh when you order pad krapow and it comes out as fried rice because white people eat fried rice you should be lucky that you got anything because roughly 1 in 20 times when you order something it never comes.

No living in Thailand is not all parties and good times, the place sucks people in and spits them out on a daily basis. It can be a mental challenge where the heat makes it almost impossible to see clearly. Actually it's the heat which makes most people grumpy and can make doing anything a huge chore. Most people I know at least, try to sleep during the day.

Basic chores and simple things like getting gas can turn into major heart attack. A friend told me about his experience yesterday. He went pulled up to the bowser and in the most perfect Thai he could muster he asked to fill the tank with 91. The guy just stares at him like he was from another planet. So he tries again. The guy just scratches his head. My friend at this point just goes ballistic, mostly at his frustration that no matter where he goes he tries to speak Thai and people just give him blank stares. He's pissed.

Turns out the guy is Burmese can speak English but not Thai.

If your living in Thailand right now and things are pissing you off just calm down. What your probably frustrated at isn't what the actual problem is or who caused it.

Sometimes it's OK to bitch and moan though, we all do it, anything piss you off about living in Thailand? Let me know in the comments below.


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41 Responses to Is Thailand Pissing You Off?

  1. oded May 17, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    I live in Chiang Mai for ( it’s in Thailand yes ! ) 4 years and everything ( almost ) is going just great for us we are getting great services .One thing I can agree is if you try to speak your lousy Thai they will just give you the blank stares so I gave up .My suggestion is just keep smiling and you will be ok here .

    • Chris May 17, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

      Four years in Chiang Mai That’s awesome! Hope you love it as much as I do. Never mind about speaking Thai and get blank stares either. Could be like my mate and find out they don’t even speak Thai! The smiles is what keeps me here, thanks for the comment.

    • Gringo Bush Pilot May 19, 2014 at 11:32 am #

      Here’s how to beat them at this little game. In Thai, tell them you can’t speak English, that you are a Russian or from France. Say I want to speak Thai, OK? Works every time.

    • greg October 12, 2014 at 2:06 am #

      You’ve just discovered your motivation to study.

  2. James May 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    One of your best articles ! I spend 6 months a year in Thailand and 6 months in the UK and have done for 5 years now, I returned to the UK 2 days ago after a 7 month stay in the land of smiles and can say this article is 100% on the money. Great read thanks !

    • Chris May 17, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

      Thanks for the comment James! I’m guessing you come here when it’s winter there 😉 good choice!

  3. TylerB May 17, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

    Wow,from just reading that rant I am guessing you are still having a heat wave there.Hope you get some rain soon.

  4. Billy May 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    The Thais really don’t accept outsiders; they only tolerate them. It is what it is- some times its great, then its not. I’ve always known I would never live here permanently. Much more to see in the world 🙂

  5. Happy In BKK May 17, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    YES! This is what I find most aggravating –

    “It’s not that shit just doesn’t work either,
    the locals will simply ignore you. You’ll become a ghost…….
    unless your on your own anywhere anytime people will ask about you,
    …sometimes it’s not only annoying, but can make you feel like a leper as a rural bus fills up and no one sits next to you.

    It becomes obvious to anyone that lives here for any period of time
    that there’s a definite “passive/aggressive” streak in the attitude of
    a large percentage of Thais towards foreigners. (Teachers at schools
    are often not provided with supplies, comforts etc.)

    Most of the time, we are restricted to the uneducated, older, divorced,
    desperate single mothers, (skanks,) that Thai men have no further
    use or desire for. The younger, attractive, educated females don’t want
    to risk their reputation or “social-standing” by being seen as someone that
    associates with farangs- (other than the accepted commercial transaction.)

    But, for me, (as of today,) the overall advantages to living in Thailand still outweigh
    the disadvantages. I can also see things about Thai society that western societies
    could learn- patience, tolerance, cheerfulness, friendliness, “mai pen rai”,…

    (I first came to Thailand in 1973.)

    HappyInBKK

    • Chris May 17, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

      So glad someone related to that part of the story. Anyone who hasn’t experienced it must live in a box. It’s good to know though even after such a long time you’d still rather be here. Thanks for the comment..

  6. dingo May 17, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    i would expect most of the complaints that have been listed in this article to be those of a person experiencing their first few months in Thailand.

    anyone who has lived here a number of years and can speak Thai as well as you, should be able to deal with these things easily without getting frustrated.

    we are farang, we are different and often are treated differently. it starts from day one and does not change much. get used to it.

    you should try living back in Australia, paying 40+% tax, surrounded by bogans and paying too much for everything. Maybe you will feel better then.

    • Chris May 17, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

      I think it’s natural for people to complain about things that aggravate them. I know many people in Sydney…they complain about alot more things than people do here. It’s all relative but whatever it is wouldn’t change my choice for living here.

  7. KennyN May 17, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    The biggest thing that pisses me off is in front of the owner of a local Thai restaurant and them acting like you are not there. They refuse to ask you what you want to order in either Thai or English, they dont tell you to go away… You just end up standing there. I really wonder what is going through their heads… “If I act like this guy isnt here, he will go away eventually”… Pisses me off.

    • Jeff June 8, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

      I agree with your post ‘Kenny’, I think it’s as ‘Billy’ had posted earlier; Thais generally don’t accept (nor like in my opinion), foreigners. We are just seen as outsiders…individuals who are not from within the general population. Which in a way is true, but I feel it’s more how they sometimes seem to want to go to great lengths to treating and speaking to us differently (sometimes rudely), than how they would with their fellow comrades.
      Not to mention (again, through my own experiences), how there is such obvious racism towards foreigners (especially those who are not white).
      Like I’ve told many friends and others before and will still harp on this very theme even after being here for nearly 5 years now: I have thoroughly enjoyed the country..it’s truly awesome and have been able to do some great traveling (the VERY reason I came here). However, the people are something else sometimes make things very annoying, and certainly not the kind of people I grew up with back in the good old U.S.A.

  8. martini May 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    I’ve been here 5 years and do not recognize myself in your story at all. Yes stuff is different here… yes I have to count till 10 sometimes and take a deep breath. But I don’t feel lonely, ignored, completely unaccepted or gossiped about any more than back home. I have no problems at the gas station or when I order pad krapauw cause I tell them exactly how I’d like them to cook it… If I had to note 1 thing it’s how most restaurants that don’t know me don’t really believe when I order it ‘ phet phet’ that I really really mean spicy. But they usually do check in and ask if it’s not to spicy. You could always tell them how many chillies to use just like you do with your somtam.

    I do need western friends cause my thai, while good enough for directions, food ordering and a general basic conversation isnt good enough for some deeper conversations. All in all i get what you mean but it really doesn’t feel this heavy.

    • Chris May 17, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

      I expected there would be two types of responses to this story and to be honest I don’t believe that you’ve never ever had a problem ordering food. And sometimes it’s not even a language thing like ordering noodles with red pork and they bring it out with dumplings because “that’s how farang like it” which has happened to me and i speak OK Thai. The article isn’t just my experiences but a combination of people i’ve known as well. I know people like yourself who feel they have never had an issue and really that was my point in the article, it’s just how you look at things and understand the bigger picture that things piss you off less. Not everyone has a lot of patience, i’m one of those people.

  9. Jamie May 17, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    Haha, great post.
    When Thai people find it perfectly acceptable to push in front of you in a queue at 7 eleven.
    Or when they follow you around when your in a shop and you just want to browse in peace without fuckin slope eyes watching every move you make. That’s what pisses me off.

    • Jeff June 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

      Couldn’t agree more ‘Jamie’. I was just at Power Buy last weekend and it actually really pissed me off how I was fine just talking with one of the store associates yet the others somehow quickly sensed their compatriot was talking with ‘an outsider’ and I guess felt the need to run to her aid. The next thing you know Jamie, FOUR yes FOUR other associates decide to show up and just watch me as the original associated was speaking to me. It made me kind of mad as I was thinking, “Okay there’s no show going on here why do you guys feel the need to show up in droves?” It also made me feel like I was the bad guy and they were teaming up for something to happen.
      I didn’t get upset or anything but can’t STAND when they do this and it never fails.
      However, I would also agree just in general how yes, it’s also quite irritating how they hire like 10 people to man one department and you end up being followed around and no matter which corner you decide to ‘escape to’, there’s that one more associate watching you from a different angle. In fact, one time and I ended up just walking out of the store since it was irritating me so much (NOT because I was intimidated), but just because I felt I couldn’t even shop in peace.

  10. Gringo Bush Pilot May 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    Strange – because I love my neighborhood and everybody knows me. I love to bullshit with the Thais (warning them) that “Pom Chorp poot len.” We all have our social barriers – I see Farangs walking around looking at their BKK maps in bewilderment. I always ask if I can help. The male (always the male) goes on the defensive.
    But I always prevail – common sense works in BKK and (well almost) always in NYC. No, you know what pisses me off … Americans accepting the new police state, and not a whimper. If the political situation in the Kingdom was now in the US, there would be hundreds of dead ‘murkins.
    Thailand, with all its blemishes – I’ll take any day.

  11. Barry May 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    Hey Chris

    I have lived here for 2 years now and I don’t have 10% of the problems you have. You had better go home if that stuff you mentioned pisses you off.

    Relax and chill my friend and it will all get easier.

    Regards Barry

    • Chris May 17, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

      I’m sure we live completely different lives as well. Actually my biggest annoyance in Thailand are Karaoke girls that don’t give head. Shits me to death.

  12. The Horse May 17, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    It’s a phase thing… I find you get 1-2 months of thinking you’re in paradise and living the dream and wondering why all your friends are back home pumping away at a desk job like everyone else in the rat race….

    Then suddenly you’ll have a week of bullshit…. Stupid stuff that makes you want to pull your hair out. Applying for a license, visa run, girl issues etc…

    after the week of OMG/WTF you generally get back onto an even footing and love it again but this does not change the fact that there are some serious ups and downs that come with living in this mental little country.

  13. Lex Luthor May 17, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    Sneakiness in business transactions–Thais are always trying to get one up on you, they are dishonest to the core.
    “This is all your fault! If you weren’t here this wouldn’t have happened!”
    They are racist and highly jealous of non-asian foreigners (“farang”) and see them purely as rich atm machines.
    Their education system is possibly the worst in SE Asia. Even if you can find anyone that speaks the international language of English, good luck conversing on any level about geopolitics, science, world history, philosophy, etc. For example, few Thais know one of the worst genocides in history happened next door in Cambodia, and they see Hitler as a funny hip icon.

  14. Donald Cricks May 18, 2014 at 12:32 am #

    What upsets me is the fact that when we come to Thailand we have to exchange currency for Thai Currency and it sometime is hard to find a good deal as not all places give us a us a square deal. I have a lady there and we been together 7 years. I want to settle down there with her and yet to get my money there I have to give them money to get money. You would think that if we intend to live there we would get a break, even from the Retirement Visa, but no. Required to have a lot in the bank or a big income to show each year for the Visa. Now is we marry, it cut in half but still have to show.
    I love Thailand, can handle most all there. I love my girl and her family and always excited to be around them. They just make it hard to be there and be with the ones I Love.

    • MikeOxwelling May 18, 2014 at 10:24 am #

      What are you talking about dude? Everywhere shows their exchange rates, the rates in Thailand are better than the rates outside, and you can shop around in the burbs for better rates than at the airports. Totally unfounded comment there buddy. I’m sure Thaivisa can help you to find better rates.

      • Brad May 18, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

        agree with Mike… we really do get ripped off in the west with exchange rates. Yes, you will need ‘Thai’ currency in ‘Thai’land.

  15. Brian Sumpter May 18, 2014 at 2:21 am #

    Yeah the service can be terrible. One time I needed a beer, and asked the three waitresses at MK. Two took off and didn’t come back, and the third one stood there and stared at me like some !@#$ cow! Really frosted me! My wife was there so there was no miscommunication. (The 1st thing they ask you in a US resturaunt is if you want something to drink)

    I found a great resturaunt that solved the problem in Patternak Hill(sp?) in Pattaya. They had the front desk bells from hotels at every table. Want something? Ding! The girls would come running, I almost felt sorry for them. Thing is though, you are not really expected to tip, so you really can’t complain. Too much. lol.

    Why I can’t live in Thailand is because of the wine. Its crappy and expensive. I can only handle so much Chang, and I don’t like whiskey. And I hate visa runs, they are psychologically damaging! It was better on the buses than the solo cars. Ah well, no place is perfect.

    And about the police state in the US, they are about to make the cops start wearing cameras. Complaints for brutality are down 90%. The spying, they do it everywhere, don’t fool yourself. Aren’t they installing 10,000 CCTVs in one area of BKK? Wild story, a beautiful girl took my photo late in a 14th floor mini-mart, I saw her run down the hall in a red dress and high heels. I figured I better not chase her. Probably had something to do with the red t-shirt my gf bought me, and that I was seen talking to a French journalist. Its a bizarre place, Thailand.

    I think CM is probably more isolating because so few speak English. My wife even though they were a little strange. The Hill people nearby even speak another language, right? Its the edge of civilization! I’ll bet something else Chis, when Thai people know you speak Thai so well, there is no adventure, and not much $ to be made. I think they will only accept you as a Thai when you marry one and she speaks well of you. Then they are happy to be your friend. A wise monger on the loose? I’d be scared too! Lock up the women! lol!

  16. Happy In BKK May 18, 2014 at 4:19 am #

    Excellent Chris! – Now THAT is really a HUUUUUUGE negative!
    The fact that you are still able to find “karoke girls that won’t give head”
    is a serious flaw in the social structure here and should be addressed immediately! 😉

  17. jack May 18, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    Thais are very perceptive to the energy one puts out they have strong animal like instincts most westeners lost hundreds of years ago or possible thousands.
    Just as you go to mount a horse it can sense any ripple of insecurity and will take you for a ride if you dont approach with a quiet calm and self assurance.
    If your on a big high or a real low you are easy to shaft.
    I have often heard Thais say with reference to the Buddha ” never happy, never sad somewhere inbetween is best. Always be aware in LOS.
    Anyway you cant teach an animal to fuck like them so enjoy.

  18. Doctao May 18, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    Hi Chris, so funny,
    You really gave me a deep laugh with your style 🙂

    Differences are always a great source of hilarious situations, the Laurel & Hardy pattern.
    Thanks God the world is not yet all Hardy and give us occasion to laugh.

    For those seriously and pathologically frustrated, you can give them my email. I may be able to help.

    Best

    • Chris May 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      Glad you got a laugh out of it. When i get frustrated now that’s why i try to do just laugh about it. I’m surprised no one made a comment about spelling..i’m sure that’s going to come soon.

  19. Joseph Alexander May 18, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

    When you”re crossing a narrow street, you have to watch out for drivers making a left turn because they won’t yield and they’ll cut right in front of you if there’s room.Same thing when you’re jogging,people won’t stop and let you pass, they will walk right in front of you.

  20. paul May 19, 2014 at 12:39 am #

    The one thing we all have in common even if we complain about a variety of things is…..we all choose to live in Thailand even if we do have problems, so it cannot be that bad. Negativity will always bring negativity. If we choose something we should enjoy and mai pen rai about anythig else

  21. Joe May 19, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    A lot of people in denial in this thread, not like the first one on this subject.

  22. Skins June 11, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Great read! You nailed it with this one. Especially about being a ghost… If you are white you are just a walking ATM in Thailand. Outside of business transactions nobody wants anything to do with you. Sure! The Thais are smiling and sweet if you are giving them money. It’s funny sometimes I say hi to the guy who sells me fruit and he just looks at me like I’m crazy… Like why the fuck would you wave to me and not buy anything??!

    And the service… In the past year I have ordered food at restaurants many times and it just never came… 40 minutes later I ask what’s going on and the waitress laughs in my face – OH SOLLY I FORGET!!! Instead of giving my order to the chef she went to the corner to eat and play with her phone. Thai people have zero work ethic and shit for brains. Besides that the place is pretty nice.

  23. Bam June 16, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    “Thai people have zero work ethic and shit for brains.”

    Hey! Dear not all i also Thais and i so sorry for that. I would love to treat you nice and make you happy then i am happy too. ( you are my guest – Thailand)

  24. greg October 10, 2014 at 5:15 am #

    Chris,

    What do you estimate is the % of lesbians working in the various tourist bars?

    I’ve been screening by asking if they have a tattoo, hoping this tilts the odds in my favor.

    Thanks

    • Chris October 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      In favor for a lesbian? Most lesbians I’ve met have tattoos.

      • greg October 11, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

        Lesbians have been the bane of my nightlife. Tawms often hate on me and at times won’t serve me. It seems to gall them to see handsome straight men going after the feminitas they covet. There is a lot of peer pressure on the straight bar girls to get tattoos. This is why I like my visa runs to Cambodia where they’re rare. A tattooless straight girl is the goal.

        • Chris October 12, 2014 at 12:54 am #

          I hate Toms!

  25. Tom December 2, 2014 at 6:13 am #

    Just read your post. All I wanted to say is that if it pisses you off that much. No one is holding you or anyone hostage. I lived in the Philippines for 3 weeks and I wanted to get the f out of there so bad and I did after 2 weeks .. I think you can come up with 100000x times more things that you love about thailand.

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