1993 was my first trip to Thailand and at the young age of 13 I thought it was amazing but I also thought it was very dirty. I’ll never forget my first time at Jatujak market sitting down with my father and sister to eat lunch and it was stifling. I felt like I was permanently in a Sauna and needed a drink asap! The girl came around with the ice in the glass and I filled it with code. At the same time I look over and see where they keep the ice, one of those big blue ice boxes, there was a young girl maybe 5 in rags looked like she’s been walking around barefoot since birth. Her hand reached lovingly into the icebox twirling the ice around pulling out big chucks of ice sucking on it for a bit before returning it to the icebox and finding another piece. Suddenly I didn’t feel so thirsty.
That was over 20 years ago and absolutely nothing has changed. If you suffer from Mysophobia “fear of germs” then the last place in the world you want to move to is Thailand. A young girl playing with your ice is probably the least of your worries there’s so many germs in Thailand and a huge lack of hygiene if it wasn’t for 1st world medicine the plague would have wiped this place out years ago.
If there was one thing I could change in Thailand that is of personal hygiene and cleanliness. From kids playing in your ice to old meat being sold to save a buck and the complete filth that most public restrooms are in.
*Note if you have to pay to go to the bathroom you know it’s going to stink!
What’s just as amazing to me is the number of foreigners who are super dirty as well. I’ve more than enough times from Thai girls that Farang stink. I think a lot of that is people walking around in the heat all day doesn’t make them smell fresh at all but it’s more than that. There’s too many of these hippy types coming to Thailand walking barefoot around the city and shower only once a day that are making Thai people think all of us are dirty.=
One of the most recognized greetings in Thailand is the Wai. You put two hands together like your going to pray as this is a sign of respect to those older than you. So glad they have this too because if I had to go around shaking people’s hands in Thailand I’m sure I’d picked up something nasty, in fact maybe this is why Thai people decided not to adopt the shaking hands thing in the first place, as there are few Thai men that actually wash their hands after using the bathroom.
If there’s one thing in Thailand I could change and that would be for everyone to wash their hands after using the bathroom, what would you change?