Okay, I didn’t quite know how to categorize this information that I was able to garner from different conversations I had while we were in Thailand and general observations. It’s just a mishmash of random information, some of it is a little risque and most of it is not meant to be generalizations of entire groups of people. So please don’t think I’m racist and/or intolerant.
Toilet Tissue – Many people use toilet paper for every day cleaning, instead of napkins, because they’re easier to transport and cheaper.
Showers – Some of the hotels and most of the homes don’t have a separate space for the shower stall. When you walk in the bathroom you don’t walk into another area to take a shower, there is just a shower spigot next to the toilet. Everything gets wet.
Indians – People from India: There are a lot of people from India in Thailand. And they do have quite a few tailor shops, indian food, and knock-off stores run by them. I was kind of surprised when I went there and I saw as many of them as I did all throughout Thailand. I asked my dad why there are so many indians in Thailand and he said it is probably because they have more opportunities for work but it is also a place where many indian men can get access to boys for sex. One man that he had talked to admitted that he liked boys and preferred them over women because indian women are completely covered up and you don’t know what you’re getting, but with the boys, they do.
Russian Mafia – The Russian mafia is the crime syndicate that runs most of Thailand. They may have been one of the first groups to get into Thailand and because of that have the strongest foothold in the country. They do some very sad things to the Thai people. When boys are young, they’ll kidnap them, break or cut off their limbs and then put them on the street all day to beg for money. They drop them off in the morning and pick them up in the night. With the women, they’ll kidnap babies and put the two together to beg for money as well. It’s something to think about when people are begging and you give them money, there is a chance you could be supporting the Russian mafia.
Karaoke and Massage parlors – Both are synonymous with sex bars. I do mean sex bars because you are pretty much guaranteed sex. They do have legitimate karaoke in family restaurants and legitimate massage parlors (look for the older women, not the young women scantily clad). I was really sad about the Karaoke information because I would have been the person that walks into the place and then has to walk out because it’s too awkward and I’m a dummy.
Sex – Prostitution is legal in Thailand, they have a red light area that is beautiful, you can tell that there is a lot of money put in to that profession and district. One of the disturbing aspects of the sex trade in Thailand is the age of the prostitutes. They range from older to very young, and when I say very young, I do mean young. They have these places called “fishbowls” where the men can come in and behind a glass window there would be a selection of women, girls, and boys, distinguishable by the numbers in front of them. You pick a number and they are yours to have sex with.
Shopping – Obviously you can buy anything in Thailand. Shopping is the national hobby and as long as it looks like a brand name people will buy it. You can go to the store and get whitening treatments, scar removals, and even plastic surgery at the malls. Antibiotics are also over-the-counter and if you can, you can do your own IV lines.
Working – Everyone in Thailand seems to have more than one job. To be a teacher is to have the most highly respected job in Thailand (Buddha was a teacher) even more so than a lawyer or doctor.
AND TO END . . .
Toilets – I had the hardest time figuring out the bathroom situation in Thailand. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom stall staring at the things in front of me trying to figure it out. I finally had to ask my dad. They have what I think of as regular toilets (seat and cover), toilets without a seat and cover, and things they call squatters. Squatters look like shorter toilets, no seat and cover, and with ridges on both sides of the bowl, for your feet. They also had rubbish cans in each stall filled with toilet tissue and a hose or a bin with a bucket and water. I had no idea what to do in there. I thought the bucket was to put water down the toilet instead of flushing (to save water), I couldn’t figure out the toilet paper in the trash can but felt that I could flush my toilet paper because not many people were doing it. After I told my dad, that I was having problems in the bathroom, he told me what most of it was about and Squire, me and him, had a great laugh about it. Squire was glad that he was a man. But in short, this is what I gathered all those things in the bathroom actually were supposed to be used for, the bucket and water was either to flush (if there was no running water) or to clean yourself after you use the bathroom (if there isn’t the hose nearby), the tissue paper in the trash can is because most people just dry after they do the wash. I admit that my logic didn’t work in this situation, more than once I used the hose to hose down the toilet and wet the whole bathroom. Though as my dad says, “no one wants to put their ass where other people have, they already think their feet are dirty so that is okay,” (and what the ridges on the side of the toilet are for).
I’m sure there are more things I could write about but for now I‘ll leave on toilets.