Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cultural Experience 101.

Yesterday Pookie and I were coming back from the market in a taxi when we passed a pickup truck on the highway. While not very noteworthy, I thought the fact that two men were trying to get comfortable in the cab was interesting! Friday afternoon I saw a hammock strung in the back of another truck with a man lazily swinging back and forth on it. This is a pretty common occurrence, making it a cultural experience. Can you read fine and citation if that happened in the States?!?

If you've ever been to New York City, you'll know that there is quite literally a Starbucks on every corner. (And if you've never been to NYC, you now know that!) The equivalent for Thailand is 7-Eleven. To quote Wikipedia, "Its stores are located in eighteen countries, with its largest markets being Japan, the United States, Taiwan, and Thailand." Definitely true! I've seen 7-Eleven stores right across the street from each other:o). Cultural Experience.

As Rachel mentioned in a comment below, Thai people take their shoes off whenever they enter someones house. I was asking Pookie about it this morning as to why they do it and she said it's because the house is dirty. So I'm taking that to mean they don't want to track more dirt into the house. We all take our shoes off (although I take mine off and stick them just inside the door of my house, the office, or church) so as not to offend. One time I was confused by this practice though. Each Sunday for church we take our shoes off... that's fine. But one Saturday we went to a wedding at the same church and everyone left their shoes on. Huh??? I must admit, it didn't make any sense! But that's just a cultural experience for you!

I do have to add this funny story in about shoes: we had two men here from North Carolina who took their shoes off like everyone else, but the one guy left his outside the office (technically that's what you're supposed to do, but anyway). Everyone was quietly working when Bro. Tom looked up and saw a dog with a shoe in its mouth! It was funny watching the poor guy run after the dog to get his shoe back!!! Shoes and dogs - some more cultural experiences!

Life in Thailand... leave your American mentality at home!!!


Deborah said...

I'm from Canada, and it is common practice to remove your shoes when you enter a home. Now I know we are different from the U.S.....but you DO get you take your shoes off at the door on rainy days?....just call me curious!

Ashley said...

I love reading posts like this that allow me a glimpse into your new normal life.

Anne said...

I don't normally take my shoes off (unless I feel like it:D), but on rainy days I'll kick them off sometimes. I guess the thing that gets me here is that it is done automatically all the time. Thai people will *never* enter someone's house with their shoes on, even if they're moving stuff in. :)