One thing I’ll say about the Thai, they’re not afraid to speed things up a bit without a single thought for safety. Coming from a place where occupational health and safety codes and insurance slow everything down (*cough! NSW… *cough! Nanny-state! *cough!) and make stuff much more expensive to do, it’s kind of refreshing to live in a place like Thailand where no one gives a crap about public liability and you pretty much do everything at your own risk…. And save dollars!!
For those salivating at a cost of living so low it’s subterranean, you really do need to accept that you’re completely responsible for your own well-being, and that can take some getting used to. Especially after being somewhat coddled back home.
When I was last in Penang (Malaysia) on a visa run, I met a young yank of about 19 who was just itching to get to Thailand and start some trouble. He seemed like a sharp, good-hearted kid, but a real little trouble-maker. I gave him this one simple piece of advice about how to survive in the land of smiles and road rash:
“Act as if everyone and everything is trying to kill you all the time.”
Abide by that one unwritten law and you’ll be just fine. This may sound a touch paranoid, and it really is I suppose, but it’s 100% true. One day I felt I was being too worried for no reason, so I let my guard down for two seconds – then this happened:
If you want to enjoy all the freedom and astonishingly low prices Thailand affords you, you have to watch your damn arse at all times. That, and be prepared to improvise with whatever you have to hand in any given situation, MacGyver-style:
The point is there’s always an errant nail jutting out at eye level, good and ready for the gouging.
You have been warned…
Now go have fun! :)