I had just got back from my summer holiday in the UK.
Mindful that I hadn’t ranted about anything in Thailand for a couple
of weeks and feeling, albeit at a distance, that my news editor was
breathing down my neck for a story moaning about something in
Thailand…….I wondered what to do.
Lacking inspiration at my keyboard, I decided to go out for a walk
with my one year old daughter.
It was hot and I was in a bit of a gruff mood.
Surely it would be easy to find something to rant about on the way.
I’d probably have a dozen things to get off my farang chest before I
even got to Villa.
Pavements, traffic, danger, noise, violence, mayhem, knife crime, road
rage – surely it was not a question of if but how many gripes I would
come back with.
And if all else failed I could whinge about the prices in the
supermarket – that’ll stir up the readership.
So off we set. The local school was turning out. There was no sidewalk
and the soi was jammed with cars.
But all the passing vehicles stopped to let me through with the buggy
– many waiting for as long as a minute. The drivers even smiled as I
took my time.
Damn – why is everyone so bloody polite? Don’t you people know how to
hoot or drive me headlong into the gutter?
Nobody seemed to have the slightest inclination to do so.
So the main road was reached. Surely I’d be nearly mown down by a
motorcyclist on the sidewalk and I could justifiably rant about that.
Aha one was on the pavement – but damn and double damn – he let us
pass and smiled amicably before he proceeded slowly on his way to a
Not just that, the way was free of vendors – completely unimpeded.
I was beginning to fear the worst – at least for the outward leg – as
close on a dozen young ladies, old ladies, young men and old men – all
smiled appreciatively at me and my daughter.
OK they probably thought I was her granddad but it would be churlish
to rant about that.
Further disappointment awaited at the shopping center of Major
Ratchayothin. Two teens in school uniform held the main door open for
me to pass, one even uttering “Good Morning” to me.
It was afternoon, but ranting about English standards was clutching at straws.
At the back door the guard held open the door then had the temerity to
stop the traffic in the side soi so we could pass without danger.
He saluted and said “khrapom” to my almost grudging “khop khun” –
after all I had been cruelly robbed of ranting material again.
In Villa they had completely reorganized the orientation of the
shelves while I’d been away and I didn’t know where anything was
Once again my thunder and indignation was stolen by the charming sales
girl who understood my Thai, showed me around and offered to carry my
shopping basket as “granddad” was clearly struggling with both that
and the buggy.
Damn these people’s consideration.
Tragically Weetbix was still on offer and though Branston was
exorbitantly priced it had also been before I left for the UK. If I
ranted about that I’d be a laughing stock and told to go home back to
my country and not bother wiping my feet on the way out.
I trudged out dejected…..even the electric doors worked perfectly.
Desperate I went into the bank – surely there I could muster up some
cock-up. No….if anything they were about ten times as efficient and
100 times as pretty as those people I’d dealt with at Barclays.
On the way back it was just more smiling faces, more cheery greetings
from total strangers – even a look of love and respect from the
motorcycle taxi boys as well as another salute from the old cop
sweltering in his tight uniform on his paak soi traffic duties.
A bag lady out feeding the soi cats, smiled and stroked my little
one’s hair and said “naa rak”.
No, I’d be more two faced than the worst Thai politician if I was to
pretend I was concerned by that.
I got home, the security guard waved at my daughter, the lift worked
as usual, I entered my quiet and peaceful condo, kissed my beautiful
and still young looking and smiling Thai wife and put my gorgeously
cute Thai/British daughter to bed for her afternoon nap.
I made myself a cup of PG Tips and relaxed in front of the keyboard
ready to write.
Why the hell was there a need to rant?
I was back in Thailand and all was well.
No wonder I love it so much.