First Impressions of a Foreign Place

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by Tim Burdick on 26 January, 2014

(Or-what I learned walking down the main street of Mae Nam, Koh Samui.)

Always make sure when you go to a country that you keep an open mind and celebrate their differences. You travel to see something new, not the same old thing.

1. At the airport, all employees smiled and bowed with their hands folded in prayer. Do they have the best customer service in the world or were they happy freaks? No, they’re Buddhists. Trust me, when you are running to catch your plane, you will be happy that somebody is praying for you.

2) As my plane landed in Koh Samui, I could see: the firemen standing at attention, single file in front of their trucks. Were they greeting us? Or were Bangkok airways planes so bad that emergency services were on standby until the planes safely landed?

3) McDonalds, Coke (the soft drink) and German tourists are everywhere. Also, I met lots of Russians as well.

4) They have sidewalks on one only side of the street.

5) The Thai national flag reminds me of Denmark’s for some reason, which is strange since their flags don’t look at all alike. Well, now I know.

6) The Military endorses its own approved insect repellant.

7) Home mart is not a supermarket but a hardware store.

8) Watch your head for the low hanging telephone wires.

9) Scooters are the main form of transportation.

10) Crossing the street is difficult and a little dangerous with a steady stream of cars, vans, and scooters. I once thought that the ring road in front of the Eiffel tower was the worst.
Sorry, Paris, you are number two.

These observations made me smile and see Thailand as a special country with its own unique culture. I feel that I have only scratched the surface in learning about them. Hope you are all lucky enough to go somewhere and learn something new.

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