Thai Direction

One of my biggest annoyances in Bangkok other than the traffic, the pollution, the noise, the humidity and the congestion is what I call “Thai Direction” or lack of. I first thought the problem was a commutation issue, me with my lack of Thai skills, and their lack of English. This turned out not to be the case as I have Thai friends who suffer from the same problem.

Their have often been times when I step into a taxi, clearly tell the driver “RCA, ARE CEE AAAAA, RRRRRRRR CCCCCCCCCCC AAAAAAAAAAAA”, he nods his head, clicks the start button on the meter and drives in the complete opposite direction. I will always give them the benefit of the doubt to start with because I’m a nice guy, assuming to myself he is about to make a u-turn then head the right way. Sometimes I end up half way to Cambodia, before I realise what is going on and intervene.

inside a Bangkok taxi

This one time at band camp I got in a taxi and told the driver “RCA” which I think all Bangkok taxi drivers should know as it’s a huge road and is busy every single day of the week. Soon as he starts the meter he is asking me for directions! Uw0tm8? He has picked me up less than 3 miles from my destination and still doesn’t know, I’m just grateful I have more direction than Girl Scout otherwise I would have serious trouble living in Bangkok.

Pro tip: always Google the destination you want to go to before hand and get someone to write it in Thai so the taxi driver if you feel they may not know.

 Pro pro tip: they will never know.

It’s the same when walking into a shop or asking a person on the street for directions, more often than not they will just guess a direction and you will be walking around like a headless chicken. I asked a Som Tam lady once how to get out the soi she said “yes yes”, then handed a cold fish and some sticky rice?

I am not sure why Thais have such a lack of direction, I have been told by a once long term expat that its because many of them don’t explore Bangkok and hardly leave the soi they live and work on so this makes sense. Thais generally don’t have the disposable income us westerns do, so they would no be frequenting the bars and restaurants that we do and as a result not knowing the direction to get there?

What are you thoughts about Thai Direction?

For anyone who actually goggled “One Direction” and some how ended up here, don’t worry I try to please all my viewers so here you go.

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