Friday, August 20, 2010

Cute little observations

While in Bangkok, Greg and I were talking about the things that we usually notice in the Philippines.  And we both agreed on one thing.  Do you notice it? How taxi drivers, cashiers, etc. ask for the exact change?  If the bill is Php102 and you hand a crisp Php500 bill, what do they automatically say? "Do you have two pesos?".

Am I right? Or am I right?

So in the spirit of fun, we decided to do a little test.  Will our driver in Bangkok ask for the same? Will the Cashier at the department store will ask for exact change?  

Test Case One:  Our taxi ride cost our 87Bhat.  We handed a hundred. We waited for him to ask for 7Bhat.  Nope. He handed us the change without saying anything.

Test Case Two: We bought food at the gluttonous food center of Siam Center. Same thing.

Test Case Three: We went to buy chicken and beer at Big C. The Cashier gave us the total. 128Bhat. Greg and I looked at eachother.  Greg took the money out gave her 150Bhat. And offered her 8Bhat. She took it. But she was kinda struggling.  She calculated...then she got some help with her on scren calculator.  Took her some time to figure it out.  I was silently tapping my feet, silently blaming Greg for this delay...Soon she gave us our change...

Greg laughed...She was struggling coz she doesn't care about exact change! When in the Philippines, counting backwards at cash registrars is a second nature.

After this discovery, we started noticing little trivial stuff. 
  1. We noticed that in Thailand, no matter what you are drinking, they give you a straw.  Try it, buy a small bottle of mineral water and it will come with a straw.
  2. Also, unlike here in the Philippines, they don't tie their plastics, they seal it by tying a rubber band around the opening. 
  3. Thailand is also a land of Bangs...Women everywhere have bangs.
It's funny how these little things define a country.  Small silly stuff make up big fun things...that might turn out stupid realities...but in this case, it's just little cute things that defines a country's culture.  Things we normally take for granted but is deep rooted in our behavior that we do them without thinking.

A country is defined by its people...people are defined by their characters.  Characters are shaped by one's perspective...By looking at this things, you understand how differently we all are...but how similar. How varied "enthusiasm" or " greatness" is defined in many cultures but how they often thread in one similar line.

We are having too much fun in this little game we concocted.
Vietnam, Land of we come!


Greg Roberts said...

What can I say? India has the head shake..apparently, here in the US, at least in New England..its "Fucking this and fucking that" I find it disconcerting, they have destroyed the shock value of a perfectly good cuss word, even little old ladies from there, at least some of them, start, finish and add a few "fucking this or thats" into each sentence.

I think I like wet naps better. WHen do we leave?

13thwitch said...

*laughs. so true =)
we leave midyear next year ok? tsup and im forcing you to take me to halong bay.