Utilizing a topic suggested by listener Wes, Greg and Ed discuss the unwritten ‘rules’ of Thai culture – the ones that everyone knows but aren’t written down anywhere, despite Ed wishing they were because he really has no idea what he’s doing right and wrong! As Greg notes, we all have to fake it until we make it.

Greg then begins a series of specific puzzles that farangs have to navigate, including the proper use of the expletive ‘arai wa,’ knowing when or how much to lower your head when passing in front of someone, trying to determine the correct use of ‘nong’ and ‘phee’ when interacting with a stranger of indeterminate age, and how to wai someone when your hands are otherwise occupied. 

The guys discuss each puzzle, but Ed notes his overarching problem: what to do when Thai people treat him as a foreigner and don’t follow Thailand’s cultural norms. Should farangs follow Thai rules when Thais don’t? No one knows! But Greg and Ed agree that the impact of these difficulties is lessened by Thais flexibility and general forgiving nature. So do your best out there fellow expats, but don’t worry about it too much. It’s all ‘mai pen rai’ in the end. 🙂

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