To Thai people…in general….it seems to me, that the appearance of houses and public buildings on the outside (Other than religious Temples……)are just not important.
I have walked the streets in Bangkok and Chiang Mai and Tak, and Lampang and have been so frustrated with how rundown things looked to western eyes only because of mold and a lack of paint. Sometimes I’ve just wanted to go into a store and buy a gallon of bleach and a wire brush and start cleaning a wall or entry way to a building and show people what could be done in a couple of hours………… with a few dollars and some elbow grease…all the black mold could be gone and things would look beautiful (Until the next rainy season)….
I live in a fairly upscale village in the San Sai district of Chiang Mai just outside the super highway. Our village, “The Laguna Homes” has all the amenities of any western country including trash pick up. However, the older homes around our village apparently don’t have trash pick up. You guessed it. At around dusk every day people begin burning their garbage and trash. The smoke and noxious gas is so bad I have to retreat to our upstairs bedroom and turn on the air conditioning to mitigate the effects of burning plastic and garbage on my eyes throat and nose. This really spoils the wonderful evening breeze and the natural ambiance of Thailand’s atmosphere. Am I the only one that is troubled by this? Will there ever come a day when Chiang Mai and the outlying districts will have Municipal trash pick up or am i too optimistic to think that day will ever come?
I’ve been coming to Thailand for about 4 years. I’m married to a Thai woman from a small village near Tak. However, when I met her she was going to Rajabat University in Lampang. Whenever, we would go out for a ride she would insist on locking the car even though nothing was in the car and the car itself really wasn’t worth stealing. I come from Michigan in the USA and although crime is a problem in America I have never really been in the habit of locking my car every time I stop while shopping or going to work or attending school. After a few months with my wife in Thailand I got in the habit of always locking her car wherever we went. One day we drove up to Tak and went to a Thai temple to ask for a blessing for our marriage from the monk in her village. The temple grounds were surrounded by a tall stone fence and we had to drive through a gate to gain access to the Monks living quarters. When I got out of the car I deliberately did not lock it. My thinking was a Monk being a holy man would certainly not steal anything. As I started to walk away from the car my wife gave me a stern look and reminded me to lock the car. When I started to protest that a monk wouldn’t steal she replied in her infinite wisdom, “Honey, a monk is still a man.”