Thailand defiantly has some odd parts about it…things you wouldn’t see or hear in the States. Here are some things that I have noticed that are considerably different from back home.
There are a lot of dogs in Thailand, tons of them. The Buddhist philosophy does condone killing, so some dogs that probably should be euthanized are still alive. Most of them are not neutered and running wild out in the street…And did I mention they have rabies too? Peace Corps gives you the recommended immunizations that you don’t have, and one of them for us included rabies. Therefore, if I get bit by a dog while biking, I only need to get 3 more shots instead of 12. Don’t worry, no one in my group has had much of a problem, and the dogs here are not that aggressive. However, often late at night you will hear dogs fighting.
In Thailand, it is not offensive to call a person fat. It is just a fact. I have not been called fat yet, but some of the current volunteers (who I think are skinner than me) have been called at on multiple occasions. If you are gaining any weight at all, the Thai people will let you know. Or, for instance today, my host sister made a comment about my little flab around the gut when I was hunching over
Everyone in Thailand has a motorcycle. I suspect the key reason is that the price of gas is a little higher than in the US, but compared to the income, gas takes up a significant portion of their wages–that is not the weird part. It is normal to see three people riding on a motorcycle together with no helmet (even though it is the law for the driver to wear a helmet in Thailand)…and I have seen up to five. Also, there are kids (I would guess about 10 years old) who drive their motorcycle to school everyday…talk about major safety precaution!!
Spraying the Pesticides!!
The farmer hires someone to personally spray the pesticide. The equipment the sprayer uses is a big, (I would estimate 5 gallon) jug to contain the chemicals, attached with hose for spraying them. That is it. I will usually see them riding the bike to the fields early in the morning with just the jug strapped to their backs. Once is in the fields and spraying the chemicals, all he is wearing for protection is a cloth over his face. Also, they use chemicals here that are outlawed in the states…I am thankful this is not my job!!