The hardest thing to get accustomed to in Thailand is “Thai Logic” – it is much harder to understand and use than even the Thai language with its changing tones. Almost 10 years here and I am constantly amazed at how little I know or can understand. For instance:
In my condo we are issued a “security” card that only allows us to go to the floor of our unit. I am on floor 5th so the elevator will only go to floor 5th for me. In addition, I cannot use the staircase because the card will not open the 1st floor door – “security” – only the staff’s cards can do that – ( by the way they are the same as mine ). . However, after I reach my floor in the elevator I am free to use the stairs, either up or down, to go to any of the other floors.
When I asked them if they could program my card to open the 1st floor door and still allow usage of the elevator, so I could use the stairs if I wanted instead of the elevator for exercise purposes, I was told they cannot for security reasons. But, I could like everyone else walk down the stairs to the first floor and then walk back up again for exercise – but not starting from the 1st floor. — Granted this security only allows residents to go beyond the 1st floor – but once a resident or guest for that matter – gets to any of the upper floors all security is lost. Doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense to me. Just a pain in the ass.
Another example: In times of plenty, prices are established to make a profit like any another business, except if a Farang (foreigner) asks what the price is, they will generally quote a higher one because a Farang is always considered a rich person and can pay more. However, in times of drought – slow season – the Thai’s will raise the prices using the reasoning that with fewer customers per day they will have to charge more per each sale to make the same profit at the end of the day. Lowering the prices to bring in more customers to gain more sales , even at a lower profit margin, to gain higher daily income and therefore profit – does not compute. So they sit there, with higher pricing and fewer customers and complain about the slow season and no business. Many go broke – few capitalize and increase their traffic or exposure by lowering prices or offering specials.
Advertising is also a lost game here – if you want to find a particular shop or service the only way is by word of mouth – the Internet is starting to be accepted here – but usually only the big stores have web sites. Finding a specific small store is virtually impossible unless you know someone who has been there – without joining something like the local “Expats” clubs where you can go and ask and get directions from a large group – finding what you want or need is really a chore. A yellow page book of businesses would be impossible to keep updated because the life of the small or Mom/Pop store is generally conditioned on the above mentioned pricing policies. There one day – gone the next.
Retirement is great in Thailand – life needs to be slowed down – and for certain, living here will bring your normal life to a standstill. Just great for a slow retired lifestyle. Well, what’s my bitch for the day.