A few weeks ago I wrote an article for this newspaper titled "How to Tell Whether You're a Farang". I got so many Tweets suggesting that I write a follow-up to even things out that I felt obligated to pen a simple test for those Thais attempting to become farang, and to determine whether they have indeed made that transformation successfully. So here's my simple test, for what it's worth.
• You're Thai if you still can't tell the difference between a heated argument and a free and honest debate. In Thai society, to question the judgement of someone in authority - be that a boss, a teacher or even a father - can be construed as an act tantamount to mutiny. Therefore, it's rather sad that in our culture, a valid statement is determined more by who said it, rather than the merits and reasoning behind what was actually said.
• You're Thai if you're a Sunday driver even on weekdays. Thai motorists are infamous for inventing their own secret traffic code, and all foreigners need to get to to grips with this quickly or else life on the roads will be a nightmare. In any other country, flashing your headlights would signal giving way for the other car to pass. But in Thailand flashing headlights is equivalent to a rattlesnake shaking its tail; it means don't make a move or I'll run you over.
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