The land of fewer smiles | Bangkok Post: opinion

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The land of fewer smiles

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Thailand is nicknamed the Land of Smiles and Thai people are known for being friendly, polite and kind. However, this seems to be a thing of the past. In recent years, I have had many uncomfortable moments with Thais who are not so well-mannered and kind. 

About 10 years ago, I was shocked and speechless when a male teenager reached out over my head to grasp a beverage can while I was bending down in a convenience store. For Thais and many Asian people, touching our heads and handing things over our heads is a very rude thing to do. Feeling insulted, I directed a warning at that boy: "It wasn't polite." To my surprise, he replied angrily: "I don't f***ing care, old woman." And all I could do was to feel desperate about some members of the young generation who are supposed to be "the future of the country".

Year after year, I feel more and more desperate and sad as the lack of kindness and good manners has become a common thing for many people to feel. My life would be boring if I did not encounter any of these "phenomena" _ no words of appreciation for those helping them, no apologies for wrongdoings and no assistance for those in need _ every single day.

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