Friday, March 30, 2012

“Would you like ketchup on that, Sir?” Photograph

When I saw this tourist in his saucy, skin-tight, minimalist shorts my reaction was how inappropriate it was to be out on a Thai city street dressed like that. Yes it’s possible to do so and nobody is going to tell you not to but it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Partly it’s the effect it might have on Thai people’s attitude to westerners in general, i.e. that we don’t know or don’t care how to dress properly in public, but I also realised that I would not have reacted in the same way if it had been a Thai man.

Apparently, I put an extra onus on us visitors to show respect for the Thai norms (which are not the same as the Thai reputation from tourist resorts). On reflection, I think this is exactly right. As guests, it’s not our job to influence/change Thai culture in this way. If young Thai’s themselves want to do so that’s up to them but personally I’d prefer it if we didn’t help speed up the process.

Photograph taken at “Saturday Walking Street”, Chiang Mai, Thailand

1 comment:

  1. Even in the crude west it is polite not to put other people of their food by wearing clothing designed to make the viewer gag!