Scenes Overseas: Culture Shock Across Continents
9,089 miles away, but universes apart: Thailand’s language, mannerisms, architecture, scents and food are extremely diverse and totally fascinating. It is a true culture shock and sobering slap in the face.
Photos of Thailand’s king and queen can be found plastered in or on every building. Thailand has a Prime Minister, while the king and queen are seen as philanthropic figures.
All of Thailand is currently in a state of mourning over the late king (pictured in black and white). Black fabric is strung up throughout the country as a symbol of mourning. They won’t cremate his body until a year after his death to ensure that his spirit has made a complete transition from this life to the next.
Double eyelids (pictured on the girl to the right) are seen as more attractive than single eyelids (pictured on the girl to the left). The girl on the right is wearing trainers on her eye lids to achieve that look.
In Thailand, white is beautiful. This is one of many advertisements for a bleaching agent/sun protection. Even though temperatures reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the Thai people wear long sleeves to protect their skin from getting darker.
This is a “squatty potty”– quite an alarming contraption to any foreigner. The white pieces on the side of the bowl are for the placement of feet. The bucket is used to flush water until the contents of the toilet bowl washes down.
Communal bathing areas are commonly used by many of the people in Thailand. The buckets are used to scoop water onto the user to rinse off soap and dirt.
Thai people are very affectionate among their own genders. They are quite the opposite toward the opposing gender.
Dogs roam the streets of Thailand freely. This one is practically a church member as it attends a chapel service.
Spirit houses adorn the buildings of Thailand. They act as a shrine dedicated to the protective spirit of each house or structure.
Grocery shopping in Thailand is an experience all its own.
Thai market places are especially great if you enjoy engaging in staring contests with your next meal.
The smells are all too vividly comparable to that of rotting flesh and decaying produce.
There are a few fruits unique to Thailand. Above is rambutan, which has a white, fleshy texture beneath its hairy skin. On the left is durian, a fruit that both smells and tastes putrid.
Thailand is the world’s most densely populated Buddhist country, meaning that about 93.6% of Thailand’s people are Buddhist.
Conservative clothing is required to enter a temple. No tank tops or short shorts. Violators of this rule are given material to cover up.
Woman are never to touch Monks.
Shoes are to be removed upon entering a temple.
Feet are to be pointed away from Buddha statues. In Thai culture, it is considered extremely offensive to sit with the bottoms of feet pointing towards anyone.
Thailand is a truly alluring and exotic destination. It was a life changing experience that I will carry with me forever.