Culture shock from Thailand to the United States


I was a divorced man at the age of fifty, who was reluctant to spend my life alone. I decided to try online dating. I've always been a world traveler and my two kids grew up, so I went everywhere.

After a few fake beginnings, I found a wonderful woman in Thailand. He was a public relations director and a psychologist who worked in a government hospital. We exchanged emails and talked about Skype for six months. I made two trips to Thailand and a year later we got married in a traditional Thai ceremony. I had to go back to the United States, but my wife could not travel until she got the visa. So I went back to Arkansas, where I worked as a database administrator, waiting patiently for ten months.

Finally, the paperwork was accepted, the medical exam and the interview went, and he joined me in America. While traveling to other parts of the world, he was never in the United States. He experienced quite a lot of cultural shock, but I helped him in difficult times, for example, when the managerial exam failed twice

time zone blow

The first shock my wife experienced , climate change and jet lag. After a long flight in the Pacific, the delayed baggage, hours spent in immigration hours, and another connecting flight to Arkansas, were tired, and the cold November air trembled in Los Angeles. The time difference between Thailand and the United States was twelve hours, so he spent the nights awake and feeling sleepy in the afternoon.

spoke only of Thai in years. Its alphabet has 44 letters, 21 vowels and 5 tones. Every Thai child begins to learn Thai at primary school. Four years of English are required in high school. However, his English-language studies were limited to one hour a week, so he spoke only a few sentences and did not know the correct pronunciation. He also spoke in his community Isarn on the northeast language of Thailand. He had a small chance of speaking or practicing English in his early life. It was fortunate that he worked for a few years in an international hotel, so he managed to practice some English with his manager, who came from France. He listened to English pop music and repeated the lyrics. He spoke to an American at any time in the grocery store, in the restaurant, or in a social environment with my family, feeling and embarrassing. In Thailand, he was a famous public speaker. There was a baby here. Her senses had to pick up all the new sounds.

Imagine that your sensitive ears hear such things as first:

" Do you want to go out and get some stuff in the store? Glad to be all right? Okey-Dock? "

Comfy? What do you say about it? Guys? I'm a lady, not a guy. I'm fine, I'm not a donkey.

He met several slang words every day and had to learn vocabulary. What do you have to say when you are introduced to someone else? He didn't know American culture. In America, people loved eye contact. People in Thailand do not maintain eye contact. Americans love to touch. He didn't like his culture to touch anyone's body. He had to concentrate every day trying to continue the conversation. The simple thing people find self-explanatory is new. Thailand uses the metric system. In the United States, people use the British measurement system.

Often he had to repeat what he said because people didn't understand him.

Automobile Shock

It was a big shock to him. There is a car on the left in Thailand. He arrived in the United States and led everyone on the wrong side. Imagine being confused. One day after arrival I bought her a car and told her to drive the car. He did not understand the rules on stop signs and the middle bar. There are no speed limits in Thailand. So he had to learn a lot of signals. He felt nervous and confused every time he drove. Sometimes he made a bad turn. He wanted to make a better turn, but once turned left. Everyone needed a car in America. He wondered how he would survive.

The state leadership exam failed twice. The first time you left out too many questions, the computer didn't let it go. He studied for a month. He performed better the second time, but the questions were different. The third time he finally left.

He said, "Not bad. Be careful about the blinds."

A week after obtaining the license, he led home happily when the police stopped speeding. Fortunately, the officer only gave him a warning

He felt relieved! He thanked Buddha. He then followed the signs. The American law seemed very strict. People in Thailand are discussing with the officer

Some examples of annoying street signs:

PEDXING – what is it?

YIELD – what does this mean? Does that mean going?

STOP – It is intended for pedestrians in Thailand.

– We have to be quiet

PREPARED PARKING – There is no such thing in Thailand. VIP or Guest Speaker?

MERGE – Meeting Point?

4-WAY STOP – Highway Priority

Food Shock

Problems When Most Foods Are Served . Ordering food was a real challenge

1. Order at the fast food counter. He thought he had to do the server. She didn't even know she had to pay before the meal.

He wanted to order a roasted chicken in Kentucky Fried Chicken. So the trick is to order legs and thighs "Dark Meat", and if you want breasts and wings, you order "White Meat". He wanted legs but ordered thighs. He thought the feet were thighs.

The server asked, "What page do you want?"

"What size? Small size because I don't eat too much."


"Order 4 pieces. Small size."

"No, I mean page. What page do you want?"

"What is your size?"

"Beans, corn, mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes."

"Yes, corn."

"Corn on the Cobon or Normal?"

What Do You Speak Now? Corn on the glass?

"Yes, I want corn on the cup. A little glass." Oh man. It's confusing.

The food came and contained a biscuit. My wife said, "I didn't sort it out. I didn't like it."

"It's coming to the meal."


In a fast food restaurant he wanted to order French fries. The server said it was not.

They said "there is mashed potatoes".

Is this the same? You need to learn another term. She learns something every day.

Order 2 "Drive Thru", He was in trouble with the drive. Once the shopkeeper did not understand the English pronunciation very well, so her daughter was hungry. He repeated himself five times without any misfortune

3. Ordering in the restaurant. The server would first offer a drink and then offer a sophisticated menu. He didn't understand all the menus, but fortunately he tried new dishes. Once ordered white wine with salmon. He waited for a glass of white wine, but the wine was used to cook salmon. Once he could not order alcohol because the server did not believe he was forty years old. Every consumer who likes to order alcohol must show the ID. In Thailand, you never ask for an ID.

In the US, it should include 10% tips on the bill. In Thailand, if you are not satisfied with the food you do not want. In America, people usually talk about who will pay the bill. In Thailand, the rich member has to pay. If a group wants to negotiate who pays, it must be done before the meal.

Weather and snow shock

My wife came from a land of tropical climate. Never experienced in the snow. What a surprise to move to Arkansas and wake up one morning and see a white blanket that covers everything. At least Arkansas had a mild winter, unlike the cold north where the snow could cover the land for months.

In the first winter we had fun with snowmen and snowball. But driving on the icy road was scary. Our home lay between steep hills, and sometimes I couldn't work for two or three days until the trucks were dirty to melt the ice.

He bought extra warm clothes, a space heater and a thick blanket.


Shopping was a challenge. Most Americans were bigger than my wife. You had to look at the teen section to find a similar size. Sometimes he tried to order online, but the clothes he had received were too big. You have to sew your clothes. So he didn't buy so much from the Internet

He saw the name "flea market" in the city. He knew what the flea meant. But did you wonder why people need fleas? In the garden? Only kill in Thailand. He went into one and saw the old things, used clothes and trinkets. I explained that only a few things were sold in a flea market

Debit or credit and check accounts

Most Americans spent money or credit cards or checks. In Thailand, most people have paid cash and wire money to a bank account. My wife asked me why I didn't give her money. I gave her a debit card and explained that it was easier and safer to pay everything with a card. So he went everywhere he paid with a debit card. He was excited to buy almost anything, just with the card. In the supermarket, the cashier asked him if he wanted cash. He said I'm sure I want to pay back my account.

No! This meant that people could get money on their account. You only get money on ATM in Thailand

Once on the drive at the Bank. She was amazed and confused. He waited to meet a banker and ask for help. Unfortunately he went to the outer lane. There are no Drive Through services in Thailand and he didn't know how to operate the machine. He saw the round cylinder in a tube. How do I open this thing? He thought he would be the same as a food order. He talked through the speaker with the officer behind the window. He felt like a turtle. But the officer explained patiently how to operate the machine and first introduced his transaction. I laughed when I heard the story

The vending machines are another mystery in the first few months. The machine said, insert the 4 quarters. What was a quarter? He had to learn the value of the coins. And the machines were also complicated. He had to learn how to use the washing machine, dryer, stove, fireplace, air conditioner, TV remote control, oven, dishwasher and disposal.

The grocery store

The purchase was very fun, but it was so complicated to buy food. He had to learn about a variety of new foods. When he lived alone in Thailand, he usually bought food from street vendors or dined in restaurants. Food was cheaper in Thailand. Now he had to learn how to cook.

She loved healthy food. She doesn't like junk food, sandwiches, hamburgers or pizza. He collected collections and looked at some cooking linen. I liked Thai food, so anything I cooked and ate.

Found Eastern markets and learned how to make it from her mother and nurse from Skype and learned from the internet food channel

In the US, food costs were so expensive. The prices shook him. For example, in Thailand a lot of bananas cost a quarter. He also had a banana tree in his garden. It was almost $ 4 in the East Store. He didn't want to pay, but he wanted to eat them. There was no meat, sauce or other product in the eastern department store. So he created his own recipes for some Thai food. He had to be creative and learn how to use the oven, dishwasher and strange western kitchen utensil. He bought at least rice cookers and steamers. Rice was an essential part of every meal.

Medical shock

In America, health and dental costs were so expensive. She wanted to order birth control pills. Not available without prescription. In Thailand, people can buy tablets in the pharmacy without a prescription. He went to the dentist for annual cleaning and paid twenty dollars. In Thailand, the cost would be two hundred Baht or six dollars

He looked at the clinic for the bad cough.

He said, "Here in the hospital."

The nurse said there was no medicine here.

What is it? This is a big hospital in the United States. Why don't you have a medication? In Thailand, the medicine can be used in a hospital pharmacy as a one-stop shop

Then the woman told her to choose the location of the pharmacy.

"Can I Choose Walmart?"

The woman asked, "Which Walmart?"

He said he was near the Walmart Home Office. He went to take the medicine at Walmart Superstore, Walmart Home Office.

Again stunned! In the pharmacy, people stood in line to meet a pharmacist at the window and had many ways to take the medicine. In what band did you have to stand? Pick up the band, Drop Off or Over the counter? What medicine do you get?

He stood straight and talked to a pharmacy worker and received the prescription paper. The person behind the desk said there was no medicine here

The clerk told her to go to the Walmart Home Office Pharmacy.

Oh my brother! You need a medicine now. He didn't know he had a pharmacy in the supermarket and a pharmacy at Walmart Home Office. So he led the car and used the GPS navigator. He arrived at the Walmart Home Office and finally got the medicine!

How do I get a job

My wife wanted to bring some food and pay for her bills and she was proud of her child. He has 15 years of experience in marketing and public relations, but he had to start in America. His English skills were not perfect, so many employers refused the application. What kind of work could you do in America? He held a physical therapy course, but we lived in a small town and had few openings. He thought he was an advanced degree, but the cost was too high. He already holds a Master's degree in Psychology but has not recognized it in the United States

Finally, he found work for the supervision of people with disabilities.

Keep Calm

So, for other people who face cultural shock, give advice, calm down. Then you will. He prayed to Buddha and meditated, relaxing music, went to the gym, started playing tennis, and started new friends. He looked for Thai people in the community, took care of his garden, and soon felt at home in America. He reorganized the house and talked to his family in Thailand every week using Skype. I was a good listener and I explained a lot of things to her. I liked Thai food.

So keep a positive attitude, don't be afraid of cultural shock. You will live on it and become a stronger and happier person.

Source by Norbert Weissinger

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *