“So, how many weeks pregnant are you now?” As she asks this, the neighbor pulls up my shirt and feels my belly. I am so perplexed, I do not know what to do. Fortunately I had a few more layers of clothing underneath, which she didn’t remove! Occasionally, the directness of the Thai people surprises me.
Before coming to Thailand, we studied the Thai culture. We learned that Thai people are communicating indirectly. But every now and then, we are amazed at what people say and ask us, like how much we earn or whether we are sterilized or not. I still don’t dare to ask these questions to someone else, though it is culturally allowed.
It’s hard to discard your own cultural taboos!
Tricky, because sometimes we also unknowingly break a cultural taboo. Our language helper for example told us that it”s incredibly rude to reply to someone’s comment with: “I know”. By saying this, you actually express more or less that the other person has nothing news to say to you. Or pointing your foot at someone is also rude. Oops, without realising, I‘m sitting with my legs crossed again, wobbling my foot in someone’s direction…
We are still searching and trying and hoping that we do not commit too many cultural blunders. Not that they would tell us anyway… That would be way too rude for a Thai person!