Perhaps if I contacted an American police officer, he/she’d come to Thailand to tell my neighbors to turn down the music?
It’s 5:56 p.m. on Thursday, January 05, 2012 and my double five-inch high speakers can’t cover the booming bass from a wedding happening down the street. Thailand loves its noise and that includes just about everyone. Thais also seem to be able to sleep through anything. When there’s loud music down the street, they simply join the party.
I am as Thai as I’ll be. I eat Thai food. I speak the language. I’m even smiling when I shouldn’t be. But I will never enjoy their music and it annoys me even more when it’s shaking the walls of my house. I would likely be laughed at if I contacted the police. Disturbing the peace is not an offense in Thailand. In fact, it seems to be encouraged.
The music was going on last night as well. It, thankfully, stopped around 9 p.m. It began again at 6 a.m. As I realized what the pounding was, I began to wonder if Thais know the significance of the middle finger.
Once I’d like to plug my iPod into their gigantic speakers and play one Nine Inch Nails song. No, I take that back. I’d like to play one Nine Inch Nails album, preferably The Downward Spiral.
This noise is making me realize it’s the second year that’s going to be more difficult. The surprises are gone. The culture shock is gone and in its place is just cultural annoyance. Thais are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but how I’d love to mesh the good of American culture with the good of Thai.
In the second year I’ll be more comfortable traveling, communicating and staying healthy (knock on wood). However, it won’t be as easy to laugh off awkward situations or drunken Thai men with the sense of humor of kindergarteners.
So many times in the first year I thought this isn’t so bad. I have a feeling the second year will be more of what I expected. Oh, I’ll be okay. Don’t worry about me. I’d still much rather be here than doing whatever the hell I did at Hutchinson Technology for five years (I’m still trying to figure out what my job was – something to do with computers, I think).
In fact, despite any difficulties I’ll be facing, I still have the best job in the world.* I’ve never been more proud of my occupation. I have one year and three months to go and I am in no rush to reach March 2013.
*With exception to Denard Span’s occupation.