Trip Start Jan 09, 2013
116Trip End Ongoing
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I need to brush up on some Thai again. I hardly remembered how to say hello or thank you, having been away from Thailand for a few months.
I arrived in Phuket late last night (or this morning, rather) after a 6-hr layover in Shanghai and taking a local train across town for nearly 2 hours from a domestic to international airport!
After being in Japan where people are extremely polite and respectful, and where customer service is impeccable even in fast food chains like McDonalds, being in China was quite a shock. People in china are very rude. They push, shove, and practically run you over without so much as saying "excuse me" or "I'm sorry". I was getting off of the train with my big suitcase, and people waiting at the station swarmed into the train as soon as the doors opened! Those who needed to get off the train had to physically fight our way out of the sea of incoming crowd! Unbelievable.
No matter how packed the train, people in Japan wait patiently in a straight line until the last person is off the train. There is no pushing or shoving. There is no cutting in line.
I realize that this is simply a cultural difference and I understand that. It was just a 180 turn from what I got used to and I was completely thrown off guard. I automatically felt my "city defense" mode come on and I really did not like it.
I am now on a shuttle bus at the Phuket airport waiting to head south for about an hour to a city called Patong. It is the biggest tourist town on Phuket island and considered a "party town". It is definitely the kind of place where I've been avoiding during this entire trip - but now that I am looking to get involved in a diving industry, I want to go where there is a good tourism and I can be exposed to the business side of things. So we shall see.
Stay tuned for Mo's adventure continued... ;)