So, there was I, sitting in the rear of the car, with the air conditioning on and relaxing as my other half was chatting away to her friend, who was driving. I was not really noticing where we were or where we were going. I had come to the realisation some time ago that asking where we were going is be a pointless exercise. The normal response to my question, “Where are we off to “, would either be a long delay, while the question was chewed over by the other Thai occupants, or only to be told “ just looking” This would be one of many failed attempts to pin my Thai friend’s down to any specific answer. I do remember being very smug ( To myself) when I did manage to extract a destination, only to be disappointed, not to reach the place they told me we were going but to somewhere else. This, I found out is normal, so, I would sit in the rear of the car and see where fate would bring me.
I digress, I was sitting in the rear of the car, while my other half and her friend caught up with 5 years of gossip, chat and god knows what else. So I resigned myself to the normal mystery tour and looking at the wonderful scenery and the local shops, small off street eateries and the like.
It was very hot I remember and was glad that the air conditioner was on. All cars in Thailand have air conditioners but no heaters, and last winter I found a picture, with amusement, that my mates were huddled against a bonfire, as they did not own a heater. All the heaters had been sold and they had no choice but to build a bonfire as they sat on their seats in the garden. So I will be packing a few fan heaters in my parcel to make sure I will be nice and warm.
I digress, again, I think this will be a theme with my blogs, sorry.
As we were driving along the road I noticed a car sales garage forecourt, full of cars, and all the cars windscreen wipers were up, and not on the windscreens. I was puzzled at this and waited for a gap inn the conversation, which I may add was a bit of time, and pointed toward the forecourt, ahead of us to the right, and said, “Why are the windscreen wipers like that”?
The car soon started in move in the traffic and the two of the ladies started off again in a very long conversation. Oh, it must be about 5 – 10 minutes having passed, and no answer , just lengthy conversation in Thai and I assumed that they had decided to talk about something else, or had forgotten my question. Hay ho, I sat back and started to day dream while looking out the window. It was then my then that my good lady turned around and said “ To clean windows” I then said No no, I understand that, I was talking about the cars that were being sold. There then started a 10 – 15 minute conversation, me attempting to explain the position of the windscreens on the car that passed several minutes ago, and desperately looking for more cars with the wipers in the same elevated position.
I decided to give up and said it does not matter, but no, they would not let it go. So the conversation went on for a further 10 minutes, me trying to explain what I had saw, and the two ladies having lengthy conversations in-between.
I have been thinking hard and for the life of me I cannot figure how I managed to find the answer the question, but I do remember it being later that day and from a fellow falang.
I subsequently found out that my good lady, when I pointed at the forecourt, only looked at the windscreen of the car we were in, and not outside the car to the forecourt, even though I had said that.
Now the conversation that happened between the two ladies after I had asked the question, was a long discussion about why I wanted to know about the windscreen, is there something about this windscreen wiper?, as compared to the car I owned, etc etc.
Now this was before I was aware of the Thai “You can’t say, I don’t know” phenomenon, and as they did not know what I meant, they would not ask a second question to me like “What do you mean?” or “I don’t know” So, the Thai way is to have the discussion, “I don’t know what he means? So, what do you think he means, or, what shall we decide what he means”. This lengthy conversation was held within 2 feet of me.
This is typical of the discussions you end up in, and even when you have given up, or decided it’s not worth while going on further, they will not let go, and the conversation continues.
So I am sure you may be interested as to why the windscreen wipers on the car sales forecourt were not on the windscreens, simple, it gets that hot the rubber in the wipers melts on the windscreen glass.
Life in Thailand is simple, relaxed and laid back, peppered with cultural anomalies. So my advice, do what the Thais do, just accept it and don’t take life to seriously.Windscreen Wipers