Open letter to Thailand:
Do I hate Thailand?
Yes, I do.
After ten years here, I know it's dirty secrets.
Once back in the USA, we'll tell you much much more, but here's a start:
I've been in Thailand full time for ten years and in Pattaya for seven. I have a large, five level shop with rented shops out front. Noise has always been a huge problem in Thailand because Thais are largely rude in this particular area.
But over the past 10 months the noise has ramped up so as to become absolutely unbearable. Many people complain about the motorbikes and we do too. Thais will go to great lengths and pay money they can't afford to make their bikes as loud as possible. They think two things: 1, that it makes them go faster. It does not except in very rare cases. When an exhaust is tuned properly to a specific engine with the proper amount of backpressure (quieting) the engine can actually produce MORE power. I used to ride ridiculous Hardly Ablesons (Harleys) when young. They are absurdly loud and would top out at around 100mph. Then I learned and got smart and switched to things like Hayabusas which will do 200 mph and are SILENT.
Thais also think the loud noise is a sign of "manliness" and that it shows "power". No. It only shows stupidity and rudeness. Ditto the tuning that makes them backfire. That's an error in tuning making the engine run far too lean on deceleration and will result in actual engine damage. But the Thais think it's a sign of power. I know Thais who have taken their vehicles to the shop and paid big money to have the diesel system detuned so that it produces huge clouds of black smoke. This is often intentional, because they think that, too, shows "power" and Thais are all about power. They are idiots.
But our biggest problem currently are the loudspeaker sellers. We are now getting one every three to five minutes, 4 meters from the front of our shop. You get them everywhere. These are pickup trucks with huge louidspeakers mounted on the roof and they blast recorded sales pitches for lemons, used clothing, watermelons, etc.
This is fine and well as long as the sound is at a reasonable volume. But the Thais don't know what a reasonable volume is and they wouldn't care if thyey did.
In time we'll post numerous videos of these loudspeaker trucks. You simply won't believe it.
Want to go sit and talk with friends over coffee in a sidewalk cafe? Forget it. The loudspeaker fools will suspend all conversation for the duration of their visit -- and behind that one is another one and another one and another, endlessly. They blast their insane recorded sales pitches until it rattles your teeth. They start at 7 am and continue well into the evening. They have few or no customers because no one wants to get close to that level of noise. But having no customers doesn't teach them a thing. They think if only they could be louder still, then they would get customers for sure. They drive at 1 mph through the residential areas and stop frequently in front of homes while turning the volume up even more. Often, in front of our shop, they will park, three in a line, each one blasting a different sales pitch, and then all go have lunch for an hour. Put your hands over your ears and this will egg them on to be even louder. Videotape them at your peril because they will lunge their trucks at you and flip you off and even jump out and try to fight you, then they will rush to tell all the other sellers that you are "bad" and should be harassed even more. Ah, the Thais are so brave.
We took a whole mob of them to the police recently. They whined that they had the right to be as loud as they wanted, anytime, anywhere. The police said no, that they, also, were tired of it and wanted to be able to sleep in their own homes. In the end the mob agreed to turn the volume down, but only slightly, and ONLY when they pass by our shop. About half of them now do that, but turn it right back up when they get into the village in back of us, which is all residential.
The residential Thais complain to me all the time about it. I tell them to complain to the police. They say they "don't want to make a problem". The sellers say that the Thais all LIKE the noise. No, sorry, they don't. They're just scared little rabbits, afraid to stand up for themselves and make it stop. Thais really, really don't want to make problems when something annoys them, but they have no qualms about making problems when it is THEM annoying OTHER PEOPLE, usually with loud, obnoxious NOISE.
When you can't watch your own TV inside your own home much of the day, and when you can't talk to your family on your own phone inside your own home much of the day, and when your baby can't sleep much of the day, and when you have worked a night shift and you need to sleep but you can't because of these fools, and when your own customers can't place orders with you because you can't hear them over the blasting of the loudspeakers outside, then I'd say you have a problem anyway and you're not going to make it any worse by trying to make it better.
But we all know Thais. Mai pen rai. If Putin comes and nukes Thailand, the Thais will say mai pen rai, pretty much as they did when the Japanese overran them up on the Mekong in WWII (which only a few Thais seem to have ever heard of).
In the end, we are packing. Even as I type this, we are packing to move. We're looking hard, every hour of every day, for a respectable place to live. Maybe that will be in Thailand, or maybe not. We have shut down all shops in front, so all those people, all Thais, have lost their jobs. Real smart, loudspeaker sellers! You are even screwing your own people. We are breaking our lease. (Note: We did break our lease and the owner said yes, she knows about this problem and she moved out before we came, specifically because of this problem. Did she ever complain to the sellers? Not once, she said.)
We will try one last time to find a place in Thailand where we can have a normal life. If we can't, then the 240,000 baht per month that I bring into the country and give to Thai businesses and individuals every month, will go away with me, like so many expats have already done and are continuing to do.
The lunacy and rudeness of Thais is poisoning their own well. Thailand is becoming toxic with unnecessary noise. The loudspeaker sellers will say, "well what about that ambulance!?" But it's not quite the same, is it, Thailand? The ambulance is trying to save a life -- maybe the life of a seller's father or son. The loudspeaker sellers are only selling a lemon, and not too many of those.
To Thais I say, grow a damned brain and get a life. Learn some manners. Learn some respect. Learn to be decent human beings or the drunken sexpats will be the ONLY people coming here. Maybe, thinking it through, that's all Thailand deserves.