For the past month I have been running around various countries in Europe with some of my family. It turns out that we are not the only people from Thailand enjoying our summer holidays abroad because in every country we visited we ran into at least one Thai person doing the same thing. The months of March, April and May are prime time for Thais, especially those with children who are normally in school, to get out of Thailand and hopefully evade the intense summer heat.
In larger cities or popular tourist spots like Vienna and Venice, one would be wise not to make a wise crack about someone in Thai in case a fellow Thai might overhear your bad manners. Many times, we’d run into other Thai tourists and briefly chat about where they were from and where they were going to visit next. In Versailles, we waited in line for almost two hours in front of a Thai woman and her French boyfriend without knowing it until she asked us if we were Thai. In smaller towns around Europe, you’ll hardly find another Asian face other than the ones belonging to the group you’re travelling with.
Some of the people we met were living and working in Europe. It was most useful to run into this type of Thai person since we could ask them advice on where to go for good eats and the like. One Thai woman we met was on holiday with her American husband in France, although they are currently living in Germany. Another man we met was actually Chinese but owned a wonderful Thai and Chinese restaurant in Rouen, France where we satisfied our craving for rice and spicy dishes. How I envied these people their ability to speak the local language, whether it be German, French or Italian, because while normally you can get by with English, they were occasions where we had to “use our hand and feet” (German saying) to get our point across.