I send Maid Go all the time to Fuji restaurant to pick up lunch for me. However, Maid Go can barely read Thai (let alone English), and if I ever want something new off the menu, I have to explain to her what the picture looks like on the menu. (It's either that or try myself to remember something like "gyoza maki yamazuka california roll" or some other Japanese tongue twister... and then write it down for Maid Go and hope that between herself and the waitress she talks to, they can figure out what menu item I am actually referring to.)
So I'm at Fuji today having lunch with Epril, and I get the smart idea to pull out my camera and take photographs of the pictures on the menu of the food which I like to eat so that I can show the photos to Maid Go when I want a particular item. Maid Go may not read too well... but she remembers photos and images and pictures with ease.
The manager of Fuji quickly comes over and insists that I stop photographing the items in the menu. I try to explain what I am doing, but he just frowns and says, "cannot." So I ask him if he has a take-home menu. He says no. Then I ask him if I can take photographs of the food that I order (which looks exactly like the photos in the menu) when they are brought to the table, to which he says "yes, of course."
That's the manager... the smartest guy in the place.
Imagine how much of a defecit of critical thinking you have to have to make a decision like that; what a complete lack of imagination and intuitive ability you have to have in order to come to a conclusion that photographing the photo of food is somehow bad, but photographing the real food is not a problem.
And, as anybody who lives here in Thailand knows: The entire country is filled with people who think the exact same way as this this guy: By rote. Somebody senior to the manager in the restaurant at some point told him that no customer shall photograph the menu. That senior person never told the manager that a customer could not photograph the food though. That's all the manager knows... and that is all he feels he needs to know. No inquistiveness, no ability to make snap decisions, no thought process that allows for independent thought or the ability to make conclusions that conflict with what he has been told.
That is how children are taught in Thai schools. It is like they know that 7 plus 5 is 12 because they have been taught that answer; but if you ask them what 7 plus 6 is — unless they have been taught the answer — they wouldn't know.
And that is how Thai restaurant managers are taught as well.
And from this little lesson what can we conclude? That Thailand is a country filled to the brim with people who can only learn if given permission, and can only provide those answers which they are already provided. It's intellectually stagnant at all but the highest levels, and shows no signs of changing.
|CATZ||Covent Garden Complex, End of Walking Street|
|CHAMPAGNE||Off Soi Diana / Soi Buakhao|
|CLASSROOM||Soi Pattayaland 2, South Side|
|BOESCHE||Covent Garden Complex|
|COYOTEE||Soi Marine Disco|
|DOLLHOUSE||Behind the Walking Street Boxing Ring|
|HEAVEN ABOVE||Soi Diamond Complex South Side Rear Upstairs|
|KITTEN CLUB||Soi Pattayaland 2, North Side|
|LIVING DOLLS SHOWCASE||Halfway Down Walking Street, West Side|
|MANDARIN||Soi 6, South Side|
|MISTYS||Soi Pattayaland 2, South Side|
|SHARK||Covent Garden Complex, Second Floor|
|SPICY GIRLS||Soi Pattayaland 1, North Side|
|SUPERBABY AGOGO||Soi Diamond Complex, South Side, Rear|
|SUPERGIRL AGOGO||Soi Diamond Complex, North Side, Rear|
|TAHITIAN QUEEN 1||Beach Road, Near Soi 12|
|TAHITIAN QUEEN 2||Soi BJ on Walking Street|
|TIGER||Soi Diamond Complex, South Side, Upstairs|
|WHATS UP||Soi Beach Club, North Side|
|WINDMILL||Soi Diamond, South Side|