We are closed and we are out are two things you should be prepared to hear when you are in Thailand. Unlike business in the US, business in Thailand is it always on the strictest schedule. Let me explain.
Expect It Backwards
First I would like to discuss the difference between Sunday and Monday. For Thai business it is pretty apparent that Mondays in Thailand are treated like Sundays in the US. It is really common for businesses to be closed on Monday in Thailand. This throws you off at first because you have to get used to doing things that you would normally do on Monday on Tuesday.
Second businesses are always open regular hours the rest of the week either. It is common to see a business closed in the middle of the day when they are normally open. Partly because of the culture. Sometimes business owners have family matters to attend to. If something is going on with the family many times the business owners will not be open.
Opening late and closing early is another type business trait you will notice. Many times businesses don’t open until between noon and four. On the flipside some places close as early as between 8 PM and 10 PM. No the best time to catch a business possibly being open are between the new hours of 1 PM and 4 PM. A big change from the business hours in the United States.
OK, so you find out that your favorite local Thai business is open. That doesn’t mean they’re going to have what you want. This happens a lot when going out to eat. You may be prepared for a certain type of dish but when you get to the restaurant they will be out of the ingredients. This can be a little bit frustrating coming from the US where we have and instant gratification lifestyle.
As A Matter Of Fact …
Another major difference is the way the service industry tells you that they are out of something. There is a matter of fact way that they have to tell you that they are out. It’s very short and usually you’ll just get a smile and a “no have “. Don’t be upset by the We Are Closed and We Are Out responses. With Thai culture, situations like these are to be taken very lightheartedly. My advice when you go to a restaurant is have at least one option that you are ready to order.
Asian Isn’t Your Size? Oh.
Lastly I will talk about “Asian Size”. You will experience this one going to shop for clothes. If you are from Western countries you will find many times you are larger than Asian people. This means that when you go shopping everything will is made to fit “Asian size “. “Asian size” means that a large being your normal size you are now an extra large or possibly to extra-large
What have I learned through all of this? I get the feeling Thais mix business WITH their life. Thais don’t separate business and family the same way we do in the United States. Even though life and business is mixed, Thais prioritize the business after family and religion. That much is crystal clear.
There you have it. Now you are ready to hear We Are Closed and We Are Out. Don’t be shocked when it happens. Take it in stride and move on. Instant gratification sometimes is non existent in Thailand.