There are a myriad of tiny differences between countries, even when it comes to what goes on in supermarket car parks. For example, in England most people dutifully take their trolleys to the appointed spot. Anyone who doesn’t faces a disapproving stare, or even a stern tutting from any onlooker. In Thailand – where nobody walks even a few feet if they don’t have to – trolleys are simply left where they are. Someone will be along soon to collect it.

In England I wouldn’t dream of driving other than along the prescribed route, religiously following the painted arrows on the ground. Here in Thailand those arrows are seen as merely advisory, and I think nothing of driving the wrong way, provided the car park isn’t too busy.

And people here don’t drive forward into a parking space, they reverse – which makes it easy to spot my car in a car park: it’ll be the only one pointing the wrong way.

There is one thing the Thais do that riles me: they will park their car in front of yours, leaving it in neutral so you can roll it aside to exit – though sometimes it’s a whole row of cars that needs to be shifted. This doesn’t only happen when the car park is full; even if the car park is virtually empty someone will park blocking your exit to save walking an extra ten paces to the store. And almost invariably it will be the dirtiest of cars that does this, so your hands are left grimy for the trip home. Still, it saved the driver walking a few paces, so it’s worth it.


The’ll now be a short break in my random ramblings. Normal service will be resumed at the end of the month.


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