I have come to the conclusion that tolerance is a Thai virtue, and so I have coined a new phrase “Thailand land of tolerance”. When I took these photos of bees on a Pattaya drinks vendors stall and then later looked at them on the computer, the first thing I thought of was “just how did that lady put up with them all day”. I’m sure she could not have done a lot of business that day but still she carried on regardless, it wasn’t a problem, the Thai phrase “mai pen rai” comes to mind.
The photos of the bees are just one example of this tolerance, or “live and let live” attitude which the Thai people have, there are many things about Thailand which make us westerners exclaim “Only in Thailand”, and I think the Thai virtue of tolerance towards things plays a big part in everyday life in Thailand, and indeed in Thai culture.
One of the best examples of this Thai virtue must be the abundance of katoeys (lady-boys) in Thailand, they are not considered to be unusual or outcasts, they are classed as a “third gender” and are not made to feel embarrassed about their sexuality. So from bees to katoeys, tolerance is a virtue which is present in everyday life in Thailand. “The land of smiles” is a very famous phrase, and a deserved one, but I think we can coin a new phrase “Thailand land of tolerance”.