Your Birthday? You Pay!

When you live in Thailand as a foreigner, there are times when you think that nothing Thai people do could surprise you anymore. The way that Thai people approach everyday situations that you might expect there would no possible deviation from what you’ve known will constantly surprise you. I find this one of the most interesting things about living in Thailand.

One of the first things I came across was to do with birthdays. In Australia (and, I suspect, the rest of the world) when it is your birthday, it is expected that you won’t have to pay for everything. For instance, if you go out to get drunk – your friends pay!

Not so in Thailand. If it’s your birthday and you go out with friends – you have to pay. It makes me think Thai people must dread their birthdays or spend the preceding months saving for them.

5 Comments so far

  1. Oakyman (unregistered) on March 24th, 2005 @ 7:44 am

    Sometimes my friends force me to pay, but for few groups of friends only. Others treat me.

  2. Ben Harris (unregistered) on March 24th, 2005 @ 11:24 am

    The only people I’ll pay for (and do) are my family.

  3. Peter (unregistered) on March 24th, 2005 @ 2:49 pm

    if you don’t like treating others on your birthday, then if you ever change your job, you better not let anyone know. you’ll have to pay for that occasion too.

    just think of it as sharing your wealth and happiness.

    I had a bad situation during my HS and college years. each year, I spent my birthday month in Thailand, and the rest of the year in the US. which means I paid for everyone on my birthday, and for each person on their birthday.

  4. Ben Harris (unregistered) on March 24th, 2005 @ 2:57 pm

    The plot thickens!

  5. jeremy (unregistered) on March 28th, 2005 @ 3:54 pm

    it’s strange at first, but then i got used to it and actually like it now it’s not often one can have the occation to throw a get-together for one’s friends, so a birthday is as good a time as any.

    it’s just treating for a meal and drinks… they still have to buy me prezzies. =)

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