Thais have a philosophy of keeping their cool and not losing their temper; jai yen (cool heart). To raise your voice and lose your temper is not good form and confrontation is to be avoided. However, that doesn’t mean that every Thai person you meet will be the stereotype happy-go-lucky person you see in all the holiday brochures. You will probably encounter angry taxi drivers or surly shopkeepers, but the chances are you will meet far fewer of these than you would in your home country.
In the main, Thai people are welcoming, hospitable and very tolerant. It may be a clichÃ©, but keeping your cool and smiling a lot goes a long way in Thailand. Having lived here, I have to admit to times when the Thai way of doing things has driven me crazy. But I am the foreigner and it is up to me to adapt to the local way of doing things. Most of the time though, I laugh and smile and don’t worry about it. Mai pen rai, as the locals say.