The word thank-you is a powerful one. It is a word that stretches across land borders and language barriers and yes while it sounds different in different countries it means the same thing. Showing gratitude for something is not culturally exclusive. So why then is it so difficult for a large number of travelers to show gratitude? To simply say thank-you? To just acknowledge in some way or another that they are happy the tuk tuk driver got them to where they wanted to go, the waitress served them with professionalism or the flight attendant brought them the pillow they asked for? There are even ways to show gratitude without using spoken language. A simple nod of the head or smile are powerful tools when it comes to acknowledging that someone has done something for you.
There are far too many people that believe the world owes them and why should they show gratefulness towards those who help them out a little. Well honestly unless you've developed a cure for one of life’s many diseases including impoliteness then the world owes you nothing.
If at home you thank the fast-food guy for your hamburger meal or the gas station attendant for pumping your gas or even the border guard for letting you pass without asking you to actually declare how much you're bringing back into the country. Then why not thank the young Cambodian who brought you the steamed fish or the Indonesian guy who drove you around for 19 hours.
Why do people seem to think that a ticket to an exotic place gives them license to be a complete ass. The golden rule of treating others the way you'd like to be treated shouldn't only be meant for your backyard but for anywhere you find yourself. The nicer you are to others the nicer they'll be to you. It's simple!
Remember these things:
* We’re all humans and deserve to be treated as such.
* Traveling to a country with the “Underdeveloped” or “Developing” label doesn’t mean the people are your servants.
* The happiest people you’ll ever meet are the ones without what many of us deem as necessities for a happy fulfilling life.
* If you’re rude to someone and they continue to be kind and polite to you it’s not because it doesn’t bother them, it’s simply because they are a bigger person than you!
* Money does not make you a better person and therefore above everyone around you.
To end I'll borrow a couple lines from a Dickens classic
"What right have you to be merry? What reason do you have to be merry? You're poor enough?"
"What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You're rich enough!"