With my interest in political science and current career of teaching political and social development, you might assume this would be a very opinionated post on upcoming elections in the States, or perhaps the upcoming elections here in Thailand.
It won’t be about either.
Instead, the conversation during our bike ride today was this: are the advertisements in Thailand or America more annoying?
In America, the primary advertisements are on television during commercial breaks. You might receive a few phone calls and fliers in the mail. Please note that you have the choice to turn off the television or mute the volume; you can hang up the phone or throw away the flier. It’s a quick exit.
In Thailand, the primary advertisements are trucks, driving around town with blared speakers discussing their candidate or party. Please note that these are usually blown speakers, so it sounds a bit like someone yelling at you with their hand over their mouth. In order to ensure that you are blessed with the entire message, these trucks drive slowly through the center of town and even park in a neighborhood, blaring the speakers so that the whole neighborhood can hear the whole speech at once.
I will note here that this is not only acceptable for elections, but for all stores often use this for promotions as well.
I actually prefer to be driving when I see these trucks, at which point I can zoom right on by. It is more unpleasant when they are actually in the neighborhood and I am required to hear them out and listen to the kids attempt to repeat the Thai. This is very much like having thirty speakers right outside your window.
But today, it got worse. Today we were on our bike ride out of town when we heard a truck. But on a bicycle, you can’t exactly speed away. In fact, his slow pace is very nearly the pace we were managing on the bicycle, thus requiring us to listen to the same advertisement repeatedly for about six kilometers. At this point he stopped in a neighborhood, where we could thankfully pass him; only to have him pass us again–slowly–about twenty minutes later.
It was during one of the moments we were traveling at the same pace that I yelled to Stephen, “Is it just because he has been right behind us for awhile or is this way more annoying than any number of commercials?”