Stuff Thai People Like: Extremely Angry Birds

Welcome to the first episode of “Stuff Thai People Like!” I can’t lie: I stole the idea from the brilliant blog Stuff Dutch People Like. Hopefully the good writer over there sees it as a tribute rather than blatant thievery.

On with the show! Today, Thai people like:

Angry Birds!

Thailand has embraced the livid clucker meme like no other place I have ever experienced. There is an abundance of official Angry Birds merchandise, and, because this is the land of the cheap knock-off, there is an even greater abundance of unofficial Angry birds merchandise. Never has one country contained so much anger or so many fowls. Thais like ferocious cluckers even more than Todd does! (Although Todd embraces gentle and happy birds in addition to the angry ones).

hmmm… this bird seems more melancholy/depressed than angry.

I can’t figure out why Thais are so obsessed with Angry Birds, but two possible explanations come to mind:

1) As far as I know (not very far), Angry Birds is usually played on cell phones, and Thai people love their cell phones with a deep and abiding passion. People are glued to their phones at all times – on the train, while meandering (usually in front of me), in church, in the middle of conversations, etc. In addition to this, the smart phone is ubiquitous in Thailand. Everyone seems to have one. T-bone is headed to social pariah-dom with his hunk of outdated technology. Smart phones encourage people to spend more time on their phones, and when you’re waiting for someone to actually contact you in some way that allows you to legitimately check your facebook/email/messages/twitter/etc., there’s nothing like a round of Angry Birds.

Or an Angry Bird fish kebab

Or an Angry Bird planter

Or, for that matter, a comfy pair of Angry Birds flip-flops

2) Thai people smile a lot. They smile when they’re happy, when they’re embarrassed, when they don’t want you to feel embarrassed, when they probably DO want you to feel embarrassed. And so on. All that smiling must get pretty draining. Sometimes you just need a good freak out! And if you can’t express that in a loud outburst, what better way than to launch furious birds at unsuspecting pigs?

Maybe we can hug it out instead

Or maybe just talk about it?

I have to confess that I had never played the game before we moved to Thailand. I vaguely knew that it was popular, but because my cell phone dated from the dark ages (it was Todd’s cell phone’s twin), I didn’t have access to it. We recently purchased an iPhone,* and after months of wondering what all the fuss was about, I downloaded Angry Birds. I clearly have the mental capacity of a 5-year-old, because I finally understand the addiction.

An Angry Bird and a golf club essentially accomplish the same purpose

Maybe we can store our anger in some tupperware

Or just walk away from it

With our respective bird obsessions, T-bone and I are both fitting in nicely in Thailand.

* You may ask why we purchased an iPhone after I complained about being unemployed. Just let it sit – a little cognitive dissonance is good for the brain.