A few weeks ago, I was with friends in a mini van on the way back from a day trip to Khao Yai. About an hour outside Bangkok, we stopped off at a gas station so we could fill up with gas.
It was hotter than hell, so rather than brave the heat, most of us decided to stay in the van while the gas station attendant filled it up with petrol. Or, so we thought we would. Imagine our surprise when, before he’d even put the hose in the petrol tank, the attendant opened the door to the van, told my Thai friends they needed to wait outside and then waved a big sign in English in my face in an attempt to make sure I understood too. (I already understood what he said in Thai, but that’s beside the point). Then, off he went to pump gas.
Putting gas in a van takes a bit longer than a car, so it was 10 minutes later before we could get back in. Ten minutes standing around in the sun a few feet away from the van, while the attendant filled it. And none of us could understand why.
I’ve never been asked to get out of a car or van while pumping gas anywhere in the world and neither had a Japanese friend who was with us. But, apparently, at some gas stations in Thailand, they think it’s ‘safer’ to have you standing outside your vehicle, five feet from it, than it is sitting in it. Regardless that vehicles anywhere in the world don’t tend to explode if you put gas in them.
Amazing Thailand, eh?
The great thing though was I took several photos of the attendant and his friends and they thought it was just as funny as I did.