As I’ve settled into Thailand, the blog posts have inevitably become less frequent.There is a lack of motivation to write, but it’s also the fact that I’ve become comfortable in my surroundings. There are still plenty of elements to Thai culture that shock me, but it’s not a “one post per day” sort of experience that I’d had in the beginning.
In order to avoid a boring dialogue of my daily routine, I’ve decided to let you in on my favorite parts of Thailand (so far), and what I’m still truly missing about home.
Here’s what I love about life in Thailand:
The Food. I can’t seem to get enough Thai food. After I’d spent some time in Central and South America, I hated rice and beans. After returning from Panama, I don’t think I ate
rice for almost a year. Here in Thailand, I eat rice daily. I eat rice with anything from curry to ice cream. There is such a diversity in the spices of the food that it’s easy to lose track of how much plain steamed rice is actually being consumed. Sure, I have cravings for food from back home (cough bagels cough cough cheese), but I’ve learned that everything is available for a price. Especially in Phuket, which is pretty much the epicenter of tourism. I’ve been able to find just about every food I could possibly crave. The other night I ate Mexican food, and ate real homemade tortilla chips for the first time in what seems like ages. The whole meal cost me about $14, which felt like a slap in the face. $14 for gorging on Mexican food (margaritas included)… What has happened to me?
The best part about Thai food is that it’s always fresh, and healthy options are always available. My apartment doesn’t have a stove or even an oven. Once in a blue moon I will cook on a hot plate at home, but the majority of the time I’m going out to eat.
The prices. As accustomed as I’ve gotten to Thai prices, going back to the States is going to be culture shock all over again. Because Phuket is a developed tourist city, the prices are all over the board. I’ve gotten accustomed to paying $1-$3 per meal. Whoa, converting it to dollars really puts it into perspective for me. $14 was a lot for me to spend on Mexican food, but it was a 3 course meal with 2 margaritas!
Tourist accommodation ranges from a $6/night bunk at a hostel to $850/night bungalow on a private island. It’s easy to spend a lot of money here, but it’s also easy to save. I live in a (really nice) studio apartment for $250/month, and that includes air conditioning, internet, and access to a gym and an amazing swimming pool. For just $250/month, I’m pretty spoiled.
My transportation costs are also incredibly low compared to what they were in the States. I spend less than $60/month renting my (really nice) motorbike, and only about $7/month in gas.
I think it’s important to add that by Thai standards, I have pretty expensive taste. It’s definitely possible to get by here on much, much less.
Speaking of motorbikes…
The Motorbikes. I have a love/hate relationship with them. If you’ve read any of my posts from the beginning, you know that I started out absolutely terrified to even ride on the back of a motorbike taxi. Here I am today, about to tell you why I’m in love with mine as a mode of transportation here. They’re undeniably fuel efficient. The majority of the people here drive them, and it makes sense why. Traffic (especially in Phuket) can be disastrous, *unless* you are able to zip in between the cars on a moped. There’s an intense satisfaction that comes with scooting onto the shoulder of the road during stopped traffic and bypassing 15 cars. It’s also awesome to be able to pull up and park anywhere on the sidewalk.
The “hate” part of the relationship comes from the limitations of driving in the rain, and the harsh reality that they’re pretty dangerous to drive around.
Another favorite of living in Thailand… you could probably already guess.
The Beaches. It may be the fact that I was born and raised in landlocked Colorado, or it could be that these beaches are world-class. I cannot get enough of the beaches here. I’m
almost mad at myself for living here, because I don’t think I will be able to appreciate any other beach as much as I will the beaches of the Andaman Sea.
I wish I could say that my apartment is right on the beach. I would’ve loved that, but it just wasn’t practical. Any apartment on the beach here is going to run at a Western price. I am situated right in the middle of the island, so I have to drive about 20 minutes to get to the beach. I am still incredibly spoiled to be able to pick a beach and just go. Even if I want to go to the world-class dive and snorkel sites, it’s only an hour and a half ferry ride there.
Ok, now that I’ve started listing out everything that I love about Thailand, I’m about 1,000 words in and not even close to saying all that I want to. I’d be sitting here all night if I were going to make an exhaustive list of everything that I love.
Here is a quick list of things I miss from home:
Family. They’re irreplaceable, no matter how hard I try. 🙂
Wine and craft beer. They’re both available, but super expensive. Not just by Thai standards. They’re imports.
Cheese and bread. It is pretty eye-opening to see how much of these I consumed back at home. They’re just not in the Thai diet, which probably explains how I’ve lost 15 POUNDS since I got here. The lack of the aforementioned wine and craft beer definitely plays a part in that.
Hockey. I think the Avs’ #1 spot in the wildcard has something to do with me being out of the country.
Safety standards. You know, like building codes, restaurant health inspections, and traffic safety.
The Rocky Mountains. I am a Colorado girl, after all.
Well, that pretty much sums it up for this post. I hope I haven’t bored you to death! I’ll try to post again soon.
Here’s a quick random note to leave you with:
Last weekend I drove my bike up to the Big Buddha – a 148ft statue that sits on a hill looking over town. I had initially gone up to watch the sunset, but had the awesome treat of watching the full moon rise at the same time. It was unforgettable!