Expat Life In Thailand

It takes a while to adapt to life in Thailand and – especially living in the busy capital Bangkok – the craziness can be overwhelming to start with. But, it feels good when you suddenly realise that, actually, maybe you have finally acclimatized to life in Thailand. Maybe you’ve even been living there just a little too long…

You know you’ve been living in Thailand too long when:
  • You don’t feel like a douche for shielding yourself from the sun with your UV umbrella on a cloudless sunny day; not a rain drop in sight. Nope, don’t feel even the slightest bit like a douchey Pride & Prejudice wannabe… Okay maybe just a little bit.
  • Drinking Pepsi out of a plastic carrier bag seems perfectly plausible.
  • Drinking everything through a straw has now become mandatory. Everywhere you go in Thailand, you will be given a straw with your drink; even the more elegant establishments have embraced the convenience and easiness of a straw. Buy a pint of milk from the 7/11, and they will literally just chuck a handful of straws at you. I mean, hell, you’re gonna need so many straws to polish off that mammoth pint of milk with. How am I supposed to drink my iced tea without a straw should somebody ever forget? Out of the bottle? Like some sort of animal!?
  • You grow to anticipate motorcyclists around you on the side walk. It takes a while to get used to the fact that you’ve got to dodge motorcyclists on the pavement as they sneak up behind you – in Thailand it’s perfectly normal for cyclists and motorcyclists to use the pavement. When you cross the road… screw looking two ways, you’re looking five ways!
  • The green man at the traffic lights means nothing to you now – why do they even have crossings and green men in Thailand? Crossing the 6 lanes of traffic is every man for himself.
  • Hygiene issues. You can order some ominous, unidentifiable meat on a stick from a street vendor in Bangkok, and carry on blissfully and unaffectedly munching away when a grubby looking rat leaps across your foot from underneath the vendor’s cart.
  • You feel the urge to add ‘na ka’ on the end of all your sentences. You might let out a little cheeky ‘krap’ or maybe even a sneaky Wai when you’re around foreigners.
  • You increasingly start making Thai sounds. ‘Ooiwee!’ when surprised, or ‘err, err’ when in agreement.
  • Miser syndrome. You find yourself unable to frequent Starbucks anymore because you can’t help counting how many Thai meals you could buy instead of a coffee or cake. 110 baht for a coffee?! I could buy four meals with that! Despite amazingly good quality meals being comparably cheaper up to your own home country’s standards, your wallet becomes much tighter. $4 for a steak is way too expensive!
  • You have an annoyingly huge collection of 1 and 2 baht coins that have accumulated in a random corner of your apartment since you first arrived in Thailand. Now you have to slowly try and use them up on toilet paper and milk from the shop down the road. The cashier glares at you irritatedly as you hand them yet another handful of satangs to count out. I will use those coins up I tell you!


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