I’d like to thank the many readers and friends who helped me win the Thailand category and made me one of the top commented on blogs during this year’s expat blog’s competition.
Here’s the winning post, in case you missed it first time around!
If you had told me two years ago that I’d eat in the gutter off plates washed in a plastic basin, filled by a garden pipe, and prefer it to most restaurant meals, I’d have called you as mad as the hatter from Alice in Wonderland. Yet Thailand is just that, a country as wonderful and beguiling as it is perplexing. No sooner do you think you’ve cracked the code that another contradiction presents itself to figure out.
So here I am, squatting on a plastic stool, finally ordering things other than Pad Thai and Thai Green Curry and loving every second of it. This is my attempt to create a list of my experiences that encapsulates the tell-tale signs that I’ve finally acclimatized to my new home.
20. You no longer bat an eyelash when seeing a man riding on a pink bicycle or a python slithering across your garden.
19. Friends are chosen less by chemistry and more by the number of miles of traffic between your homes.
18. When you talk about a white Christmas, you are referring to a white sandy beach.
17. You stop wondering if you’ve found yourself on the set of Charmed when everyone suddenly freezes in a public place to that lovely tune in the background (aka the national anthem.)
16. TukTuks are for tourists unless you are trying to transport a dining table or 15 friends to a party.
15. You can finally use a squat toilet without peeing on your ankles.
14. You automatically switch between mouth and nose breathing as you walk by sewers and street food, respectively.
13. Sidewalks are for street vendors and open-air eating, not pedestrians.
12. You think it’s weird when you don’t find sugar as a condiment.
11. You don’t think twice of riding amazon (for us ladies) on a motorbike taxi while texting on your phone.
10. You loose your wallet more often than you loose face.
9. You cringe when new arrivals do the Wai (hands together in a prayer-like position) in stores and restaurants.
8.You’ve accepted that YES, means ‘yes’, ‘no’, & ‘ I don’t understand a word you’ve just said’
7. You aren’t surprised that your waitress, with full foundation and red nails, is sporting a three-day beard stubble.
6. You eat all baked goods, including chocolate chip cookies, muffins, and –as a New Yorker this last one pains me– bagels with a fork and knife.
5. Seventy-Five degrees Fahrenheit (24C∘) feels like jeans and sweater weather.
4. You finally stop trying to shop for booze between two and five in the afternoon.
3. You eat by pushing food onto a spoon with the back of your fork and your knives haven’t seen the light of day in months.
2. You can’t bear to flush toilet paper and keep reaching for the ‘spray’ when back home.
1. You no longer wonder if that’s his niece.
Sawatdee khaa Y’all!
P.S. Feel free to share any examples you think should have made the top twenty!