Life in Bangkok After One Year: Thoughts & Memories

I have enjoyed living in Bangkok; it has opened mind and body to many new experiences. The nice part of living here occurs a few months after you move and settle into your daily routines, suddenly you aren’t as overwhelmed and begin to appreciate the small details that make this culture unique. My favorite part continues to be the people, if you smile, they smile. Even if you don’t smile, they’ll smile.

Each day I am impressed with how people make the most of what they have and keep a positive attitude. Of course this is a general statement, but I see people working very hard for very little money, yet they continue to have a positive attitude; this is a major change from what I was experiencing in the USA and other countries.

Fond memories and experiences from my first year:

1.  Being out of place and getting used to it- Thais are very accommodating, but you are still sorely out of place. This is more of an adjustment for “you”, you learn to deal with it and it becomes fun. Thais enjoying seeing a farang embrace their culture and food, it has been fun to be the inadvertent center of attention.

2. Food- the food is amazing. I eat so many things I never dreamed of eating, from fruits and vegetables to meats and sweats. I eat in places I would never think of eating- on the side of streets sitting on small plastic chairs, in “shops” without air-conditioning and a wide variety of restaurants. I have never once been sick or had any problem with stomach upset- disclaimer I enjoy spicy food and my body has no problem with chilies.

3. Watching Buddhism- I continue to be amazed at the commitment to Buddhism amongst so many. I am always struck in the unwavering faith in the face of financial and personal hardships, at no time does it appear many lose faith and abandon Buddhism.

4. Travel & Experiences- around Bangkok and around Thailand. I have tried to get out and enjoy, I rarely eat at home and have gone exploring in many parts of Bangkok for food and experiences. I have been fortunate to visit the countries in the region and many parts of Thailand- many car trips outside Bangkok and air trips to the North and South of Thailand.

After living in the USA where you can fly 5 hours and never leave the country, I have enjoyed the proximity of other countries- if you fly more than an hour you will end up in another country.

I continue to enjoy my time with my greatest struggle being to motivate myself to engage in new experiences and keep pushing out of my new found comfort zone.

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About faranginbangkok

Additional pictures: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/faranginbangkok For more updates about Bangkok, Thailand and other thoughts: www.twitter.com/lilrichardb I began working in Bangkok during 2008- a time that featured a great deal of political unrest in Thailand and particularly Bangkok. I had lived in San Francisco for 15 years and was working on a project in Thailand. Generally I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok and then 3-4 weeks in San Francisco. Did Bangkok begin to feel like home? Yes, and No. Bangkok and the Thai culture forced me to feel many things, the change in culture and environment was so dramatic it forced the decision- embrace or ignore. I embraced and made Bangkok my home and base in 2009. I have enjoyed living in Bangkok, experiencing Thailand and the entire ASEAN region.
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3 Responses to Life in Bangkok After One Year: Thoughts & Memories

  1. Jo says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write your blog. I have really enjoyed reading about your time in Bangkok. I stumbled across your site sometime ago while looking for info on the city. After reading your posts I feel I have a good idea of what to expect.

    I am due to arrive there this coming Friday and will be taking part in a few of the activities you have written about here. I will be with my teenage sons and believe it will give them a taste for learning about things outside of our small welsh village.

    I look forward to reading more about your time in Thailand.

  2. Hi Jo,
    Thank you very much for your comment, I am grateful you enjoy reading the blog and am sure you will have a great time in Bangkok. It is wonderful you are exposing your sons to other cultures, I am sure they will appreciate what they will see and do for years to come.

    To demonstrate the small world we live in, my mother is in Welsh club in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) and she is know to keep a large, cardboard dragon in our living room. Possibly she has even passed through your village on one of her trips to Wales.

    Please enjoy your time in Bangkok, visit the famous sights and take in the local culture as well. Never fear asking about something….Thais are super nice as long as you are smiling at and with them.

  3. Jo says:

    Well well, a Welsh club that’s great, I wonder if she has learned any Welsh language. It is a difficult subject for people who have never been around the Welsh to learn. My children are fluent but I don’t speak Welsh very well, I am welsh Townie (but its really a village by world city standards).

    Please be sure to let me know when your mum is coming next and I will bake some Welsh cakes for her ! Or maybe I will ask my mum to do it.

    We leave in a few hours for Heathrow and get to Bangkok tomorrow afternoon, we can not wait to see this wonderful country and culture. Thanks again for your blog I really look forward to all the updates.

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