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.