I’ve been in Thailand on and off for years. Here is a list of funny shit, weird shit, bizarre shit, and some other shit that you might encounter if you stay here or live here long enough…
YOU KNOW YOU LIVE IN THAILAND…..
– When umbrellas are more prominent when it’s sunny instead of rainy.
– When cartoony things such as Hello Kitty and Doremon really are for all ages.
– When you try to decipher what they could have possibly meant when they plastered “Cat work, everyone for you” or “Strweberry life every else” on a t-shirt.
– When you can see another 711 from outside of a 711.
– When you use 711 as a landmark.
– When you end up at 711 after a night of drinking. Every. Time.
– When you go into a 711 just to get in the air-con for a minute.
– When you say air-con instead of A/C or air-conditioner.
– When air-con is a luxury.
– When you have to look both ways regardless of traffic, and continue looking both ways constantly until safely on the other side of the road.
– When putting ice in your beer is actually the preferred way of drinking it.
– When you shake your head at the 19-year old tourist ordering a large Chang and think to yourself…Do they know about the Chang-over yet? Or maybe they are one of those weirdos who can actually drink it?
– When toilet paper is a regular thing to be on the dinner table, but rarely in the bathroom.
– When you have mastered the proper squat over a “squatty potty.”
– When you can finally tolerate about half the amount of chili a Thai person can handle.
– When you know what you’re getting from the market before you even get there because you know every food stall by heart.
– When the person you order food from knows what you want before you finish walking up to them, because you’re one of the few consistent foreigners who order from them.
– When you have feelings for the street dogs and cats that live in your area and maybe even pet them despite the obvious skin infection, copious amounts of fleas, and extreme drooping nipples.
– When you check for whitening agents in any toiletry item you buy.
– When you prepare for a power outage when it starts raining.
– When you get excited if your apartment comes with a “kitchen.” AKA a fridge and maybe a water spout outside to wash dishes at. You’re happy you only need to get a hot plate and your kitchen is complete!
– When you haven’t eaten a real baked good in months. Or real cheese for that matter.
– When you have been cool as a cucumber during the frightening minibus ride around cliffs and speeding through traffic laughing on the inside as the tourist next to you is holding back tears and sending prayers.
– When you have cursed your passport like it’s the passports fault that you need to do a visa run.
– When you know what a visa run is.
– When flagging down a motorbike taxi, songteauw, or tuk-tuk, is second nature. You know exactly how much it should be, and you can ask how to get there in Thai.
– When you have cursed their tone-based language for being so same same!
– When you know what same same is.
– When you use same same in conversation on a regular basis.
– When a bucket goes down much too quickly for your health.
– When your bucket is usually filled with Sang Som.
– When you know asking for directions can end up in two different scenarios: 1) You get the correct directions. 2) They give you directions even though they don’t know because they don’t want to tell you no.
– When you realize they gave you wrong directions and you don’t get mad or surprised, you just turn around.
– When you know to order your iced coffee “only a little sweet” because you know they pour sugar in their drinks.
– When you don’t kill the placid spider that has been living in the corner of your room.
– When you consider a gecko your roomie.
– When you say “no thanks” to the person who is about to take your satay that is already in a bag to put it in another bag or when you’re in 711 and buying a mini candy bar. I.don’t.need.a.bag!!!!
– When you say “no thanks” to the straws….because you bought a LARGE water… / Really? Do we need a straw for any bottled drink?
– When you have injured yourself on a motorbike and have received a “free falang tattoo.”
– When you turn around when you hear the word “falang.”
– When you use “mai ben lai” in conversation.
– When you add “mai” at the end of your questions even when you are speaking English.
– When “Na,” “Kaa,”/”Kap” often also get added on regardless what you’re speaking.
– When you feel like your English has declined because “you speak English little and slow for understand.”
– When seeing a fire show on the beach, a blind person singing karaoke as they stroll through the busy market streets, and braving through a gang of street dogs are totally normal experiences.
– When dogs on a motorbike are also a common thing to see, as well as a family of four including the newborn. MAYBE, if the baby is lucky, there will be a makeshift “baby seat’ at the front. If not, mom will hold it at 80km an hour, mai ben lai.
– When crazy things are transported in crazy ways via motorbike such as a huge basket of fruit with granny hanging off the edge or a person sitting backwards on the bike while wheeling a dolly full of items.
– When you are used to your nose running as you eat.
OMG. I could probably add several more, but maybe I’ll make a second version when my list piles up again.
Don’t want the list to end? Here’s “You Know You Live in Thailand Part Song (2).”
Where will you go after Thailand?
What would you add to my list?
PS- Thanks for being so awesomely bizarr-o Thailand! Chan raak khun mak mak! Korpuun Kaa!
(I love you very much. Thank you!)
Nina Ragusa is an adventurer, messy bun master, breakfast fan, and full-time travel blogger. She’s been abroad since 2011 and blogging on Where in the World is Nina? for nearly as long. Nina helps people like you move around the world while making money. She loves talking about how to work abroad and online to travel longer!