There are a lot of things I like about Thailand, but often I do miss my family and really crave some Western food sometimes. We’ve have been living here for about two months, and I seem to always see my way around the things I miss by looking at the new things here and stuff I really like about Thailand and have found really interesting and different.
Buddhism is for Everyone
Almost everyone is Buddhist, and I think that might be one reason why everyone is always so happy. I went to a Buddhist birthday at a monastery last week, and I learned from one of the monks that you don’t have to believe in Buddha to be Buddhist; you just have to be friendly, happy, thinking positively and be a giving person. It’s about how you behave and think, not just what you say you believe in. So, monks here are Buddhist and the monks in Thailand usually wear long, bright orange robes; when we went to the birthday ceremony I was surprised so many of the monks speak really good English and were very open to answering my questions.
Traffic is Chaotic-Fun
Thailand’s traffic is very wacky, the cars drive on the opposite than we do in the United States and motorbikes are always weaving in between the cars at red lights. My aunt and I always weave in between cars too so we don’t breathe in the car and truck exhaust, but it’s scary because it seems like we are going to crash into the cars’ side-mirrors, but I just close my eyes so I can’t see if we’re about die! Also, there are always tuk-tuks and songthaews(the shared taxi trucks) pulling over to pick people up and you have to brake really fast to not hit them…it’s awesome chaos.
Fashion in Thailandis a quirky-cool; a lot of the girls wear ribbons, flower-clip and bows in their hair. I also love the cute ruffled dresses and flower designs on all of the skirts and shirts. The boys are usually wearing skinny jeans with t-shirts—which really is just like in the US, that’s what my friends back home wear!
If you ever come to Thailand, bring a sheet because they don’t believe in them. You should also bring about four blankets so that you don’t die of the uncomfortable furniture, believe me, don’t come here looking for the most comfortable beds and couches. It feels like I am sleeping every night on wood with a centimeter of soft comfort—this was in Laos too, about half the time the guesthouse beds and couches were just so different than what I am used to using.
Cartoons for Everyone!
Thai people love stuffed animals and cartoons; so if you ever see Mickey Mouse or Hello Kitty (which they absolutely adore) in their back windshield, just know that it’s not unusual. I also see the cartoons all over their t-shirts, headbands, pajamas. You’d think it’s just the kids wearing this stuff, but it’s the teens and adults too! I see it everywhere, and back home adults really don’t do that. And it’s funny that on the side of the buildings there is even graffiti with Disney characters and Spiderman characters on the walls!
How to Get by Here in Thailand
Just act cool if someone starts talking to you in Thai, I do what they do in the opposite situation and just smile and slightly laugh. I found that if you are with someone who doesn’t smile, like our fruit guy, I try really hard to be nice and use my Thai phrases I know to make him smile at me. Out fruit vendor guy is really a lot of fun, even though he scowls a lot, he wears funky scarves with different colors and when it got cold here he now wears hats that look like fruit!
We’re Really Quite Similar
If you’re wondering about how different the United States and Thailand are, let me tell you, not so much! There are malls, stores, restaurants and just about everything else we have back hom.Thailandis really fun and has some neat differences from the US, so if you’re thinking about coming but you’re iffy about it, I would say to definitely come.