Time is flying and we have just about hit the 3 month mark as expats in Bangkok.  Not surprising, but we’ve learned a few more tidbits about Bangkok, being an expat and we are really starting to find our groove living abroad.

The funny thing about living abroad is, just like being where you used to call home, eventually it starts to feel normal.

It’s normal to start sweat almost immediately after leaving the house.
It’s normal that most people around us are speaking in a language I barely understand.
It’s normal (or at least starting to feel normal) not to be going off to work each day.

Not to say I’m taking for-granted this amazing experience, but it’s nice that life is feeling more normal and less like I’m on constant sensory overload.  :)


Some tidbits about Bangkok …

  1. Unlike the Metro, the BTS isn’t a free for all when it comes to boarding the train.  People actually line up and board in an orderly fashion. It took me a while to realize it wasn’t proper social etiquette to just rush the train doors once people finish disembarking.  {See picture above of Jellybean lining up at the appropriate arrow.}
  2. Right now the exchange rate range is about 35 baht to the dollar.  My brain cannot do the math quick enough.  One day soon I know it’s going to click and the calculation won’t be necessary, but until then I often whip out the cell phone to figure out how much something is.
  3. When I switched to a Thai SIM card a lot more changed than just my phone number.  Instead of having a monthly plan I now just ‘top off’ my cell phone phone when my balance is running low.  The craziest part is I can add money at the 7-11!  The other day we were running late to a playdate and my cell died (that’s what I get for ignoring 5 text messages my balance was low) and all I did was pop into 7-11 to add money to my cell phone.  I was nervous it wouldn’t work, but it was seamless!
  4. Speaking of paying things at 7-11 … a lots of bills can be paid at the 7-11 OR by doing a direct deposit into a company’s account.  Few places take check or credit card as far as I can tell.  You pay in cash, direct deposit into their account or just go to 7-11.  Who would have thunk?
  5. There is an abundance of trash cans in DC.  Here, in Bangkok, trash cans are few and far between.  I’ve become strangely adept hoarding trash in my backpack {or back pocket} and discarding it at home or bathroom trash cans.  I don’t really understand why there are no trash cans, but I kind of miss the trash cans on every corner.
  6. Recycling is nonexistent, as far as I can tell, in Bangkok.  I was obsessed with separating out bottle/cans/paper in DC and now it all just goes in one bag.  I feel guilty sometimes when I throw a can into the trash.
  7. Bangkok is a foodie city, similar to DC and NYC, you can find just about any type of cuisine you would like.  While we haven’t been out to eat as much as I might like the places we have tried are really good!
  8. I am now ‘adept’ at telling the taxi driver to turn (leow) left (sai) and right (kwaa).  I can also tell him the number of my street and the number of one other street that we visit frequently.  Some of the taxi drivers correct my pronunciation and others pretend they have no idea what I’m saying.  I’m learning slowly, but in all honesty the Thai language isn’t easy and being tonal one word can mean 5 different things depending on the inflection in your voice. Ahhh!
  9. Buying food labeled in a foreign language can be interesting.  Like the time we bought that strange milk for a couple weeks in a row since it ‘looked’ like whole milk containers from the States.  Turns out it was ‘sweet milk’ or whatever that is…  Or the all-to-common experience of buying street food and convincing yourself it’s probably chicken, or beef, or pork (ish).  But it’s sooo tasty!
  10. Personal space is fairly limited here.  It is socially acceptable to stand super close to someone, touch their child or push past someone without even an excuse me.  While I’m still not comfortable with the person behind me in line practically touching my back as we wait, I have had to adopt the pushing past people in order to get where I’m going … though I do try to say excuse me (or thoot in Thai).

And if you missed it, please check out the first installment of Bit of Bangkok.  More of our Bangkok adventures, to date, can be found here or please follow us on Instagram.

What kind of Bangkok tidbits would you like to know more about?






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