Culture Shock :: Thailand :: Part 3

5 12 2008

Some more fun observations from our travels in the land of smiles…

………………………………………………………………………………………3.1

:: A Bugs Life ::

Huge Beetle Red Ants Horned Bug

When we first arrived in Thailand we couldn’t help but notice the ever presence of bugs. Ants in your room, insects on park benches, surprisingly painful bites, huge beetles, creepy spiders, and strange new bugs that don’t even seem real. Over time though, one just starts getting used to this and realizes that they are just another part of life out here. We soon learned the rules and tricks for avoiding them, like no food in your room because they will find it, and began to notice the habits of these little creatures that we previously never thought about. For example, ants seem to have a system of highways that can run through or across just about anything, including your room (see the video below).

………………………………………………………………………………………3.2

:: Farang Food ::

Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand is widely considered the second capitol of the country. It also happens to be the city of choice for Farang (foreigner) Expats to make themselves at home which means that western food options are all over the map. As much as we love Thai food, we we’re admittedly very excited to see burritos, pizza and burgers on the menu again. Every now and then when we get a craving for something we haven’t had in a while, something familiar, we break down and shell out the extra cash for farang food. Unfortunately, we just end up a little more broke and craving the comfort food even more – because what we just ate wasn’t it. Aside from maybe the chicken nachos at El Diablo’s, we’ve learned that there is just no substitute for the real thing, or at least not in this country. Stick to the Thai food while traveling here because they do it well and for the right price (farang food is 4-5 times more expensive). If you start to miss your favorite comfort foods, make it yourself or wait until you get home. If you’re not going home for a while, just don’t expect the farang food to be like you remember it, and you’ll be okay because it’s not all bad, it’s just not the same. And, do us all a favor and let us know if you find anything close enough to be comforting.

………………………………………………………………………………………3.3

:: Pampered Pets ::

The life of pets in Thailand varies a lot from animal to animal. Along our trip we’ve seen some dogs who look as though they haven’t seen a good day since the day they were born. We’ve heard rumors that all cat’s tails are purposely broken because the Thai people feel they are too purrfect (oh, yeah, I went there) when they’re born, and without a broken tail they wouldn’t spend their life striving for nirvana. We’ve seen dogs who’ve made a local street market their home, living in what seems to be the ultimate gluttonous heaven because they’re the fattest, laziest dogs we’ve ever seen. And then there are Jen’s favorites, the pampered pets who act like they run the place and have the luxury of wearing warm clothing during the winter (keep in mind that the winter here is still 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit). So if you believe in reincarnation, just try to be careful of your actions in this life so that if you come back as a pet – you’ll be the dog in a t-shirt who runs the place.

………………………………………………………………………………………3.4

:: Straw Fetish ::

This is just a quick observation. It appears that the Thai people do not like to drink anything without a straw. We have no explanation for this. All we know is that they use straws for beverages in cups, for drinks that come in a bag (which is different enough on it’s own), and maybe the strangest of them all are the straws in water bottles.

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2 responses

5 12 2008
dad

Considering that it would be unreasonable to expect that you two would be able to translate all of the various words on a Thai menu and that some of the dishes themselves might make their ingredients unrecognizable, I find it encouraging that you indicate that you see so many dogs and cats still on the streets.

7 12 2008
Kathy

The horned bug is kind of pretty. Other than that – EEEEEEOOOOWWWW!

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