September 5, 2016

10 Things I Miss About Living in Thailand

5 days into September and reminiscing our life back in Thailand has been at the back of my mind for a while now.

I guess it’s a matter of time before I’d put my thoughts into words.

After all, spending 11 years of my life in a single city in just one country that I am not a citizen of is a long time. That was four thousand and fifteen days in total. That was close to 100,000 hours (or 96360 to be exact!) where we have grown accustomed to the conveniences and life luxuries which were easily accessible to us.

Let me count the ways in no particular order:

  1. 7-11

 

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Photo Credit: Google Image

There’s nothing not to like about 7-11. They are open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and they are omnipresent all across the country. So omnipresent that in one street of Bangkok alone, one would be able to find two or even three of them along the same soi. Sometimes on the opposite side of the streets, sometimes on the same side of the streets.

This happens to be the place where the most basics of necessities can be purchased. Cheap.  From food and snacks to mini-sewing kits, travel-sized toiletries and disposable raincoats as well as stationery, laundry detergents, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cigarettes…just name it.

Need a bag of ice? Or batteries? How about paracetamol? Chances are, 7-11 carries it. Straws and plastic bags are free; one would be given a straw for every beverage bought and one plastic bag for every single item, each with different sizes. One can also pay for all sorts of bills here, too!

It also is a place where one can seek refuge from the heat for a little while as the air condition in most if not all 7-11s are on full-blast!

 

  1. Massages

 

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My last massage at one of my favourite places @Amarin Plaza

Like 7-11s, massage shops in Bangkok are as ubiquitous. From the local massage shops that offer great value to the high-end spas, one will never run out of options to soothe all those aches and pains from a very stressful day at work.

Regardless of the establishment, not all massages are created equal as we knew it to be since the experience varies with the masseuse. Still, I just love the fact that a no-nonsense “clean” massage place that didn’t cost too much was only a stone’s throw away from where I am.

Of course, I had some of my go-to favourites, with Dr Feet being the top of my list. While I had completely missed going to Dr Feet altogether due to time constraint before we left, we made sure that we treated ourselves to the one last massage the night before our departure.

That was probably one of the saddest time of the day that day. That one last foot massage felt nostalgic. Oh! How I love for my feet to be prodded and rubbed at this exact moment without costing me an arm and a leg!

 

  1. Manicure and Pedicure

 

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My last pedicure @Take Care in Paragon Shopping Mall

With no shortage of nail salons in Bangkok, there is absolutely no reason not to spare and hour or two every few weeks to get your feet scrubbed and your nails done. At very affordable prices too, may I add!

This was one luxury I miss a lot. Gone are those days when I can treat myself to such relaxation and coming out of the nail salon of my choice with pretty nails. Especially toenails.

 

  1. Taxis

 

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Photo Credit: Google Image

At 35 baht (0.90 Euro) flag rate and subsequent increase of 2 baht for every kilometre thereafter, I’ve been spoilt to really easy and cheap access to public transportation.

Never mind that taxi drivers can be a little mad sometimes and unless there’s a bad traffic jam, I hardly ever walked anywhere anymore. Just stick out my hand, and I should be able to get a cab in no time. After all these years, even though there had been talks of increasing the flag rate (and I fully support that), the rate has remained at 35 baht

Otherwise, there was the BTS. With quick, convenient and affordable access to public transport, I was mobile and did not have to depend on anyone to get me from place to place.

 

  1. Exotic Fruits

 

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Photo Credit GrubbsnCritters

Longans, rambutans, mangosteens, mangoes and lychees! The season usually starts in May to round about August. The fruits can be bought fresh at a bargain from the street side stalls and oh.my.lord! Those fruits were ah.may.zing

Every year I look forward to the season of exotic fruits and every year I would post something pertaining to the fruit season. It was one of my favourite seasons!

 

  1. Domestic Help

 

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An extra pair of hands; our precious Nanny & Domestic Helper

While finding “the one” can be a hit and miss, home help is generally inexpensive and is quite easy to come by.

It was a big load off our shoulders knowing that the chores in our home were taken care of. We only needed to make sure that we’ve got the supplies stocked up. We need not do the cleaning, vacuuming, ironing and whatnots ourselves!

Plus, having an extra pair of hands to help out with the kids was such a blessing. That was a great thing to have and I sorely missed that.

 

  1. Having an office to go to!

Yes, I miss having an office to go to and people to interact with. I can’t believe I’m actually saying this now, but I do miss my desk!

 

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My desk at a small corner in Bangkok office!

 

  1. Mommy Friends & Kids’ Activities
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Life in Bangkok then

While expat mommy friends come and go all the time making it harder to forge some real friendship, the few expats moms I knew in Bangkok have been a fabulous lot!

The mommy-only meet ups, the occasional get-togethers on birthdays or just because, the weekend playdates…yes, I miss them all! From when I was pregnant to the time that we left, they’ve all been a big part of our lives.

And so were the extra-curricular activities like swimming and taekwondo for the kids. As much as they were for the kids and to keep them occupied, it was also one of those places where we’d meet and catch-up with other parents as well.

 

  1. The Toilet Hose

 

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Photo Credit: Google Image

Also known as the butt spray and it’s making to my list!

It’s a small hose attached to the wall of all the toilets I know in Bangkok and at the end of the hose is a nozzle. The nozzle is used to spray your nether region clean (with water) after one is done with your small and big business. It’s a nifty little thing!

The toilet paper will still be used, more so to dry oneself after nuzzling rather than using them to clean. With such hygiene in check, one would be feeling refreshed and all ready to face the world!

 

10. Gold Class Movie Theatre

 

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VIP lounge and theatre @Central Embassy

 

Nothing and I mean NOTHING could beat the fabulous movie theatre experience if one is willing to pay just a tad more for a luxurious sofa seat to lounge in while watching a 2-hour movie. In the theatre above located in Central Embassy, there was even a mini fridge next to us  where all the beverages in there were free!

Not to mention we were given the privilege to use their special lounge where all the food and refreshments in there were laid out nicely for (free) consumption. It was insane!

So there! Those were the big things and I certainly have my list of things I don’t miss, too! Stay tuned.

This post is also written in response to Stomper Dad’s Taboo Challenge with no use of  the words “you” for today’s post. What are you waiting for?  Join in the fun and add your link to take part in the challenge

TWC

 


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Comments
  1. I’m going to hardware store tomorrow to see if I get one of those butt sprayer things! 😀 Great list you have there… Guess you’ll have to do a “Thing we have in the Netherlands that we didn’t have in Thailand” post 😉

    • You should be so lucky if you ever chanced on those sprays! I’d get one for our home too, but I don’t think anyone has any idea what the hell it is! LOL. Plus, we haven’t seen it in any store. 🙁
      That’s a very good idea, Eric! I’ll be rounding up that list soon! Thanks for the nudge 😀

  2. That’s the lovely thing and the sad thing having left a place. And you can’t just come bach whenever you want

    • Too far to go back…maybe I could convince my boss to go on a business trip! ;D I certainly miss those, Maria but at the same time, I’m not at all that sad. 🙂

  3. First of, BUTT SPRAY! HAHAHAHA I’m sorry, that’s just hilarious, with no disrespect to the clean butt. I owned a bidet in Germany, and let me tell you – I still miss that thing, so I completely understand your yearning.
    It’s good that you’re writing those down, Ann. There were so many things I missed when I moved, but after a long time you forget them, except a few. Wish I wrote them down 🙁

    Looking forward to your other lists!

    • I had to look up “bidet” and I so know what you mean now, Jas! You owned one? For real? How cool! Those are pretty big in Japan and I was so mesmerised when I first came across the bidet toilet some years back! It’s a great invention. Some come with “air” tube so that thing not only clean your stuff, it also keeps it dry. 😀 😀 😀 I wish I can afford those in our home. heheheeh

      Awww…shame you didn’t write them down. But perhaps, if you think hard enough, you’ll remember them? Would love to read your list, Jas! 😀 xxx.

  4. Yeah, those are pretty nifty 🙂 Blow-drying anything but my hair (on my head, hahaha) is out of question. I need to stop…getting too many visuals, lol.
    Soooo, switching the subject – maybe you’re right; if I think hard enough I just might remember the things I miss. For starters, houses that are build with bricks and blocks and not plywood, ha!

  5. I got out of my chair and walked into the other room to tell my husband about the 7-11’s. I didn’t tell him about the butt stuff lol.

    • 7-11s are worth marvelling about! Wonder what would be his reaction if you tell him on the butt spray! LOL. Asians are crazy, eh! hehhee

  6. Some strong reasons to move to Bangkok but then I think of the pollution and traffic again and… nope… We have 7-11 here too and the Gold Class Movie Theater as well (oh I love it!!!). The massages… the mani-pedi… that I would love to get. There everywhere here too but I bet not for the same price…

    • Strong reasons, although I think the “don’t miss” stuff definitely outweighs this. It’s a great place to live if you are single or a couple with no kids.
      I seem to remember seeing 7-11 in Sydney/Melbourne. I really miss the Gold Class, but I bet the prices over there in Australia is not funny. So are massages and mani-pedis. And oh! waxing! :p

  7. You had me at massage and toilet hose. LOL

  8. Loved this one 😀 and the next !
    You totally nailed it (add the Pad thai for me! and the calm that we are missing dearly since we ve landed in the Philippines)

    • Oh yes! Pad Thai of course! Although you know what? I don’t really miss all the Thai food so far. Funny that. I’m sure the cravings will come later. Calm? Really? Apart from the karaoke at 3 a.m, I’d think Cebu would e all calm and quiet.

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