As of today, it has been one year since we left home and everything we knew. One year since we started on an amazing journey that in all honesty, I could have never imagined for our lives.
We left scared not knowing what to expect and arrived in a hot, sticky, muggy city in the beginning of January, a difference that surprised me to where a few choice words came out of my mouth and the thought upon arrival of “what have I done?” which entered Christopher’s mind (which I am still very grateful he didn’t share that with me until 6 months into living here) . In return we gained a life that made us rely on each other as a small family unit more than we ever thought possible, we now have the opportunity to see the world, explore new cultures, taste delicious foreign cuisine, and meet fascinating and intelligent people with funny accents (I know my southern accent is funny to them but it’s all part of the fun!). There are many times when I would rather be home, especially around the holidays, but this new life is one that we have embraced and are very blessed to have.
Just for fun, Chris and I came up with the top 10 things we have learned during our first year in Bangkok.
- Not every woman you see is an actual woman. If there’s ever a doubt, there’s no doubt.
- If you see something at the market buy it because you will never see it again, especially at Chatuchak!
- People rotate often in this expat life so don’t be shy in making new friends- we are all in the same boat.
- If you have a cute western baby, locals will take pictures of them whether you want them to or not. Either go with it or charge 100 baht for each snapshot!
- Forget taxis and sitting in gridlock! BTS, MRT, or motorbike and then walking to your destination is much easier than sitting in traffic and your drivers bad attitude caused by the traffic.
- Almost everything you have back home can be found in Villa Market or a major shopping mall but you will pay a much higher price due to the import tax.
- Some of the funniest signs can be found in Thailand. Some are names of businesses that are a very bad combination of English words or just the silly bathroom signs that I have to believe can’t be serious, someone has to be making those as a joke… Right?
- The best fried chicken you will ever eat in your life is the fried chicken made by Muslims in Thailand! That means a lot coming from southerns!
- There are many different versions of the “Thai smile” all having their own distinct meaning so you will have to learn how to decipher them. We have the “angry” smile, “yes I understand” smile, the “I have no idea what you are saying but I will smile anyway” smile, and my personal favorite “I’m smiling at you because you are just one more dumb farang”.
- Moving to another country causes you to be bold in other areas of life, especially in finding new hobbies or trying new things you never thought you would be able to learn, let alone be any good at.
I am excited to see what our second year in Bangkok as expats holds for us. Stay tuned for more travel adventures around Asia (China, Hong Kong, Macau, Chang Mai, Koh Samet, Kao Yai & Koh Samui), travel tips, life as an expat/stay at home mom in Bangkok, and Killian’s therapy updates!
Wishing you an amazing 2014 with many adventures of your own! Go be BOLD!