5 things I will miss about Thailand
Wow! After almost 7 months here it’s hard to believe I will be flying out today. This journey was an amazing experience with many ups and downs and I’m excited to take on new challenges over the next few months. A few months ago I wrote about the things I did not know I would miss when I came to Thailand. Now that I am leaving leaving Thailand, I wanted to take a moment to write about some of the things I’m pretty sure I will miss about this awesome country.
1) My students
I didn’t get to see these guys as much as I would have liked and it took my a while to really appreciate most of them, but now that I am leaving I can say I will miss my classes terribly. My students showed me some of the joys of being as a teacher as I watched them make progress over the semester. Whether I continue to teach or not, they will always be my first students and I hope to see them succeed in the future.
2) One dollar meals
…and the low cost of living in general. I probably won’t fully appreciate this until I leave and order a beer and french fries at a bar in a different country. The amount and quality of food you can get in Thailand for less than one dollar is simply remarkable. A typical dinner at the restaurant next to my house usually cost 35 – 70 baht, or $1-2 dollars. If I wanted a beer I would add $2. My favorite Thai snack (deep fried banana) cost 20 baht for a full bag of delicious bananas. In US money, that’s a mere 57 cents. Even foreign food, while much more expensive, is significantly cheaper than back home.
3) Uniform pricing
One of the under-appreciated things about Thailand in my opinion, is how you always know what something should cost. Whether you’re in the heart of Bangkok or in a small village, you should almost always be able to get a decent Pad Thai for 30-40 baht. Anything more than that and you know you are paying more than you should. Likewise, at any 7-11 in the country, no matter where, a bag of potato chips will always cost 20 baht, a bottle of Leo will always cost 49 baht and a Hershey’s chocolate bar will always cost 35 baht. It’s nice to be able to go from one setting to another and know what you should be paying, and that you will be able to find the right price in most cases.
I know that we have 7-11 in the United States, but I will still miss the shear reliability of 7-11 in Thailand. In this country, there is a preposterous excess of 7-11s. In some places, there are literally two shops on opposing corners. In my own small town, much to small for a McDonalds or KFC, there are two 7-11s spaced maybe 300 meters apart. I won’t miss the store specifically, but I will absolutely miss having such a place open and available all the time as a reliable spot to grab a snack or a beer.
5) My motorcycle
Even when I arrived and did my training in Thailand I never would have thought I would be one to get a motorbike. However, being out in a rural area where the nearest grocery store was more than a mile away forced my hand. Now, after six months of driving on the wrong side of the road and one fall that almost made me quit Thailand early, I have a hard time imagining life without my trusty vehicle.