What is life like in Thailand? My Thai teacher asked me to write about this for homework the other night. I thought that you might be interested also, so I am rewriting (and expanding a little bit) in English.
In case you don’t know, we live in a megacity, Bangkok, Thailand. It is a city swarming with people coming and going: from work, visiting family, and hanging out with friends. With all of those people, food is easily accessible and cheap. Also, there is public transportation, but only to parts of the city; therefore, traffic is a way of life. I want to explore each of these aspects of life in Bangkok in this post.
First, people are everywhere. To fit everyone in the city, you have to build up. We live on the 21st floor of a high-rise condo building. The view is gorgeous as we look out on other high-rise buildings intermingled with small homes and businesses. Even though we live in a big city, there is plenty of greenery from the view off our condo. It is a hidden beauty that can only be seen when in high-rise buildings (privacy comes from planting trees in yards all around us). By American standards, our condo is pretty small at about 1000 square feet. But with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchen area, people all think we have a nice sized condo, and I have to agree. As I already said, people are everywhere. The city never completely stops moving. As I write this at 10:30 at night, I can hear live music from a restaurant down the street as if it was next door and watch some cars zooming by while others sit in traffic.
With somewhere between 13-15 million people living in Bangkok, traffic is a daily annoyance, at least to us Americans. The Thais simply accept it as a way of life. If we are going somewhere close, like the Super Wal-Mart equivalent or the local mall, it is often easier for us to walk. Walk we do, with a baby strapped to us as the sidewalks make it nearly impossible to traverse with a stroller. Buses and boat buses never fully stop as you get on and off, so we have gotten adept at jumping on and off slowly moving vehicles. At least they are more patient when we have Ellie with us and have to fully stop.
We love eating Thai food, but I have yet to master the art of cooking it. That doesn’t matter though, as food is as easy to get as walking down the street. You can buy fresh fruit for $0.35, and a whole plate of Thai food for just over $1.We eat out quite a bit, either with friends or just to grab some food on our way out or back home. I love cooking, so I usually make one meal at home every day. Rice is a staple in our home, as is fresh fruit and vegetables. Fresh food is fresher in Thailand, so we have to buy it like the locals do. There is a little market across the street from our house twice a week. Ellie and I walk over and pick out our fruits and veggies of choice for the next few days. If you try to buy for more than a few days, it will spoil. People in the market love fawning all over Ellie, and she just eats up all the attention.
We love living and serving in this wonderful city. Will we live here forever, no, but for now, it has become home to us. (Well, I guess I expanded my paragraph a bit more than I expected…)