Alright, it’s official. I’m an expat. Yes, yes I may be jumping the gun a little bit considering I’ve only been here one week but I’m in this for the long haul (one way ticket y’all!!!). Please forgive me for not updating in so long, moving to another country and such has kept me busy.
An emotional roller coaster may sound cliché but that’s exactly what the last seven days have been like; a complete hormone out of whack type of situation. I’m so grateful for the individuals who made me feel welcomed and not so lonely and I never thought I would be so thankful for the creation of Tinder, it’s a great way to meet friends if you explicitly say no to hooking up (more on this later).
I think it’s a good time to sum up my fresh new outlook on BKK for those who might be interested in calling this city home:
Be Prepared to Dodge All Moving Vehicles!
The traffic here is insane. I’m being very literal here. For a city that never sleeps, expect to be stuck in some sort of traffic at any hour. I live in constant fear that a car/tuk tuk/motor bike/truck will appear from no where and strike me. Just this weekend, a truck kept on driving even though I was so close my hip was wiping dirt off the bumper.
Also, thank goodness I only packed one pair of heels for the occasional formal event. Be sure to look at the ground when walking or you’ll stub your toes like I have walking to and from work. Goodbye my beautiful pair of leather flats…bonsoir.
Getting Around is Easy
Apart from the car fiasco, the MRT/BTS (Thailand’s public transit system) isn’t as complicated as you might think. Once you get used to the fact that your train is three levels above ground and you learn to purchase a key fob for a ticket, you’re good to go. The system is very similar to Korea so I wasn’t completely lost.
Don’t Be Scared to Ask Someone
During the first three days, I was wandering aimlessly in my neighbourhood looking for 7-11, young people or a street food vendor to hit up for dinner. I was completely lost but able to ask several Thai strangers for help, all of whom smiled sweetly and pointed me in the right direction even though their English was limited. But this doesn’t mean trust everyone you meet, stick with your gut instinct and don’t walk on the streets with your cell phone in plain sight.
Eat Little But Often
Okay, this is a terrible photo for an example but portions here are small! I was out with a friend for the first time so he ordered multiple dishes (fried soft shell crab, stewed beef curry and pad thai). Don’t expect to see the typical Western meals that you usually take home to finish. Their appetites may be big but their stomachs are small. I might snack my way into chubbyness if I’m not careful.
Work All That Food Off
I’ve never been a big gym rat as you can tell by my deflating and non-existent muscles but I had the opportunity to visit a crossfit competition and who am I, the newbie to say no to a room full of muscles?
I have never seen so many six packs in one place. The females put the guys to shame and I felt positively shrimpy while they did their reps. There is one thing I did have in common with these folk and that hit me when a competitor shouted “I NEED CARBS!” after her set. Bring it on.
Forget What You Know
Lose the expectations and keep an open mind. I was walking down a soi in Sukhumvit, a crazy long street comparable to Yonge street in Toronto and to my left was a stand selling dildos and porn. My friends were driving down a street and every few seconds, they would point out a prostitute to me. It’s hard not to think of “Red Light District” or “ladyboy” when someone mentions Thailand but as long as you don’t bother them and they don’t bother you, this part of the world will fade to the background.
Sometimes I’ll be walking down the street or wandering in search of a bank and remind myself that I’m half way across the world and how crazy that is. My eyes have literally been bulging out every new corner or street I find. Excitement courses through me when I think of all the things left to discover. I gotta say: “BRING ON THE CULTURE SHOCK!”
It’s not the living alone part that scares me, it’s the living in a foreign country that brings me close to hyperventilating each time my over-active brain ventures there. Knowing that my closest friends and family aren’t a bus ride away or down the hall is a scary thought but I’ve promised myself not to go there.
I’m going to scavenge some food stalls for breakfast now. Sending my love 12,000km from home,