When You Live in Thailand for Nine Months

You are completely unphased by the one or two small geckos hanging out on your downstairs walls.
(You might even be glad to see them when you walk in at night.)

You’re shocked when you’re washing your hands at the gym and all of a sudden the water actually turns HOT instead of staying cold.

You know that the far-off bundles down the road are not actually bundles that toppled over from a truck; they’re sleeping dogs.

You feel like you’ve been perpetually living an international flight, so flying to another country not your own doesn’t cross your radar as “international flight” material. Even if the flight’s 10 hours long.

It’s hotter than East Coast America summer hot, so you put your hair in a bun at least five times a day.

It’d be strange to see your Weather App with a temperature lower than 80 at night.

Even the simplest things are very, very difficult. (Find this office. Turn in a form. Get a receipt. Oh no, no.)

You feel like two-three hours of travel for a weekend trip is a breeze because it’s SO CLOSE BY.

You get to feeling quite somber when you think on that statistic about how much of one’s life is spent sitting at traffic lights. Your day-to-day quota of standing in the sun waiting for public transport sometimes feels unbearable. Don’t tell me what that evens out to be over the long haul.

You’re pretty confident that you can pack for any trip with only a backpack.

You can’t remember the last time you saw or used a dryer while doing laundry.

You are so elated to see flowering trees because you remember that seasons do exist somewhere! Not everywhere in the world is green all day every day, hot all day and night.

You have minor heart palpitations when you realize that there are places in the world where a museum entrance fee costs the equivalent of $30 rather than $3-5.

You’re not quite sure where the heck to go in order to buy work clothes that will actually fit you. (Let me tell you, size medium does not mean the same thing everywhere in the world.)

You carry two bubble tea frequent buyer cards in your wallet every day, and you know of 3 bubble tea chains within a 5-minute radius (driving time) of your house.

You can eat an excellent meal for the equivalent of $1-11. The quality of the food is awesome all-around; it’s just based on what you’re willing to pay.

You realize that maybe the more expensive restaurants charge more because they have at least one AC unit. And that’s something you’re willing to pay for.

Even body butter melts in an “air-conditioned” bedroom.

You see at least five cats and four dogs every day when you walk down your street.

You can’t hang anything on the walls without a power drill because walls just aren’t made that way.

Rent costs less than $150.

If asked where one can buy mango, pineapple, or dragonfruit, you can immediately offer a few options. But you have no clue where to buy berries.

You’re missing avocados something fierce. And you will never pass up on the offer of Mexican or Indian food while traveling.

Your go-to snacks are baked seaweed, basil or spicy chicken-flavored chips, and koala bear-shaped thingamabobs filled with chocolate.

*This list obviously pertains to me personally, not to everyone who has lived in Thailand for nine months. Not everything will be true across the board, but some are widely shared.

Put together = tank top and headband. IT'S TOO HOT.
Put together = tank top and headband. IT’S TOO HOT.

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