Selfie on CROWDED Ferry Taxi. Photo bombs are not optional!!
A Relative asked Rick if we were having fun, here in Thailand. His response to this friendly inquiry was, “Well, I’m not sure “fun” is the word I would choose.”
This experience may be the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. Someone said, “it will be more and less of what you expect.” Bingo.
I could say everything is amazing and that would be true. In both the positive and negative sense. When you come, be prepared to be unprepared. It’s hotter than I’ve ever experienced and so humid. I am drenched by the time I get to work. I can’t put my sports bra on by myself because it’s the “over the head” style and sticks to my body and won’t move. My feet are slightly swollen so certain shoes will never be worn here. You need number 50 sunscreen for WATER SPORTS, or you will sweat it off in 30 seconds.
The beach is NOT close by. The beach is a weekend endeavor. Downtown Bangkok is not close by. Basically, our philosophy is work during the week and take mini vacations on the weekend And that is because whatever you do takes a lot of time and rarely goes according to plan. The Thai phrase, Mai Pen Rai, roughly translates to “no worries” or “what will happen will happen.” This Karmic attitude is spot on. Best laid plans are almost laughable. Who knows what will happen. Really.
Monsoon rain? Check.
Fender Bender? Check.
No credits cards taken here. Run around until you find an ATM. Check.
Taxi takes you to the wrong place? Check.
Nobody available to weight your fruit? No fruit today. Check.
If you are a germ phone, let that go now! No dishwashers so even at restaurants everything is hand-washed in a huge, murky vat. Barefoot inside the Wats, no exceptions. Mystery street food wrapped in waxed bags passed out by venders that wander among the stopped cars in a traffic jam. Food handling without gloves. Community combs at the gym; shared flip flops for the steam room and a little basket next to the squat toilet for your used t.p.
Safety is your own responsibility. We wear seat belts in the cabs….when they are available…and put life jackets in a boat…when available. No helmet? No problem. Baby on the handlebars of your scooter? No problem. Cram 15 people in the back of a pickup? I think we can fit one more, don’t you? Wanna be a fire dancer? OK, you’re 10 and look to be able to use a lighter. Hired. Either that or you can be a “tour guide” on a rickety long boat.
That said, I really like it here. So much beauty tucked inside daily encounters. Scary soi (street) dogs lounging in the sun; an incredible Buddhist temple next to a Soviet block style skyscraper; perfectly arranged fruit on a dilapidated card table; chanting monks in tattered saffron robes; Muslim call to prayer over a crackling loud-speaker; the old man in a worn uniform that salutes me each morning on my ride to work.
Everything is raw and real. No boneless, skinless chicken breasts here! Just whole chickens with head, feet and innards, hanging at the market in a surprisingly appealing way.
Please visit. If you come with an open mind, and more importantly an open heart, you will have the experience of a life-time.
Plus, we’ll take you to the beach.
Toilet at the Pier. As long as you know what to do…you’re fine!