I’ve been in Bangkok for about two weeks now. My family has been living here for over six years, and it’s slowly starting to feel more like home. Sure, I don’t really have a bedroom, and I still feel paralyzed by my lack of Thai language skills, but coming “home” gets easier every time. My two hour flight from Kunming to Bangkok set a record for shortest flight home EVER! It felt great.
I’ve developed a loose routine of things that I do while I’m here, which I listed below. I’ve been dutifully checking them off my list 🙂
Drink a Starbucks Coffee Jelly Frappaccino. Friends of mine know that I’m a fan of slurping up chewy substances, and I’m also a huge coffee addict. Put those two things together in an overpriced but convenient cup and I’m in heaven. I haven’t found this delight in the US (I guess Americans aren’t big on drinking chunky jello in their Frappaccinos) and China doesn’t seem to have it either. I used to order it in the Philippines, where the coffee jelly was slightly different, but this Bangkok version does just fine to satisfy my craving, and is only a short walk away from my house.
Get a manicure and pedicure. After a winter in China bundling my feet up in SmartWool socks and fake Ugg boots, I arrive in Bangkok to flip flop weather, and I’m suddenly aware of how disgusting my feet look. Thank goodness there are plenty of manicure/pedicure places available nearby to scrub off the scaly dead skin and paint my nails a beachy new hue.
Eat pad thai. This is pretty self-explanitory. If I don’t eat pad thai within the first few days of being in Bangkok, there’s something seriously wrong. It manages to satisfy my sweet, salty and savory cravings all at once. It’s also unique in that I’ve discovered that the cheaper the pad thai, the better it tastes. Bourgeois pad thai served in restaurants just doesn’t cut it. It’s got to be from the mall food court, or better yet, an old lady on the side of the street. My mom’s favorite pad thai is from a little stall in the basement of the Thai Home Depot equivalent. Go figure…
Watch Ben play whatever sport is in season. Right now he’s in the middle of swim season, and I cheered for him at a meet held at ISB with swimmers from Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. It brought back memories of my old IASAS exchanges, and made me feel old to realize that I participated in IASAS over six years ago!
Walk around the Nichada Lake. When my dad is here, we usually take a few laps around the lake in the morning while we sip on coffee and talk about the future trajectory of my life (his favorite topic of conversation). Today I ran around the lake in a charity run for an ISB teacher who passed away from breast cancer this summer. Running around the lake with lots of other people was a lot easier than running around by myself… I need some competition to keep me going!
Go to the beach. My mom and I planned a sandy getaway for a few days to try and get a little bit of tan on my pasty white skin. While at the beach, I generally lose track of time while reading a good book, which leads me to the last thing that usually happens…
Get a sunburn. Fingers crossed it won’t happen this time! I’ve got my SPF 65 ready to go. [Note: I wrote this before I went to the beach… And the picture below shows that I was not careful enough. I’m going to proclaim this my last sunburn ever. It was painful, I got feverish and felt sick because my body was trying to recover from the burn. Not to mention peeling like a snake for a week– not attractive. I hereby proclaim that I will always wear sunscreen, even in the shade, and reapply regularly!]
I’ve had a great time in Bangkok with family, and also friends who were passing through on their travels or who live here. My time here is drawing to a close and I’m ready to start traveling! I don’t know how much I’ll be posting over the next month while I’m in Vietnam and Malaysia, so check back for a recap in March.