We’ve been in Thailand for one month today! We have accomplished many of our short term goals, but still have a short list of some pretty important stuff. Here are a few things, in our new daily routine, that we are all getting used to:
Air drying our laundry - We have a washer but no dryer. This was going very well until the rainy season got into full swing. Now, I’m getting used to wearing clothes that are slightly damp.
Driving - Not so much that we’re driving on the left, but the polite, ordered chaos on the roads, sharing with everything from bicycles to trucks, the many variations of scooters, and the occasional elephant.
Thailand has GREAT coffee - $.75 cart coffee is the best, even when it’s made with Nescafe!
Eating out every night - Meals at the local market are running about $10 for all four of us, with enough left over for breakfast. We are learning to NOT go crazy and buy everything that looks good. Because everything looks so good.
Everyone is happy at dinnertime - When we eat dinner out of the market, we don’t need to pick one dish for dinner that everyone likes. Everyone gets exactly what they want.
Good food is EVERYWHERE - We’re getting used to pulling over along the road every time Frank sees smoke (What’s on the grill??), going into street food areas and jumping to a different stall for each course. One for papaya salad, another for a mussel omelette and a third for homemade grilled sausages.
Geckos - They’re nocturnal, have free reign of the house and seem to follow one huge gecko. Endless fun for the cats, who have a developed a taste for them . . .their version of Thai food.
Beautiful, exotic fruit is everywhere - I much prefer buying fruit at the neighborhood stalls, instead of at the grocery store or even the market.
Market hours - There are open air markets everywhere, but figuring out the hours of each is a little challenging. Some are morning markets (closing after lunch), some are evening markets (peaking at 5 to 6), and some are very early markets (finished by 9am). Evening markets have a very heavy emphasis on prepared foods. In Mae Rim, the larger city we live in, there is at least one of each, plus other smaller weekly markets. Getting the patterns down is completely by trial and error, and part of the fun.
Rainy season - Don’t let the rain stop you from doing anything. Get prepared, and go. My rain jacket with the dry pockets was the best investment I made (Thanks, Tia!) It keeps my phone dry even in a soaked-to-the-skin downpour.
Temperature is lower in the summer - It is much cooler here than I expected. We welcome the rain because if lowers the temperature to a comfortable 75 to 80 degrees.
Overall, how’s it gone so far?
Let’s just say, the things that really matter, have gone very well. We all got here safely and we had an amazing layover in Osaka, that we were lucky enough to spend with the entire Takahiro/Sawagashira/Setto Clan (we missed you Noriyuki).
The girls are enjoying having their own room and have new desks set up for school, which starts in just two weeks! The house is great, and the property is beautiful, with a big field where the dogs can run through the kaffir lime and banana tree groves.
The pets’ move went very smoothly, and I have had no regrets about bringing them along (even when Zeke was MIA). It is great having them here and they have helped minimize the homesickness. (Actually, I don't think any of us have been homesick yet…)
The only thing that went badly was the actually moving of the house. We’ve been through several moves and this was the move from hell. My mantra through the packing of the house in Fairfax was “our stuff does not define us . . . our stuff does not define us”. I know that with a move like this, something will go wrong. Hopefully not everything, but something WILL go wrong. If I had to choose one thing that would go wrong, I would definitely choose the moving of the stuff. The container arrived this week in the port, delivery will probably be next week sometime. We are very excited to get our bikes, and Alex will be happy to be sleeping on a bed again, but I will be happier to have that part of our move completely over. What I have taken away from this is to have less stuff. More downsizing ahead . . .
I hope you all are enjoying reading my blog as much as I am enjoying writing and sharing everything with you! The journey has only just begun…Thanks, everyone, for the great comments.