Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in Bangkok:
Don’t worry if people laugh at you. This happens a lot but it doesn’t mean they are mocking you. It is just the Thai way of being friendly and respectful. It’s a tricky thing to get your head around, but it certainly makes life more cheery if you take it the way it was intended.
One thing I do occasionally regret is that we did not have a lot of time to look into living in more authentic Thai areas. I love our community, it's wonderful to run and walk around the local lake and quiet streets but it is a more isolated area to live in compared to the hustle and bustle of city life.
There are many differences between life in Thailand and life back home in the Great Frozen North. One of the most obvious is that there is food EVERYWHERE in Bangkok. I never have to have a hangry (hungry + angry) moment again, much to my husband’s relief. It is also really easy and cheap to travel here – weekend beach getaways are simple.
Bangkok reminds me of life in New York City in the early 80s: colorful, diverse, odorific, challenging, and unexpected – with the advantage of feeling much safer & being much cheaper!
A friend of mine promised her kids a pet when moving to Thailand. If possible, this is a nice idea to make the new life special. Lots of street dogs and cats are looking for a new home (checked by vets). Many condos, however, do not allow pets.
Take the time to think about where you want to live. If possible, visit before actually moving out here. We picked somewhere close to where my boyfriend works and near a BTS station – trust me, you do not want to have far to walk in this heat!
I think I’d recommend that people carefully figure out what type of lifestyle they want to live, and choose a neighborhood accordingly. Bangkok is a renter’s market, so no need to jump on the first thing you find. Also, take stock of your hobbies and see if you can connect with like-minded people before you come-it makes the transition easier if you have friends right away.
Nepal is chaotic, loud and noisy. Bangkok is more managed and subtle compared to Kathmandu. Initially food and language was the main problem for me year. I had no idea about Thai food and didn’t know what to order and what to expect. With time I learned to appreciate Thai food and get used to the palette. Now I simple love Thai food and have learned some of the local recipes as well.
Having been a Malaysian living in Singapore all my life, I have never really lived in my hometown before, so it was pretty easy for me to adapt, especially when locals are generally receptive to foreigners, and Thailand is basically pretty close to home for me, so I wouldn’t consider myself to have any culture shock, especially when it comes to everyday life. Working and setting up a company is a different animal though, but that’s too complicated to explain here.
Honestly, I think the most major change has been in the way that we eat. I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of snacking all day on street food or eating out for nearly every meal.
I was better suited to Bangkok than back home, while I love living in both Thailand and the UK the weather here would be the obvious benefit. The reason why I’d find it hard to leave is the food; Bangkok is a hard city to beat when it comes to eating.
My life in Bangkok is very different to that of the UK. I have a relaxed, flexible work schedule that allows me to focus on my sport, which is wonderful. Life is generally more relaxed here, and I did have some slight trouble getting used to the slower movement of things in a working environment at first, but soon accepted it as part of the package.
The most different thing is language. Unlike other countries I have lived where I could just speak English, it is a whole new language that I really have no clues about. It was not easy in the beginning especially when grocery shopping on the street. Later, I decided to go to Thai language school; now, I can understand a bit of it and it makes my life much easier.