Li-Chuan: Hello TaiThai
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Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Bangkok, etc.
I am Li-Chuan, from Taiwan. My husband (Thai) and I met when we studied in New York. After 6 years being together and going through quite a few things, we decided to get married last year and that brought me to Bangkok.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I absorbed a lot of things since moving to here, but I didn’t start blogging until January this year (2015). I visited Taipei then and one day I got into a chat with a young barista who loves to travel and she was amazed by my life and recommended me to blog about my life abroad.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
My favorite would be the one about the ‘cuteness’ of Thai people — when scoring during the champion game of ASEAN SUZUKI CUP last year, one Thai football player made a heart shape with his hands, which is very different from the actions other football players would do when scoring. I adore his cute and mellow attitude — and for me, Attitude is an important trait of the Thai people.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Bangkok differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
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.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Bangkok? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
It was in a rush moving here, so I’d say that I wasn’t fully prepared. If I could change anything, probably I would start taking Thai lessons once I got here or even in Taiwan.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I can’t think of a particular one, but whenever I try to speak Thai to my husband’s family, they just scratch their heads. And, I’d just keep speaking without being embarrassed :)
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Bangkok?
- Try to learn Thai beforehand or right after getting here.
- Enjoy the slower-paced life.
- No matter what, smile.
How is the expat community in Bangkok? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I think it is burgeoning. And, I’d really love to meet more expats from different parts of the world and hopefully there will be chances in the near future.
How would you summarize your expat life in Bangkok in a single, catchy sentence?
Slowing down and appreciating the simple happiness of life.