-Jack Daniels, as we deplaned in Bangkok
One week down, 99 to go! J/k, I’m not doing a countdown. That would be super lame.
The bedroom in our hotel.
The living room in our hotel.
We are not yet in our permanent housing, and we are living in a hotel a couple of blocks from the Embassy. This has its pluses and minuses. Minus: our permanent housing is currently being vetted and leased by the Embassy, and there are several families like ours waiting to move in. It could take up to a month for this to happen. Plus: we found the website for our building and the place is gorgeous. Also, our air freight stuff arrived before we did! It’s still going through Thai customs, but should be ready for delivery by the time we move in, so we won’t be living sparsely. Minus: living in a hotel extends the “in-between” time we’ve been stuck in since we got married. I have yet to feel like I’m living in my own place. Plus: I highly recommend hotel living for a moving transitional location. In DC, we were in a Residence Inn, so we had a fridge and kitchen. And here we do as well (note: this place is both larger and cheaper than the RI), plus an in-room washer/dryer.
Since no one likes hearing people complain, I won’t say anything more than this: I will never ever again buy a phone from Verizon.
One of the best things about Bangkok is having Jack Daniels here to tell me what food to eat. If I had come here on my own, as a tourist, I would have missed out on a lot of things because a lot of places don’t have English menus. JD said that I could always just point to something, but I know I’d go for the blandest looking thing, because I’d be afraid the spiciness would kill me.
One day this week, we went out to lunch with some of JD’s coworkers. We went to a place that looked like a warehouse (with no walls, just a big ceiling on posts). Food stands lined the edges, and there were a bunch of cafeteria-style tables in the middle. JD showed me to an Isan place. He spent a year of the mish there and the food sounds really interesting. So I just told him to order me something awesome and he did! At one point while he ordered, he gestured to me and he and the stall guys laughed. I knew he was telling them to go light on the spices for his poor wife.
That lunch was SO good. It was still plenty spicy for my taste, but never to the point of unpleasantness (although it took two Cokes to combat the heat). His coworkers (a Thai, a Filipino, a Vietnamese guy, and an Indonesian) ordered their own food and ordered this dish that JD told me about back when we were first dating. It involves fermented fish sauce. I tried it and it wasn’t that bad, but JD had ordered a non-fish-sauce version of it and I liked that one more. His Thai coworker got me a dessert made with coconut milk, grains, ice, and these gelatin chunks, and it was delicious. JD hadn’t heard of this before, but he liked it as well. This was probably my favorite eating experience thus far.
A bonus to this experience was walking by some fruit stands on the way back to work/home. I saw a fruit I’d never seen before, and neither had Daniel. He asked the seller about it and the guy gave us a free sample! It tasted pretty good, and I will totally buy one later. It’s called salak and this is what it looks like:
Things I Really Like about Thailand:
Food is really damn cheap. And, obviously, I really like it.
Coke is different here but it still tastes pretty good, so I’m happy. (Plus, if I really need an American Coke, they have it at the Embassy commissary.)
People are really into Premier League football here, which is great because I arbitrarily decided a while back that I want to become a rabid Man U fan.
Being a dip is pretty cool. Basically, I can live in this awesome country, but I can psychologically retreat to America if I want to.
Things I Don’t Like or Will Take a While to Come Around to:
The smell of hot fermenting garbage on many of the roads. Thankfully, there are about four or five different sois (side streets) that we can take to walk to the Embassy, and luckily I discovered a non-stinky one early on, so that’s my commute of choice.
I have marveled a few times about the scary-looking things people will eat here. “Why can’t they just eat normal food?” I obviously haven’t vocalized this, since I understand that’s my Ugly American-ness rearing its head.
I’m bored without a job. Hopefully that will change at some point.
My hair has not yet adjusted, and is just a giant frizzball.
The view from our temp housing.
14 hours ago