Living in Luxury
Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
32Trip End May 31, 2008
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I feel like I've seen two completely opposite worlds in the last week. In Bangkok, anyone who makes even a little bit of money can afford things like a nice condo-like apartment with a pool and security, a car, daily massages, a maid, eating out 3 times a day, doing whatever you want whenever you want to do it and being able to go on island holidays as often as twice a month.
Let me break it down for you in Canadian dollars:
- a one hour massage = $6
- renting a good sized one bedroom apartment = $600
- a bowl full of noodles from a street vendor = $0.63 (!!!)
- mango and sticky rice from a vendor = $0.63
- a two hour massage = $8
- swimming/bathing elephants = $15
- nice hostel accomodations = $7
- not as nice hostel accomodations = $4.5
- beautiful 5 star hotel accomodations = $40
- two pairs of pants and two tank tops = $11
- a day pack = $6
0_o (shocked face)
So, as you can see, it is more than affordable to live here and in fact, it's the best quality of life that I've seen to date. People are treated here with respect, dignity and as if they deserve the finer things in life (a nice lounge to sit at to wait while the free valet parking gets your car at the mall). I may sound like the poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks to point out all these things but I consider myself living comfortably by my own standards. However, after seeing how Preeti lives making less than I do - I am seriously getting the short end of the stick! Money goes a lot farther here than it does in Canada and that's too bad. We all deserve free valet parking, damnit!
Then there were the poorer folk in Kanchanaburi. The tour guide who worked from 7am until midnight, 7 days/week for 600 Baht/week which works out to a little less than $20/week. How he can possibly live off of that, I'm not sure. I would imagine he isn't getting valet parking, free or otherwise. The difference between Bangkok (the only city I've seen so far) and the country is shocking.
All in all, (so far) Thailand is very easy to travel in - easier than the guidebooks would suggest. And the holes they speak of in (that act as toilets) aren't actual holes in the ground as I was led to believe, they're just a toilet that you stand on not sit. It's a challenge, certainly, but it isn't primative - only different.
Here are some more pictures of the last 10 days.