Giving Thanks for Life Abroad

Trip Start Jul 20, 2006
Trip End May 10, 2007

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, November 23, 2006

They don't celebrate Thanksgiving here and if they did, I'd be wary to eat the Turkey-because they'd probably serve it with feet and beak in-tact. I asked my family if they could Fed-Ex me Thanksgiving, but something tells me it would arrive only in time for Christmas, if they send it by air and not by sea.

They have Skippy and Jiff peanut butter here, both creamy and crunchy. This is exciting seeing as this is the first foreign country I've lived in where you can find that and Kraft Mac and Cheese. Man, I sound like a raging middle-American.

I've found two places with bagels and cream cheese, even lox. When I arrive I'm asked "same same?" that's all I ever order when I go there. People in my office think I'm eating a hamburger for breakfast- maybe because I'm American and I'm eating something stuck between two pieces of round bread.

I've learned that Thai people are more caddy and gossipy than a Junior Varsity cheerleading squad or the Jewish mothers who lunch in Beverly Hills. They show NO emotion in public, don't believe in hugging, or saying "I love you". They don't believe in PDA's (Public Display of Affection) but girls walk down the street holding each other's hands.

The only globalization I like is the kind that deals with cuisine. I'm thankful for the Italian, Greek, and Mexican restaurants in Thailand - all of which i've eaten at in the past week.

Thai people have a serious case of vertigo - or at least they think they do. It is safe to say that every Thai person I know has a menthol eucalyptus inhaler stuck up their nose or tucked in their pocket, at all hours.

I know I've talked about bathroom sanitary conditions before, but I must revisit it being the germ-a-phobic I am. Hand washing after using the toilet is mandatory in my mind (especially if you are flushing your feces with your own hand). But, it seems that the news of bathroom germs has not made it over here. I purchased anti-bacterial soap and placed it on the sink of my office bathroom months ago - I am clearly the only person who uses it. Cold water does not do justice to germs Thai's, please use the soap provided by the white girl.

I spent the morning over a cup of shade grown hill tribe coffee drooling over People's Sexiest Men Alive online. That's sad - I've resorted to getting my fill of hot men on the internet - does that make me sick? My brother reminded me the other day that I'm not here to concentrate on men, but to see the world. Easier said then done because from past experiences I focus on learning the culture through the men I'm dating while living there. How do you think I speak Spanish so well?

The one Thai man who showed me attention called me and asked me to borrow money because he'd been in an accident. Just because I'm white doesn't mean I'm rich. He promised to pay me back in special stones with healing powers. I changed my phone number so he could never call me again.

I spent last Saturday morning at the organic farmers market with my Thai friends. I picked a pink flower, put it in a blender, than drank it. And, I wonder why I had parasites for 2 months. My friend Gabe has a tendency to taste plants, like a small child, everything he sees ends up in his mouth.

I get homesick sometimes, but always recover when my friend's boyfriend from Slovenia sends the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy. I've missed out on the complete second season of Prison Break - it breaks my heart to not see Wentworth Miller weekly.

I love living in Tropical countries for the fruit, not the humidity. All sorts on interesting things to try, but I always feel like a dumb ass when I have to ask, "How do I eat this?" They have one fruit here called Durian, it smells so bad that the posh hotels have signs outside saying "No Durian" because it stinks the place up for months.

Thai's eat corn for dessert. My recommendation is to try corn mixed with coconut - it is a great combination. Or mango and sticky rice, who would have thunk it? Fruit and rice is another great combination.

I have a Thai massage once a week for 2-hours at a time. There is nothing better than doing yoga without doing anything at all. It costs me $5. I'm scared to come home to Burke Williams, because I can't afford it. I'm going to take a massage course here so I can come home and charge you all $100 an hour.

Curly hair is utterly rare here - and I'm blessed with the Jewish girl curl. Two girls in my office have attempted recently to make their stick-straight hair wavy, what transpired was not pretty. They don't understand that my hair does that even though I do nothing to it.

My first few weeks here, people were startled by my green eyes (even though they are really hazel). Turns out that green eyes are seen as angry eyes - no wonder they were looking at me like Satan's sidekick for weeks.

Just thought I'd share some observations. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and please create the "perfect bite" and think of me while enjoying it: a slice of turkey with potatoes and stuffing on top, dipped in gravy before savoring it! Giving thanks for life abroad.
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