*Other Asians might apply: based on observations and real life experiences.
1. Keep the plastic on your furniture. My mom kept the plastic cover on our lampshades until I think we revolted or something. But maybe I’m remembering incorrectly, they could still be on…
2. Keep the labels on your household goods. I don’t know why we do this, but I have so many household items with the labels still on them, from trash bins to Tupperware.
3. Put a bow on it (extra credit, don’t hold back). You know that Portlandia skit, “Put a bird on it?” Yeah, well, Thailand’s would be, “Put a bow on it.” Jing, jing.
4. Got bread? Weenie it (extra credit, add pork floss, and while you’re at it, pour some sugar on me). Most foreigners upon landing in the Land of Smiles are horrified by the weenie explosion on most of the bread here. That’s right, I said it, weenie explosion.
5. Take up the ukulele. When I was teaching in Chiang Mai, I felt like I had at least one student in each class that played the ukulele. For awhile there, it seemed like everyone was learning to play. I don’t know why, but it’s popular here.
6. See how much you can carry on the bus, plane or train (extra credit, motorbike). You see, when Thais travel they like to bring stuff home to their families or friends, so, often, they end up bringing more than their allotted baggage claim.
7. Karaoke, sing it loud and sing it proud. Remember all notes are well within your range.
8. Ice your beer, cause it ain’t going to get cold on its own. When I first moved here, the idea of putting ice in my beer was blasphemous. I prefer dark beer which should be served at room temperature. But over the years, I’ve gotten used to light beers – and well, ice.
9. Surround yourself with lucky charms. Oh, how we believe in luck! Everything has to do with luck!
10. Go Vamperic. The sun is your mortal enemy. For a Hawaii girl, this has been a difficult Thai habit to grasp. But an umbrella does help keep the sun off of you when it’s sweltering hot, so I’ve been partaking in umbrellas since I walk a lot.
11. Walking is a form of torture – don’t do it. When I saw someone drive their motorbike across the street to use the payphone, I felt like I was in the American South. For Thais, walking is just crazy. Maybe even considered lo-so (low society). The “good for the environment and good for your health thingy” simply hasn’t caught on here.
12. Don’t fear the reaper, fear the gecko. Again, Hawaii girl here, we have geckos and other lizards in great abundance. Of course, we don’t have the little beast, the tokay gecko, but Thais are extremely terrified of them. Yes, they have serious chompers and I’ve dealt with the real fear of having them in my bedroom and bathroom, but I’m not scared of them. I respect them, and that’s different.
13. Take more selfies. Join the revolution (extra credit, make the peace sign when taking pictures). Last year, Thailand’s Siam Paragon was considered the most Instagrammed place, and the year before that it was Suvarnabhumi Airport. Regardless, Thais are obsessed with their appearance and well, selfies go weenie-in-bun here.
14. Take more showers. Join the revolution. If you’re not taking at least 3 showers a day, you ain’t doing it right. Did I mention it’s hot here?
15. Give yourself a nickname, like God, Guitar or Beer. Or how about Football? Or as the Thais would say Footbun.
16. Eat more MAMA noodles (top ramen), and while you’re at it, throw in some questionable meat (it’s only questionable if you ask questions!).
17. Explore a third gender. It’s the final frontier.
Inspiration for this post came by moving from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and noticing the funny characteristics of Thai homes (namely plastic on furniture and labels on household goods). So then I started to think of other silly things, hope you’ve enjoyed the show 😉