Thailand

How to make your life more Thai!*

*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…

plastic-cover
Why wasn’t the plastic taken off before constructing this?! Silly question.

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.

sticker-on-toilet
Oh, it’s a water saver. Got it.

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.

Bow magic.
Bow magic.

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.

weenie-bread
It’s like a hot dog, but like better and beyond all other hot dogs.

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.

Seriously, everyone's doing it.
Seriously, everyone’s doing it.

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.

mattress
At first I thought this was a mattress, but now I’m not sure…Mae Sai, 2010

7. Karaoke, sing it loud and sing it proud. Remember all notes are well within your range.

matsui-karaoke
Ahhh, the good ‘ol days, when we were young…Matsui shows us how it’s done, yo.

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.

leo

9. Surround yourself with lucky charms. Oh, how we believe in luck! Everything has to do with luck!

dashboard
Songtaew (taxi) drivers and their lucky charms.

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.

umbrellas
Phayao, 2013

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.

motorbike-maven
Ohhhh, yeah…

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.

tokay-magic
We have a few that live at our new home in the Rai. Cute little buggers.

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.

FB like.
I’m a selfie girl, in a selfie world…

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?

Even the roosters bathe often...
Even the roosters bathe often…

 

15. Give yourself a nickname, like God, Guitar or Beer. Or how about Football? Or as the Thais would say Footbun.

football.j
Have you considered…

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!).

meat-on-a-stick
Hmmmm. Yum.

17. Explore a third gender. It’s the final frontier.

Kathoy1649
From the wiki, because I haven’t gone to a cabaret show. That I know of, at least…

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 😉

 

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29 thoughts on “How to make your life more Thai!*

  1. “It’s only questionable if you ask questions”! I’d like to adopt this as my new life motto! I think many of these apply to the Chinese as well. Thanks so much for linking to me! I cracked up the whole time I read this post. You said weenie explosion. Hehehe. Great post, Lani!

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    1. Ha! Great, thanks. Yeah, I was going to just say, “How to make your life more Asian” but then I thought I better stick to just Thailand. Thanks for the confirmation! 😀 Hugs and bugs!

      Like

  2. Love it – so awesome!
    This inspires me to do something similar for Korea – there are a few similarities: Go vampiric, put a bow on it, karaoke and weenie in a bun. Same – same!
    I hate to say it but I’m a wee bit freaked out of the various lizards going on over there – Vietnam revealed this side of me…:)
    ~Andrea ❤

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    1. That’s why I said other Asians might apply! 😀 Ahhhh, geckos are fine, they eat lots of bugs and their poop is easy to clean up! BTW, thanks, and I’m looking forward to your Korean version.

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  3. Lani, this is great! am passing it on to ex-pats and visitors. My parents got rid of all there old furniture right after my sister andd I left home; all pseudo French Provincial style. Then they immediately had plastic covers made for the white couch, etc which they took off when company came.

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    1. Thanks Sandra. Great story about your parents, it’s funny how we want to protect our things so much we keep the plastic on! At least your parents took it off for company! 😀

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  4. Lani, Hilarious post! I’ve witnessed some of these, but not all. I certainly didn’t know about the terrifying gecko!

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  5. excellent real life post. much enjoyed.

    i noticed the extra basket on your motorcycle, nice. a friend has a large extra basket in the same place to carry her dog for long trips over Doi Saket.

    Also, about those three showers a day, you do NOT use hot water, right?

    Like

    1. Hi Jim! Yeah, the way Thais travel w/ their dogs on their motorbikes is something I have yet to get used to. Insane! By their feet, on the back seat, in the basket, being held in their arms – crazy!

      Cold showers, of course 😉

      Like

  6. Hey Lani..kinda lost you over the last month as I have been travelling. Now in chiang Mai. Great article, love your humor as always. Let me add another Thai thing..get a nickname. I chose Luke because of my real last name. When I say it to Thais they kinda make the circles over their eyes as if to say ‘look’. I’m fine with that but a close friend told me that I need to be careful how I pronounce it (you know, that darn tone fixation)..because it could come across to mean ‘erection’. Yikes! Should I pick another one?

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    1. I would! 555+ Good luck.

      My name is easy for Thais to pronounce so I’ve never had to change it.

      Thanks for finding me again Kuhn Luke 😛

      Like

  7. Ice in beer? Ice. In. Beer? I don’t have word for just how wrong that is. I even have a problem dropping soapstone ice rocks (maintains cold from 30 minutes out of the freezer without watering down your beverage). Nothing should be placed in beer except beery goodness.

    But then again, I’m lo-so, so what do I know?

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  8. One more: Keep the carton box of any electric appliance or electronics you will buy. 😉

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  9. Lani, Do ladyboys use “pom” or “di-chan” for “I”? Do they use “krap” or “ka” at the end of sentences?

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    1. They consider themselves women so they use the polite female articles of speech. You’d actually offend them if you referred to them other than women. I’m sure there are exceptions, but this has been my experience.

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  10. i grew up eating mama noodles. my fav flavor was pork and my dad added slices of beef, lettuce, and a squirt of lime into it. i now have acquired a taste for korean brand ramen though, like neoguri and shin ramyun (if you haven’t had it, you should try it). and Indonesian fried ramen is good too, the Indomie brand. =)

    Like

    1. Just had MAMA last night for dinner 😛 and I have tried the Korean brands, they are sooo good. Agree! But I haven’t tried the Indonesian version yet. Thanks!

      Like

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