It is easy to name the things you like and don’t like about Thailand. We, on the whole, like the beaches, the weather, the food and, for the single guys among us, the women. We don’t like the corruption, the two tier pricing and general paperwork that goes with any visa or work permit application. But actually what about the things we take for granted, those Thailand creature comforts that we love so much but don’t give them a second thought?
1. 7-11 Ham and Cheese Toastie
Besides the hot dogs and salad bar that we used to find in 7-11, who didn’t love these 25 baht cheese and ham toasties the moment they tried one? They are cheap and cheerful but strangely and alluringly quite delicious. I love my coca-cola too and a can is 14 baht and a 500m bottle only 17 baht, it is more than three times that cost back in the UK!
2. The Bum Gun
I found it hilarious when I first came to Thailand with these little squirt guns located next to the toilet, surely not I thought to myself. But then I tried one and then I tried again. They offer a much cleaner experience and whenever I go back to the UK I find it disgusting I need to clean myself with paper alone.
3. Cheap Cinemas
Same great facilities as what we would find in cinemas back in the Western world but without the expense. A typical movie ticket is less than 150 baht and on a Wednesday in many cinemas it is only 80 baht a ticket (less than US$2.5). We may not always make the most of this great price, but we love it nonetheless.
4. The Chilled Out Life
We may occasionally moan about the Thai ‘Mai bpen rai’ (Never mind) attitude but the longer you stay here you warm up to the more relaxed, chilled out approach to life. For a retiree it is perfect. Seriously, I suspect you may not want to admit it but secretly I think you like this. One can forget just how manic and demanding life was back in our domestic countries, the pace was relentless.
5. Ability to Eat Out every night
Whatever you want to eat and at whatever budget you can afford to eat out every night. A bowl of noodles from a Thai food vendor at 30 baht (about US$1), a Sunday Roast dinner in a pub with a price anywhere between 130 and 500 baht (US$4 – US$15), a Sizzler Salad buffet at 139 baht (about US$4), really I could go on. The choice is yours and by and large it will not break the bank. I eat out every evening with my family, something unheard of back in the UK where I used to live.
I am quite sure this list can go on and on as we all live a somewhat different life here in Thailand and get see different benefits that we will now take for granted. Internet speeds are good and inexpensive and the sun pretty much always out. We may all at times get frustrated by certain things that come with living here, but I suspect the adjustment of having to return back to our own countries will identify all these smaller idiosyncrasies that make Thailand so appealing to live.