The Things That Seem Normal Now

The Things That Seem Normal Now

As I wake up and to birds singing, geckos chirping, and feel the tropical climate of Thailand, even after 1 year and 8 months, I am filled with gratitude for yet another day of living in this amazing country. After having been here for this long, certain things just seem normal now that might not have before. Here are a few:

Saying sawadee kha and pressing my hands together in a prayer like position called a ‘wai’ to say hello. Saying khap khun kha for thank you.

Dodgy traffic with 3 people on a motorbike, no one wearing a helmet, songthaews, tuk tuks, motorbikes, slow driving new car owners, crazy driving truck and mini-bus drivers, bicycles, sidecars, and of course pedestrians. Everyone weaves in and out, and merging is done gracefully. Almost no one honks their horns, regardless of how many close calls there are. Considering how horrible the overall driving is, there are relatively few accidents…but there are accidents. The middle lines on the road appear to be optional. Driving on the left side of the road has become second nature.

My senses are filled with sights, sounds, and smells.Things I hear are karaoke in the distance, monks chanting, frogs, dogs barking, motorbikes, tuk tuks, tokay gecko chirps. Now I don’t even react to the loud gunshot type sound I hear, and figuring it’s just another firecracker, even if it’s in the middle of the day.

Scents range from gardenia to sewage to garlic frying to incense.

Common sights…

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Buying delicious dinner at a place like this on the street for about $1 USD

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Elegant gate with Buddha imagery

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High security…or not. This piece of wire was the lock on the viper cage at the zoo.

 

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Dogs on a motorbike

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Tropical fruit shakes. No artificial color here, just pink dragon fruit.

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Angry bird everything. Notice ‘Angry Bird’ not birds.

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Banana trees and flower

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Orchids that grow like weeds

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Smoky sunsets in March where the sun becomes nothing but a pink disc

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Spirit houses everywhere. This one is also sporting some DIY plumbing for the wheat grass.

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Little geckos scurrying after insects inside and outside

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The occasional snake that looks like a garden hose

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‘English’ that makes no sense

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Pink eggs

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Spiders of unusual size. Bar of soap to give perspective.

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Checking for lice publicly

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All different flowers in bloom year-round. Here is the national flower of Thailand – Ratchapuek.

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Wats and flower offerings everywhere

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Dark teak wood houses with colored glass

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The ubiquitous 7 Eleven where you can pay your bills, put credit on your phone, and buy Thai style sundries.

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Blatant copyright infringement and English hilarity.

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Water buffalo

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Flowers that are so pretty they look fake

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Odd sculptures

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Chickens all over

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Monks riding in songthaews

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Leaf roofs and paper lanterns

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Spirit houses, blue tiles and elephants

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Artsy shops and swirly Thai script

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Waiing people. Here is Ronald McDonald waiing us.

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Intricately carved wooden entrances

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Floating flower arrangements

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Rice fields

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Expat motorbike posse

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paper umbrellas and blues skies

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paper lanterns, umbrellas, Thai flag

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Hilltribe peoples peddling their goods in town

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More nonsense English

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Songthaew transport for field trips

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Students traveling in songthaew safety

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Trucks that get close enough to kiss you

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Buddhist flower and incense offerings

It’s  hot all the time yet people stay covered up and even go swimming in jeans. Families stay close and kids playing around/working in the restaurant bar, or store of their family. Once a year there is huge water fight where people throw water at each other and where no one gets angry.

Smiles instead of frowns.

Freedom instead of fear.

Every day something surprises, delights, or amuses me. It’s never going to be entirely what you expect. It gives me a thrill and joy to live in this incredible place I now call home. Khap khun kha prathet Thai.

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9 thoughts on “The Things That Seem Normal Now

  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    I enjoyed this post a lot and reblogged an excerpt and photo on my own site along with a copyright notice and link back to you. If you’d like me to take it down, you need only say so.

    Regards,
    Ben

  2. What a great post – I really feel like I’ve gone on a little trip to thailand this morning, how wonderful! I love the lock on the viper’s cage and those amazing flowers that look fake. What a treat, thank you!

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