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10 Signs You're Thriving as a Traveler in Thailand

Thailand Student Work
by Ben Lambert Feb 16, 2015

1. You can’t remember the last time you wore real shoes.

Like in all Asian countries, Thailand follows the custom of removing shoes before entering homes and even some hostels, guesthouses, and shops for that matter. You now know that flip flops are so much better than shoes — no stinky feet, no making people wait while you awkwardly tie your shoes. Plus, flip flops make you constantly feel like you’re on vacation.

2. You’ve obviously got a basket on the front of your motorbike.

I don’t think I really need to say any more about this.

3. You’ve discovered the one acceptable usage of Nescafe instant coffee mix.

Thai street coffee! Often sold by smiling Thai ladies that somehow work magic on what is normally a weak, bitter, and disgusting product. You’ve now realized its potential though: a tasty, caffeine-packed treat. And at roughly $0.60 each, you’ve forgiven yourself for chain-drinking them.

4. A kitchen? You don’t need that.

Give us a fridge and maybe a microwave and we’re set. You’ve discovered how cheap street food papaya salad can be, and know that it’s probably more expensive to buy groceries just so you can cook them at home.

5. Actually, you no longer balk at the idea of eating 90% of your meals out.

It bears repeating: the local food is delicious and dirt cheap here. A heaping plate of Pad Thai sets you back $1.00 – $1.50. Plus, you’ve done some digging and now know where to get two curries and steamed rice for under a buck.

6. When eating out, you prefer that your meals be taken on a sidewalk, at a table that looks similar to the one your five-year-old niece uses for tea parties.

It doesn’t get more al fresco than this; there’s not a single wall in sight. And with your knees almost to your chin, you know you can splurge for the mango sticky rice later because of all the calories you’ve burned standing up, squatting down, and maintaining uncomfortable chair pose for the duration of the meal.

7. 7-Eleven is now a necessity in your day-to-day life.

Open 24 hours and located on every other corner, you’ve realized that 7-Eleven is to Thailand what Starbucks is to Manhattan. You can get beer, a tasty hot meal, dessert, a new DVD, and watermelon-flavored milk at all hours of the day. Seriously. How did you ever live without them before?

8. Your crash helmet is properly secured in the basket on the front of your motorbike. It’s never actually on your head.

Loads of Thais don’t wear crash helmets when zipping around on their motorbikes. The police don’t seem all that keen on enforcing the helmet laws. When in Rome, right? Plus, those helmets look silly anyway.

9. You only want to date Thai people now.

Because not only are the men gorgeous (okay, the women are too) — they’ve got to be the nicest people on the face of the earth. Plus, they value personality and smarts more than they do six-pack abs.

10. You’re happy pretty much all of the time.

Thailand would make even Oscar the Grouch a happy camper. With all that Thailand has to offer — the stunning beaches on the Andaman Coast, deliciously spicy papaya salad, the smiling people of Chiang Mai — what have you got to be upset about?

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