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18 little things you will miss when you leave Thailand

1. Standing up at the movie theatre to honor the King when the royal anthem comes on and getting choked up every time.

2. Watching children’s cheeks flap in the wind as they grasp the inner handlebars of a motorbike in between mom or dads legs.

3. Being lulled by watching wooden, long-tail boats adorned with colorful garlands bob at the shore.

4. Paying only $3 for cab fare even though you just sat in traffic for over 45 minutes while driving downtown.

5. Sipping out of a freshly cracked coconut and then diligently scooping out every last bit of coconut meat.

6. The heavenly pain of an old Thai woman grinding her elbow into your butt muscles during a Thai massage.

7. Feeling safe somehow knowing that smiling eyes of tiny Buddha statues were always watching over you.

8. Finding a small jar of nam prik nam pla on every table to intensify your already heady meal (or to cleanse the orifices on your face, if you add enough).

9. Sitting in tiny, plastic chairs at a street food stall and drinking an iced Singha beer.

10. The fresh, juicy chunks of pineapple in plastic bags that you got the pleasure of spearing before stuffing them into your mouth.

11. Being overwhelmed by menus that are thicker than most novels you read.

12. The scraping sound of a street food vendor using a metal spatula to deftly mix ingredients in a hot wok and the subsequent whiff of chili that assaults your nasal passages.

13. Always having a gecko friend scurrying around the walls.

14. Always justifying to yourself stopping for a to-go cup of bright orange cha yen topped off with sweetened condensed milk to assuage your sweet tooth.

This story was produced through the travel journalism programs at MatadorU. Learn More

15. The singsong voice of Thai speakers and how the drawn out kaaa and trilled krup so gracefully rolled off Thai tongues.

16. Getting flashed a wide, easy smile when you least expect it.

17. Munching on mango with sticky rice and feeling like you should pray to the genius who set up this match made in heaven.

18. Listening to the rain absolutely pulverize the street during a downpour in the rainy season. Violence never sounded so pretty.

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