I can’t believe that I’m already feeling at least slightly settled now! After my exciting arrival on the first night, the subsequent days have passed much more rationally! I’m sorry, there still aren’t any pictures – but there will be soon, I promise. I did want to mention a few items of interest before I forget – or before they become normal, and therefore no longer interesting.
I’ve moved into my new apartment, and am starting to get settled in. It’s awfully beige, but a little TLC in the decor department should help. It’s also airy and bright, which is nice. My university is within walking distance, as is a Carrefour department store , so I’ve been there often. (Almost daily, actually, since it’s where I need to go to catch transportation into the city proper.) One evening, I was shopping for a mop and bucket – so you can forget about images of me strolling through exotic markets buying teak and silk trinkets – and suddenly, things got very still. I looked up from the bucket I was examining, and realized everyone had frozen in their tracks. Then I remembered; every evening, the national anthem is played at 6pm. Everyone within earshot stops what they’re doing, stands quietly while the anthem plays, then does a little bow at the end of the anthem and continues on their respective ways.
In the Carrefour complex, there is also a McDonald’s…that has a Sweet Chili Sauce dispenser next to the Ketchup dispenser, AND a spinach pie on the menu instead of an apple pie. Oh, and their breakfast sandwiches come on hamburger buns, not English muffins. The tragic irony: Korea now stocks English muffins. Thailand does not. Happily, there are a ton of local eateries around, so McDonald’s will never be high on my dining list. (I will get a spinach pie at some point when I have my camera with me though – purely for your benefit, dear reader). Local meals are absolutely delicious, and delightfully inexpensive (standard price for most meals is between 75 – 90 cents). The interesting thing about Thai cuisine is that it doesn’t actually taste any better if you pay more for it. It’s usually just ambiance and fancy decor you pay for at pricier places – the food’s the same. Lately, I’ve taking to going to a nearby restaurant, pointing at some random item on the menu, and waiting to be surprised. Last night, I wound up with crackly pork and kale on rice: very tasty, not so healthy.
That’s all for now. I’m sure there will be more later, along with some pictures.