Unforeseen consequences of Thailand

It doesn’t take too long for a culture or country to influence me, or at least it didn’t take long for Thailand. I only spent about four weeks there total, but thanks to the circumstances (read: friends) surrounding my stay, I definitely I got a good feel for the place.

And it rubbed off on me. Even now that I’m back…

  • I automatically wonder, when I see a slim but particularly unattractive woman, whether or not she’s a man. A consequence of the prevalent ladyboy culture in Thailand.
  • I automatically look both ways on every street to check for cars, still unsure about which way cars drive and turn. A consequence of Thai traffic driving on the left side of the road.
  • I automatically plan more time to get around by car. A consequence of Bangkok traffic completely eclipsing anything we’ve ever experienced in Louisville, KY.
  • I automatically run across the street even when, by American standards (or at least Kentucky standards), there’s not enough time or space to get through. A consequence of learning to cross traffic in Bangkok, where there’s no hope of crossing if you don’t put your life on the line.
  • I automatically think nothing’s spicy in America. A consequence of Thai spicy and my added enthusiasm for adding spices on top of whatever came in the food.
  • I automatically want to say “Thank you” in Thai instead of in Korean or even instead of in English (and my love of learning languages, even if I’m not going to use them for very long, has jumped up). A consequence of a great guide in Thailand who helped me learn a bunch of phrases in Thai and feel comfortable using them.

This is why I love to travel and arrive in new places and learn about them as much as I can through friends.