Sunday, January 07, 2007

Things you'll miss

I've decided to enter a world wide essay contest. The topic is “bribes” and the first prize is 10,000 dollars. I won't win, of course. The winner will be some academic or journalist somewhere. But in true sporting spirit I'm not so concerned about winning as simply rising to the challenge and writing a respectable essay.

Anyway, in my quest for background research I traveled downtown and checkout the Chulalongkorn University Bookstore, the top (only?) bookstore in Thailand for academic books in English. The choice is far from ideal. Indeed, Thailand itself is short on English language books. Asia Books is a well known bookstore that offers good but limited choice. Amazon.com will not send to Thailand.

Yes, one of the sacrifices of moving here is your choice of reading material will be narrowed.


What else will you miss? Family and friends is a given of course but a few surprises might also be thrown up. Food. Thai food is great, and western choices of high fat meals are ubiquitous. KFC , Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen are abundant. Still, I miss my chili sauce covered kebab on a Friday night and my cornflakes covered in fresh milk (real milk) that are unavailable here. It might not be high on your priority list, but the longer you stay here, the more food will play on your mind.

TV. There is a good range of satellite TV here to give your dose of sport and movies. Still, there’s most likely something you can’t see, and you’ll wonder what you missed.

Your way of doing things. Yep, Thais have different ways of dealing with problems, arguments, confrontations and solving situations. After the forth time your neighbour smiles and promises to stop blasting music through his open window at five am, only to treat you to a dawn awakening of “Hotel California” (or worse) the next day, you’ll be begging for someone to argue with you in the good old fashioned western way.

These topics , I’ll examine in more detail in future. For now though, take heart. Moving here involves sacrifices, but plenty of benefits too. Watch this space.

2 comments:

phil said...

Are you sure about Amazon.com not shipping? They specifically list Thailand in their Asia and Pacific Islands shipping region. We are planning to move from the UK this summer. I can do without kebabs but I do need books!

Phil

Red and White said...

Yep. I've tried to order two books and both tims I've received an automatic rejection due to my location :-(