do not litter sign with rubbish bags underneath it
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Thailand in the eyes of a grumpy couple

We were there only a month so it’s definitely not a complete list of weird and/or annoying things there. We’ll surely come back there and update our thoughts about it. For now, though I have a full list of weird, annoying and funny things we found in Thailand in a month we spent there.

First thing that we noticed coming to Thailand is that not many people speak English and if they do you still won’t understand what they’re saying. I don’t expect everyone to speak English, don’t get me wrong, but when it comes to translation of product labels you’d think it should be slightly better. Right? Wrong – see label of the soap that made me laugh for days!

When you do shopping in any, even smallest shop, you’ll get zillion plastic bags with it. They seem to sort your shopping by a category or something. So for example, meat will go to one bag, bread to another, drinks to one more. No matter how many products of each category you bought. Most of it would easily fit in one bag. Drinks are completely another story, because to each drink bottle or can you get a plastic straw! I mean for every single one, even 2 litres bottle of coke, separate straw! Maybe they didn’t hear about all straw movement in USA and Europe yet? Don’t know, but what I know for sure is that after what I saw here I am convinced that straw problem is not created by western people. We just add a small portion to the problem that is created here in Asia.

All those plastic bags and straws top up loose rubbish and rubbish bags that are, thrown literally everywhere. You can find them along streets, between buildings, on the grass, everywhere! And what comes with that is a horrible smell that is most noticeable at night. During the day smog pollution coves up half of it probably because it’s such a huge problem you can literally see it in the air.

Apart of Bangkok town centre I haven’t seen a proper sidewalk. Something that looks like one often is very narrow, sometimes there’s a pole or a tree in the middle of it, or simply it’s occupied by cars and motorbikes and you need to zig-zag between it all or just walk on the streets.

By the way, I had a feeling that local people don’t actually walk because every time we walked somewhere every other taxi was honking on us in a hope we want a lift. Not sure it’s normal. Maybe they were simply letting us know they’re free? I can actually sort of understand not-walking thing. Thailand is so hot the only walking we consider safe is from a shop to a restaurant to a shopping mall and back. In other words from one AC to another otherwise, after about 10 minutes, you’re completely covered in sweat. Good thing shops, bars and shopping malls are every few steps so with a bit of luck you can walk half of the city like that.

While you’re walking you will be also pulled by people trying to sell you something, give you a massage or offering you menu if you are lucky to walk by a restaurant. It’s very difficult to not walk by a restaurant anyway – every other shop, stall or a modified motorbike is one! While we enjoyed street food we are not so big fans of massages and, oh boy, it’s difficult to avoid it!

Street food is everywhere like I mentioned before, but what surprised us was that it’s actually cheaper to get some chicken skewers (20 Baht) from a seller on the wheels, than buying sweets in the shop! (oreo 30 Baht)

If you know me, you know I love coffee. There is only one problem in Thailand – It’s very difficult to buy a black unsweetened coffee. Thai people add sugar or sweetened condensed milk to nearly everything. Coffee here is even worse because often it contains condensed milk and sugar! When I ask for a black coffee I get one with sugar. When I ask for unsweetened coffee I get one with condensed milk. No win for me – it’s sweet anyway. Sometimes my request was completely ignored and I got both in my coffee. After some time though I found a solution and I am going to share it with those who like black unsweetened coffee like me. Wayz translated the text for me and sent an image of it in Thai. It worked most of the times (not always though) so I think it’s good enough!

I am not sure what is happening with those electrical lines, but this is a horrible mess and it’s like that everywhere. Some lines reach the ground and since there’s no normal sidewalks you often walk right next to it wondering is it safe at all. I hear it annoys even locals but their government doesn’t bother to do anything about it so I guess this is not going to change any time soon. It’s a shame because many really beautiful views are destroyed by it.

Every soap, cream, lotion, you name it, is whitening! One UV cream I bought actually managed to whiten my already paper white skin! It was temporary whitening – probably some kind of white particles were there and it disappeared as soon as I washed the face, but still – I didn’t think I could be any whiter!

Phone and broadband offers for travellers are good comparing those back home, but for locals are even better. You don’t have to buy a traveller offer, but to get any other option you need someone who speaks Thai to go to the shop with you. AIS offers 2 traveller sims: 6GB internet for 15 days and 3GB for 8 days.

But for the same price as the first one you can have more internet and for 30 days! The only problem is that on their website all info is in Thai, and as I mentioned before, not many people speak English. Obviously, if you come only for a few days those traveller sims will be enough, but if you’re a digital nomad like us you look for a better deal.

Nearly every house in Thailand has this funny little house next to it. Some are big others are small, but all have some food and/or drink on it. Apparently Thai people believe that ghosts or some kind of spirits live in those houses and to please them they give food and drink to them. When they are pleased they bring happiness and prosperity to the house owners. An interesting idea, but hey, we have goblins and dwarfs in our gardens for no reason at all, at least those houses have some purpose… sort of?

In Thailand smoking and drinking is not illegal but it’s also not encouraged in any way. So when you watch movies or tv series in Thai TV you might be surprised that cigarettes and alcohol are censored – blurred! I didn’t expect that. By the way if you’re vaping note that electronic cigarettes are illegal in Thailand and depending of the number of items brought to the Kingdom you can be fined or arrested and face the jail time.

And my final random thought – palm trees are an obvious nature flaw in design: long and thin trunk with huge leaves and heavy coconuts on top! No wonder most palm trees you see on the pictures are tilted or completely on the ground!

Our expenses

This is our first trip so some expenses are one-off like for example clothing. We left the UK with a small backpack each so there was not much room for extra shoes or other clothes. We also found out very quickly that we need more other small items that would make our life easier like extension cord for example. I like to track all expenses but I am also not very meticulous with it so for example when I do shopping in a mall and buy many different items at the same store I don’t normally split those into separate categories. I’m just too lazy for that, but maybe in the future I will try to do better. Another thing is that I tried couple different tools for expense tracking that would do what I want and that might have caused some discrepancies in totals since I was copying numbers couple times from one app to another.

Everyone will have slightly different expenses so keep that in mind. We don’t think much about extensive saving on everything. We like to continue a fairly comfortable lifestyle and when we want something we simply buy it without looking for a better price. The same applies to accommodation – we try to find a cheap option but without compromising our own comfort.

Total (27 days)3,269.42

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