Less than a month in China and I’m already sobbing over the things I miss about Thailand. I mean, it was my home for nearly 6 months. Attachment was inevitable. If you’ve ever lived in Thailand, you get it.
1. Fork and Spoon
In Thailand people double wield the fork and spoon when they eat. These two eating utensils form a dangerous combination of pokeability and scoopablity, utterly devastating any meal you’re bound to encounter. When I go to war with food, you can bet your ass that fork and spoon are my weapons of choice.
Now living in China, chopsticks are my only friends. Two wooden sticks are effective for eating, no doubt, but they just don’t compare to the durability and charm of my old pals, fork and spoon.
2. Pad Kra Pow
If I could marry a plate of food, I’d sign the papers today with pad kra pow. I love it so much, I made this video about it. It’s perhaps the signature dish of Thailand; the burger-and-fries combo of the Land of Smiles. Pad kra pow is fried basil with pork, chicken or beef, with an optional kai dow (fried egg) on the side. It’s sinfully delicious and it only costs 30 baht ($1), making it arguably the world’s best thing ever conceived. Besides Monkeyzilla.
While living in Thailand, I must’ve eaten this dish at least 5 bajillion times. I’m a man of simple taste. Once I figure out what I love, it’s game over for every other food on the planet. I’d seriously have a monogamous relationship with pad kra pow gai kai dow.
3. Tropical Beaches
If heaven exists, it’s a quiet beach on some remote island off the west coast of Thailand. Imagining the pristine beaches I abandoned when I left Thailand makes me sob messy, snotty tears all over my keyboard. I’m now living next to a beach in China, but the Yellow Sea’s got nothing on the Andaman Sea.
The three weeks I lived in Phuket were immaculate. My life for those 3 weeks: sit in the sun, drink beer, swim in the sea, sleep, repeat. Those 5 actions listed in succession are the secret formula behind every master hedonist and Phuket provides the perfect setting to fulfill that gluttonous agenda.
4. Buddhist Culture
I’m not buddhist, but I admire Thailand’s undying devotion to it. The official religion of Thailand is buddhism and 95% of the country is onboard. You’ll spot an elaborately crafted golden temple on practically every street corner and orange-clad monks walk among common folk in the streets and markets, reminding everybody around to keep their cool.
America, where I’m from, claims no official religion. Neither does my new home, China. But unlike America, China is wide open about being an atheist country. That’s fine with me, but it just doesn’t have the fuzzy, peaceful aura of Thailand’s buddhist atmosphere.
5. “Thai Time”
It’s common knowledge that Thais live on “Thai time.” They’re never in a hurry. Since Thai culture is so deeply permeated with buddhism, people there are just so damn relaxed. It’s a very present-focused mindset that Thais have, I think, because the buddhist way of life is very cyclical, as opposed to the linear forward-thinkers of the western world.
Thais know how to live in the moment. If you show signs of stress over some inane deadline, people will give you a puzzled look, like, “why are you so worried about first-world bullshit?” Living in Thailand shifted my thinking in such a positive way. I’ve always strived to be stress-free about menial crap, and my stay in the Land of Smiles only motivated my lack of motivation.