….will you carry a 100 baht bill in your pocket whenever you drive a motorbike as a “gift” in case an officer pulls you over for driving without a license.
….will you see one of your 2 year old baby students leaving school with her grandmother, and watch as the woman carefully folds the little girl’s legs under her body and shoves her into the wire basket on the front of her motorbike. I think my jaw about hit the ground when I saw that one.
….will you be in an aerobics class with a 40 year old Thai man wearing a hot pink jumpsuit, with long curly hair flowing down his back….yet YOU attract more attention.
….will you entertain yourself on bus rides by playing the “man or woman?” guessing game about the person sitting across the aisle from you. (Maybe someday I’ll write about “ladyboy” culture here, but for now, suffice it to say–sometimes it’s pretty difficult to tell :) )
….will crossing the street be a daily life-or-death situation. Some advice, if you ever come to Thailand: cross the street SLOWLY. Do not run. Tiptoe into the street and give all the cars and motorbikes plenty of time to see you, judge your speed, and drive around you. They will. But don’t give them an excuse to hit you by making an unpredictable sprint across the road.
And finally…only in Thailand will you find a poisonous snake in your house and be freaked out but largely un-surprised. Meet our new house guest, Mr. Large-Eyed Green Pit Viper. Commonly found in the areas around Bangkok, this bright green snake’s poisonous bite causes pain, swelling, “flesh necrosis,” and severe systemic bleeding–but rest assured, not death (usually).
The worst part about this guy isn’t that he was in our house, but that we all watched him slither out the exact way he must’ve come in: right through the gap between our front door and the floor. Nothing like knowing he’s out there and has the freedom to come back anytime he wants to make you feel at ease.
Thanks for reading; more soon!