It’s hard to live in a country for 7 months and not pick up some of the habits. In fact, the other day my roommate (she just got here) saw me doing number 3 and claimed ‘I could never do that’. I give her 2 months.
Here are my top 5 new habits:
5. Powdering my Face
Okay, so I was overweight at the airport and my make-up bag got the boot, which is okay since I’ve been slowly cutting ties with it for a while now. But needless to say finding foundation for black girls here is like finding comfortable shoes in Payless. It’s not going to happen. So to keep my face looking cool I’ve resorted to dusting it with a bit of baby powder. Might sound strange to you, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a Thai woman (especially one with children) without a little bottle of baby powder in her purse.
4. Adding lime, sugar and fish oil to everything
Almost every meal you purchase here I’ve noticed comes with sugar and half a lime as condiments. And on the centre of your table there is likely a container with vinegar, and one with fish oil. Whether it’s kao pad (fried rice), soup, Pad thai, or anything else, you can be sure, in Thailand it will taste better with sugar and lime.
3.Eating with a fork and a spoon
Dinner knives are also another rarity here in Ubon, even in upscale restaurants. That’s okay though – I’ve become pretty adept at eating with a spoon and fork (spoon in the right hand, fork in the left).
2. No shoes in the house
If you visit a Thai home,(or church or temple, or some stores) chances are you will see a pile of shoes at the door and you will be asked to remove yours as well. My mother already started enforcing this in our own home when she got her hardwood floors, but it is pretty much gospel here in Thailand. I’ve side-eyed my roommate enough so I think she is getting that it applies in our apartment as well.
1. Socks and Slippers
I know, this is so not western, but with #2 it should make sense. Plus, when it gets cold here, it’s nice to have warm feet. I notice this trend a lot when I travel far on buses or trains in Thailand, and when you see something long enough it starts to look normal. On the upside, you get to show off your cute socks!