|The day we arrived in Bangkok. This is the best picture I could get out of my boys. What a flight!|
Three years and a week ago, we moved here to Thailand. To celebrate that milestone, I thought I'd compose a small list of the things that have become the norm for us. There are probably a hundred more I am leaving out, but for me, these are proof enough to say that we have changed.
What Three Years (living here) Will Get You:
- Not a great tan. Surprised? I finally understand Thais when they put long sleeves to go out in the sun. Skin cancer, no thanks! And it doesn't hurt that for here, being pasty white is a thing of beauty. No one has ever told me that I look sick for being so pale. Instead of shelves of tanning lotion at the drug store, there are hundreds of different whitening products instead.
- A stellar knack for killing mosquitoes. My kids have started grabbing them mid-air and squeezing them in their fists. You gotta watch out for the full ones, though - they leave quite a mess.
- Another kid. Had to throw that one in there. Kyla Jubilee is the coolest girl I know:
|Kyla and her ridiculous hair.|
- Freedom from climate-controlled houses. Yeah, there are some days when we have to turn on the air cons in our bedrooms or we'll keel over, but most days we're all content with open windows and doors. I have yet to visit a house with central heat (what is a heater?) or air conditioning. Gone are the days of living at a perfect 72 degrees. Oh yeah, and moving to Northern Thailand has definitely sealed the deal. Finally, real seasons! (Not just hot, really hot or sticky hot like we had in the south).
- A stronger stomach. Is there an ant, a worm, or a stray hair in your food? Just pick it out! Keep on eating and keep telling yourself that your food is still OK to eat. There won't be a health department coming to shut down the restaurant you're at. And, you definitely won't be getting a free meal.
- Great friends. There's nothing like moving away from being surrounded by your 20 best friends you've had since high school and college and all your family to help you be more intentional and vulnerable with new friends here. They see the good, the bad, the ugly, the crying, the culture-shocking, the sin, the strengths, the ups and the downs. And, they still like you. Mostly.
- Not so great friends: parasites (where's the bathroom?), worms (most likely have them), and weird skin diseases from sketchy water sources. Oh, and wonderful things like Dengue Fever, Malaria and Japanese Encephalitis (three that are common here, but thankfully we have never experienced first-hand).
- Understanding, compassion, a less ethnocentric view of the world...I could go on and on about all the deeper-issue things we've experienced since moving here. There, I finally got a little mushy on you.
If you know us, or have ever lived in Thailand - what would be some of the things you'd add to my list? Comment below and join the conversation!