All I can say is that I'm surprised. I haven't experienced any sort of culture shock (YET) as I seem to believe that this is just some vacation and I need to try everything NOW or I'll miss it! But I'm sure it will come when I least expect it and have settled in better. Right now I just move with the crowds and try to blend in with the locals and tourists.
|Outside of my door|
|Not the fanciest area I live in but only 15-30min to the beach, depending on my speed and how bad the traffic is :)|
I went to the store to get something small in the morning, around 10am. I walked past my workplace and found a fresh market. Pretty much every creature was still living, ESPECIALLY sea food. I'm not a fan of crabs unless those are dead or in a really big aquarium so I tried to keep my distance. However I walked past a fruit stand and they started selling me mango, peeling and cutting it to pieces. I had "no" other option that to take it and paid 45B for it (I go with 1€=40B and it's pretty accurate as one euro is something like 41 baht and some cents or whatever they use here, I try to avoid those little coins :D). Walked back home via Family mart and 7/11 and bought really thin toilet paper (the plumbing here is awful), water and yet another seaweed snack with me :D And I found my first postcards 6B per card! :D
|Seaweed is Yummy :3 Postcards not of Phuket but who cares :D And the mango :DD Even the skin was yellow! Wouldn't have recognized it as mango if the seller wouldn't have said so :)|
I live on a hill so I have to walk uphill when coming home (good for me now that I try practically everything I see on the street and get fatter than I already am, GAINED SOME WEIGHT AGAIN!! NEED TO WORK OUT MORE ;;__;;). This is really good when it rains, my apartment building and its surroundings never flood but in the bottom of the hill.... Luckily today it started raining around 11am when I was planning on going shopping for pillows and such (none in here as it's practically and apartment, just bed and all the needed furniture (and TV).. So I spent time online, checked Facebook as it was only 6am Finnish time and I hoped someone was up. And my brother was! :D Had a small chat via FB and then the rain stopped and I managed to get out.
First of all. You're lucky if you have room for pedestrians on your street. The main tourist and hotel streets have narrow walkways but my street? You nearly walk inside the stores as you avoid every tuk tuk, car and motorcycle that goes past you. And there's NO speed limits, just RECOMMENDATIONS. So I've watched motorcycles/mopeds go past me like 50-80km per hour in the middle of a city! It's a bit of a challenge and a great experience :) And sure, big streets have traffic lights but those are off :D
Anyhow, went shopping for pillows and such but stopped at work as two interns were sitting outside the bar/restaurant :) Neither had shifts at that time so I sat with them and chatted for a while. The other 4 interns are AMAZING! :) Too bad 2 are leaving in 2 weeks time and the rest in the end of November and end of December :( Need a fellow intern, maybe someone else from Finland for January-March?
Anyhow, one was on her way to the gym and she led me to the biggest shopping center in Thailand or was it just in Phuket? Dunno :D And from there to the Patong Beach. I just walked it from one end to another as I DON'T HAVE A SWIMMING SUIT -__- Guess how pissed off I was. And it was HOT and humid so I was all sweaty on my way back. Stopped for Mango shake (120B, most expensive shake I've gotten - it was on the MAIN tourist street....) and a fresh coconut (25B) on the way back home. Got back around 2pm, took a shower, changed ALL my clothes and realized that I had forgotten to buy sheets and such, AGAIN :D I had a short skype chat with mummy now that she learned to use it :D
Went shopping around 4pm before the sun started setting and returned home with 2 full bags (they give nearly one plastic bag for every item you buy! ESPECIALLY water bottles!!) and a pillow :D And now I have the most hideous sheets ever :DD
And other things that I took with me.. SO gonna be over 100kg when I return!!
|Pineapple, orange and banana Fanta, dry ice cream, Tom Yum Kung (spicy shrimp soup) Pretzl, Matcha Pocky, Seaweed and Salt Pringles, barbeque(?) seaweed, Tom Yum Kung seaweed and some other Matcha snacks|
In the evening I returned to apartment for a while and went to see whether people were sitting at the restaurant/bar of my internship place. Luckily there was one. We sat down and chatted a bit (I took a cola) before I went to check the evening market and brought Lemon Fruit Shakes to both of us. Later on there were all of us gathered at the restaurant table (slow evening) chatting and around 8pm it started RAINING. I mean __RAINING__. A bit before that there had been some lightnings here and there. We sat there until 9pm when someone left and another one was going to get something to eat. As I had just bought but not really eaten food (apart from the crocodile meat I bought from the market with 50B) I tagged along and bought "proper" flip flops with 250B and took away some sushi. No wonder my stomach is a bit upset this morning......
|Fancy ass flip flops. Notice the fake diamond? ;D|
|They have like baby sushi over here! :D SO SMALL!!! :D|
Managed to get to bed around 3am after a chat with daddy and little brother via skype and struggling with the air conditioning :) And today I woke around 8am (+5 hours to Finland, +7 to UK) and haven't managed to do a thing. Maybe I should get up and just try to go to the market to buy something to eat.. Or just go to work and order something...
Some other things I've learned/noticed:
1) Finnish word hey/hello "moi" means woman's pubic hair in here. Guess who has said "moi" to my fellow interns? :D
2) Thai people ALWAYS smile. And CANNOT say "no" or "I don't know". When asking directions they just point somewhere (IF they understand your question) or answer "yes, yes". A fellow intern was speaking to a Thai man and the man answered in Thai. Intern said something in Finnish and the man just answered "yes, yes!! I understand!" :D
3) If you're white with dark hair you're Russian. If you have blonde hair you're Swedish. No other possibilities! Or so it feels like. I've already been asked MANY things in Russian and Swedish and it's only my first day!! Only when talking with fellow interns I hear "Terrrrrve!" (yes, over exaggerated "r") and "Hei hei!"
4) Feet are FILTHY. Thai people (most are Buddhists) believe that feet are the filthiest part of the whole body. So apart from feet massage and shoes there's little to none ANYTHING feet related. Blister band-aids? WHAT ARE THOSE?? :O The closest I was able to find from the local mall was some silicone "pillows" you can put in your shoes. Not that helpful when you have flip flops or small sandals (blister band-aids are VERY welcome!).
5) NO white man is alone, no matter the age. If they don't have girlfriends or wives from their home country they have someone in here. And sex tourism is pretty much illegal but it still happens ALL around. Even in my building!
6) They sell Genuine _fake_ watches in here (read from an actual advertisement) and they have Hight limits). The English is REALLY broken over here. You're best understood if you just throw every tense and extra word away. Practically: "Lemon shake. Two (two fingers up at the same time to make sure you're understood). Big. (some hand gestures needed)" or "Mango and coconut. How much?"
7) Ebola! Ebola everywhere. Many people walk with the masks on and there were BIG checks in Hong Kong and Phuket airports.