I think I have grown to love The Big Mango for so many reasons. I think I have also learned to scrutinize those things I call pesky annoyances. So if you are visiting or you come to live here, or maybe you already live here, you can decide which of these are true or not.
The bread in Thailand just sucks. They say, "Go to Villa Market!" Yeah, still sucks. Even the stuff that comes from a certain German restaurant...it is just not the bread I would classify as any good by any standards.
There are virtually no bagels. The selection at Au Bon Pain is limited, and yes, Villa Market will sell them (hardly what I call a proper bagel), and now so does Gourmet Market--90 Baht for 3 dry bagels ($1/bagel USD). However, don't hold your breath or your taste buds. I will have to travel long and far to get a great bagel.
If you haven't experienced Thai plastic, boy are you missing out! Why must you have to break your nails or risk a wrist injury trying to tear open a package here? If they are a developing country, how do they get their plastic to be so darn strong? IT IS EVERYWHERE!!
Going along with the plastic annoyance, they tape everything. So once you get through the nightmare plastic and still cannot open your goods, be sure there isn't any tape in the way! Sorry, Mom, but yes, they may have observed the way you wrap Christmas and birthday presents and taken a pointer or two.
So you are trying to rip open a plastic wrapped container of sorts and all of a sudden one of the buses comes chugging by. Noise pollution is the worst here in the Big Mango. I realize there are 12 million+ running these streets, and traffic is inevitable. But do we really have to make it worse with the loudest buses on the planet, not to mention the thick black exhaust it propels in to your face when you are finishing up a run? Geesh!
And while you are walking back from that run, pay particular attention so that you don't twist an ankle on the sidewalks, or whatever they are classified as. I realize it is a big city, but I have traveled around the globe and I have never seen this horrendous of sidewalks or tiles anywhere! If you can make it a mile without looking down while you walk, kudos to you. I run in to people here because I am too busy looking down at my feet, making sure I don't twist that ankle that is going to keep me from another race.
I never thought I would say I miss American beer...and I am not talking about your ballpark staples here, folks. But real American micro-brews or the imported ales, dunkels, weissens that actually give you a high. Wino no more because the way they tax wine at over 400% and the intense heat, you gotta relieve yourself with a cold one. And the Leo, Chang, Tiger, San Miguels, et. al, are not cutting it. The only good thing is that it is so cheap! I never thought I would resort to Heineken, but it is really the only type I could drink without having a severe aftertaste and a severe hangover in the morning from. Yuck!
I also reckon I live in a hot city dirtier than most, so the cockroaches are extra big, and extra tasty from what I hear (if you are in to buying the bugs off the street to snack on to get your protein fix). But for what I pay in rent at this nice home of ours, could God please eradicate the cockroaches once and for all? Thanks.
UV Nails... I miss you dearly. The Thai are known for their waste of time in everything they do, that is a fact. But do you really need to spend over an hour just filing when I see you have investing in a couple buffers? Especially since you do such a bad job I have to return a couple days later to pay $5 to have a new one put on. Why do I keep coming back you may wonder? Well, if you saw the pudgy fingers my father gave me, and being anemic, well, you'd go back, too. The ginger tea they give me at Ten Ten is a big bonus, coupled with the fact they know my name. No, it is not Cheers, but there is a bar right downstairs...Happy Hour every Friday 5-7 if I need a fix before I spend 2 hours getting my nails filled.
Speaking of getting things fixed here... so you have issues with the way things are built, the way things are put together, arranged, constructed...multiply that by 100! The Thai are so interesting in the way they try to repair or fix things. I think I have had my shower fixed 4 times in the 9.5 months we have been here because it doesn't drain. They like to patch things up, but they sure don't like dealing with the real problem.
And can I please have my sidewalk back without having to move over so I don't become overrun by a moto taxi driver? Thanks.
What is up with these Thai fasionistas who think the burnt orange, puke brown shorts and leggings are in style? Is that what is in fashion at JJ, Platinum or MBK these days? I realize the 80s are trying to make a comeback, but PLEASE! This would be a nightmare for Joan Rivers, and darn, she really has issues with her own sense of style.
Keeping with the fashion topics, could someone explain to me why the Thai can barely speak English (even though it is their official 2nd language), yet they buy these shirts in English they have obviously no clue what they mean? I cannot write about what I see-I'd be banished forever, but it does give me a laugh or two when I am walking along and see one that makes absolutely no sense.
Can someone also please teach the Thai how to walk in to oncoming pedestrians? If you see I am walking on the right, and you are walking toward me, do you really need to move closer to me to force me to move in the other direction? Please get a clue and learn to walk. Then we can have the lesson on learning to walk while you text and talk on the phone.
Don't drink the water, please... Instead buy it on the street and waste more plastic. Here's the funny thing: the government says it is safe to drink, yet during the floods the Prime Minister was offered some tap water after trying to convince us all how safe it is. Case in point: she denied the offer for the water. One of the first things I think a developing nation can do is ensure they have good drinking water because I guarantee that the floods are coming back again.
What's the deal with the air con units here? Why on earth do I need a remote or two in each room for an air con unit? Have the Thai ever thought of saving energy through investing in Central Air that is controlled?
Finally, I could really use a glass of good wine, but I refuse it often because crappy wine abounds here, at a significant 400% tax rate. Enough said.
I hope you have enjoyed my rant on the things that annoy me here in the Big Mango. And crazy as it sounds, I choose to remain here and try to laugh and get used to these pesky annoyances.