You Know You’re in Thailand When…

You Know You’re in Thailand When…

1. You have the most delicious fruit at every meal (Watermelon, pineapple, papaya, tangerines, and much much more!!!)
2. You have a “pet” frog living in your bathroom that you name Timmy
3. Gin Cao in Thai means meal time in English but it’s literal translation is “eat rice” (not at all a coincidence)
4. Your pet cat Winky leaves you dead lizards in your room sometimes
5. Your running path goes through rice patties and banana trees and everyone smiles when you run by
6. New Years involves listening to Thai folktales from a monk and learning how to roll a cigar out of banana leaves
7. You’re joined at every meal by the living version of your main entree (AKA the chickens)
8. After a hard day on the farm, the roomies and you gather around and listen to the audiobooks of Harry Potter
9. You must take off your shoes before entering any building
10. Smiling is a part of pronouncing a word correctly in Thai and you have to take note of it
11. When all of your friends are a minute away and movie night/slumber party = every night
12. Your house is the hangout area (even when the powers out) and where everyone makes coffee because your the only one with a kettle
13. Every Thai dog is adorable and you can pet them!!
14. Your mornings are spent with your host mom out on the farm and she is a boss (there’s no other way to put it)
15. Pa Anon (host dad) teaches you how to mix the dirt and then laughs because your not doing it up to his standards but he still let’s your try
16. Your three roommates take amazing care of when your sick and make you feel like your at home, even when your half way across the world
17. You finally watch Big Hero 6 and realize what an awesome movie it is! (We love you BayMax)
18. There are mosquitos everywhere and your unsure whether the bites you have are from flees, mosquitos, or spiders.
19. You finally get some Thai pants and wonder how you lived the last 18 years without them
20. Your roommates chose everyones character in Harry Potter and they now call you Ron (or Ronald when it’s urgent) and you surprising respond to it
21. At each meal you are reminded of how amazing fresh food is- it’s literally from our farm to our table.
22. You make and present your family tree in Thai- each family member has a specific name based on age and which side of the family they’re on
23. Everyone in the village assumes you speak Thai and you respond with a smile
24. The showers are freezing cold but you don’t mind mainly because you’re happy it’s not still a bucket bath like in India
25. Your host parents think it’s freezing cold and refuse to work when it’s actually 75 and sunny

Thailand has been amazing and I will be very sad to leave it in two weeks! This week we are not staying in the village and are instead at UHDP (Upland Holistic Development Program) working and learning about sustainable agriculture techniques. Today we made an organic pesticide from Neem leaves and studied different plant species and their many purposes. The village I’m staying in, Don Jiang, has a population of about 200. My host parents- Mae Venus and Pa Anon- take my three roommates and I out to their organic farm each day where we garden, weed, water, and plant new seeds! Everything in the village is walking distance- so when I forget something for seminar, it’s just a 30 second walk back to my house. We have been taking Thai classes in the afternoon as well which has been a lot of fun!

I’m doing my media project in Thailand on food and the main question my group is exploring is, ‘Are you what you eat?’. We will be diving into the four categories we think are important when learning about food: Health, Emotional, Social, and Cultural. I’m very excited for our video and will definitely share it to you all when it’s finished.

Overall Thailand is amazing! Let me know if you have questions.

I hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start!

Patty Dougherty