An Expat in Thailand: Seasonless Greetings from Bangkok

Seasonless greetings from Bangkok, Thailand! 🎄

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Christmas tree near MBK Mall and BTS Ari

I’ve surpassed my third month in Thailand and the time has just flown by! It’s crazy to think that I’ve celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving and the start of the Christmas season here, and the average temperatures have remained 80-90 degrees throughout! 😅

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Halloween in Bangkok with my Dia de los Muertos mask celebrating at Sing Sing Theatre 🎃
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autumn goodies in Bangkok including caramel tea, pumpkin candles and coffee, decorations and beauty products 🍂

Now technically speaking, Bangkok isn’t completely seasonless. It has three seasons- hot, cool, and wet.

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the little princess on my street had to wear a jacket this week with the cooler temps

That being said, it’s the cold season right now and I still can’t put on my makeup in the morning without sweating! Hah! 💄

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Sometimes I don’t know why I even try! 🤣

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girls don’t sweat, they glisten 🤣

My only way to combat this heat was to embrace a shorter hairdo! ✂️

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Six dollars and lots of praying later, I came out looking fab 🙏

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining, considering last year I was living in Wisconsin where we experienced a polar vortex and temps dropped below -55 degrees! 😲

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memes about the polar vortex

I will add though, without having four distinct seasons, and with no palpable change in the landscape, it’s difficult to visibly see time passing, as the months just run one onto the next. 🌴

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December landscape

I believe this has led me to living with a much more relaxed mindset, but also still thinking that it’s August when I first arrived.

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walking outside in a tank in December

Now although there is no chance of having a white Christmas here, Bangkok is quite Westernized, and the amount of festive decorations around every corner definitely fill you with good ol’ Christmas cheer, and send a clear reminder that the holidays are almost here! 🎅

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Christmas trees at Siam Discovery and I’m Park
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Christmas decor at Starbucks and Moshi Moshi
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Christmas village at Central World
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Christmas tree at Central World mall
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Christmas decor at Emquartier and Amarin Plaza
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Christmas tree at Gaysorn Village and Christmas in space at Amarin Plaza
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Christmas Trees at Siam BTS and Platinum Mall
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Christmas lights at trees at Siam Discovery
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Christmas tree at Platinum Mall and Christmas goodies at 7-11
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Christmas trees at Central Embassy

Speaking of Bangkok’s westernization, I’ve continued to notice so much foreign influence, especially when it comes to cuisine. I’ve visited a kitschy 1950s American diner, enjoyed some Cajun food, a Western bistro, unique vegan fare, and even some Egyptian delights. I use the app Eatigo to get 10-50% off restaurant menus.

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V8 Diner
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burgers, apple pie, and green curry at V8 Diner
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shrimp and sausage gumbo with corn bread, blackened fish with jambalaya, and Midwestern beer
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roasted chicken with balsamic and mashed potatoes, Norwegian salmon baguette, and chocolate peanut butter lava cake at Chu Chocolate
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vegan bacon, pad Thai with fried tofu, and cauliflower bites
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grilled chicken, kebab, naan bread, and hummus, and Turkish coffee with cardamon

Of course, as always, I’ve still been indulging in lots of Thai cuisine, convenience foods and 7-Eleven treats.

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bubble tea and rose tea at Samyan Mirtown
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coconut cream pie at Burger King, hot dog ice cream, and Chom Poo(rose apple fruit) donuts at Dunkin’
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grilled chicken with sticky rice and sweet chili sauce
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seafood noodles and views of the canals near Central World
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strawberry donut, Japanese fried pork sandwich, pork burger, shreeded pork and sweet mayo crustless sandwich, fried fish with riceberry ice, salmon burger, red curry with Thai peas, drunken noodles soaked in sweet soy sauce, raisin toast, chicken with rice, cuttlefish crackers, and melon milk
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chicken curry pie, pork fried rice, spicy ham and cheese noodles, ham and egg sandwich, seafood pizza pocket and spicy shrimp Pringles
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fish and veggies at the local market near Nana BTS. bugs and dragon fruit near Chatuchak market
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sausage bread- Thais love throwing hot dogs into everything, although they usually put ice cream in hot dogs buns…strange
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Sprite floats and ham carbonara pockets at McDonald’s and Tater puffs with seaweed and mayo at A&W
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chicken wrap with peanut sauce
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vegan larb with kaffir lime leaves, and seitan coconut curry with rice
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pork noodles with sweet soy sauce, egg, and green chard
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tofu with sauteed veggies and massaman potato curry with beef in the center; assorted meats with veggies on the right side (highlights include morning glory, a local vegetable, and water chestnuts)
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sweet and sour tofu; pineapple turnovers, dragon fruit; larb-flavored fries at McDonald’s
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okonomiyaki- Japanese pancake with crab and BBQ/mayo; fried chicken with rice and sweet chili sauce

In fact, Bangkok’s city center has become so westernized, that I almost forgot that I was living in Thailand.

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mega malls and condos
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luxury cars, hipsters street food carts, trendy hair salons, ultra urban shopping centers
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Into the Woods cafe near Ratchathewi
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D’ark cafe at Emquartier; reboot juice with wheat grass
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Roof 409 bar near Chitlom and Dice board game cafe near Ari
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birthday brunch and homemade British vegetarian meals in Chatuchak park (highlights included jackfruit BBQ and Camembert with a crusty baguette)
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pool party at Park Plaza
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Patom Organic Cafe market and soap making workshop
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European film festival at Centenary Park with international foods, like cinnamon buns, mini hot dogs, baguettes with cream cheese, and a Finish film 🎥
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beers at a local pub
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nightlife near Sathorn area
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nightlife near Central World and 90s bar near Sathorn
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Coco Walk couch surfing meetup
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This is the name of a Thai song about a woman who leaves a man after he runs out of money. The title translates to ‘Flag bag for disposable fans’. Interesting!
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Ladies’ Night at Bangkok Heightz

But then my friend living here sent me this video from the nearby national park where they saw a wild elephant, and I had a stark reminder that I was living in this tropical paradise! 🐘

Aside from that unexpected delight, things that still surprise me about Bangkok after living here for three months living here would be the cost of imported goods…

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100 dollars for imported grapes or 1 dollar for papaya…the choice is obvious!

The amount of childlike goods aimed at adults…😍

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kawaii or cute items for sale around every corner

The amount of pollution…

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cute face masks and horrendous traffic

This just means that I make frequent trips to the park.🌳

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Benjakitti Park
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Centenary Park
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Chatuchak Park

Side note: while at Chatuchak Park, definitely check out the market, which is the largest in Asia. I especially like their used section, where I found some gently worn Birkenstock’s for 15 bucks!

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temple and hilarious toilet rules at Lumphini Park 😂

And lastly, the things that never cease to amaze me are the strange Asian health remedies and the even stranger local men. 😂

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one apparently will cure my illness, while the other just makes me sick! 😂

Luckily, I have my own cure for both of these- pickled garlic! Guaranteed to fight off any illness and ward off all creepy men! 😂

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Anyway, in the classroom, I’ve gotten the children in the holiday spirit as well.

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Math color by number and learning how to play Dreidel

We’ve made acrostic poetry about winter, created gingerbread houses, painted the Northern Lights landscape, and made fake snow. ❄️

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Arctic yoga, gingerbread houses, and acrostic poetry
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polar landscapes with the Northern Lights using watercolor and silhouette cut outs
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fake snow using shaving cream and baking soda

Aside from that, we’ve been doing lots of hands-on learning activities. We’ve learned about Italy by crafting the Leaning Tower of Pisa, baking pizzas from scratch, creating an Italian restaurant play, painting with coffee, and drawing upside-down like Michelangelo. 🎨

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Leaning Tower of Pisa 3D cutout
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painting with different concentrations of coffee ☕
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restaurant play about pizza
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We made homemade pizza dough and pizza, topped with tomato, basil and mozzarella. We also compared it to a store bought pizza.
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drawing underneath our desks just like Michelangelo did to paint the Sistine Chapel

We’ve also learned about parts of plants by going on a nature walk and completing some artwork using different leaves.🌿

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plant diorama and a nature walk
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plant art
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Christmas gifts from kids, including Chinese chicken jerky and an adorable unicorn pen

The kids even celebrated a superhero day, where us teachers tried to show them that not all superheroes wear capes. 👨‍⚕️

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dressing up as a doctor with my nurse Norbert on Superhero Day

Also, being a British international school, we had to say goodbye to one of my students who moved back to Europe, we celebrated the UK holiday Remembrance Day with bagpipes, and we celebrated many birthdays with lots of Western treats.

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Remembrance Day with bagpipes
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birthdays and goodbyes

Crab pizza- don’t knock it ’til you try it! 😋

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Three of my girls even got to participate in the local spelling bee! I used to do those when I was younger, so I made sure to teach them the word I got wrong- v-a-c-u-u-m! 🐝

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enjoying treats at the spelling bee

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Overall, I always try to keep things fun and exciting in the classroom!

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class pictures and acting

Aside from Western holidays, I’ve also taken part in Thailand’s Loy Krathong festival of lights, indulged in the local art scene, shopped at Bangkok’s semi-annual library sale, attended seminars raising the issue of homeless in Southeast Asia, and become active in a campaign against gender-based violence.

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Loy Krathong bamboo floats and Starbucks mugs
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Loy Krathong at Lumphini Park 💮
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semi-annual book sale at Neilson Hays Library 📚
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local festival to support the Red Cross at Lumphini Park
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The Subhashok Art Centre
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artwork celebrating LGBT rights complete with a Love Lab where you were given an appetizer especially made for you based on your love
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seminar on the hidden dimensions of poverty at the BACC
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hula dancing to empower women
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Human Library raising issues of gender-based violence with apps after
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street art at the Alliance Francaise

And although I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting settled here, and decorating my condo, this term is coming to an end, and I’ll be heading off to Vietnam for a three-week holiday with the possibility of visiting Cambodia as well.

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decor from Cheap Cheap, Home Pro and Robinson’s

Stay tuned to hear all about my adventure. Until then, enjoy this short recap of this last month in Bangkok! Happy holidays everyone! 🎁

8 thoughts on “An Expat in Thailand: Seasonless Greetings from Bangkok

  1. Dear Megan,
    Hard to believe you were the young girl that ate lunches at our home.
    So proud of you, reminds me of my 30 years in Hongkong.
    Have a Blessed Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, what a sweet note! Thank you! I have such fond memories eating mac ‘n’ cheese and fresh strawberries at your house, and playing with Amanda in the tree house! Wishing you and your family all the best in the coming year! XOXO

      Like

  2. Merry Christmas, Megan! It sounds like you are surrounded by lots of holiday atmosphere. Saw your mom this week so I know you are getting nearly daily doses of family (by Skype) as well.
    Wayne and I are still planning to visit Thailand and Singapore this spring, and will be getting plans in shape after the holidays. Will be back in touch to seek your suggestions. Thanks for your lovely blogs, and all good wishes for the New Year!
    Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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