So, the lovely guys at Bangkok Podcast asked me to come on the show and talk about my experiences as a relative newbie here in Thailand, and after I’d asked them what they were smoking (they said nothing) and determined they were serious (clearly they were lying when they said they were smoking nothing), I agreed to do it.
And then I panicked.
I started making a list of things I wanted to talk about so I wouldn’t forget in the heat of the moment. Very Important Points! Things that I needed the world to hear! I have opinions! Lots of them!
And of course I forgot the list at home when I went to record the show.
This was the first time I’d had a microphone in my face (I was at their Halloween show eating bugs, but I was one of many) and I was really nervous. My sister and brother-in-law are visiting and my sister reminded me not to say um all the time, so all I could think was, ‘Don’t say um, don’t say um, don’t say um’, which meant that all other Very Important Points immediately vacated my head.
When Tony asked me what was hard for me when I first came to Thailand, I went, “Uhhhhh….”
Because there weren’t a billion things that were hard for me? For the love of god.
He helpfully offered up cockroaches, and I latched onto that and talked about gross cockroaches and bugs and appendicitis and stuff (truly, the appendicitis sucked, but the hospital stay was kind of awesome).
BUT what I REALLY wanted to say—and it was on my LIST AT HOME—was that the hardest thing for me when I first got here was loneliness. It’s still my biggest challenge, to be honest. I think this is true for a lot of women who move here by themselves, or even women who have moved here with spouses.
At least I hope I’m not the only one who’s experienced this. Tell me I’m not the only one who’s experienced this!
I don’t mind spending time alone. I don’t even mind spending a lot of time alone. I have the internets in my apartment, I have all episodes of 30 Rock, I have potato chips, I have Scrabble for my Kindle, and I also just successfully downloaded 866 books to read (not a typo, people!).
It’s just…living abroad by yourself can be kind of lonely sometimes. I’m not sure why it’s lonelier than living at home. I guess because I don’t have the same base of friends (although I do have awesome friends here), and I don’t have the same comforts of home when I get grumpy. In Bangkok, it takes a lot of effort to meet friends who live outside of my neighborhood because I don’t have my own transportation and traffic effing sucks in BKK at all times of the day.
I’m really worried about sounding pathetic for talking about this, so I want you all to know that I have a happy life here, for the most part, and I do stuff and know people and all that. If you do feel sorry for me, though, I’m sure I would feel much better if you sent me large sums of cash. Just saying!
But I’m also hoping that maybe an expat woman who’s feeling kind of lonely in Bangkok (or anywhere, for that matter) and happens upon this post will feel better that she’s not alone out there. It can be lonely. I get it. It sucks. Email me and we’ll commiserate.
I also feel better that I can say this since I forgot to say it on the podcast. Stupid brain.
Here is the list of things I wanted to talk about (with some lame notes so you can understand what I meant):
- Taxis (upcoming post on this)
- Sewage (can’t flush toilet paper)
- Noise (soooo noisy in BKK!)
- Laughter (stop laughing at me, Thai people!)
- Saving face (exhausting sometimes)
- How some things are always more difficult in another country (phone, internet, etc.)
- Pampering (hair, massage, etc.)
- Food—street food
- Street vendors in general
- The mix of new and old
- You can get anything you want
- Making friends (since I’m an introvert)
- Knowing the city
Here is the list of things I actually talked about:
- Potato chips
- How before I came here, I thought Bangkok was “…not backwards…but…what’s the word? How do I describe it? Like, not technologically advanced? But I was wrong.” SIGH.
- Prostitution (WHAT?)
- Thai men vs. Japanese men
- Va-jay-jay tightening serum
- Pink nipple cream
- Squat toilets
- GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT ELSE
Bangkok Podcast: 1 Megan: 0
They kicked my ass. I was so nervous I felt kind of sick to my stomach, but it was also so much fun! Greg and Tony are two of the nicest guys you will ever meet in your life and are super easy to talk to. And hopefully Greg will edit things so I don’t sound like a bumbling idiot. Yikes.
Okay, and by the way–ladies in Thailand and especially Bangkok: There’s a website out there called Chicky Net that’s kind of like Facebook just for women in Thailand. It’s a great resource and is used extensively by women in other cities throughout Thailand, but we here in Bangkok kind of neglect it. I’m guilty of it, too. Berthe, the woman who runs the site, said she’s tried various ways to get women involved in Chicky Net in Bangkok, but we’re not taking the bait! So, hey, Bangkok ladies, let’s be friends and do stuff in real life and all that jazz. I’m on there as Megan K, so find me!