Thai people like to enjoy the finer things in life–those things come cheaper here than in the US, and after reflecting on the whole semester, I have realized that those small things that make life just a little bit more comfortable, really are available everywhere-and its difficult not to get hooked. It is guaranteed that when you look around walking on the street, most people you see have some drink, some plastic bag, some coffee drink, or some food in hand. Some of the most delicious food I have ever had in my life is at your fingertips on the streets at any time of night, clothing stalls fill the markets and streets all around the city providing cheap and very stylish clothing (which for the most part none of us foreigners fit into because Thais are tiny), and there is always some shake, or some delicious drink available within minutes.
This fact is particularly emulated in an area of the city called Siam. Siam is the hub for shopping in Bangkok, for foreigners and Thais alike. There are four or five huge malls, some connected, all within a block or two of one another. Most of the malls contain every chain restaurant and type of food you can imagine, as well as every brand name shop you could imagine. “The Pride of Bangkok,” as it is literally tag-lined, is Siam Paragon. Paragon boasts fountains, and waterfalls, music, and ushers opening doors for you, as well as some of the most expensive brands available in Thailand. As soon as you walk into one of Paragon’s eight floors, you just think “glam.” So going to the movies there last week was quite an experience! We went to the 4DX movie theater, a concept that is now all the rage in Asia. The newest movie to come out in 4DX is Titanic, and let me tell you it was a crazy experience! The 4DX experience is just like seeing a movie at universal studios–bursts of air when there were bullets, sprays of water in your face when the ship was going down, seats shaking all over the place, as well as 3D glasses–amazing! You literally feel like you are in the movie at times. All the facilities are incredibly clean, and for Thai people it seems that going to see a movie there is really a glamorous event. There is no shortage of expensive food and Thai popcorn flavors, and certainly no shortage of well-dressed Thais. To give you a better sense of the ambiance there, I would have felt under dressed in jeans!
Another amazing aspect of living in Bangkok is the endless number of food options–literally every type of international food you could imagine can be found here: Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, International, American, French–the list goes on! Often the best part of the dining experience is the view that you have–whether its the skyline of Bangkok, a little side street in which you have found a hidden gem, or a beautiful view over the Chao Phraya river and the surrounding temples. Thais have become so accustomed to this consumer lifestyle, which is so normal for so many in Thailand, that they don’t realize that this type of accessible luxury isn’t commonplace worldwide, not even in the US. After almost four months here I have certainly become accustomed to the lifestyle here! I can get an entire mango, or an entire pineapple completely cut and peeled on the street for $1. I can find any type of smoothie, at any time of day, for less than a dollar. Street food is often better than restaurant food, and there is always something new to try! I will definitely miss the food here in Thailand! Included are some pictures of my food adventures this week–enjoy!