The things I miss most
No matter how much you love living in Thailand, you can't have everything.
We are going home for a holiday in July and as the day creeps closer and closer, the excitement is building. Now I can name all the reasons why we left the UK but as most people reading this will also have the same or at least similar reasons, I thought I'd share my top five reasons I love going home for a holiday.
I know we can get all the favourites here but let's face it, Villa supermarket is not Asdas. I'm excited about being able to buy a range of food and make it in my mum's kitchen at a price that doesn't reflect a stay in a 4 star hotel. My mother in law is West Indian, so I'm salivating for her Caribbean fayre, home cooked to perfection served with the laughter and warmth that my Jamaican family brings to every occasion. I'm not forgetting my mum, whose Maltese roots serve up chilled wine, olives and homemade pastas and everyone knows, there's nothing better than your Mediterranean Mamma's!
Clothes and shoes specifically. I find the fashion in Bangkok a little uninspiring and when I do like something, the sinking feeling of knowing it won't fit drowns out any desire to look further. It will be the start of the summer sales and the joy of finding shoes and clothes to fit is unbridled. It merges with a smug feeling that I've saved all year for this moment and I can literally shop until I drop.
I love my little boy so much that I recognise the need to share him as much as possible with his grandmothers. And if they need to make up for a years worth of visits in two weeks with sleepovers, presents and cuddles then who am I to stop them? I oblige willingly and scamper off to the nearest public house for catch ups and chit chats with friends.
I don't really drink a lot here and if I do, then a Thai whiskey and coke is fine but (and I'm back to Asdas again) the affordability and availability of wine makes my heart sing and if my mates are truly lucky, then me later. It's so nice to be able to pop over to a friend's house and share a bottle or three.
Family and friends
Actually this is the real reason we go home isn't it? To spend time with loved ones whom we only see on Facebook and Skype. We like to round everyone up in a pub for the afternoon on a couple of different days to catch up with everyone. To be home means to be around the people we love and miss - just long enough to be reminded of all the wonderful things of home and all the reasons why we left.
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I really miss food from Suriname, a former colony of my native Holland. In the bigger cities there are Suriname take-aways everywhere. The food is a blend of Indian and Caribbean cuisine. And there are days that I could kill for a Belgium Trappiste beer.
Haven't been back since 2007. Will go next year for a culinary rampage.
By Cor Verhoef, Bangkok (3rd July 2014)
OMG, I didn't even mention underwear or hair... Have already enquired about an appointment for my barnet. And I shall definitely raise a glass to all the friends I wish I could take with me!
By Julia, BKK (24th June 2014)
Being a boy, the things my wife misses the most don't affect me but you've certainly hit on a couple. Bangkok is rubbish for hair and underwear if you're a westerner. Going back to see friends and family is great and make sure you open a bottle with our name on madam :)
By David Barker, Bangkok (23rd June 2014)
I always like this topic. I'll see if I can come up with ten choices of my own for an Ajarn World blog.
By philip, Samut Prakarn (23rd June 2014)