Bangkok is a loud, polluted, overcrowded, and poorly designed city. I've always thought that I would love to live in a different city, but now that I'm sitting down and pondering this, maybe Bangkok is more to me than I had previously realized.
I love Thailand, and Bangkok was the obvious place to start out. Bangkok has jobs. I think that's why the majority of us are here, Thais and foreigners alike. I personally cannot comprehend wanting to retire in Bangkok or even wanting to live here if I had a job which I could do from my laptop. If I were lucky enough to be in that position, you would find me out in Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Korat, or maybe even Mae Hong Son.
Yet here I am, a twenty-five year old Bangkok language school teacher who has been working at the same school for two years.
I work at a school with a variety of types of students, but they are all adults. My work is actually pretty fulfilling, but when it comes down to it, I work at a language school in Thailand.
The classes can be pretty fun, and preparation time is minimal, but it is incredibly draining. I think it's safe to say that regardless of the school, when someone tells you they work at a language school in Bangkok, you pretty much know what their life is like.
However, since my personal life here is much more Thai than I think most young teachers' lives are in Bangkok (excuse me if I sound like a snob for saying that) and because I'd like to keep my first post more on the bright side, I'm going to list my top ten favorite things about my life in Bangkok (specifically my neighborhood) at the moment.
This has been beaten to death by all those backpacker teachers talking about how friendly all the nice smiling Thai people are and how great the value is for a bowl of noodles, but I think some of my reasons will be quite different. Here we go in no particular order.
1. The fat dog in my condo's garage follows me on walks, comes into 7-11 with me, sits patiently while I wait for som tam outside, and then jumps up ready to go home the second he sees the money/food change hands. I think people think he's mine.
2. The pharmacist at my local pharmacy asked me if I was taking the medicine I was taking in order to treat allergies or to help myself sleep at night. The entire conversation was in Thai except for the word "sleep," for no apparent reason.
3. Everyone in my neighborhood knows me by name.
4. The motorbike drivers outside my condo called me Michael Owen before they even realized that my name was actually Michael in the first place.
5. My local som tam lady only speaks Isaan to me.
6. The only place I ever go out for beers has super cold Leo on tap for 120 Baht a pitcher.
7. Although the MRT is horrible during the morning rush hour, a 30-35 minute commute isn't that bad having grown up in DC where my dad might take an hour and a half to get home on the beltway.
8. I'm the only person who regularly uses the fitness room in my condo, so it's always available.
9. The loudest noise which can be heard from my bedroom at night is a cat in heat that crawls around between my building and the government building next door. In Bangkok it could be so much worse.
10. Getting shirts ironed is only about 15 baht a shirt.
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