Living in Thailand for me is pretty good. There are many things and experiences that are possible here that would be impossible to find — and a bit unbelievable — in America, but there are always some things that are hard to find or expensive in Thailand that are simply taken for granted back home. It is natural to miss some of these things.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love living in this magical kingdom of Thailand and have no desire to move back to my homeland. It is just that there are some things America has that just can’t be found in other places.
Here’s my short list (leaving off the obvious, “F & F”, friends and family), and I would appreciate others adding to it. Maybe those from back home coming to visit us in Thailand will then have some good ideas of what to bring us, or at least prepared for us when we go back for a visit:
Thick soft crust juicy Chicago style pizza. Has to have pepperonis. And lots of cheese. (Pizza Uno and Papa Johns come to mind).
A great bottle of Northern California Red Wine (sorry, but the wines of Australia, Chile, South Africa and even Europe cannot begin to match the special goodness of a Napa Valley Cab).
A simple Caesar Salad.
Good Tex-Mex and other fine decadent cheesy and hearty grub from Mexico found in little hole-in-the-wall family cafes or even from a Mexican food truck, or how about some cheap Taco Bell tacos. There are a few attempts at Mexican food in Thailand that don’t quite measure up.
Weather that doesn’t melt your face the second you walk outside. Or in a heavy rain storm make a place that is completely dry move into a flood stage in moments.
Wearing a jacket once in a while.
A thick, juicy Texas grass fed top sirloin steak grilled to medium rare perfection. Maybe some grilled onion rings to go with that.
Real Country-Western music. (And, no Thailand, “Hotel California” and “Country Road” is not real C-W). God Bless Nashville.
In-n-Out burgers. And fries. There are no proper burgers in Thailand (no matter what anybody tells you).
Sane drivers that generally keep to the driving rules (but I don’t miss the constant fear that you are going to be stopped by a cop for an expensive minor infraction, or worse yet, have a camera catch you).
Waitresses walking around the cafe re-filling your coffee cup during breakfast (or for that matter, even having a “real” American breakfast).
Peanut Butter that is decent and cheap.
Lots of public garbage cans on the sidewalk and where people wander around.
Decent paper napkins in restaurants (in Thailand, it is hardly ever better than single-ply toilet tissue).
A fireplace with a crackling warmth flowing through the living room.
Dr. Pepper. Oh, and good foamy Root Beer.
Having really wide roads everywhere that two cars traveling in opposite directions can pass each other without the fear of your side view mirror being lopped off.
Vitamins and supplements are difficult to find and expensive when you find them in Thailand. I miss going to Costco and stocking up on those really big jars of vitamin capsules. Healthy living.
Thanksgiving Dinner, with a big turkey and all the trimmings.
My mind wanders with all the trivial Americana memories. While I miss all these things, they won’t push me into coming back permanently. However when I do go back for a visit, the Friends and Family might be a bit amazed by some of the strange stuff that will be on my holiday itinerary. I don’t need to see the waterfalls of Yosemite or the waterfalls of Niagara again, but I may want to make a beeline for the Mexican food truck in the parking lot.