Over nearly 8 years I’ve had a helluva time in The Land of Smiles. Great, amazing times… The contrast with living life in the USA is remarkable, and favorable in most ways. Though Thailand has a LOT – there are still some things I wish we had here…
1. Waves. I haven’t gone this long without riding big waves – or any waves – ever.
2. Good Pizza. Though there are numerous Italian-owned pizza places in big cities across Thailand, they seem to all be working with Thai cheese, or maybe cheese from Belgium or somewhere. It doesn’t taste like New York Pizza made by Italians… New Yorkians like to say it’s the water – who knows? I just know that I haven’t had an amazing pizza for a very long time.
3. Shore Fishing. Redfish, trout, flounder, snook, cobia, jack crevalle, ulua, sheepshead… there isn’t anything like this in Thailand’s shallow water. I’ve replaced fishing with snake hunting, but it isn’t quite the same.
4. Live Music. Whether jazz in the park in St. Petersburg, a good Irish Band in Ybor City, Tampa, or Hawaiian music at a Waikiki beach bar – I miss it. I haven’t even heard anything marginally acceptable in Thailand. Have you?
5. Decent Healthcare Nationwide. If you need emergency services and you are in a place like Sisaket, Thailand – good luck to you. You have to go with what is there. There is a city hospital and a private hospital – a lot of private clinics. Guess what? You’re probably not going to be satisfied with them. It would be great to have a decent hospital within 100km of wherever we are.
6. 3G Mobile Internet. Come on now… Laos is going to get 3G and 4G before Thailand. It’s to the point of being scandalous.
7. Size 11+ Shoes. It is always difficult to find shoes that fit in this country outside of Bangkok or Pattaya.
8. A Better Justice System. When our home was broken into and things stolen there were fingerprints all over the house – there were prints all over the glass slats on the outside of our window he broke through. There must have been prints everywhere… in the USA someone would process the crime scene… here? You might as well just “mai pen rai” it, and get on with your life. We had to insist they pull fingerprints off the windows. We had to insist the police talk to neighbors that might have seen something. It’s like Laurel and Hardy over here. No wait, I’d prefer them to what we have in Thailand.
9. Jobs. Though I wouldn’t get one, it would be great for expats that are having trouble surviving on a teacher’s salary – to be able to easily work and stay in the country. There are so few jobs open to foreigners.
10. Shopping Variety. If you don’t live in Pattaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, or on Phuket, – your shopping experience is limited to: Big C, Tesco, Makro, Robinson, and Carre 4. Besides that, everyone carries the same stuff. There is a real lack of variety in most areas of Thailand. The mail system is so expensive to have items sent internationally – and with things like electronics there is a huge tax – it just doesn’t make sense to use mail-order as a substitute.
11. Better Post Service. Family has sent me some packages from the USA – some get here, some don’t. I’ve sent packages from Thailand… some arrive, some don’t. If you are sending within Thailand – send EMS or you have a chance of losing whatever it is. I can’t remember EVER losing a package sent through the mail in America – no matter how it was sent. It just doesn’t happen.
That’s what I came up with in a few minutes – anybody else have something to add?