That got me thinking about all the things I love about living in Thailand. No it's not America but if I think about all the things I miss in America, then I'll develop an attitude of disappointment and sadness. So here are a few things I love about Thailand.
1. A fresh market right across the street. We buy all of our produce there and just bought some meat there for the first time!
2. I feel this needs to be mentioned separately: I really, really enjoy the variety of fruits and vegetables available. Our weekly staples include pineapple, watermelon, pummelo (like grapefruit), mangoes, bananas, papaya, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, garlic, onion, tomatoes, and a few other items. Best of all, all of that is around $10.00!
3. At the market, we've been very loyal to one vendor who sells us tomatoes. I make my own sauce so that means a lot of tomatoes! Monday the vendor gave us a discount since we bought so much and the ones we were buying didn't have the prettiest skin. That doesn't bother me since I take the skins off anyway. So we paid $1.08 for three pounds of tomatoes.
4. When it comes time to pay our water or electric bill, we take the bill (that was left in the bill holder by our mailbox) and go to 7-Eleven and pay it. Simple!
5. My washer is on the porch outside so I simply wheel the laundry rack over, hang the clothing up, and push the rack to the front of our porch so the clothing can dry in the sun.
6. Our mubaan (neighborhood) has two Thai restaurants, and we've used the one many times. For the two of us to eat at the restaurant costs us about $2.00.
7. I am not a coffee drinker at all, but I commented to Nat tonight I've had more iced lattes in the last three months than I have in my life. :-) Coffee shops are everywhere and they offer more than just coffee. The best part is many of the drinks would run around $4-5.00 in the States, but here they cost $1.50-1.75. The other thing I like is if your drink is take away, they will put it in a bag that you can carry which is very convenient. Anytime you buy something here, it goes in a bag. That's probably because for many people their main method of transportation is motorcycle so you just slip the bags on the handles and you're good to go!
8. A store called Yok has just about become my favorite store. You can get all sorts of baking stuff there (some of it expensive), but we like it because they sell blocks of cheese, cream cheese, and butter for a reasonable price. We made a cheesecake the other week and figured out that the cost to make the cheesecake was about $10.00. Now that we have a bigger freezer, we can freeze things like butter or cheese and we now have the option of buying in bulk and not paying $4.00 for an 8 oz block of cream cheese.
9. When we stop for diesel, we get one water bottle for every $9.00 we spend. The station we stop at has the same exact price as everywhere else, so it's nice to have something "extra" thrown in. They also pump the diesel and wash the windshield too... What service!
10. At a ladies' meeting in September, the ladies in my church gave me some money for pedicures over here. I finally went two weeks ago and I'm sure I went to an "expensive" place because I didn't know where else to go. Including a tip, it cost me $7.75. I'll have to hunt around to find the cheaper place but it sure was a nice treat... and it made me grateful for those generous ladies back home!
11. Nat's been having some muscle problems in his leg and someone suggested him going to a physical therapist across the street. For a 45 minute appointment, he paid $10.00 and it's been helping him.
12. My last doctor's appointment included an ultrasound (done by the doctor herself) and the total cost of my appointment was $21.50. My first appointment included an ultrasound and bloodwork so that one was $31.00.
13. Beef is very expensive here. We eat chicken and pork, so when we get the craving for beef, we'll go to an American restaurant and order a cheeseburger with fries and a pickle for $4.00. I usually cut it in half and have the rest for lunch the next day. That burger is also cheaper than Burger King, where the burger alone is about $5.00.
14. Our shower hot water heater needed to be replaced, so we bought a new one and the man came to install. After installing it, he realized we needed to have a different breaker put in so the next day he returned and installed another breaker... at no extra charge, minus the cost for the part. 15 minutes and everything was installed!
15. Remember the three refrigerators we had in our kitchen? After talking with the landlord and explaining the door was broken on the freezer of the one, he gave us permission to get rid of it. The neighbors down the street got their two boys to move it out and they set it on the corner of our street. The next day it was gone. :-) Problem solved!
16. Every week after the church service, we enjoy a meal cooked by one of the members. We all sit down, eat and fellowship. Such a precious time!
17. The highway is literally outside of our mubaan. What a blessing when the traffic is congested to be able to "turn left on red" and not have to wait forever at the looong light!
That's good for now! I want to appreciate the things the Lord allows us to enjoy, and yet be ever mindful that we have a far greater task at hand. All of these perks are just extra. :-)