From pizza to green curry
Hope you are all well. Xuan has not logged in yet so I still have the chance to read all of your posts and answer your queries. I don’t want to raise expectations too high though. Once Xuan has logged in, a good part of my time will be spent dealing with her posts. In the meantime, I am free to chat with you. Don’t forget the homework I set you yesterday, to compare your posts with my replies to you, and to see if you can spot any differences in the language. I can see that some of you have done it already....well done. Answers tomorrow. And thanks to those of you who spotted my spelling mistakes :-/
Naheed asked me about the differences between living in India and living in Bangkok, so I think that is a good place for me to start talking about my life here in Thailand. I am very cautious of making sweeping generalisations to compare Thailand and India –both countries are very large and very diverse. Comparing specifically Delhi to Bangkok, I like them both in different ways. The pace of life in Bangkok can be very fast. Its a modern, high-rise city with excellent infrastructure both in terms of facilities (shops, restaurants and other leisure facilities) and what I would call ‘ public services’ (electricity, water, transport, road networks). Bangkok never sleeps. You can get more or less whatever you want, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I like that because I am a city person. I thrive on the hustle and bustle. If you don’t like cities, Bangkok is probably your worst nightmare of a place to live. Delhi has a slower pace of life. That’s not to say that you can’t live the high life if you wish. Delhi has excellent facilities, in terms of leisure, but the public services are sometimes not quite as reliable as Bangkok. There are frequent electricity and water shortages due to high demand. But Delhi also has a good metro service, which is rapidly expanding across the city. And yes, in both places, you can get food delivered to your door.
Delhi is city of contrasts. Some of the most beautiful parts of the ‘new city’ were designed by the British architect Lutyens during the British Raj, and there are wide boulevards, large parks and some beautiful buildings. Compare that to the dark alleys of the ‘old town’, with its mosques, bazaars and old shops and you have a fascinating place to explore. Bangkok is also a city of contrasts, from the modern skyscrapers, to the narrow lanes of China town, from temples (known here as ‘wats’) to palaces. There are also some amazing museums and of course there are some wonderful beaches just a short drive away.
One of the things I like most in Bangkok is all the different ways of getting around. Steve and I spent a good few years using Bangkok as a base to visit other parts of South East Asia, so we got to know it quite well. One of my favourite trips was (or I should say ‘is’ because I still do it...) going to the National Museum down on the river from the little hotel we used to stay in downtown. We would walk to the river jetty to catch a long tail boat river taxi to the terminal station. Then we’d catch a tuk-tuk (a 3-wheeler motorised vehicle, like a rickshaw in India) down to the museum. After visiting the museum, which has some fascinating artefacts, we would amble on down to the river and catch a ferry to the other side and have lunch overlooking the water, watching the world go by. We used to see tiny, tiny tug boats puling massive barges and I still wonder how they can do it. I think rivers are fascinating, as there is always something going on to watch. Do you enjoy sitting and watching the world go by, or people watching?
Steve and I find Thailand a very easy place to live. The people are friendly, it is easy to get around and it is very child-friendly. I was thinking about what Leila said, that what I described sounded “out of the ordinary”. Its strange, but we have come to accept life here as normal, I guess because we have got used to it. If I see an elephant in the street, I don’t bat an eyelid. But I think that’s the case for us all, isn’t it. Whatever we are used to seems normal. Do you agree?
The pizza was great, thanks. Tonight we had Thai food. Chicken green curry – my favourite (delivered to the door...). More about food next time. Food is one of my great passions in life. I love eating and cooking. What about you – what are your great passions in life? And I don’t mean people – obviously I am passionate about my husband – I’m talking about the things that you really, really love doing.
OK, night night and speak to you all tomorrow.
cautious (adjective) - careful
sweeping generalisations (adjective + noun) - talking in terms which are too vague and therefore not accurate
hustle and bustle - used to describe a place that is very busy
worst nightmare of a place to live (phrase, informal) - not a good place to live
to live the high life (verb phrase, informal)- to have a good time and/or to have an expensive lifestyle
artefacts (or artifacts - noun) - man-made objects
to amble (verb) - to walk, slowly
to not bat an eyelid (verb ohrase, informal) - this phrase is generally used in the negative eg. I didn't bat an eyelid and means to not be surprised by something
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