We’ve been in our house just over one month now and, just like it did back in Canada, time is flying by. On this side of the world, though, our days are a little hotter, and our skin is a little darker. 😉
On the whole, I’d say Graham and I are doing pretty well. It always takes a little while to settle into a place and find your bearings, so having five weeks behind us almost relieving at this point.
This is a separate post in the making, as finances in Thailand, and due to the fact that we’re living abroad, are vastly different. About 99% of our purchases need to be made in cash, so we’ve had a fun time trying to minimize our fees. Paying in cash is also terrible for budgeting, so I’ve been keeping track of our expenses using the Money^2 app. It’s always nice to see where our money goes.
We love living like locals (as much as expats can do that), but eating out got very old very quickly for us. Also, the portion sizes are about half of what we’re used to. This may sound laughable, but eating out can add up, despite the low cost of meals here. To some people, a $5 meal is a deal, but for budget-conscious “locals” like us, we prefer the $1 meals. That said, we found some delicious *extremely* cheap local joints that we can take friends to when they stay with us.
Our one “splurge” every week is the Weekend Market. We spend a total of $4 each (100 THB) and try a few different items.
Budget aside, we enjoy eating healthy meals. Thai food, despite its outward appearance, is not very healthy (think greasy and sugary), so we’ve quickly learned to cook at home. Our kitchen utensils consist of: one frying pan, one iron wok, and one rice cooker. I’ve surprised myself and learned how to make a few tasty meals already… I’m sure my mother is equally as shocked!
At this point, we’re still renting a scooter on a month-to-month basis. We’re hesitant about buying one because we don’t want to be ripped off (we hear odometers are often scaled back), and we don’t want the maintenance. In a foreign country, it’s surprisingly relieving when you don’t have to worry about something as simple as oil changes or flat tires!
We’re considering renting or buying a car on a long-term basis, especially after reading about Thailand road deaths.
The second week of living in our home, we had FIVE friends visit us! Two of them stayed for a whole week! So happy we have a large house.
This was a great experience… not only did P+J teach me how to make a fantastic curry from scratch, Graham and I realized we love having a full house. We (well, Graham) opened up our house on Couchsurfing and we’d love for our home to be full of
strangers new friends. If anyone knows anyone coming to Thailand, send them to us. We have A/C, peanut butter and we’re full of love!
We look forward to three staples every week – our church meetings on Sunday mornings, Bible study on Wednesdays, and the Weekend Market on Saturdays.
I started volunteering at a Muslim village in the Northeast part of the island on Sunday evenings. I help teach English to the 10-30 kids that show up. The Speights have been doing this for the last year, so I’m helping take over the lesson planning. We sing songs, play games, learn a little bit of English, and enjoy a Bible story time. More on this later.
A few weeks back, some friends from church organized a beach day at Ao Sane. We enjoy the sun, the certified ones went scuba diving, and a few of us went snorkelling.
When P+J were staying with us, I joined them for a Phuket Simon Cabaret Show. It was certainly… interesting… knowing that all the performers are actually males. You could hear it in their voices when you saw them close up after the show. It was bizarre!
My birthday included some fun adventures, too.
We’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of living locally and exploring this island. It’s just a shame rainy season is about to begin!