A Day in the Life (of an American Ex-Pat in Thailand)
October 21, 2011 § 7 Comments
The Obfuscated Jogger recently wrote a blog post entitled “Today I Did This” describing, aptly enough, his day. I thought, Well shoot! That seems like a cool (and easy) blog post… I’m going to have to steal it. And steal it I did (Thanks, TOJ!):
My day-to-day life in Thailand looks something like this:
I wake up at 5:30 or 6:00 and go for a 5,8, or >15 mile run. Between 7:00- 9:00, I go for a “cool down” walk with my dog, Sigma.
After showering and ensuring the happiness of my dog, I head over to my friend’s cafe to make myself something to eat—usually oatmeal or muesli with bananas/pumpkin and a cup of coffee (while I generally try to eat “Thai-style,” I found that a hearty, simple breakfast post-run works the best for me).
I am a private tutor, so students trickle in to study with me throughout the day. During my free time, I study logic and ethics. Of late, I’ve been interested in seeing if I could apply modal logic to an ethical theory (specifically feminism/womanism) to enhance its rigor. I’m not sure if it has been done before (it probably has), but I am ultimately interested in increasing feminism’s precision.
I usually eat a light lunch of som tam ped ped (very spicy green papaya salad w/ peanuts). I’ve recently “graduated” to eating 6+ chilies per dish, so all of my Thai neighbors are quite “proud” of me. I am a vegetarian so my food options are fairly limited. Increasing the number of chilies per dish gives me something to look forward to– plus, it is amusing to get surprised looks from the various women who make the salad for me (most farangs cannot even handle 1 chili).
My adult students come to study with me after 4:00, so I usually end up teaching conversational English and a bit about American culture in the evenings. I am often surprised by the depth of some of their questions, given their limited English language capabilities. Or perhaps I should say: I am sometimes surprised by how much their questions affect me emotionally.
7:00pm: If I’ve gone to the market and have vegetables on hand, I will make dinner at home (usually some brown rice with steamed vegetables and tofu or an egg). If I am not in the mood for the complexities of cooking with a rice cooker, I will go to one of the food stalls in my village and get gang kee-ow wan (sweet green curry w/ green eggplant and an omelet of Chinese kale) or tom yam hed (spicy soup w/ coconut milk and mushrooms).
[Note: I have to be cautious about food because most restaurants and stalls cook with fish sauce (or some other non-vegetarian variant) and no amount of explaining that I am vegetarian and that I cannot eat meat or fish or shellfish seems to be effective. There just aren’t that many vegetarians in Thailand (monks aside) and people do not know how to cook for them. Plus, I like to be really difficult and request no MSG. Luckily for me, the women who run the food stalls in my village know my dietary “quirks” and will tailor their cooking to my preferences. I don’t want to sound like a picky eater, because in actuality I am not—and I will on occasion try things that are not vegetarian (insects & larvae, congealed blood, frogs, etc.). I just want to maintain a healthy, ethical-ish diet.]
After dinner, I usually take my dog on a walk and then let her play with one of the cleaner/friendlier village dogs in my yard while I read. I am usually in bed by 10:00.