6 (Frivolous) Things I Enjoy About Being in Bangkok
It’s been four months since I came home to Bangkok to enjoy an extended maternity leave, and I marvel at how quickly the time has gone by. The last time I spent this much time at home was probably during my school days. After that, I went to the US for college and ended up settling there. Now that I’m actually getting this rare opportunity to spend a good length of time in my home city, I’m relishing all the little joys and comforts I don’t usually find in the US. So I got to thinking, what are the things I would miss when I leave Bangkok and return to NYC? This is what I came up with (in no particular order):
- The massages, people, the massages! They are so relaxing, and the best thing about them? The affordability factor. Back in the US, treating yourself to a spa is an expensive event. Here, people think nothing of going for a massage at any time or day as they cost next to nothing (if you convert into dollars). Had a long day at work? Pamper yourself with a foot massage! Feeling a bit fatigued? Treat yourself to an oil massage! Feeling lazy? Call the masseuse over to your house!
- Getting my hair done on the cheap. Like, really cheap. For under $10, I can get a hair wash and a blowout done really well. In fact, most places here do a better job with hair than anywhere else I’ve tried in the US, India, or Singapore.
- Stuffing my face with local street food (and not gaining weight). Yes, that’s the beauty of Thai food. It is generally healthy, low in fat content, and made with fresh ingredients. Besides the food, the variety of tropical fruits here are to die for - mango, coconut, papaya, lychee, etc. It’s a natural juice cleanse everyday!
- Stuffing my face with food at home (and maybe gaining a little bit of weight). Moms love to feed you and when they cook so well, who can resist? Chaat, golgappas, paneer parathas, srikhand, jalebis, halwa, and even butter - all made freshly at home!
- This might sound a bit bourgeois but…the help. There’s someone who does your laundry and neatly irons your clothes, keeps the house sparkling clean, and makes you a hot cup of chai when you like. While I’m thankful that my years in the US have taught me how to be independent and self-sufficient, it’s nice to get a little break every now and then from the mentally and physically tedious household chores (OK fine, so maybe the break has been a leeeeetle longer in my case).
- Being able to get around on a motorbike. You may have heard of tuk tuks in Bangkok but have you heard of motorbike riders? Weaving stealthily through the busy, traffic-congested streets of Bangkok, these rides get you to where you need to be in a matter of minutes. Sure, your hair will look like a crow’s nest by the end of the journey but it’s fun. Plus, this is the closest I get to feeling “edgy” and satisfying my need for speed in this crowded metropolis.
|Top from Ritu Kumar (Mumbai), pleated skirt from CC Double O (Bangkok), wedges from Promod, Sierra necklace from Stella & Dot, sequin clutch (random store in Delhi)|