Leaving Thailand

It’s been almost five years since I came to Thailand and I’ve finally grown sick of it. The things I miss have become more important, and the things I used to find endearing I now find irritating. I want to buy a house, grow some vegetables and live somewhere with clean air.

I made a list of the things I was looking for in a city last summer and polled my friends. A few friends suggested Portland, Oregon. I remember loving Oregon while on the US cross country trip I took, so I gave it another try this summer and still loved it. So it’s final – I’m moving out there!

Here was my list, in case you’re interested:

Requirements for a City

  • liberal, intelligent and worldly
  • green city
  • bike friendly
  • not too cold
  • interesting music scene
  • good beer
  • inexpensive and fresh fruits & vegetables
  • food people
  • reasonable drug laws
  • fast internet
  • decent public transportation
  • non-smoking city laws
  • not super expensive
  • friendly & happy people
  • does not have to be large
  • does not have to be English speaking

Now that I’ve decided I’m going to leave, things are a bit bittersweet. I have been eating at my favorite veggie restaurant daily, and trying to acquire all the recipes I can before I go. I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking about Thailand. I’ve been compiling a list of things I’ll miss and things I won’t miss. I’ll share that with you all too:

Things I’ll miss

  • the rainy season
  • the food
  • orchids blooming everywhere
  • how affordable some things are
  • the beach and ocean
  • soi animals
  • my friends
  • geckos: both jing jok and tookay
  • vegetables & fruit
  • thunderstorms and night rains
  • big crazy tropical plants
  • noisy birds
  • Thai temples
  • Thai trains
  • artist kids
  • night markets
  • street food
  • water gardens
  • water taxis and klongs
  • Suan Phai veggie restaurant
  • the cleanliness of the bts, malls, houses
  • Kanchanaburi
  • night swims and phosphorescence
  • Koh Samet
  • $1 lunches
  • delicious roadside country restaurants
  • spices, herbs
  • mango season
  • elephants
  • amazing clouds
  • frogs
  • cats with broken tails
  • ginger, my apartment cat
  • having so many international friends
  • speaking Thai
  • how nice people are

Things I won’t miss

  • clackity high heeled shoes. everywhere
  • the heat
  • people staring at me
  • “you speak Thai so well”
  • the politics
  • the pollution
  • plastic whistles
  • skeevy taxi drivers
  • Thai beer
  • lack of sidewalks and difficulty walking places
  • lack of stuff to do other than shopping
  • lack of care for the environment
  • mosquitoes
  • sand flies
  • dual pricing
  • strict gender roles
  • The same 5 songs over and over
  • crossing the road
  • The walking speed and lack of spatial awareness on sidewalks
  • taxis and motorbike taxis honking at me all the time
  • people not getting out of the way for ambulances
  • the Ministry of Culture deciding what websites I can and can’t look at
  • corruption
  • no screens on windows. hello, dengue?
  • attack umbrellas at eye level
  • hovering store clerks
  • loose sidewalk tiles in the rain
  • traffic
  • little pink napkins which disintegrate when wet
  • wet stinky bathrooms
  • suicidal bus drivers
  • fire ants
  • commercials on the skytrain
  • constant construction and the resulting dust
  • sexpats

I love lists. And I’m excited about trading the heat for some rain.

5 Responses to Leaving Thailand

  1. Molly Parr says:

    Looking forward to visiting you in Portland.

  2. mom says:

    i had tears in my eyes as I read the “Things that I’ll miss” because over these 5 years i have watched you grow and seen the love that you have for that country. When we grow, we learn
    that nothing is permanent, that change is okay, but that along the way, if we are lucky enough and have the will, we will take with us memorable and unique experience that we alone own.

    I am blessed by the fact that I could visit you 4 times over these 5 years and travel like a Thai. When I would hear them exclaim how you spoke so well, it made me smile with pride because i knew how hard you studied to learn that language. Your returning to the States makes me so happy, but I also want you to know that your travels in Thailand offered me an amazing opportunity to share a culture that I, too, came to love. I can hardly wait till we have some Portland time and travels to reflect on.

    I love you and am so proud of the woman you are. Thank you. xo

    Love, mom xo

    • Kerry says:

      Will this comment appear under Donna’s? Well, just wanted to say what a nice comment! =) I liked your lists too Cait. We are going to have so much fun hanging out in Portland!!!!! hee hee

  3. Abigail Wingate says:

    wow, your mum’s response just literally made me cry.

  4. Justin says:

    Just read your post. I’m happy to hear you made the decision to move to Portland. Based on your list… Portland should be the complete opposite of Thailand. Sounds like you are definitely ready for a change and I think you made a great decision.

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