Five for Friday: Why I Love Living In Thailand

One of the mums at my school is making a series of videos* asking people What makes you smile about Thailand?  Earlier this week she coerced a group of us to have a go in front of the camera… and I did completely rubbish!  There I was, a true lover of Thailand, I’ve written countless blogs about why I live here and how amazing it is (alright, I have also written a fair few that say the opposite…) and all I managed to string together was a few feeble sentences about the animal life here.  FAIL.  In my defense, it was the end of a particularly long day of meetings and running around.  But I do feel the need to redeem myself and show some love to Thailand.  So here it is – my top five reasons why I love living in Thailand.

Videos that you will NEVER be having a glimpse of following my poor performance.


1.  You can break the rules. I’m not making any claims of being a major rebel without a cause, but there’s something exciting and freeing about knowing that the rules here are made to be broken.  If there are rules at all.  Need to move the contents of your entire house balanced on your moped?  Go for it.  Three four five whole family on one bike?  Why not!  Health and Safety – what’s that?  It probably makes for a very dangerous existence, but I much prefer it to the red tape of the UK.

Far too many people in this truck, but handy to know I can get away with this should I ever need to transport a football team.

2.  The food.  ALL of the food.  My belly may not love me for it, but I just can’t say no!  Before I left the UK I was a crippingly picky eater – while I may not be embracing the pig’s entrails or the chicken’s feet, I am most certainly loving the food out here.  Thai food is spicy and fragrant and sour and spicy and sweet and did I say spicy?  And don’t get me started on the amount of fresh fruit available – I have recently developed an addiction to dragonfruit – one a day for about three weeks.  Still waiting for a polka dot poop though.

PicMonkey Collage

Admittedly, this is Indian food… but still in Thailand, cheap and waaay better than anything I have ever had at home.  Not to self – photograph more Thai food before inhaling it…

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My new obsession…

3.  The weather.  OK, I didn’t want to be a cliche and here I am saying I love the food and the weather… but it is true!  Admittedly, I have a particular issue with rainy season that i have (probably incorrectly) attributed to Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder… but when it is dry and sunny it is just THE BEST.  Especially since I made the move to Phuket.  Beaches on my doorstep.  Yes, it can get TOO TOO HOT in April, but as long as you choose to lay in the sun in easy reach of some sea/swimming pool/[insert any body of relatively clean water here] you’ll be alright.  I mean, we can have BBQs for about 8 months of the year.  Beat that England!

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I took this picture last month in rainy season.  RAINY season.  The sun even manages to be better than your average summer day in the UK during the rainy season.

4.  My animals.  One of the great things about living in Thailand is being able to rent a lovely house on an amazing bit of land and having the freedom to have my own animals.  Back in the UK I lived above a shop of rented a house where I was admittedly allowed pets but they weren’t allowed to be furry and had to live in a tank AKA no fun.    I love being able to have my cats and my Patchy dog and now I have added a flock of chickens to the mix because, why not?  The best bit is that most of my animals have a pretty cool story attached to them, being rescues or found abandoned or simply adopting us out of the blue.  I love that Thailand had made me love animals!

PicMonkey Collage (1)

Many, many animals…

5.  Mai Pen Rai!  I wholeheartedly appreciate the mai pen rai attitude to life here.  Mai pen rai = no worries, forget about it, it’s aaaallll good in the hood.  Thai people are smiley and friendly and more often than not, willing to let things go when you pull a cultural boo boo.  Living in a land where it is very easy to slip up and potentially offend (and I have a post coming very soon just about that so watch this space) that is a very welcome approach to life!

Tomorrow is another day… mai pen rai to the troubles of today.

Just as I was about to post this, I noticed that my friend and fellow Hat Yai Mad Hatter posted exactly the same thing on her blog last night!  That is some spooky, next level, parallel universe kind of stuff going on there.  Head on over to check out Teacher Cola’s blog – she’s braver than me and even makes YouTube videos too!


Why not join in and leave a comment below on what makes you love where you live….

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This used to be my commute to work.

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Since I have moved to Phuket I have a new found appreciation for what was an idyllic route to and from school, meandering through rubber plantations and farmland with only the odd herd of buffalo in the way of traffic.

Fast forward to Phuket; big roads.  Big, busy roads.  Roadworks.  Roadworks everywhere.  Unecessary u-turns resulting in a zig-zag traverse across the island. Traffic jams.  Floods.  Crazy drivers.  Insane drivers. 

That commute there in that photo?  That’s one thing I miss about living in the deep south.

Hibernation Complete.

Every time it happens.  And every time I fail to see what is happening to me until it gets too late.

Rainy season.

Every rainy season, without fail.  The rain comes, the sun goes into hibernation.  My summer sun-kissed-ness (new word) fades.

Every.  Thing.  Is.  Damp.

And somehow I let myself become the weather personified.

I am the cloud.  I am the rain.  I am the doom and gloom and I forget why I ever came to Thailand.  A brief internet search has me self diagnosing myself with Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder.  Which I probably don’t have considering I have survived many a grey Autumn/Winter back home in the UK.

My facebook news feed fills up with friends enjoying ice cool ciders on a Cornish beach.  With festivals and BBQs and all that is wonderful and right about a British summer.  Deck chairs.  Pimms.  Sipping Pimms in a deckchair.  I even find myself thinking about the bloody seagulls.  Yes, I miss those flying vermin that snatch tasty treats right out of your hand.

I can’t believe I would ever find myself hankering after a BRITISH summer.  They aren’t exactly renowned for being that great.

The blog all but dies, and Facebook has a wonderful time reminding me of posts I had made when I first came here and rainy season was just a bit of exciting weather and everything was new and exciting and inspiring.  Now I have nothing new or exciting or inspiring to post about.  I am sorry dear readers, but I am beyond the point of writing just for the sake of it.  And I am sure that you are glad of that.

But times are a’changing my dear.

Today is November 1st – the first official day of high season here in Phuket.  And, same as every year, it’s like someone has flicked the sunshine switch back to ‘ON’ and it is glorious and beautiful and all things that make the weather in Thailand wonderful.

Today I am feeling thankful.  Thankful that the sun has finally made an appearance that will hopefully continue for the coming months.  Thankful that I can once again wear my summer dresses and my flip flops and have beach trips on the weekends and BBQs in the evenings.  We may not be able to have a glass of Pimms but I can make a bloody good attempt at making some sort of Sangsom based summer cocktail.

I realise that as you read this in your Autumnal homeland with Winter drawing in and the prospect of not only rain, but sleet and snow and de-icing car windscreens and frozen pipes and… here I am complaining about a few months of rain.   But it’s all relative baby – and I should count my lucky stars that it is hot once again and that I have survived another rainy season.

#firstworldproblems?  I got me #Thailandproblems.  And I would rather make it through a thousand more rainy seasons than ever have to de-ice my car or wear thermal underpants ever again.

Time to once again start loving my Thailand life.  Expect more blog posts soon.  I am out of hibernation once again.

❤ Kylie

The Thailand Diaries: Mr. Parasite and the case of the missing toilet

After three years living in Thailand I decided it was time I wrote my memoirs… this one may be a little too much information for some but if you can’t tell your diary, who can you tell?


My tummy had been doing somersaults since I had woken up but I had put it down to whatever undoubtedly spicy-fried-stuff-with-rice that I had eaten for dinner the night before.  It’s not unusual to feel every single digestive movement within you when you are embracing the local food in Thailand.

Little did I know that there was a particularly pesky parasite harbouring within my body waiting to burst forth – quite literally – and make an appearance.  Only time would reveal this, and my what timing Mr. Parasite had.  I would soon find myself wishing I had listened to my gut’s grumbles with more attention but we all know that hindsight, and a rather memorable toilet (or lack thereof) experience, is a gift we cannot savour until it is already too late.

Perhaps someone reading this will learn something, and my experience will enable another to avoid what was unavoidably my fate.  Read on and take note, dear reader.

As I have already said, I was embracing the local cuisine of Thailand’s deep south, and so I found myself heading over to a little khao geang (literally rice curry) place at breakfast time.  It was owned by a lovely couple who would rise early to prepare an array of dishes to be laid out buffet-style for the customers to peruse and take their pick of.  As is usual in these set ups, the shop was in the front of their house, backing on to the living room which they shared with the patrons.  Unusual by Western standards but very much the norm here in Thailand.  Another rather un-Western thing – customer toilets are few and far between in these types of establishments; this fact would become all too apparent all too quickly.

Grumble.  Groan.  Squelch.  I looked at my breakfast of spicy-fried-stuff-with-rice and was unable to conjure up the slightest inkling of an appetite.  Strangely enough, being able to feel your internal organs in action tends to be quite the appetite killer.

Grumble.  Groan.  GRUMBLE.  GROAN.  Suddenly the urgency with which my insides operated reached a peak with only one message.  TOILET.  NOW.

Mee hongnam mai ka?  Possibly the single most important phrase to learn upon travelling to any foreign land – do you have a toilet?

The husband-wife curry shop duo looked at one another and then at me, in my white school shirt and pencil skirt.  They started to explain that it’s their toilet, it’s no good for customers, especially not farang customers in tight skirts… but I was already up and heading to the back of the house where their gazes lead me.  Tee nee ka?  Here?

I was  in there before they had time to answer but sure enough I found myself in what must be the family bathroom.  A damp concrete square of a room with a concrete floor and only sky where a ceiling would normally take residence.  Good for ventilation I suppose.

GRUMBLE.  GROAN.

I desperately cast my eyes around, looking for the bog, the loo, the porcelain throne… nothing.  There was a small container of water, adorned with wrung out flannels, an old bar of soap and a couple of toothbrushes.  Next to that, a larger bin also full of water with a Winnie the Pooh children’s cereal bowl floating in it.  A quick peek beyond and I found a hole in the ground.  A hole, albeit encircled with a porcelain frame, as if to confirm that yes, this is in fact the toilet.

Full disclosure: I should probably apologise for the misleading title of this post – there was a toilet, just not the type that I am used to.

My pencil skirt was too tight to be hoicked up and so I whipped it off and flung it over my shoulder.  I’ll save you the details of what happened next but let me tell you that Mr. Parasite put me through my paces.  Epic toilet times – a rite of passage when adjusting to a life abroad but something best enjoyed (wrong word) in the privacy of one’s own home.

Something you learn quickly when you are traveling through or living in an Asian country is that there is a distinct lack of toilet tissue, especially in those countires that favour a bidet hose, or bum gun as I like to call it.  In fact, you quickly learn that we have developed a whole load of unnecessary Westernised expectations when it comes to the toilet.  We don’t need toilet seats, automatic flushes or jet powered hand dryers, but at some point we decided that we do.   Had I had the time to think things through before my rush to the toilet I would have grabbed some paper towels from the table.  Again, hindsight.

Unfortunately for me it was a double whammy.  Not only was there no toilet but no bum gun either.

Panic started to set in.  Do I shout for someone to bring me some tissue?  There isn’t even a bin.  Not an option.  There I was, squatting askew a hole in the ground, half dressed with my skirt slung over my shoulder desperately looking for a post-toilet clean up solution.

There’s only so long one can stay in such a position without taking action.  I was time to go truly native, armed with gallons of water, a Winnie the Pooh children’s cereal bowl and…

… my hand.  Oh yes, native indeed.

Thank goodness there was an old bar of soap.

At the time I have to say that wasn’t one of my most pleasant mornings, but at least now I can look back and laugh, and I can face any toilet situation safe in the knowledge that it will never be that traumatic ever again.


I may look back and find this funny, but many people don’t even have a hole in the ground let alone clean water to wash with or even drink.  Check out the gifts you can buy over at Water Aid  to enable people to have access to clean water and village water systems. 

This isn’t a sponsored post, I just want to make up for laughing at what is a daily occurrence for so many people around the globe.

Yet another accidental animal addition…

Yet another accidental animal addition…

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Intruder alert!

Yes, that is a one-eyed cockerel.  He mysteriously appeared in the garden yesterday morning.  I’m guessing from his missing eye and the fact that he walks with a limp that he is an ex-fighter.  I’m going to ask around but I have a feeling he may have been thrown over the garden wall – we are a bit of an animal sanctuary anyway so it makes sense to add a battle worn fighting cock to the mix.  He spent the day following Marjorie around and it wasn’t until after a few hours that he actually made any attempt to have his wicked way with her.  I’m not sure what this means in terms of eggs and chicks and all that, I guess if she gets broody and sits on her eggs then perhaps we will have mini Marjories on the way!

Any ideas for a name for the gent?

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One day child, you shall be free range like me…

In other chicken news… the chicks are well into their teenage stages of development.  Marjorie has had a turn around from her initial dislike of the chicks and now won’t leave them alone!  We actually released the chicks into the garden free range this weekend (maybe the cockerel has a taste for the younger lady and this was the reason for his arrival…) so they are having fun running around and chilling out in the shade of the banana trees.

We also have a group of four jungle fowl that have taken up semi-residence in the back of our garden.  They are like skinny, long necked chickens and I am hoping that they join the ever growing flock that I have.  We are leaving them alone but each day they edge closer and closer to us – the more the merrier I say!  Just need to brush up on my egg recipes…!

That’s all for this backyard jungle update – stay tuned for more riveting news as it comes!