‘Same same, but different’ is a common phrase here in Thailand. A somewhat contradictory statement, it means that things are similar but different in some ways. I have been thinking about it a lot since I’ve been here, but more so as of lately. Now that my semester is half-way over (I can’t believe it either) I have begun to do normal things that I would do at home, but in a different country.
Motorbikes are a much more common mode of transportation than in the USA
For example, I received a haircut a few weeks back. It was my first haircut in a foreign country, and despite me telling them half off the top but getting basically cut close all around, I ended up liking how it looked. I also had fast food—KFC as a matter of fact—something I rarely if ever eat back home, but I was compelled to try it, just for the taste of America per se. The chicken was tasty, but smaller in portion than I’m used to. I also had midterms. It was strange not having my same go to study spots to head to for the whole day, and I also had no clue what the exams were going to be like. I was quite anxious leading up to all of them, but they went well for the most part. They were in different settings, there were no scantrons, and three hours were allotted to each exam, but in the end, they were midterms. The same as back home, just different.
KFC Chicken sandwich meal
Even the home and garden stores are different
As I go through my day to day life, I am at a point where I either experience something completely new and unique or nothing can surprise me anymore. When I’m frustrated or confused about something, and when I start to feel so lost in this new place, I find a way to connect the situation and feeling back to something I am familiar with. Figuring out that feeling isn’t new will help, for it’s the same feeling, only different. There’s that phrase again…
Walking around Bangkok at night