Friday, February 07, 2014

Welcome to Our House...

So, needless to say, our lives have changed drastically since we moved to Thailand in September.  From the food, to driving, to the language, the people, pretty much everything about our daily lives have changed.  In light of this I thought it would be fun to go around our house and show you some of the ways our daily lives have changed.  Before I do, I have a couple things to note...
One, in NO WAY am I writing this to complain about the differences in the way things are done here.  I am sharing this more to help you understand a different culture and a different way of doing things.  Maybe you're like me, and think it's fun to see how different people live their lives, none better than the other, just different.  I love that about cultures! Second, I have to tell you, I feel extremely blessed to have found the house that we did.  I never imagined I would love a house here as much as I loved our house in New Orleans, but really I feel blessed that we have found a beautiful, peaceful place, close to friends and family, and a neighborhood so quiet and calm that we let our 4 year old ride his bike around freely!  Not to mention the house has certain amenities that plenty of houses around here don't have (like a western style kitchen, instead of an outdoor Thai style kitchen) that make our transition to living here just a little bit easier and make things feel more like the homes we are use to!
Without further ado, welcome to our home!
This is how we get hot water.  There is no hot water here in any sinks, but these are installed in the showers so we don't have to take cold showers! It's a bit concerning when you see electric wires so close to your shower head!

There are no closets here.  if you want to hang your clothes, you have to get a wardrobe!

Being that Thailand has LOTS of bugs and that houses are more open here (Our windows and doors are always open, thankfully we do have screens, but plenty of bugs still get in!), the boys have their very own bug zapper/ night light to help keep the mosquito bites to a minimum!

Thailand is a pretty hot place.  There are 3 seasons, cool, hot and rainy.  There is no central air here.  We do have individual conditioning units in the bedroom (thank goodness) but we try to only turn these on at night since electricity is so expensive.  Therefore, we have lots of fans! 

Gone are the days of having a DRYER.  This is one of those things I miss the most, especially when my kids are sick.  Sorry boys, no blankie you just threw up on until the sun can dry it!

All the houses here have fences around the house and big gates.  

A personal change for our family is the lack of yard space.  If you knew our house in New Orleans, we were blessed with a really large yard with plenty of grass.  Now, we have a little strip of concrete that goes around our house and that's it.  No more grass to play in! Though there are some houses that have yards with grass, most are very small.  Let's just say, we have gone through a lot of band-aids since moving here!

These are spirit houses that are in the corner of our front yard.  These are everywhere in Thailand (most houses have one) and though we have asked our landlord if she could take it down, she said she cannot.  We have had to put a barrier of potted plants around them so our kids won't play with them or the things on them.  It's just a daily reminder of why we are here...  

Never go in a house with your shoes on.!  Things are VERY dirty here.  It's really amazing how much dust and dirt there is and how dirty your shoes and feet get.  Most people have a shoe rack outside next to their front door for shoes.  There are even some public places and offices where you are suppose to take your shoes off before entering!  I just always try to remember to check my tennis shoes for anything that might have crawled into them before putting them on!! 

Oh to have a dishwasher again. Only washing dishes my hand here! I'll tell you a secret though, I kinda don't mind this as much.  For some reason I have been finding washing dishes by hand (in cold water mind you, remember, no hot water in the sink) kind-of therapeutic, don't tell my husband though! 

Umm, yes that is a ginormous propane tank in our kitchen just hanging out in it's own cabinet.  Our stove is run by propane from this tank, and when it's empty, there's no warning.  You're in the middle of dinner and all of a sudden the burner goes off.  Yep then you have to call the gas people who bring you another tank on their motorbike side car and hope that it gets there in enough time for you to finish dinner!! 

This is what we affectionately call the ant cabinet.  And yes, it does what it sounds like it does.  Ants are a big problem here.  No more leaving any food on the counter or table or soon it will become a feast for your nearest any colony! You keep all your food in this cabinet, make sure it is not touching the wall or anything else.  then you get these special bowls and put baby powder in them and put the legs in the bowls.  For some reason the ants cannot crawl through the baby powder to eat all our food!
The bowls with baby powder to keep the ants out!

Yeah, we use to be one of those families that just drank the tap water, no more.  Though the water here is safe enough to shower and brush you teeth with (thankfully!) it is not safe enough to drink! Thankfully this nice water cooler keeps the water nice and cold! It's great! The hardest time to remember this is when I am cooking or baking.  Thankfully I have not made a big mistake yet and had to throw out a batch of anything because I forgot and used water from the sink!

I don't know if you can tell or not here, but refrigerators are significantly smaller here than in America (Our fridge now is probably half the size of the one we had in American and we just had a normal size fridge). Though, this really hasn't seemed to be too much of a problem for us. Food doesn't seem to have as many preservatives here as it does in America, so you cannot keep it as long.  The biggest problem is the freezer space, especially because meat even in the fridge goes bad so quickly you really have to keep it in the freezer if you want it to last more than a couple days and not to mention, we love smoothies.  

Well, there you have it!