Saturday, 2 July 2011

Thailand, baby!

Among the Vientiane expat community, Thailand assumes a near mythical and god-like status of a country.  Everything imaginable is "available in Thailand".  Got a toothache? Go to Thailand. Need a blood test?  Go to Thailand. Computer screen cracked?  Go to Thailand.  Need some DEET (strong insect repellent)? Go to Thailand. Want some terrible-tasting Western coffee?  Go to Thailand.   Anyway, you get the picture.

However, the funny thing is, Vientiane actually is pretty well equipped when it comes to most things, but yet Thailand is built up to be this wondrous country, where everything available, possible and achievable.  Before I came here I had never really associated Thailand with expert medical care or a haven for Western "must-haves", but the way people rave about it in Vientiane you'd think it was paradise itself!

But yesterday I finally succumbed and entered this mythical land to go shopping in Udon Thani (about 2 hours bus ride away from Vientiane).  It was overwhelming!  Four floors of shopping mall (and that was only 1 of the malls); there was a Boots, there was KFC, there was McDonalds and there were even clothes my size!  Capitalism is indeed a marvellous thing.

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