Living abroad undoubtedly influences us in certain ways: the way we perceive, feel or express ourselves. When it comes to life as a Thai student in Korea, me and my friends could not help but agree on common points which I think it would be fun to share with you guys. If you are Thai or Southeast Asian, you may find this super relatable.

Ready? Here’s the list!

1. When you say you miss Thai food…

Often times you miss home food. Your friends will tell you to go to Itaewon (or Hongdae – cause you know that one authentic place which offers gigantic Som Tam 😉

But reality is, you don’t simply crave for Pad Thai or Tom Yam Kung.

Your foreign friends will be wowed by this perfect-looking Thai famous cuisine.Photo credit: onlyitaewon.com

Your foreign friends will be wowed by this perfect-looking Thai famous cuisine.
Photo credit: onlyitaewon.com

Remember how many times you cry because of your Thai friends’ Instagram or Snapchat posts. (Left to right from above: Spicy Papaya Salad with Fermented Fish, Huge bowl of Tom Yam Noodles with Combination of Seafood, Roasted Pork Rice and Stir Fried Squid with Salted Egg Yolk and Chili Paste – These are Thai popular street food or local menus) Photo credit: mind145.blogspot / maamjourney.com / oknation.net / thaisylphyclub.com

Remember how many times you cry because of your Thai friends’ Instagram or Snapchat posts. (Left to right from above: Spicy Papaya Salad with Fermented Fish, Huge bowl of Tom Yam Noodles with Combination of Seafood, Roasted Pork Rice and Stir Fried Squid with Salted Egg Yolk and Chili Paste – These are Thai popular street food or local menus)
Photo credit: mind145.blogspot / maamjourney.com / oknation.net / thaisylphyclub.com

Same thing can be applied when you say you want to eat BBQ or Shabu…

Side note for foreign readers: these two are famous sukiyaki/shabu & bbq franchised restaurants in Thailand (MK & Bar B Q Plaza.)Photo credit: hatyailike.com / wongnai.com

Side note for foreign readers: these two are famous sukiyaki/shabu & bbq franchised restaurants in Thailand (MK & Bar B Q Plaza.)
Photo credit: hatyailike.com / wongnai.com

2. These are things you know it’s so touristy. But admit it, we were there once (or perhaps, still feeling fresh off the boat!)

Taking an “in-jeung-shot” (인증샷/evidence photo) that you have arrived to Myeongdong with the famous cone ice cream – checked√Visiting Line Store (because even your mom loves their sticker characters so much) - checked√Tasting all those yummy street food in Hongdae and… Instagram it! - checked√Photo credit: instagram @takormood / @ploysres / @jannapas

Taking an “in-jeung-shot” (인증샷/evidence photo) that you have arrived to Myeongdong with the famous cone ice cream – checked√
Visiting Line Store (because even your mom loves their sticker characters so much) – checked√
Tasting all those yummy street food in Hongdae and… Instagram it! – checked√
Photo credit: instagram @takormood / @ploysres / @jannapas

3. Your typical meet-ups with Thai folks always take place in these following…

For Thai students who reside in Korea, we always have those typical places for meet ups like Korean BBQ (samgyeopsal) restaurants – preferably, buffet! or Korean Chicken places though we know that is only to follow the Chi-maek (치맥) culture (chicken and beer combination) because we don’t really drink Singha with KFC anyway.

Oh, did I forgot to mention that our all-the-time dessert is the “S” place for Bingsu…

Thai fellows in Korea, don’t act like you never know these places ;)Photo credit: malamodec.pixnet.net / mobile.exteen.com/blog/monkeytravelthai / lanieinkorea.net / billnote.net

Thai fellows in Korea, don’t act like you never know these places 😉
Photo credit: malamodec.pixnet.net / mobile.exteen.com/blog/monkeytravelthai / lanieinkorea.net / billnote.net

4. When you tell people that you study in South Korea, here come different perceptions that they will take…

How many of you can relate to this?Photo credit: Jan Napas

How many of you can relate to this?
Photo credit: Jan Napas

5. If you have lived in the country over one year, you conversation might sound pretty much like this…

“If Sakyupsul doesn’t sound cool for ya, we can go to Pyeon-ui-jom (convenient store) and buy Ramyun (instant noodles) gor dai na”Side note: in fact, we have our Thai alphabets (44 letters, 21 vowels and 5 tones) accordingly we the lazy typists do “Romanization” instead.

“If Sakyupsul doesn’t sound cool for ya, we can go to Pyeon-ui-jom (convenient store) and buy Ramyun (instant noodles) gor dai na”
Side note: in fact, we have our Thai alphabets (44 letters, 21 vowels and 5 tones) accordingly we the lazy typists do “Romanization” instead.

6. Your professor will never ever pronounce your name correctly (in fact, nobody does)

One of the funniest situations we always confront with is when a non-Thai tries to pronounce our names. Especially that moment when a professor is calling attendance and whole class just stares at you. I know our names look so complex and super long. That’s the reason why we have our nicknames!

PS.Do you know the official name of our capital? Google it! You’ll realize why we only simply call it ‘Bangkok.’

My normal struggle every beginning of the semester… Photo credit: Jan Napas

My normal struggle every beginning of the semester…
Photo credit: Jan Napas

7. Your friends always have a long list of cosmetics for you to buy before going back home.

Korean beauty products are a fever in Thailand especially among female youngsters. It is a common situation if your girl friends will ask you to buy this-and-that products – sometimes you are curious why they are even so much up-to-date more than you!

And if you want a seller who knows Thai… you know that famous shop in Myeongdong!“Kong Taem Yer Yer ka” (please give me lots of testers)Photo credit: topicstock.pantip.com

And if you want a seller who knows Thai… you know that famous shop in Myeongdong!
“Kong Taem Yer Yer ka” (please give me lots of testers)
Photo credit: topicstock.pantip.com

8. Your fashion sense gets improved.

After touching down Korea, you may become more aware of what you are wearing because the locals are so fashionable, you believe. Even you love wearing your favorite sandals and comfy pants a lot back home, you know you don’t want to appear too down-dressed here.

So you tried to dress like localsPhoto credit: thaicinema.org

So you tried to dress like locals
Photo credit: thaicinema.org

And so did they. Photo credit: instagram @_u_byeol

And so did they.
Photo credit: instagram @_u_byeol

9. The popular topics you can talk with Korean/foreigner friends are these 3 things: #TomYamKung #PadThai and #Phuket

Every time I begin any conversations with Korean or foreigner friends, the topics are always about Thai cuisine or tourism. The typical menus that they know are Pad Thai, Tom Yam Kung and perhaps Green Curry. They also love traveling to Phuket, Krabi, Koh Chang, Koh Larn and more Kohs (islands) that I haven’t even been to…

(Left to right from above) Tom Yam Kung – Spicy shrimp soup, Pad Thai – Fried noodles, Phuket – beach city near Andaman sea in the Southern and Khao San Road – the famous nightlife district in BangkokPhoto credit: thethailandlife.com / 123rf.com / thailandadvice.com / Bangkok.com

(Left to right from above) Tom Yam Kung – Spicy shrimp soup, Pad Thai – Fried noodles, Phuket – beach city near Andaman sea in the Southern and Khao San Road – the famous nightlife district in Bangkok
Photo credit: thethailandlife.com / 123rf.com / thailandadvice.com / Bangkok.com

10. …and most of the times, the conversations include ‘Nichkhun’ from 2PM

Some people might ask if he was one of your siblings. – I wish! Photo credit: kpopmusic.com

Some people might ask if he was one of your siblings. – I wish!
Photo credit: kpopmusic.com

Forever our national sweetheart! Photo credit: allkpop.com

Forever our national sweetheart! <3
Photo credit: allkpop.com

Feel free to leave comments and let me know if you agree on these 10 things that I shared with you. And if there is something missing, please leave comments below. Stay tuned for next blog update!

Jan Napas Kornvipasruang
napasjann@gmail.com
Facebook http://bit.ly/jannapas
Twitter/Instagram @jannapas

 

 

By Jan Napas Kornvipasruang , ASEAN Correspondent from Thailand

 

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