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Adjusting to Living in Chiang Mai


“Same Same but Different” is a wonderful Thai expression that captures, in a nut shell, what we are experiencing in our initial days living in Chiang Mai. There are many similarities to life in Florida and yet it’s “Different”!  Yes, we are living 9,120 miles (14677.22 km) from ‘home’, on a different Continent populated with people of a different culture but we don’t feel uncomfortable or unsafe.  There are just a few things to get used to.

The first thing is the time difference!   We are now 11 hours ahead of US East Coast Daylight Savings time which means that as we are getting our day started, the day is coming to an end there.  In order for us to do business in the States, we have to do it late at night.

Our apartment, like the majority of housing in Thailand, has hot water in the shower only.  The bathroom and kitchen sinks have cold water only.  This didn’t come as a surprise to us because we found a similar situation while living  in Panama where most Panamanians have no hot water – even in the shower!

We were pleased to find that there are three modern, clean, washing machines on the ground floor of our building for tenants to use.  The cost is Baht 20 ($0.57) for a regular size load or Baht 30 ($0.85) for a large load. Here’s a look at how it all works. 

There are no dryers so we bring the clothes upstairs and dry them on our very small balcony.  At the end of the day, everything is ready to be folded and put away!  Bill was smart enough to bring “wash and wear” shirts that look great using this process. Priscilla, on the other hand, will have to buy some clothes that dry quickly and don’t require ironing so she can look a little less crumpled!