My long time friend JJ is in flight right now (well she should be, and not reading this blog like she usually does)....due to arrive in Chiang Mai in the morning. It's her second time venturing out of Australia. The first time doesn't really count, because it was to New Zealand ;) say no more!
Anyway, I decided to put together a slightly 'tongue in cheek' survival kit, as a welcome gift and souvenir of her stay.
*A map of Chiang Mai with our hotel marked on it...in case she gets lost
*Our hotel card, with contact details and mapped location...in case she gets lost
*Purse size packets of Tissues
*Hong Nam (toilet) instructions - my way! with the all important phrase 'hong nam thii nai kha?' with Australian transliteration - 'horng narm tea nigh car?'
- Hang your handbag up somewhere secure...and no, you won't want to put it on the floor if there isn't a hook...I'm sure you'll figure it out
- Make sure any reading/sun glasses, headbands or other paraphernalia can't fall off your person and into the bowl...you're on your own if they do!
- If your bag is not within reach, make sure the packet of tissues I gave you, is.
- You're probably wearing pants. Roll them up to about mid shin, because you don't want them dipping into the water on the floor
- Step up onto the sides of the bowl, onto the foot treads and turn to face the cubicle door...if there is one...just kidding!
- Unzip and pull down your pants...you'll work it out after a couple of times.
- The challenge now is to keep your pants out of harms way...harm, being the obvious
- Squat. Try not to lose your balance and if need be, stabilise yourself by placing one hand on the wall behind you...look first.
- Take the packet of tissues I gave you and use accordingly
- Don't throw it into the bowl...there more than likely isn't a flush button or cistern and even if there is, Thai plumbing doesn't cope very well with paper
- Hopefully there is a bin close by to dispose of it...yes, yes...I know! Ew!
- To flush: There will either be a large container of water nearby with a ladle, if not, a hose. Use one of them to flush by putting water into the bowl.
- Reverse the first seven steps and use the hand sanitiser you should have in your handbag, if there isn't any sink and soap.
- Right about now you're wishing you were a bloke...aren't you?
- Handy Hint – If you’re in a place where there is a clean toilet, use it, even if you think you don’t need to. The next hong nam you encounter might not be so user friendly.
|This one had me fooled into thinking it was a western toilet, as I waited outside and heard it flush...oh well!|
*A face mask for when she's in or behind some of those tuk tuks and songteaws.
*A bottle of SiamSato, because I like it. OK, it’s not in the photo...I promise I’ll replace it by the time she lands.
*One of those nice long strapped Thai bags from the markets that can be slung across diagonally, so she'll look good and keep her belongings to the front and safe at the same time.
She'll be armed with one of those tourist ‘An Introduction to Thailand’ books when she arrives and of course I'll run through some of the do's and don'ts with her (the waai, pointing, feet, beckoning, stepping over things, patting heads, raising your voice etc). But, I think part of the fun is not knowing and discovering it all for yourself!
Lani, Catherine and Megan came up with some wonderful ideas that I won't be using...only because JJ will be under my wing and physically staying with me, while she's here...and she needs to have room in that bag for some shopping.
- A mobile phone and or Thai sim card with relevant contact numbers already entered (remember the secret code for dialling home to Australia! Replace the + with 009).
- Sunscreen and a hat
- Diarrhoea and Gastro medication, so you don't have to run out in the middle of the night if 'you know what' hits
- A refillable plastic water bottle...the BPA free type
- Girly things like Made In Thailand bath salts, lip gloss and soaps etc.
What would you put into a 'Thailand Survival Kit for Newbies'?
Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai