The Apartment 

Our accommodation here in Chiang Mai is not a hostel or a hotel. We are living in an actual Thai apartment. Our Workaway location is essentially the garage of a home turned cooking school, and the Workaway staff get to stay in the apartment building next door.

It’s essentially just one room with a small bathroom and an even smaller balcony that looks out onto the life-less wall of the apartment next to ours. There’s no kitchen. I’m told that very few apartments in Thailand actually have kitchens, the reason being that there is typically a communal kitchen on the ground floor where everyone cooks and eats, hence the popularity of open-air markets. People buy what they need at the market and bring it back to cook for the whole family, or in some cases, your neighbors too. 

The market can be hit or miss though. Ever the adventurous eater, Billy exclusively picks mystery dishes at the market. This method worked well up until yesterday, when what he thought was a simple red curry turned out to be indeed a curry, but a curry full of pineapple and mussels. He described the taste as “vomit like,” and having the same warm temperature of vomit as well. He still ate it all, bless his heart. 

It wouldn’t have made sense if our room here were like our room in Japan. The streets of Japan are so clean you can practically eat off of them, whereas things here are a little rougher around the edges. 

Back from a morning bike ride through the city, we sat in the room recovering for a minute. “You see those ants?” said Billy. Tiny ants populate the crevices and floors like dust. “In Japan, I would have thought that was a problem, but here, what can I say? It’s just as much their floor as it is mine.”


4 thoughts on “The Apartment 

  1. So do you have any place to cook? Was so looking forward to hearing conversations with other work a way people while you congregated in the kitchen. And do you have bikes now? Are you in the same room? Maybe if you put little piles of the red curry, mussel and pineapple mixture in strategic places in your room the ants will leave. Sounds awful.


  2. I wonder if those communal kitchens lead to a stronger feeling of solidarity and unity among Thais. I wonder if we tried that in the states these days, we’d just end up with massive food fights.


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