At first the good message: I safely made it back to Germany after two six-hour long flights and a timezone shift of five hours. After having to more vacation days to acclimatize I already started working again last week. So now I will slowly get back to my old rhythm leave my fantastic trip through Thailand behind. Of course I have a lot of memories of it that I can keep (and at least as much pictures). However, in the few days I have been back in Germany I already noticed a few things I probably will miss for some time. Then again, I was happy to find other things here that you could not find in Thailand.
Things I will miss
The first item on this list is a pretty obvious one: Food. I just loved all the little street vendors where you could get good and very cheap food. And as I already said eariler, I never tasted so sweet pineapples, mangos and other exotic fruits. I did not get tired of the rice, too. The first thing I cooked back in Mannheim (actually that was the first time I cooked after six weeks) was rice with vegetables. The second meal was a good portion of fried rice with the recipe taken from my cooking book I bought in Thailand. Luckily, I noticed that a new Thai restaurant has opened when I was away just around the corner where I live. They make good Pad Thai, so whenever I want to taste some original Thai food I can go there.
Another thing I noticed is how quiet Mannheim is. Compared to an average Thai city where live mainly happens on the street it almost seemed a bit deserted around here. And then all the people were so friendly, smiling all the time. Sadly, you do not see that too much in Germany.
The last big thing I will miss is not connected to Thailand in particular. It is just the fact that I got to spend a lot of time outside, away from my desk and my (many) computers. Now as a computer scientist I normally spend a lot of time in front of monitors, and that is fine as long as I do that. However, if I get the chance to leave that behind for some time it surely is a welcome change. And on this trip it came also with the benefit of seeing the fantastic landscapes of Thailand.
Things I will not miss
Besides all the good things I experienced in Thailand, there are a few things that I was happy about to have them back when I arrived in Germany. These are things like proper traffic rules. It is nice when you can just walk over a street when the traffic lights tell you so. Or just a small thing such as litter boxes. It really surprised me that you could get food and stuff everywhere, but is was hard to impossible to get rid of the trash afterwards.
The rest is pretty much standard: No more TukTuk drivers that approach you on every meter you walk down a street. No more mosquitoes! And finally, just a bit of the much-praised German organization and timing. After all, it is nice if trains only have 10 minutes delay instead of 2 hours.
In total, the positive things outweigh the negative by far of course. I had a great time in Thailand and I really enjoyed seeing the country and spending time with the people, both the locals and the other travelers. And I am already thinking about taking another break from my daily rhythm. I just have to figure out where I want to go next…
For those of you who expected more pictures and less text: Be assured that there are more pictures to come. Right now I am still sorting all of the pictures I took during the trip, so soon I should have more to show you.