THINGS I MISS ABOUT HOME
Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Bangkok – the smells, the people, the heat, the crowds – all of which make living here exciting and fun BUT there are certain things that I miss about the city where I grew up – Melbourne, Australia. What are those things and why do I miss them? Here is my list of things I miss about Melbourne and why.
- My family and friends
As much as my family annoys me (as I probably annoy them) I do miss seeing and socialising with them – especially at Easter, Christmas and birthdays. Both of my sisters are extremely good cooks and I really miss the smells of the food whilst it’s cooking and the taste of this food. Funny thing is that whenever our family gets together all we do is argue (friendly banter) and end up fighting and bickering with one another. To be honest, it’s all in good fun and within 10 minutes all is good again.
I mostly miss my ‘good’ friends – you know those that you can ring at the drop of a hat and ask them out for dinner/coffee/beer/go to the game. When we’re together we chat about sport, life, family, etc. We all have such friends and the irony is that we can go months without seeing them and, within 10 minutes, it feels like you’ve never left each other.
- The 4 Seasons
I really hate the cold – cold fingers, toes and your nose feels like it’s going to fall off but somehow I miss this feeling every now and then. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the heat but every now and then I miss the sensation of being so cold I’m going to freeze to death!
Seeing Nothing bare trees and brown leaves littered all over the footpath is a beautiful site. For us AFL fans autumn signifies the start of the football season. Your hopes are high that your team is going to do well, and all your new recruits are going to be superstars. However, depending on the first few games, it’s either going to be a long, cold winter or a great winter culminating in a final’s appearance!
After the long, cold winter comes spring and again for all Australians (especially Victorians) signifies the start of the Spring Racing Carnival (horse racing) culminating in the Melbourne Cup. The call it the ‘Race that stops a nation”. Even non-gamblers end up having a punt on this race. The field attracts runners from all over the world and has a $4m cheque for the winner. Spring also signifies the start of Day Light Savings where you can have daylight till 8/9 pm and do all those things you want to do such as running, tennis or golf.
A good Aussie summer – cricket on the tv (tests and one- dayers), beers at the local in the beer garden and BBQ’s. Sweltering nights where the house was so hot that you just slept under a sheet and tossed and turned all night getting little sleep!
- Freshly Cut Grass
Growing up I was a very sporty person – football (AFL), cricket and running – and I really miss that smell of freshly cut grass. It’s a smell that is hard smell to explain to Thai people.
- Fresh Bread
Let’s face it – the bread here in Thailand doesn’t even compare to the bread that we get back in our homeland. The bread here is sweet, it’s hard to get the different variety’s, the crust is not ‘crusty’ and, if it’s reasonable quality, it’s expensive! I used to love walking past the bakers and the smell of freshly baked bread was in the air – yum!
This is a Melbourne (probably known across Australia) institution. When they recently opened their new flagship store it was the first item on the news and front page of every newspaper. They sell Italian cakes – canolli, rum baba, and they are bloody delicious. They are also famous for the coffee. Put the 2 together and you could be anywhere in Italy!
- Sporting Events at The G
I’m from Melbourne but, Australians in general, are known for their love of sports and attending these events. At our AFL final there is generally a crowd of 95,000. If you’ve never been the MCG (locally known as The G) is like a modern day colosseum. Screaming fans generally lathered up on a diet of beer, hot dogs and meat pies all screaming for the team. The sounds are electric! I used to attend EVERY large sporting event at The G even if it wasn’t my team – I hate Liverpool, yet I went to watch them plat at The G along with 100,000 other crazed sports fans. Hell, I even went to the Rugby and I don’t even understand the game. It’s just the Melbourne thing to do!
- Bike Riding
Yes, I was a MAML (middle aged man in lyrca) – I used to ride my road bike 3 times a week (at least 100 kms each session. Me and my fellow MAML’s would meet at 6am at our favorite coffee shop, do our ride, then back by 10 where we would take over the café! Here, in Bangkok, I wouldn’t dream about riding a road bike on the road – way too dangerous!
- Decent Fish & Chips
Although there is no shortage of places to get them, the fish & chips in this country is ordinary. Remember I’m from Down Under so our fish & chips differs from those of my UK counterparts. They look for cod whereas I’m looking for flake. I’m sure that the restaurants here serve locally sourced fish then try to pass it off as something else and then the batter here is just not the same.
Also, something uniquely Australian I miss are potato cakes (or potato scallops depending on which state you are from) and dim sims (steamed or fried). Potato Cakes are just slices of potatoes dipped in batter and deep fried. Dim Sims on the other hand is a Chinese inspired meat and vegetable dumpling. My mouth is salivating just thing of these!
- Pasties & Sausage Rolls
Where the hell can one get a good (Cornish) pastie and a sausage roll (not a frankfurter wrapped in sweet pastries)? I really miss these culinary masterpieces. I’m not so fussed about meat pies but I’m sure that there are many Aussies here probably including the good old humble meet pie. I’ve tried many a meat pie here and have been extremely disappointed with the quality and taste but I’m yet to see a pastie or sausage roll that I can even try to be disappointed with!
Don’t get me wrong, there are many other things that Thailand has to offer that I can’t get in Australia but these things have been part of my life for many years and are hard to forget however they are slowly being replaced by the Bangkok pollution and the smells of Thai street food.