Bangkok has a lot to offer. It has amazing temples, monuments, skyscrapers, a colorful life, the tourist roads, vivid markets and the refreshing express boat rides on the Chao Phraya. No doubt, for tourists a great city.
What about the normal life?
What I like a lot is that the basics for a living are given. Food is available for a very low price. Everywhere. All Bangkok people have a home somewhere, often much smaller and simpler than we are used to in Europe, but it seems to be a decent life. A lot of young people prefer to stay in the cities, a trip back home by train is possible and very cheap, but it takes too long and it is simply uncomfortable. The dissolution of the big families of the past is rather advanced. Since some years even a health insurance. is mandatory and available to everyone.
The income? It varies a lot and with it the lifestyle, too. Meanwhile an educated person starts his/her career in the city with ca. 15000 Bhat per months (between 350 and 400 EUR) and will have a good chance to develop – e.g. a hotel manager will achieve around 60000 to 80000 Bhat/ month after a few years – , uneducated workers often just gain 300 Bhat per day (7.50 EUR a 8.00 EUR) – a life long.
Young Thais are ambitious and interested to get a high education, the higher the better, because it means a better income in the future and a more comfortable life. The consequences: old traditions, such as the ‘romantic’ floating boat women disappear. The hard work such as road work, construction work or jobs such as fruit vendors, fishermen and waste picking are left to immigrants from Burma and Cambodia. An effect that can be observed in many advanced countries.
“We become even much more impatient with switching to more comfortable life”, explains a Thai woman. “In the morning where we always had many different dishes many people just have a snack now. Many students do not even know how to cook traditional meals…”. The good cooking stuff is changing – hot soups of all kind, vegetables, Phat thai, chicken, different sauces, fish, rice dishes. In the cities it is easier to buy food.
The Fast Food industry has left its traces – the Western style is ‘cool’
For those who can afford: Who can make it to eat a pizza from time to time or a Burger meal has definetly some money. At the airport before leaving we pass at a Burger King. The good old Whopper meal costs 320 Bhat. Ten times more than a Thai meal in the city. Or let’s say an unskilled worker’s daily wage.