"SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT" is a popular saying in Thailand (and most all of Asia) that's been printed onto T-shirts, bumper stickers and now, has crept it's way in to our everyday lexicon. This phrase has become the perfect way to describe what's it's like to live in Asia since I lack the vocabulary skills to properly describe all the fun nuances or "WTF?" moments I get to experience in day to day life.
My dad once asked me, "Do they have all the latest movies in theaters there?" Yes is the answer, but before you can watch the film everyone in the theater has to stand up while they play the King's Anthem. It's sorta like when we stand and place our hands over our hearts when hearing the "Star Spangled Banner" before every sporting event, but here, it's before Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
So, it's the same thing... just different.
This is the video that plays before every movie in Thailand
Thailand's King Bhumibol is everywhere. His image is in every home, business and billboard. He even made it on to a Seattle billboard!
There are so many elements of the familiar from home, but each Asian country we visit puts it's own unique spin on it so I wanted to share with you a few examples of what Same Same, but different means to me in Thailand:
What I know: Pike Place in Seattle, WA is the largest and oldest outdoor farmer's market in the U.S. so it's very unique and attracts tourists from all around the world!
What I know now: Outdoor markets are the rule, not the exception. We've gotten lost in the maze of a typical Thai market that was easily the size of 20 Pike Place Market's put together!
What I know: Hotdog buns are only to be used to house something savory, such as a hot dog.
What I know now: NOPE! This hot dog bun is filled with raisins and sweet strawberry cream.
What I know: KFC does chicken and makes it finger lickin' good.
What I know now: KFC also dabbles in the world of shrimp donuts.
What I know: The cereal aisle is where you go when you want an easy, nutritious meal on a budget
What I know now: Want some recognizable brand from home huh? That one box of Pops is gonna cost you 365 baht or $10.10 usd.
What I know: Crest has a way of making my mouth feel minty fresh after brushing.
What I know now: Why do I feel like I just drank the ocean? Oh, so the active ingredient in my toothpaste is salt? Ok then.
What I know: Dairy Queen flavors get really fun around a certain season or holiday. Pumpkin spice blizzard in October anyone?
What I know now: DQ flavors are not only seasonal, but regional! Green tea is really popular right now in Asia, but I've also had Mango Sticky Rice blizzards which is a Thai dessert. Ah-mah-zing.
What I know: You will find "To Go" sandwiches at 7-11 in the refrigerated section.
What I know now: You will find "To Go" sandwich flavors: Crab stick, Shredded pork with salad cream and Bologna Mayonnaise next to the candy in aisle 2.
What I know: McNuggets are to be paired with Honey or BBQ sauce.
What I know now: Move over honey! Plum sauce is a more yummy alternative fer dippin'.
What I know: Lays chips staples are Classic, BBQ and Sour Cream. If I'm feeling adventurous, I will buy some that have "waves."
What I know now: Hot Pot, Scallops and Hot Chili Squid flavored Lays (to name a few) both frighten and intrigue me.
What I know: Buttering your own bread is one of life's simple pleasures.
What I know now: You can buy pre-buttered bread in a package. Thus, stealing your joy.
What I know: Acceptable movie snacks are buttered popcorn, large sodas and any candy you can think of as there's lots to choose from!
What I know now: Acceptable movie snacks are seaweed sheets, dried squid and corn-cheese flavored popcorn. Oh, and Mentos.
What I know: Food prep and animals don't mix. It's a "health code" thing.
What I know now: I'm so thankful this isn't a thing. There is so much joy in having cute animals near you as you eat.
What I know: Cheeseburgers should contain a burger, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onions all in a sesame bun.
What I know now: Cheeseburgers contain a burger, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onions all in a sesame bun. It's the same same, but only becomes different when we pair it with a passion fruit smoothie.
So, how about you? Ever experience a Same same, but different scenario before?