Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Don't Leave Home Without It

The Essentials of Living/ Traveling in Thailand
I've been here long enough to know what to bring around the city or pack for quick country tour. These products I literally could not live without.

#1 Tiger Balm
This small but mighty item is so essetial in my daily lifie that if I forget it when I leave the house, I immediately go to 7-11 to pick up another one for a meager 50 baht. Because at any given moment, I have at least 4 ferocious mosquito/ ant / other scary bug bites somewhere on my body that need rubbed down constantly. Luckily, TB does the trick. While I was keen on white for a while, the red version is a bit more fiery so I've switched back to that.

Tiger Balm is a miracle worker on sore muscles as well as bites. Ask your masseuse to lather some on before your yogic Thai-massage and you will be in heaven (or should i say Nirvana?).
Other uses include: rubbing on your temples for a quick pick me up, rubbing on your neck/shoulders when sitting at your computer for 24 hours takes its toll, or rubbing anywhere on your body at any time for mentholy warming, burning, cooling tingling magic. I like it on the inside of my forearm, near your elbows. (Thanks Emily) Weird, but totally sensational. As you can tell, it's never far out of my reach and I use it generously :)

#2 Prickly Heat, Lavender or BabiMild, purple
 February through May, this will safe your life. When you're hot and sweaty, (which is all the time, even after you shower) pour this old-lady powder all over yourself and your sweat will tingle away. Its absolutely magical, and will leave you feeling indescribably prickly and fresh. 
just do it. you will smell better too!

#3 All-purpose Sarong.

Forget your towel? Your $3 hostel doesn't have sheets? Want to wear a skirt? Do you have to shower in public? Do you need a blanket on the bus? A pillow? Need a handkerchief to cry into when you miss your bus? Need somewhere to wipe the gallons of sweat constantly dripping off your face, or the leftover mango all over your hands?


I think 75% of my facebook pictures feature this Om-ed Yellow-Wonder. I. Love. It.

(It should be noted that I also used it as a tapestry/window insulator when I was living in Chicago. 
Seriously all-purpose.) 


If you have those three things, you are off to a good start. A few other less-essential but often appreciated  products are:  menthol inhalers for smelly bus/train rides or headaches, sanitizer wipes for general use, and tamarind candy for yummy, healthy snacking :)

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