1. The exchange rate, it’s about 30B = $1, and if I were properly math-empowered I could do the math in my head and have a good idea of what things cost. But I’m not, so I do the best I can, I figure a 20 baht note (their smallest paper money) is about a buck, a 50 baht note is roughly $2, 100 baht is $3, and a 500 baht is a $20 (it’s more like $15 – but I need round numbers!). So even though the numbers on the bills are big, it’s really not that much money in US $. But still, when I first got here I was hesitant to carry a 500B note around because my brain thinks “$500 – that’s a lot of money” when it’s really really not. And when my sheets and pillow cost 880B, I inwardly grown and think – that’s too much money – when in actuality it’s less than $30. I did pay more than I wanted to for a phone though. I think it was 1,800B total (Sim card and 30 min. talk time). $50 is not unreasonable for a phone (Nokia) – and it was the cheapest one I found in the mall… but at home I got a Go-Phone for $19.95. Which brings me to my next issue.
2. The cost of living is different here. A lot of things are cheaper than in the
My rent & security deposit for the month was 10,000 baht or $300. But I probably won’t end up getting paid more than 30,000 baht as a teacher = $1,000. So while my bank account looks pretty plump right now, I need to stop spending like an American on vacation and start thinking like a Thai person living here. But I’m not a Thai person, and I don’t have any close personal Thai friends (yet) so that brings me to my final issue.
3. I have no idea what things *should* cost. I’ve gone to the mall & the grocery store so I know about what things cost there. And I’ve gone to the markets and been told what they want me to pay there. But I don’t have much of an idea about what’s expensive and what’s cheap *for
I’m sure I’ll get better at all of this, and it will help when I get a job and start getting paid in Baht, because I’ll be able to budget accordingly and the exchange rate won’t matter that much anymore.