Familiar Products, with a Foreign Twist

While being in a foreign country for a long period of time can make you feel homesick, being American usually means that the familiarity of home isn’t much further away than your closest 7/11 store (which are everywhere). Before we went out to Asia, I felt a lot of anxiety about what I would need to bring and what I could be able to get there.

Did I need to bring 2 months worth of toothpaste, shampoo, contact solution, etc? No. They sell that nearly everywhere we went, and it wasn’t too foreign….

Iced Tea in Thailand (Lipton)
Oreos! Available everywhere in strawberry, blueberry icecream, and plain. I can’t even count the number of Oreos we ate while in Asia…
Gotta keep those teeth clean!
Nori seaweed Lays…so delicious, a common easy snack for us.
Ketchup and hot sauce on Koh Jum..thanks Heinz!
Thai Pantene..keeping our curls at bay (though with the humidity, it’s an uphill battle!)
Sodas come in tall, thin glass bottles. While we were in northern Thailand, there was a Sprite shortage – something with the distributor from the south not getting it in. This one was a rare treat. Note the straw – nobody drinks out of bottles/can – you are ALWAYS given a straw.

Besides Singapore, you cannot drink the tap water anywhere that we went. Locals don’t drink it either – everyone buys bottled/jugs of water. This made water very inexpensive – thank goodness! Due to our transient nature, we only bought smaller, 1 liter bottles of water.  There were always several choices, with the foreign brand being 2-4 times higher than the local brand. Most of the time we went with the local brand (below at right), which we dubbed “the rubbing alcohol water” because the bottle looks like a bottle of rubbing alcohol.

Local water (note that the expiration date is 15/2/56. It is currently the year 2555 in Thailand!
Nestle water
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