So I've been living here for almost three months now - three sweaty months.
Aside from coming to terms with the fact that I spend most of my days feeling like a salty pork stick sold at the little markets, I'm slowly adjusting to other things that happen when you're in Thailand, and also what specifically happens when you are a melanin popping being.
1. You will always be stared at. ALWAYS!
You are basically a mythical creature that people will gawk at. Your existence will forever bring endless stares.
Everything and anything that you do here feels like you are the first person to do said thing.
Standing in the queue at 7/11? Stared at.
Walking into a clothing store? Stared at.
Oh, you want to get some phad thai at the market? Stared at.
Granted, being a foreigner in any country invites a string of eyes on you, but when you are a black girl with an afro or braids, you go from being looked at to being stared at, and by that I mean look you up and down and then nudge other people to make sure that you are not a figment of their imagination.
2. You can't find anything for your hair (and your face)
I was one of those naive humans that packed enough hair products for a measly 2 months. I figured that by then I would have found my go-to little Thailand store that takes care of kinkiness.
You know those moments when you are so wrong about life you start wondering if you have always been so stupid about every decision you've ever made?
There is next to nothing when it comes to anything concerning black hair (and skin).
I get it - this is Thailand and what exactly would Thailand be doing stocking Amla oil? Have you seen the average Thai woman’s hair? This is easily all on me.
So to all the melanin goddesses heading to Thailand, pack enough Dark & Lovely products to last you till your mom has figured out how to send you packages from back home.
Same applies to beauty products, guys. Pack everything! Unless you want to walk around like a clown because nearly every beauty product here contains some bleaching ingredient.
3. Ain't nobody want you
I'll admit this is a tricky one. Granted, I've only been here for about three months, but I can safely say that Thai men (most of them) are not interested in dating black women.
Before you get all cray, I've spoken to a few fellow brownies that have lived here for over a year and they can attest to this statement.
I've even asked some Thai male friends I've made and one just gave a "we're just not ready" response.
I've even spoken to my director and she put things into perspective: Unfortunately, Thai people associate darker skin with poverty and lack of education.
Here? The paler you are the better.
Yes, not all Thai men, but the majority and I'll let you know once I've had a breakthrough with this one. We will leave this one open-ended.
4. People will forever think you are from Africa
Before you all get all riled up, this is not a bad thing. Who doesn't want to be from the land of mangoes and marula fruit?
The thing a lot of Thai people assume is that if you’re brown or darker you are from Africa. The idea of black people being scattered around the world just doesn't register as a reality.
What's worse is that they also assume that black people cannot be a native speaker of English. So prepare to be asked some bizarre questions.
The kind of questions that make you make you squint your whole face and ask Jesus to come down and take care of whatever this is.
5. You are considered "big size"
I guess the small waist and big booty Judy train hasn't stopped in Thailand. My body shape is so unusual here, it's like Thai people have never seen a T-Pain music video.
But seriously I've seen several signs at the different malls that made me chuckle; a silhouette of a curvy woman with a cross on it and the words "no big size" written on it.
Yes, again, not all stores but all I'm saying is most of the cute high-waist shorts don't have room for all that junk you carrying in your trunk and the sales person will just look at you and disappoint you with the words: "we don't have big size".
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