Well Thailand. How does it stack up on the plastic free scale you ask? Not too badly...The hocker (sp?) stalls were a bit more hit and miss here. The ones that I ate at, were ones where you could sit down and have a meal (they were also mostly Malaysian stalls) But I saw a few that were only offering food in plastic and Styrofoam. There were a few that looked like they would have been nice to try but I didn’t. I may have been able to negotiate with my personal container, but I couldn’t really be bothered. Also, any of the sauce that came with the food came in a plastic bag as well. I am not sure I could have avoided that.
There was one sit down restaurant that only had throw away chopsticks in plastic wrap. I ate everything with a spoon, which wasn’t as satisfying but bearable.
As far as gift giving goes, it is the same as Malaysia and Indonesia. Lots of things come wrapped in plastic but there are wrapper free options as well.
Straws...those blasted straws! I mostly convinced people not to give me a straw, with some heavy pantomiming going on. It is a lot easier when you have a local to translate for you (Thanks SK!). So once again, I stuck mostly to hot drinks. Sometimes I just really wanted a coconut though. I got some really funny looks when I quite adamantly refused a straw and said I would have mine with a spoon. Hahahaha.
My birthday. Two things happened for my birthday. First off, I couldn’t have any cake because they all came wrapped in plastic. Even the individual pieces at the bakery. So I had a brownie, which was yummy, but not really birthday-y. The second was I found out that a bottle of wine and a two-six of tequila was the same price.... Ummm what? It was a very odd realization, especially coming from Australia. Not really anything to do with plastic, but worth sharing. I also took a picture that would be lovely to show, if the internet would load things. I have no idea how people can upload photos on to facebook when they travel. It must take them all day.
One sad occurrence happened in the cooking class I took with Katie. I was very excited to take the class and thought for sure there wouldn’t be any issues with plastic. What I did not realize was that almost all the food prep was done for us, including the meat, which came wrapped in cling wrap. There was nothing I could do about it. It didn’t even occur to me to check. Nor could I have change anything. So I just accepted it, and was sad. But the class was quite fun and the food was really good. I have the cook book as well so hopefully I can recreate it.
It was just a short trip to Thailand and I was only in the south. I think it would be worth checking out more of the country before really giving an opinion about the ease of being plastic-free. There wasn’t really any awareness that I saw about the issue. However, there was plenty of evidence in the street that it is an issue. It is definitely time to start a massive clean-up.