Around the World with PayPay is a series of articles featuring our global workplace, with people gathered from approximately 40 countries around the world. The article consists of two parts: “FROM OUTSIDE” (published every first Thursday of the month) focuses on a comparison between Japan and the interviewee’s home country. “FROM INSIDE” (published every second Friday of the month) focuses on experiences within PayPay.
In this article, we’ve sat down with Aerin Riangkruar from Bangkok, Thailand.
Don’t forget to check out past issues too.
* The Japanese version of the article is available here.
Country：Bangkok, Thailand / Years in Japan：5years /
What do you do at PayPay：Product Designer / Location(where do you live currently)：Kanagawa, Kawasaki
“Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness”
And it’s on “Design Chit-Chat“!
Recommend a spot/thing in your country
I highly recommend the market along Thammasat University!
If you ever have a chance to visit Bangkok, you should take a trip to the 3 famous ports of Bangkok along the Chao Phraya river (Tha Maharaj Port, tha Pra Chan Port and Tha Pra Arthit Port,) where you can enjoy old historical buildings with yummy & super affordable food!!
If you do ever get there, I highly recommend a crispy garlic toast store called Aroi (which literally means yummy). They’ve been around for more than 40 years I think, and the only thing they sell is crispy garlic toast!
What places/things would you recommend in Japan?
I love camping! I’m not so keen on going out during the hot summer though… So if you’re new to camping and looking for places not too far from Tokyo with beautiful scenery, I highly recommend the “Koan Camping Ground.” You can enjoy the lake along with a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji – the same printed on 1,000 yen notes. On a good day, you can see the reflection of Mount Fuji in the lake which is absolutely stunning.
Recommend a dish from your country?
Gapao rice – Thai people are passionate about their gapao rice! When we can’t decide what to eat for lunch, we usually go with gapao… but then there are so many types of gapao.
Personally, my favorite is the type with squid. It isn’t common in Japan, but if you can find it, go for it!
Tips to make gapao rice :
- Gapao in Thai means basil, so use lots of basil.
- Fry the egg with a lot of hot oil – you want the egg white to be crispy, with the egg yolk runny. The crispy egg white goes really well with the gapao flavor.
Best restaurants/festivals/stores to feel at home in Japan
A Thai Restaurant called Somou in Shin Okubo. Some of the food is not really common in Japan or Thailand, but you can get some really authentic local flavors!
Biggest similarities with your country?
Nothing that I can think of… I’ve been living in multiple countries but working in Japan has been the biggest culture shock. If I had to choose one thing, it would be how we like our food to be balanced in nutrients, maybe?
Biggest differences with your country?
The app market in Japan is sooooo large and diversified, with so many smaller sectors. When I first came to Japan, I was surprised that there were so many apps for specific groups of people.
For example, there are apps for new mothers to find friends and meet up, which is really interesting especially as a UX designer. In PayPay, we’re designing our app for the majority of people, but at the same time, when it comes to user personas, we need to consider all the minority cases as well, which can be challenging.
Why did you come to Japan?
I was working for a game company in Singapore, where I was given the chance to travel to Japan for a business trip every year. I really enjoyed the food and the culture during my stays in Japan. So in 2017 when the company offered me a chance to move to Japan for 6 months, I immediately said yes! The 6 months somehow turned into 5 years.
What’s the thing you like the most about living in Japan?
I’m enjoying the very distinct seasons, because I’m from south east Asia where weather remains the same throughout the year. The concept of seasons is very new.
The other thing that I really like is the fact that different seasons have different meanings. For example, spring is the beginning of the year. It represents a new start in Japan, which means that there are many goodbyes and hellos happening this time of year – a bittersweet season, don’t you think?
What’s the most memorable thing you did in Japan?
Getting married in Japan! This isn’t something you get to experience anywhere right?
Check back in next week for FROM INSIDE!
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Special thanks : Aerin Riangkruar / Author: Naoko / Managing Editor: Az
* Employee affiliations are as of the time of the interview.