After being in Thailand for 6 days, the day has come where we all leave orientation and go to our teaching jobs! I’ll be going an hour NE from Bangkok to a province called Purat Thani, to the town Thanyaburi where we’ll be living for the next 10 months.
The sad part is that MC and I are splitting up today, she’ll be flying to her town which is a seven hour drive South from Bangkok. Send her good vibes!
The majority of our time here has been spent in class. We learned some Thai, like Sawatdee kha (hello), Sabaii dee mai? (how are you?), Khawb khun kha (thank you) and the real name of Bangkok, which is“Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit”. We learned some cultural norms, like that tipping isn’t expected, to wave someone over your hand should be down instead of facing up, women should never touch a monk, not to point your feet at anyone, never step on/over books, and that there are 3 levels of the Wai (bow), which vary in respect and are appropriate for different people. We realized we didn’t get very many of the vaccines that people get to come here (ie. Hep B, Japanese Encephalitis, Malaria, Rabies or Yellow Fever) and about all the local scams that they have here to try to get more money out of you (the motorbike/jetskii rentals, jewelry & tailoring and the Grand Palace).
Besides learning, we have managed to do a few other things!
We went to Kanchanaburi to see the bridge on River Kwai, part of what was later nicknamed the Death Railway due to the est. 100,000 Asian laborers and prisoners plus 12,000 allied prisoners who died building the railway. The railway was built during WWII by the Empire of Japan to bring supplies into Burma through Thailand, avoiding the vulnerable sea routes. After the third bombing, it was not repaired and was put out of use. We also were able to see a very colorful and beautiful temple on the other side of the bridge.
We also went on a sunset dinner cruise on the Kwae Yai river where we were able to catch a beautiful sunset and also be completely swarmed by what we think are Thai moths.
Oh, and can’t forget the Thai massage! It was amazing and definitely something to get used to. An hour and a half cost 250 baht (~ $7.50).
So far, I am struggling wrapping my head around the fact that I am living here. It definitely doesn’t feel real but I know that in the upcoming days/weeks/month it will, and I’m a little nervous for how I’ll feel then.
That’s all for now!