So here’s a low down of what have experienced since we left the states. Jeff talked a bit about some of the same stuff so bare with me...
On the flight to Bangkok I realized that we had forgotten to write down the name of the hotel we were staying at in Bangkok! Kinda something we were gonna need! Not something I could do while on the plane… when we got to Japan I tried to buy internet to look it up but it did not work. I kinda was having a bit of a melt down in the waiting area. Thankfully this girl took pity on me and said she was in the same program and said she had the name and we could all taxi there together!
So having the name of the hotel was a good thing however it really helps if the taxi driver knows where he is going! We drove around for about an hour in to the center of Bangkok. All the time the driver kept acting like he knew where he was going but kept suddenly changing directions. In the end we found it and it was right next to the airport! We finally got in about 2 in the morning and had to be up for orientation at 8am.
The next day was nice got to meet all the Americans who are teaching here for the year and we got our first lesson about the Thai language. We found out this is going to be a very hard language to learn…
On the second day here we went on a trip to the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha. That was awesome. Beautiful. Anything I say cannot capture how beautiful everything was. We took lots of pictures so we will post them either on here later or on facebook. The Emerald Buddha was actually kinda small but up on such a large and impressive shrine he still looked so magnificent. You have to take off your shoes to enter the temple, so we did that and went in and gave the traditional 3 deep bows of respect to the Buddha. Such a uniquely different experience than anything I had ever done before.
When we got back we went out to dinner on the street by our hotel. It was so good! The food is amazing here! Here food=happiness, this is my kind of place!
At dinner the 6 of us each had a meal and we shared a three-liter tower of beer and it only cost us 21 bucks. For ALL of us! The food here is not only really good but really cheap.
Orientation its self has been kinda boring and repetitive, but we have gotten to meat a lot of really cool people and have learned some interesting things about Thailand and Thai culture.
One night we went to Kho San road, which is the backpacking district where all the tourists hang out at night, it has lots of bars and touristy things. Jeff, Susan, Ashley and I went there and got some amazing Pahd Thai from a little old lady cooking it on a cart. We then went and got a beer at a bar named Club Fish Gallery, it's named that because when you order a beer you get 5 minutes of a free fish massage! You get to go stick your feet in a tank and have tiny little fish come up and eat the dead skin off your feet. It feels exactly like you would think it would! The down side to the backpacker district is that there are tons of little kids trying to sell you things, kinda like in Mexico. Jeff pissed of one of the boys trying to sell him a rose. The boy tried to get him for a bout 5 min to buy one then he said “Fuck! You no boy, you lady boy!” for those of you who don’t know, a lady boy is one of the boy prostitutes who dresses like a lady. So it’s the ultimate insult here. We all laughed it was just so ridiculous. The funny thing was the boy who was selling the roses had bright pink nail polish on!
The next day we had all heard about the Thai massage. So we decided to go and get one. The massage parlor was not far from our hotel maybe 5 min walking. When we looked out side it was raining but we thought we would be ok in it, I mean we’re from Oregon what’s a little rain! We had our rain jackets so we went for it. Within a minute we were soaked! This was a tropical down pour it would not let up. By the time we got to the massage parlor the street was a lake. A tiny bit earlier I tried to jump a small puddle up on to a curb. That did not go so well…I slipped and fell and cut up my leg. I caused quite a commotion when I walked in to the store. Dripping wet muddy and bleeding! They were so nice washed my leg and disinfected it too. To get in to the massage parlor we had to wade through 8 inches of water to get to the door, after my earlier miss hap there was no way I was gonna try and jump it! The massage was well worth it though. They not only massaged you, they also pulled and stretched you every which way. It was awesome.
Ok so on to the elephants! They are some of the coolest animals I have ever seen. They are majestic. There is just no other way to describe them. We started out sitting on a bench chair on the back of the elephant while the driver sat on the head of the elephant. He only stayed there for a minute then he jumped down and had jeff sit on his head! Jeff was there for a while and then we switched and I got to sit on his head. It was so cool! We had a pretty small elephant and he was rather hairy but he was very talented, he was on of the elephant in the elephant show we saw. After the ride we got to take pictures with the elephants and watch an elephant show. They dunked a basketball, twirled a hula-hoop on the trunks and shot darts at balloons. As Jeff said he also got a massage from an elephant I have video and will be posting it because you have to see it to appreciate it fully!
So here we are in Chachoengsao, our new home for the year. It is much bigger than Monmouth and bigger still than Corvallis. I think it has a kind of Corvallis feel to it though. It’s big but it has a kinda small town feel to it. Especially coming from Bangkok. Our apartment is nice, its kinda a large studio apt with two rooms attached with large sliding door. Ill post pictures of it. We live above a Thai bookstore and there is tons of little carts to eat off of up and down the street we are on. There is also a large park down the road where we can hang out. We met with our school coordinators yesterday. They are super nice, but I think they are very worried about us or think we are just not that smart! They drove us all over town to show us where everything is and how to get around. We wanted to go to Big C, which is kinda like a walmart so they said they would take us there. We told them it was ok we would be fine to get there on our own. They insisted. We kept trying to tell them we would be ok on our own (we felt bad they kept paying for everything and driving us around) so we finally got them to leave us there. We made it home safe and sound but forgot to call them and let them know that! So an hour later we get a call wondering where we are and if we are ok! They are so cute and super helpful.
right now we are trying to figure out what to do this weekend. we have a long weekend so we want to travel but a lot of the country is flooded. Thailand is having one of its worst flood years. so we think we found an isalnd to go to but now we just have to see if we have the time to get there and back before school starts. we'll keep you all up dated. :)