The last week and a half in short...
So straight away I have to say, YES, we're okay. And second drivers in Thailand are CRAZY. Now everything else: our first night in Bangkok - which by the way Thai people call "Krungthep", which is short for the real name, which is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest name of anything in the world, it's long - we got to our hotel at about 1:30 pm after driving around Bangkok for and hour and 15 minutes with a taxi driver that knew about 5 1/2 words in English and didn't know where he was going; he kept stopping and reading our little sheet of paper with the directions written on it, turning around, stopping again, reading, turning around... you get the picture. A little bit sketchy for our first hours in Thailand after traveling for like 36 hours on basically no sleep. But we did finally get to the hotel and everything was okay, but the taxi driver waas trying to ask how long we were going to be there, and gave me his card so that we could call for his services again... oh thank you so much mr. Thai taxi driver, cause that's exactly what I want to do on my next taxi ride through Bangkok; struggle to communicate, get lost and overcharged, and listen to 90's slow-jams for an hour and a half.
After that night most of orientation was fairly uneventful - comparatively, we're still in Thailand - and mostly it just poured while we were there. Mostly it was lectures about teaching and Thai culture and language lessons. The latter was cool, and difficult, we're only getting a few things down. We got to meet our school coordinators one night. But we did get to go see the grand palace in Bangkok, pretty touristy but very cool. It's the kings palace and also has the temple of the Emerald Buddha. I took pictures and will post. We did have a couple fun adventurous nights in Bangkok, but I think I'm going to let Francesca tell you about that.
We spent the last night and day of orientation here. This place was beautiful and we stayed at this amazing resort hotel that was all open-air. At night we saw the "bridge over the river kwai", which isn't as big as I would have thought, and is still in use. The next morning we woke to sun, and Kanchanaburi was beautiful, picture huge green mountains haloed by clouds, perfect tropical green jungle. We woke up early and headed off to ride some elephants. That's right, elephants. This was pretty much indescribable, we were actually riding elephants; huge, amazing, smart animals, it was incredible. I rode on our elephants head (there are pictures I think). We all hung around the elephant place for a while after our rides and fed the elephants, took pictures with them, got kisses from them, watched an elephant show, got an elephant massage (true story, not very fun though, the elephant hit my nut with it's trunk). After the elephants there was a bamboo raft trip that wasn't as cool as the elephants, but the water felt nice. The trip to Kanchanburi was amazing to say the least, we're going to go back for sure. We did the 3 1/2 hour bus trip back to Bangkok and our original hotel where we were picked up by our coordinators and made the hour and half drive to Chachoengsao (pronounced chach-en-sow).
And now we're here, in our home for the next year. Chachoengsao is no where near the size of Bangkok, but still feels pretty big, and busy. You can definitely see that there isn't much tourism in Chachoengsao though, we pretty much get stared at every where we go here. They call white foreigners farung. We got to go see our school, which is also big and overwhelming. We are living with two other english teachers though, that are in the second half of their year, but their on vacation or something right now cause their not around, we're eager to ask them questions, and talk to someone who can explain something to us in english. We start teaching on the 26th, who knows what going to happen or what it will be like.