jhun318's Travel Journals

jhun318

 
What is the most interesting thing you learned in another culture?

acceptance

  • 31 years old
  • From South Carolina, United States
  • Currently in Bangkok, Thailand

The Journey So Far...

My experience landing in Thailand, exploring, and getting a REAL JOB!!!! :)

The First Month

Thailand Bangkok, Thailand  |  Jul 03, 2012
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So I have just wrapped up my first month in Thailand and I can tell from what I have experienced in these first four weeks tells me that this is going to be one of the most amazing years of my life! The journey began when I boarded the plane in Florida and continued 28 hours later when I landed in Bangkok the next day at 11:30 pm (the journey really began long ago, but that is another story for another time) :) I was nervous about landing in a new place, not knowing the language, expecting hordes of people rushing by me to get to their destination, and just complete chaos; but my worries were calmed when I was greeted by a driver sent by my contacts in Thailand, Teach Travel Asia. As soon as I walked out the door of the airport I was hit with a wave of intense heat and humidity; a big differences from the freezing cold airports which unfortunately had me wearing layers of clothes and jeans! From there I was taken to my hotel and I just passed out from all the travelling and jet lag. I awoke pretty quickly because I was excited to explore since I had arrived a day early. I walked around Bangkok and was taken aback by how different and yet normal it seemed. Sure it was just a big city from as far as I knew and that provided a level of comfort, I didn’t feel so far from home, but there were also unique monuments, billboards, statues, people, food, and markets everywhere. I started my cultural experience by, what else, EATING! The first market I ended up in was glorious; just so many different things to look at and smell. Smiling faces were everywhere encouraging me to try their noodles, rice dishes, and who knows what else. I ate noodles with Thai basil, squid, chilli, and a bunch of other native spices and veggies. It was awesome! For the next few days I had orientation with TTA which was really helpful in getting me a place to live while I attended TEFL courses in Hua Hin and helping to open a bank account in Bangkok. In Bangkok we explored with city and its unique nightlife which is something I will never forget.

For the next couple weeks I lived in Hua Hin; the royal beach resort of the King and the location of my TEFL course where I would meet many great new friends. I lived right next to another amazing market where there was more food to try, the cheapest clothes you have ever seen to buy, and things to see like homemade whiskey, deep fried bugs, and live fish waiting to be gutted and eaten. During my time with TTA I visited elephants, travelled through a mangrove forest, took a boat trip in the Gulf of Thailand, and explored night markets. We were given a welcome BBQ close to the beach and then went out to listen to music with our new friends. From Hua Hin I went on a few interviews and after about a month I was hired by 2 schools, both in Bangkok. I took my second offer and I am currently placed in Rangsit, a suburb of Bangkok. I definitely love my job and the area is amazing! Rangsit University is located a few blocks down from my school and it is a buzzing college town with locals and international people from all over the world. There is a great market that sells the trendiest clothes and shoes and food where all the college kids go after school. People, food stalls, and excitement just pours out onto the streets every night. It is what I like most about Thailand. Everyone is out and about chatting, eating, drinking, enjoying themselves. During the week I work from 7:30-4:30 M-F where I teach about 16 kindergarteners ages 3-4. I have one Thai teacher and one Thai assistant in the class with me at all times. They are a great help and I can see that I am going to learn many things from them! The kids are napping right now, while I am updating you on my experience; they nap for 2 hours everyday!  We recently experienced Waikru’s Day (Teacher Appreciation Day) where the kids brought us flowers and in return we tied a string around their wrist to remind them of our thanks. Today the kids had medical check-ups and it was the sweetest thing; all the kids were terrified of the doctors. I guess I can’t remember what it was like to be 3 years old and have a stranger shine a light down my throat or stick a pointy object in my mouth to scrape my teeth. Afterwards we played on the indoor playground and all was well. I will soon update you with photos and lesson plans...the kids are waking and it is snack time!!! 

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  • The First Month

    July 03, 2012
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