It’s hard to believe that it has been a month and half since I landed my flight in Thailand. The first few weeks consisted of adjusting to our new home at Green Park Home, learning the “Do’s and Don’ts” when in Thailand, and exploring tons of places! At GPH, there are roughly 30 girls in one home, with one special housekeeper. Her name is Pin, but everyone calls her Papin for respect. Every morning, we find her singing, cooking eggs, and reminding us to catch the van for school! She’s for sure our second mom in Thailand and we’re lucky to spend time with her for the next two months! Our transition to our new home ran so smooth and it was all thanks to my program, International Studies Abroad (ISA). ISA created a full itinerary for us for the next four months so that we were for sure able to see as much of Thailand while balancing school. It’s kind of tricky being the fact that our home is two hours away with bus or one hour with taxi, which means if we want to be in the city we would have to learn all the tricks as soon as possible! With our resident advisor’s help, Aaron Clark, we all now know how to use public transit (which is almost as confusing as the NY public transit), speak enough phrases in Thai to help us get by using taxis and bargaining at the market (this is so much fun!), and manage our exploration plans in consideration of our school schedule. It’s impressive knowing that all of ISA are able to get around Thailand with little difficulty now and this is all thanks to how eager our program was in trying to get us all on our feet!
This is a picture of Buddha statue from the Royal Temple (Wat phra kaew). We came here to pray and gain good merit, which was a great experience that introduced us to another beautiful perspective to Thai culture and their beliefs of Buddhism.
I go to school at Mahidol University. I must say, despite all the research I put into getting to know my abroad university, which includes having the virtual tours on loop, it did no justice to the campus at all. I wasn’t prepared for how huge this place was or how incredible the people were! My campus holds beautiful sculptures created by our students, students who know how to style their uniform, teachers who take the time to connect with their students, and occasional monitor lizards that decide to walk around campus when they’re tired of lounging in the water. I remember the first week of school being pretty tough only because the school system is relatively different from home, but still doable. With a little help (or a lot of help) from my new Thai friends, I got the hang of things! On Sep. 23rd, there was a huge club expo filled with tons of posters, music, and even singers! I couldn’t help but join almost all the clubs, one of them being the art club. Here’s a picture of the four of us holding our paintings 🙂 oh, and the lizard.
Aside from the excursions planned by my program, I have been able to plan some on my own with friends. Only in Thailand can anyone turn to 7 Eleven for literally anything. We’ve bought plane tickets, train tickets, sim cards, and occasional coffee because they also have cafés. We’ve been able to explore Krabi Island (South), which is surrounded by water, sand, and tons of mountains as well as Chiang Mai (North) that has the most incredible view of Thailand when looking from the highest point in the country! We’ve met incredible people from all around the world from staying at hostels or meeting them at local markets and listened to their stories. Of course, we’ve had occasional difficulty such as having buses break down, taking wrong buses, and getting caught in freak rain storms, but in all this mess, we remember the only people who were always there to help us through it all, our Thai friends from all over! I’ve come to learn thus far how truly loving people from Thailand are with their patience, kindness, and humbleness and everything admirable about a community. Thailand never fails to have me speechless, captivated, and in awe. I can’t wait to meet more people along the way and continue to understand the world they live in through their eyes.