Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chonburi Livin'

Weekend of January 13
My first visitors to Sriracha, Chonburi included my dear friend Colette from college and her friend Emily who is teaching in Northeast Thailand. I did not know Emily before, but we bonded quickly over random mutual friends, attending college in the dear-to-our-hearts town of Ithaca, NY (she went to Cornell) and our similar experiences of teaching in Thailand. I was able to show Colette the lovely weekend Night Market of Sriracha where she indulged in Thailand's most talked about late night snack: bugs. (When in Rome, right?!) We enjoyed the nightlife with the company of my Sriracha friends. We rolled out of bed to meet Emily at the bus station at 5:30 AM, questionably still under the influence. After a few more hours of needed slumber, we set off on a ferry to Koh Sichang. This was my first time visiting this island that is only 30 minutes away, but it will not be my last! It is very low key, not touristy and an easy day trip from me. Of course I had to run into a group of my students while I was sunbathing in a bikini (I cannot escape seeing one of the 1200 wherever I go around here). After a quick ferry back, feeding the Koh Loi sea turtles and some deliciously authentic street food, we grabbed a bus to my [far from most] favorite place in the world: Pattaya.
Colette making the bug purchase, Sriracha Night Market

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Grow up!

In Thailand, there is an obsession with much of what Westerners deem as childish, to name a few: "Hello Kitty" apparel, big pink hair ribbons, and an obnoxious amount of awkwardly staged photos. I have now learned that these "weird Asian trends," usually don't stand alone. To a foreigner, Thai children, teenagers and even young adults seem to act about half the age they truly are. It is difficult to explain how, but if you compare Thai children with Western children of the same age they may have nothing in common. I now understand that the immaturity and naivety of all Thai children is the product of their sheltered childhood.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

You either get it, or you don't get it.

The beginning of my new year has been shaped by multiple Americans friends that are traveling through Thailand. I am lucky enough to explore, travel and host them during their time here. As great as my new friends here are, there truly is nothing like the comfort of a familiar face from my pre-Thailand life.

It was over a beer last weekend in Bangkok with an Ithacan friend that for the first time it was brought to my attention that I have "changed." Even with the positive implication that he intended, I instinctually defended myself: NO, I have not! (I guess some things die hard, like my inherent argumentativeness.) With the lonely work week dragging on, I've had more time to acknowledge that perhaps he was right.