This past week has been emotional, overwhelming, crazy, amazing, funny, informational, heartwarming, and long! 5 days in Bangkok and a night in Kanchanaburi. During this week I met some truly amazing people and I can't wait to get to know them more over the next five months as we meet up to go on traveling adventures.
I arrived in Bangkok about midday on Saturday 12th and caught the OEG shuttle to The Louis Tavern Hotel. We were not in the center of Bangkok but it wasn't a long or an expensive taxi the night nights we went out. Bangkok is a dirty and beautiful place. It is full of character, smells, people, tuk tuks, bikes, pink taxi cars, lady boys, fun bars, great and not so great food, shopping (hello hareem pants), and friendly people. I will definitely be returning to Bangkok but I will say this - was happy to say goodbye for now! I think one of my favorite parts of Bangkok was going out with two girls and the taxi man taking us to the wrong road. The road of ping pong shows and strip clubs. After walking up and down it in complete shock with nervous laughs we found a ferang (foreigner) who told us how to get to the correct street where we met up with the rest of the crew. We started that night at the hotel pool chatting and getting to know one another, and we finished the night on a the stage of the dance floor. It started to rain so much that when we left to go home the streets were flooded - people looked at me weird when I freaked out about rain. Everyone will take away great memories from Bangkok and that night was a good one.
A few pictures from around Bangkok -
Another high point of Bangkok was the Grand Palace. It is amazing. The stories - thanks to our tour guide Lucky - are unreal. There are some buildings that are decorated with broken ceramic plates and I overheard another tour guide explain to his group that they have been "recycling for years" - glad I was listening because that made me laugh as Bangkok is a very dirty place and I have yet to see anything to do with recycling...
Kanchanaburi came at the end of the week. We rode elephants and floated down the river Kwae. After my elephant experience in Sri Lanka and my great little ride in the rain with Pame I wasn't as excited as the others but it was cool and the little show before was the best part. Watching a baby elephant play the harmonica and give someone a back massage will bring a smile to your face. I just hope they treat them well when is tourists are not around. I bought the elephant Lexi and I rode bananas because that is how you say thank you in elephant right?
Orientation itself had some hits and some misses. Overall the lessons with Paul were great. He helped with lesson planning for young age groups which is something I really needed. The line "it depends on your school" got a little old real fast and I am looking forward to my school hopefully answering some of the unanswered questions from orientation.
Just arrived at my new Thai pad and I shall update about it in the next couple of days. They coordinators from the high school picked us up and took us to dinner near our place (pork steak at the "mall" - my Dad will be jealous). They seem really nice and super helpful so far. Nichole and Alex are with me and I can't wait to explore our area with them and get to know them more over the next 5 months. I am happy to be with such awesome girls!