It has been a few weeks since I’ve been able to write my blog which is a good and bad thing. Good because it means I’ve been too busy and having too much fun, and bad because it means that I have so so much to write in here. I want to get it all down so that I can look back one day for the memories. Oh well though! I’ll start with what I remember now.
Since my last post I moved to Thailand yayyyy! Finally I am here and I am absolutely loving it. Crossing the border is a story for the books! 9 of us piled into a van that we were told was nice and big and it turned out it was pretty much the opposite of that. We left Cambodia and drove the 4 hours to the border. We were told that once we crossed the border into Thailand there would be another (nice) van waiting to pick us up. The driver was supposed to be standing just across the border with a sign with our program name on it. NONE of that happened. We got to the border with all of our belongings in tow and waited in the what seemed like 100 degree weather for our driver to show up. Taking into account “Thai Time” we were patient knowing that the driver could be a little late. After an hour we got a little suspicious and started to go look. We found an old (near 70 years old) man smoking a joint behind a van and asked him if he was our driver. He vehemently denied it at first but it turns out that he was! He didn’t bother looking for us for the past hour, just hung out behind his van smoking. Thinking back on this now it really is hilarious but at the time it was horrible. He was not nice and did not want to drive us, but he did and he took us the 5 additional hours to our destination. I’m so glad we made it safely!
Currently I am living on Koh Samui which is one of the many beautiful islands of southern Thailand. I started off though in Pattaya which is a city about 12 hours drive north of here and that I where I completed my TESOL certification. I worked and went to school in Pattaya, I worked as a teacher at a private high school teaching students from ages 16-20 and I loved it! I really did not know what to expect from teaching and I’ve found that I really enjoy it. I am happy that I chose to do this and I do not regret my decision at all. On Friday last week I graduated and received my certification. We spent 144 hours in class learning how to teach English, learning Thai and Khmer culture, teaching English to students, and learning Thai. I’m so happy to have finished and I’m really proud of myself woo!! Now its time to pound the pavement and look for a job here in Koh Samui. It’s been a little difficult to get the job search rolling since there is so much to distract me here on this island but i’m sure i’ll get it done. Latrisha and I went out yesterday looking for jobs and had our first motorbike crash. It was inevitable with the way people drive here and all the sand and roads and such. The worst part about the crash is that the bike was rented and I have to go return it in an hour. So we shall see it I owe hundreds of dollars haha! I did get some bruises and scrapes and one big chunk of skin missing, but nothing too terrifying, I will live.
The Island of Koh Samui is really amazing its so beautiful and full of life. Anyone reading this should google search Koh Samui and check out all the beauty. We’ve been lucky enough to meet some really cool people here so far who have given us a lot of great advice on cheap places to live, cheap places to eat, good places to look for jobs, and good people to talk to. I’m excited to spend more time here and I’m hoping that i’ll find a job so fingers crossed everybody! Living in Pattaya I don’t think really gave me the greatest impression on Thailand because it was pretty dirty, busy, and full of “naughty” people. Pattaya is essentially the red light district of Thailand and for the most part we tried to stay away from that lifestyle but we did venture onto Walking Street. Walking street is their infamous street full clubs and bars that provide a certain sort of entertainment. It sounds a little scary and shady but we went we found that it was actually full of tourists jam packed in and was not scary at all. However I do not want to go back there and I’ve had my fill of Pattaya. The great thing about Pattaya and about everywhere I’ve been in Thailand is the people. This really is the land of smiles, everyone is so friendly. People will help you when you need it and are always will to give you advice. Also not sure this even needs to be said but I will say it anyway, the food is SO good. Yum yum yum yum. I loved Thai food before I came here and now I love it even more. Not only is it good but it is also dirt cheap if you can find the right places. We eat a lot of street food here which is the way to go for delicious and cheap. Most of the street food meals will be right around 40 or 50 baht which is less than two dollars. I’ve also been eating a lot of Indian food which is obviously my favorite and that is also way cheaper here. It’s fantastic!
We actually ate Indian food today for Latrishas birthday and we are heading out to the reggae club tonight. Today was such a great day we got 1 hour Thai oil massages on the beach for less than $6, floated around in the water on rafts all day, held the cutest monkey in the world, and got super tan. I think Latrisha had a great birthday so far. The best part about the whole day though was when we were floating in the water just being amazed at how great our lives are when we suddenly realized that we can live like this all the time for the foreseeable future. We actually can get massages on the beach and swim in the most beautiful water we’ve ever seen every single day if we want to. MIND BLOWING :). How often can you just think about your life and be completely content with what you’re doing? I always seemed to be wanting something more and waiting for the next best thing and I still am that way but I think I am slowly changing. I am trying more to be content with what is gong on in the moment. One of my main goals for coming to Thailand was to study Buddhism and also to adapt the Eastern lifestyle. Everyone is relaxed and friendly and not rushed. People are kind and considerate and share. I am hoping that if I spend enough time here I can have that Eastern mentality. I’m not saying that Western people are not that way but its just a completely different lifestyle. And to be honest it is hard to really describe this lifestyle, its something you have to experience.
This post is becoming long like I knew it would so i’ll finish it up with another mind blowing story (my mind was blown at least). Last weekend Latrisha and I were in a town on the main land in Soutern Thailand called Don Sak. We mistakenly thought that it was a beach town across from Koh Samui and so we booked a hotel for a few nights and planned to job search in the area. The town was indeed directly across from Koh Samui but there were no beaches. Only rocks and trash that washed over from the Islands. This town was pretty desolate and there was almost nothing to do there. We were disappointed at first but decided we needed to make the most of it because we are in Thailand and we paid for the room. We ended up walking along the water and decided to stop at the ferry port just to sit and relax. Suddenly we saw something moving in the water and it turned out to be dolphins. YES DOLPHINS! There were about 6-8 Dophins swimming and catching fish right in front of us. I’m not even kidding when I say I almost cried. I have never seen a dolphin before and just by chance I got to watch dolphins in their natural habitat for over a hour. After the dolphins were scared away by boats we decided to head into “town”. We stopped at a shop to buy a bottle of water and I was tired so I sat down at the table just in front of the shop to rest and drink my water. The woman from the shop came out and sat at the table and was slicing some Mango and had a bowl of some dip. She offered it to us and then slowly more people from inside the shop joined and more and more food showed up. Next thing I know a few hours have passed and Latrisha and I have made friends with a family of about 10 Thai people. They fed us the entire time we sat there. We ate Mango dipped in Cupit, grilled bananas, pineapple, and some other random foods. The family then invited us to get dinner with them (more food, yes) and of course we agreed. First though they drove us to the local temple which had breath taking views and we spent some time there looking around. It was so amazing because I know they brought us there just so that we could have that experience even though they had clearly been there countless times. We then went and had a picknick next to the water and tried some of the best food I’ve had yet. We had probably about 15-20 dishes split between all of us. Everyone shared everything, and we had the best time. Just another great example of the Thai kindness and hospitality.
It turned out that staying in Don Sak was actually one of the best experience I’ve had yet in Thailand and I am so happy that we decided to make the most of it.