Hello! I have been in Thailand for 2 and a half months now! I arrived May 6th. It is now July 19th.
So here are some updates and random facts/thoughts/observations I have picked up on since I have arrived… 🙂
1. If you do not like being close to people-you have about 2 minutes to get over it..As soon as you get here you no longer have a personal bubble lol. You will be all sweaty, smashed in the back of a song thaew (a passenger truck/taxi vehicle in Thailand) and no one cares that you are all up on them, sharing leg and butt sweat. Thai people are also very touchy, they just grab you by the arm or rub their hand along your butt? At first I thought it was creepy but after realizing it happens to everyone, I am now perfectly comfortable being touched by Thai teachers and random people lol everyone just treats you like family.
2. On that note, it’s almost impossible to stay clean here. You will constantly be covered in a layer of sweat/oil and even after a shower you can scratch your skin and find dirt under your nails…but it’s ok cause it happens to everyone haha also not having hot water doesn’t even cross my mind anymore. I look forward to my cold showers.
3. Baby powder- used here by everyone to put on their face to help with sweating. After lunch the kids are given free reign to the powder bottle and the outcome is hilarious. And the teachers do not correct them, they are free to have it clumped all over their faces, falling into their eyes. Adorable. (typically way worse than these pics) I have even began using it as well-works great! lol
4. So in Thailand, I am considered to be “big” or slightly “fat”..at first I was completely blown away that in the US at my now less than 110lbs is here considered big. However, people here are very straight forward and they just say what they think. Most of the Thai women are super tiny. No waste, hips or thighs..so my slightly curvy figure is considered fat..even in stores to fit in a shirt I have to sometimes wear a large..so weird..I have gotten slightly more motivated to exercise recently though haha
5. After teaching in the US and being told to be very careful with physical contact with students, coming here is sooo different. The kids are all over you all the time. I have kids hugging and kissing me and sitting on my lap. Teachers help kids get dressed and button their pants and I have even seen a kid butt naked in the hall after he peed his pants. The teachers act just like parents which I absolutely love..wish teaching in the states could be more like here!
6. Without a doubt, I know that teaching is my passion now. I have never loved anything more in my life than watching these kids learn and grow. I develop such a deep bond with them that they are like my babies. The other day, they were practicing singing their mother’s day song and I was sitting at my desk and teared up because they are just so precious! haha. These kids have taken such a huge part of my heart. I have never felt more loved than the way that these kids love and adore me. Every time they see me it’s like a celebration, walking down the hall I am in a constant mob of hugs and smiles, kids screaming my name like they haven’t seen me in days. About every 5 minutes throughout the entire day, a student will say “Teacher Megan beautiful” or “Teacher Megan, I love you” and it melts my heart 🙂
7. Here you learn not to really be afraid of strangers. Back in America, you would never just get in the car or on the back of a motorcycle with someone you hardly know, but here it is so different. People who live on my street see me walking home and stop on their motor bikes and say get on! It’s almost rude not to, so I get rides home with people I don’t really know all the time haha but it never feels sketchy or unsafe- they are very sweet! It also pays off to be friendly! I get free rides and also sometimes free food from the market because they are our neighbors and I always smile at them and say hello!
8. Another random thing..they are definitely not into protecting the environment here lol they have this obsession with plastic bags…You can go buy a cup of coffee and they put it in a bag..if you get food from the marker, even soup, they put it in a little clear plastic bag with a rubber band..and then put that bag in another plastic bag with handles..SO many bags…iced coffee in a bag…smoothie in a bag…soup broth in a bag…see below haha
So with half of my contract already over, I have mixed feelings about coming home in October. I am anxious to get home and see my family and of course my new baby nephew who will be born a month before I can come home! On the other side, I am absolutely in love with and attached to my babies here. The thought of leaving them makes me so sad..of course I have the option of staying and finishing the year with them. I feel like at this point I have really bonded with each of them and gotten to know the other teachers and really get the hang of teaching. Leaving all of that behind after such a short amount of time will be hard. But at the same time, I do miss home and my family and friends. Who knows what the future holds! I still have some time to decide 🙂
After two weekends of taking it easy at home, I am ready to travel again! Next weekend I am going with my friend to Ayutthaya to see ancient ruins and temples. We are going to Bangkok and then taking a scenic train ride to get there! It’s supposed to be one of the top attractions in Thailand so I’m pretty excited! The weekend after that, we have a 4 day weekend, so I am leaving Wednesday night to go to Bangkok and then fly alone to Phuket where I will meet my friend. We plan to see things in Phuket and maybe spend a day or so on the island close by. Then, the next weekend in August, my cousin who has been teaching in South Korea is coming with his friend to visit me in Thailand! I can’t wait to see him!!
So that is what’s going on here! 🙂 I am alive and well! haha Sending my love to everyone back home! xoxo