My Travels

My Travels
Koh Phangan, Thailand

Monday, February 4, 2013

Arrived to Thailand! Memories and Anticipations in the Land of Smiles

Sawatdee ka!

I will be doing short updates of my trip in Thailand, so that I can remember and share all the things that happen each day, little or big, as I was requested to share my trip, so here GOES!

When we arrived at the airport, I recognized it from my first trip here (after I finished teaching in Korea) and it felt a little bit like home. Funny how some places around the world can feel like home for different reasons. I knew I wanted to return here and had forgotten what it felt like when I didn't want to leave. Returning here to teach seemed like a dream and not one that would pay the bills, so I wrote it off, especially after considering teaching in the Middle East for a year or two to pay off my loans. But when I came back, it felt a little like home. Remembering the chaos and wildness around me after landing there the first time and feeling disoriented, it having been my first big trip on my own (other than going to Korea to teach) but this was just me going to a country on my own. My own adventure and no plans. I was back at one of my corners of the globe that I could call 'home'. And ready for more adventures!

The English camp went very well. It was fun playing with the kids and teaching the adults. They appreciated being able to practice their English conversation more, which they said they don't very often get the chance to do.

I explored Bangkok yesterday and got to go on a  long tail riverboat tour, which was very  relaxing and fun! Though I wanted to jump into the water, as it was quite a hot day. However, I cooled off by splashing some water onto myself (and splashing my friend a bit!) from the side of the boat. We would get off the boat at one or two of the stops to see the temples and we saw the riverside houses (looked kind of like huts but were nice and some were decorated with hanging plants and flowers) that people live in. It was fun waving to the Thai drivers of other boats, and some of the other people riding long tail boats as we passed by. We got to experience a bit of the  "floating market" although smaller than the main one outside of Bangkok, it was interesting to have goods and souvenirs sold to us by the side of our boat as they passed by in smaller boats. The river was not very crowded and it was a peaceful ride that gave me a different perspective of Bangkok.

 I made some new friends while here and we got to talk and go out to dinner. We ate at outside tables in a picturesque setting of a pond and flowers all around  as we chatted and I (tried) to pick up some more Thai, though when I was quizzed in front of the whole table, I was a little nervous and didn't quite understand or hear what they were trying to ask me in Thai! But I tried again and when they asked me what my name was, one of the words sounded like "delicious" in Thai, so I said "aroy mak mak" thinking they were asking me about the food. So they answered, your name is "aroy mak mak' ? (Your name is delicious?! ) But I was able to remember a few words and I am continuing to try to learn more!

We then we went to see Les Miserables, as one of the girls had to see it for her Music Studies class.The people in Thailand are very friendly and welcoming and it can be good to learn this from them. The power of a smile can  really open doors and that is something that they show you, from their well-known "Thai-smiles" that many people around the world appreciate for being kind, open and beautiful. It is said that if you smile more, you can instanlty improve the quality of your life, your happiness, as well as other's responses to you. Why not try it today? :)

What are your experiences with the Land of Smiles, or the effect of smiling on others? What are some corners of the globe that you think you can call home (or would like to)? Please share in the comments below- I would love to hear from YOU! :)