Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chon Buri

I’m not sure I know what day it is or the time.  Sleeping on my bed is like sleeping on a solid rock.  It is hot as, yes I’m going to say it.. balls.  I have to take off my shoes when I’m entering my own house, because I happen to have a middle-aged Thai woman as a roommate/house mom/land lady.  I slept with a beach towel as a blanket my first night because I had no sheet.  I can’t ever remember how to say anything in Thai.  Why can’t I remember hi? Oh yeah, because it is just a short sawatdee kha.  Our shower is ice cold and shares a space with the sink and toilet.  But surprisingly, I don’t seem to hate any of this.  Well, okay I definitely don’t love a freezing cold shower, but it’s something I’ll get used to eventually.

So far, everything is a learning experience.  I feel extremely naïve in this whole new world, but it’s exciting.  Trying to learn words so I can order food at the night market is interesting.  Half the time I find that I’m not exactly sure what I’m about to eat, but I’ll learn.  Luckily I’ll eat just about anything you put in front of me.  Proud to say that we've already made friends with Uthai, the smoothie guy who after three nights of going to him, found out that he speaks decent English! All of the new foreign teachers at Anubanchonburi are in the dark, and it’s nice that we’re in this together.  Amelia and I are destined to be great friends here.  We have mutual friends from home and got the chance to talk A LOT the few months before we got here. We are living together, walking to school together, teaching the same grade level, eating dinner together, and the list goes on!  I am so thankful to have her here or else I would be lost!

A few things I know about Chon Buri:

-It is HOT.  I am no stranger to complaining about the heat and humidity during a summer in New York.  I don’t complain about it via social networking, but I may start complaining publicly soon enough (sorry in advance).  I worked on my bulletin board today for about four hours.  The bulletin board is outside.  It was sweaty and all I was doing was cutting and stapling.
            -Average temperature in Thailand in the month of November: 87 degrees. Aka I will be sweating my buns off, while the locals will be wearing pants and sweaters, thinking that this is the “cold” season.  And it only gets hotter.  My poor hair is going to hate me!

-I am living in a decently central location:
            -20 minutes from a beach
            -One hour drive to Bangkok
            -Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Ko Samet are all within a long bus or short plane ride away.  The planning has begun, and we will probably go on our first weekend trip in a couple of weeks! Look these places up, they are just beautiful!

-The school I will be teaching at is called Anubanchonburi, and I am teaching in the cutest little purple school.  I will be teaching English, (reading, writing, grammar, and conversation) science, and math to Thai children in second grade.  How I will go about this, I have no idea, but I guess I will figure it out tomorrow.  We had two days of orientation which was extremely helpful, but I still feel like I’m going in with zero clue of what to do.  My Thai consists of hi and thank you, when I can remember it.  This should be pretty comical.

-My apartment is also interesting.  I think my description for a lot of things here is just that.  On the first floor is our common room.  We have two couches, a table, a fridge, some room for snacks and cooking supplies (although there is no kitchen to cook), and a squatter.  What’s a squatter you ask?  Well, have you ever peed outside in the woods, holding onto a tree so you don’t fall over?  It’s like that.  A bowl on the ground that you squat over to relieve yourself.  Not my kind of toilet bowl and luckily I haven’t had to use one yet, although I will have to at some point during my stay.  Then, our landlady, Aor, lives off of the common room.  It’s almost as if we have a host family because people are always in and out of here cleaning and fixing things that are broken.  Taking time to get used to.  But after a long day of orientation today, I walked into my room and it had a beautiful comforter on my bed, a table cloth on my desk, a new lamp, and everything was so organized!!  They are taking care of us for sure.

On the second floor, Amelia and I each have our own bedrooms.  This consists of a twin sized bed, desk, armoire, and balcony.  It is simple, but it works.  I started “decorating” my room today with pictures from home and it makes me so happy just looking at them.  We have a bathroom to share.  This has a normal toilet, although toilet paper should not be flushed.  Gross, I know.  The shower hangs on the wall and is not enclosed.  That’s right, I’m showering in front of the sink and mirror and right next to the toilet.  Everything gets wet.  Like I said, it’s interesting.  We each have AC in our rooms (hallelujah) and the wifi is awesome!!  There is a third floor with three more bedrooms and we are trying to convince some of our fellow American teachers to move in with us.  There are so many animals that you hear throughout the day and night.. Birds, dogs, cats, bugs, and my favorite visitors of all: the lizards.  Frequent visitors in my bedroom and bathroom.

The new comforter and table cloth from my land lady!

-Tesco!!  Tesco is basically like Walmart, except you can’t read anything because it is all in Thai.  I went to Tesco the second I got in from the airport, when I was about to crash from jet lag.  We took the Songtao there, which is the taxi in Thailand.  It is a truck with gated in seats in the back.  They stop for you if you wave, and they let you off when you press a button.  It only costs 10 baht no matter where you go in Chon Buri.  This equals about 1 cent.  At Tesco, Amelia and I got our Thai cell phones.  They’re so ancient that I don’t even know how to use it, but they work for trying to get a hold of the other teachers!

On the songtao.. Very jet lagged on my first day

As for now, that’s all my brain can think about sharing because I have had so much information about work shoved into my head the past couple of days!

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