Journal Entry #1, 9/14/23
I arrived in Bangkok on August 14 and It has been the best time of my life ever since.
It took me 25 hours to get here and getting off the plane and seeing my host family was one of the best feelings in the world knowing I made it. First thing I did was eat and it was one of the best meals of my life. All the food here is so good and everyday I feel like I’m trying something new. I’ve already gained 12 pounds after being here 1 month! They also don’t really have what we would consider breakfast food but instead typically eat rice or eggs and some sort of egg for breakfast. I have tried so many new foods while being here such as octopus tentacle, whole catfish, and many new kinds of fruit.
My home is about 3 hours away from Bangkok and on the ride home from the airport I tried to stay awake to see the scenery, but I couldn’t. On the first day we made a few stops, one of them being to see Buddha’s footprint where you took gold paper and stuck it to the inside of his footprint. Another one was to stop in a town where there are monkey’s running around free and you see them everywhere. Lastly we stopped at this delicious sushi place which had the best sushi i’ve ever had in my life.
Driving around Thailand is absolutely beautiful with there being very ornate and bright temples everywhere. They also have huge Buddha statues around which can be around the size of 6 story buildings. On top of that it is very green everywhere with there being so much greenery everywhere.
In the center of my town there is a huge park with a lake in the middle. It is about 2.5 miles around and is so beautiful. Many times in the morning my family and I will go there around 6:30 and walking through there is so beautiful and refreshing. My friends and I will also go during the day. One of my favorite things to do is buy old bread from vendors in the park, going to the bridge and throwing it to the huge catfish off the bridge and watching them swarm to get the bread.
I started my first day of school after being here for about a week and it was hectic. They have to wear uniforms which I personally don’t like, but the boys must keep their hair a certain length and neither boy or girls can have long nails. Going to school is almost like being a celebrity for right now at least. Everyone wants to talk with me and take pictures. Me and my friends like to play futsal everyday after school which I enjoy a lot. Some parts of it are hard because I can not understand Thai very well and classes are very hard but I am definitely getting better and am able to read a bit after learning the characters.
After being here for a month I have noticed a few things they do differently such as hand washing socks and underwear, always taking your shoes off before going inside and leaving the shoes outside the building, and using the fork to push food onto the spoon and using the spoon to eat everything. It is also much safer and everyone is always happy and smiling. Adjusting to some of these changes was hard but so far I think I am doing well and definitely love it here!