Monday, July 6, 2015

Things that make you go "hmm"

Well, I've now been home for 18 days and it's good to be back! I've been enjoying the familiar people and food and language. I've been told that my english hasn't been perfect but I'm working on it!
This will probably be my last post so I thought I'd share some of the strange or funny things I saw, heard, or was asked.
Things that made me go hmm:

* A man walking around in just his underwear
I think it was my second week there when we were driving to the store and I saw a man, in nothing but underwear, walking down the street. No one gave him a second look besides me.

* Have you ever seen a banana?
Yes, I had seen a banana before. I let them know that they were quite common in America.

* Washington DC is in Washington State, right?
NOOOOO! I was asked this question so many times! Some people even asked me multiple times!

* 'I have wind out my ass'
My music teacher didn't speak any english but every week he learned a new sentence and would tell me as soon as I came into class. I guess the person teaching him these phrases decided to mess with him. I laughed for a good while before I caught me breath enough to explain to my confused teacher why I was laughing!

* Do you want to buy an otter?
I had just switched host family and we were going grocery shopping. When we left the store and got in the car, my host turned to me and asked me if I wanted to buy an otter. I sure she was mixing up her english but I never did figure out what she meant to say instead of otter!

* Did you bring a monkey?
Was visiting my friend in Bangkok and her mom was taking us to her house when she asked if I brought a monkey. I told her that no I did not which seemed to confuse her. Turns out she thought I was living in Lopburi (the monkey province) but I still didn't understand her question. Even if I did live there, I doubt I would travel with a monkey!

* Is Washington a new state?
After informing my school's headmaster that DC is not in Washington State he then asked if Washington was new. Apparently it's not a well know state in Thailand.

* 'You would make a great KKK member'
This was part of one of my favorite conversations this year! We were in english conversation class with the American teacher when he asked one of the students "Why do thai people not like black skin?" The student replied "black skin look dirty." The teacher then said "You would make a great KKK member" No one else got it but my teacher and I had a good laugh.

Hope you enjoyed this little look into some of the funny thing I experienced in Thailand!  I love all the people I met and the places I went and the things I got to try! This year was absolutely amazing and if I could go back I wouldn't change a thing!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Going home

Thoughts I had while on the airplanes home:
  • OMG! I'm actually going home!
  • Thailand is really pretty from the sky!
  • What if I never get to come back here (cry)
  • Should I sleep? I probably should, but nah.
  • Ooooh, movies!
  • I'm so tired of sitting!
  • Oh no! My plane is late! What if I don't make it to my connection? What if it leaves without me?!
  • Yes! I made it!
  • I wonder why the people sitting next to me where in South Korea?
  • This year was so amazing! Thank you Thailand for being my home for a year. 
  • How is there still 8 hours left? It feels like its been longer than that!
  • Would you stop turning on your dang light! People are trying to sleep!
  • Hmmm. This food isn't that bad.
  • Finally! Can I please get off this plane now!
Well, after 10 months and 11 days I have returned back home to America. I will miss Thailand and my friends but I'm glad to be back home with my family and in my house! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Farewell my friends

These last few days was rather sad. It finally became real that the year is coming to an end. We had our farewell party last Thursday. It was the very last time that we all got to see each other and be together before we start leaving. It was filled with tears, hugs, and tones of pictures. We all had to write speeches and those are what really set off the water works. Everyone was saying how great this year was and how much we all love each other. It was the beginning of the end. :(
Then we had the first exchange student leave on Saturday fallowed by two more on Sunday. I went to the airport to send off each of them and had a really hard time not crying. I am going to miss them so much! This is the hardest part of the year by far! Realizing that I may never see these people again, these amazing people who have experienced so much with me. We've become a family here and now we're saying goodbye after such a short time together!
I can't believe that in just 8 days it will be me getting on a plane to go home! I am so excited to hug my parents and sleep in my bed and speak english but I can't help but be terribly sad to leave Thailand. I love the people here, both thai and rotary, and the food and the culture!
But as my friend Israel said "We need to take the next step in our lives. Plus, we can't come back until we leave."

Dressed up for good bye party at the Bangkok sky bar!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Not our night

Me at the concert!
Last night just wasn't our night for good luck. I guess we had too much fun this last week and the universe decided it had to balance it out.
I spent three days in Lopburi with Danielle (from Colorado) and Sabrina (from Brazil) watching movies, eating, and sleeping. It was great to just sit and talk and spend time together doing normal stuff. Then On Friday we went to an awesome concert on Bangkok! We stayed up all night having fun with most of the other YEs! And on Saturday we went to see Pitch Perfect 2! It's fantastic and you should definitely watch it!

Then everything started going wrong.

Danielle and I were going back home but we missed the last vans for the night. So we went to the bus station all the way in the northern part of Bangkok. But we're too late and can't get a bus back to either of our houses. So, we start calling our friends who live in Bangkok but only one answers and she lives on the complete opposite end of the city and it would take hours to get there. We ended up staying in the bus station all night. And for some reason they don't want people to charge their phones there so there aren't any outlets! We found what is probably the only outlet left in the building and shortly after plugging in our phones a security guard told us we could use it! We attempted to sleep on the benches in the station but it was too uncomfortable and there was a small child constantly making noise! That was our second night in a row with no sleep! We were exhausted!

Finally this morning we got on the first van home at 5am. I got home at 6:30 and went to sleep instantly.
I never want to sleep in a bus station again!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

DC and SAT

I finally have a couple minutes to myself to sit and write about what's up! I thought I'd have a week after the North trip and final dance class to relax a bit and get ready for the district conference but as always, I was wrong!
You see, I arrived home after the last dance class on Sunday the 19th and the very next day I got a temporary room mate! My sister Ice had another YE she met in Brazil from district 3340 visiting! It was so fun! We spent a day a dream world, an amusement park in Bangkok, riding awesome rides and eating greasy food! There was also a snow dome there and we went sledding!!
Since Ice had classes, I got to spent a lot of time with Julia (the visiting YE)! Took her to Bangkok for a couple days of shopping! We spent way too much money and she got to meet some of the other students in my district at the mall! It's amazing how even though we just met and hardly know each other, it feels like we've been friends for years! Being exchange students connects us in an incredible way!
After spending five days with Julia it was time for me to got o the District Conference (DC). I got on the bus at the joyful time of 6am and we were off! For most of our time there we didn't really do much. We sat at the back in our blazers until lunch and after lunch we left to get ready for our show! This was the start of the not so fun time. At least, for the girls! The guys seemed to enjoy laughing at what the girls were going through! We had to squeeze into these tiny dance costumes that we could hardly breath in only to have the dance instructor tighten it and sew it closed! Then we had to have our hair yanked into the tightest ponytails known to man and put into hair pieces that were secured by bobby pins jammed into our heads! The final torture was the pound of make-up plastered onto our faces! All this was finished at about 3pm and we didn't perform until 8pm! But what a relief it was to take it all off!
My advice to future exchange students to 3350: Beware the District Conference!
The next day we got to visit the Pattaya Floating Market on the way back to Bangkok! And once we got back most of us went to Hector's house because none of us wanted to got home yet! I spent two days there hanging out with the other YEs. Then I decided I should get home, plus I needed clean clothes!
And finally I went to take the SAT yesterday! I went to Bangkok on Friday, stayed in a very nice youth hostel, and on Saturday went to take the terrible test. But I feel like I did pretty well! I guess I'll find out in 18 days!
I'd say that now I get to spend some time relaxing but something is bound to come up!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Song Kran Festival :D

That's right! I just got back from another awesome trip! This time we spent nine days touring the north of Thailand! There were 55 people traveling on 1 bus from Bangkok all the way to Chiang Mai (which is like 445 miles)! There were stops along the way at a ceramic factory where I got to paint a mug and the opium museum which tells about the history of opium in Asia and does not give out samples, much to some of the guys disappointment! We also stopped at the three way river that connects Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand and saw the foreign gardens. This garden has flowers from other countries (mostly America and Western Europe) which amazed the thai students but were fairly normal for all the inbound students.
We also visited temples a lot! We went to one almost every day! My favorite was the White Temple which is supposedly the path to heaven. Unfortunately it was raining so we couldn't go in but the outside was absolutely gorgeous!
Ready for Song Kran!
Finally day 5 we reached Chiang Mai and had a blast in Song Kran Festival! This festival is to celebrate thai new years! And I must say, they know how to celebrate new years in Thailand! For three days we got to soak people and get soaked! We even got to hang out with exchange students from the north and east Rotary districts!
My favorite thing this trip was going to see a thai dance show with traditional dances from different parts of Thailand! The show was great but what made this part the best was the food!! Best food we ate on the whole trip! And believe me that is saying something! There was so much amazing food in the north! I gained 1.5 kilograms in just 10 days! I really need to exercise more!
Me and my buddies!
What made this trip even better was having the outbound students with us! We really got to know the student who will be coming to our countries in just a few months! During the trip everyone was paired with a buddy! The Thai people had a foreign buddy and us foreigners had a thai buddy! We gave each other gifts and got to know each other through out the trip!
There was also a girl who will be in my rotary district! I hope she is near Olympia!
Up next is the district conference where all the YEs have to perform our thai dance. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 6, 2015

No breaks

This month I get no breaks! It's only the 7th and I'm exhausted! After getting home from the rotary trip on the first, my host mom told me I would be switching host families at 6pm. So I am now back to my first host. As far as I know I will be here the rest of the year but in Thailand you never know for sure.
After packing and moving all my stuff I did get one day to just relax and for the most part sleep. On Friday I got have a new experience. I went to the crocodile farm at 7am to help clean and store the crocodile eggs. It was cool try but I really don't want to know what the goo covering my hands was!
Saturday was back to go go go! I went to Bangkok early in the morning for thai dance class. We (all the YE for this year and next year) practiced our dance routine for six hours! Most of us were ready to be done at three hours! After class most of us went to check out a huge book fair and I found 3 new books! YAY!
Since we all had to stay in Bangkok that night for class the next morning, most of us decided to stay at Hector's house (the YE from Mexico). There were 16 exchange student in one house! So much fun! We ate a ton of pizza and chip, the guys taught me how to use a video game remote and kicked my butt at the game we were playing, and just hung out together!
Sunday was another six hours of dancing! I was ready to drop by the end! After that I went shoe shopping with a couple other girls and found some really cute sandals on sale! That night we all crashed as soon as we got back to Hector's!
Finally on Monday I made the journey back home! Amazing to think that I can take a taxi to the bus station then a two hour bus ride for less than $6. I love how cheap stuff is in Thailand!
Now I get to spend two days at home before I go on the next adventure up north for Songkran Festival in Chang Mai!