Monday, January 13, 2014

You'll Never Know Unless You Thai.

On Relocation and Humidity:

I have moved to Thailand! I will be here for several months or longer, depending on how things work out. So far the weather has been really nice compared to the last time I was here. But in a few weeks it is supposed to start getting really hot again. And because of the humidity I have given up entirely on my hair. So now I either look like


Or like this:

On Language Barriers and Mishaps: 

One of the hardest things for me to deal with is the language barrier. I love words and I like to express myself using them, whether that be through writing or speaking. So not being able to tell people how much I appreciate them effectively leaves me feeling a little blue. So right now I just say “Khab Khun Mak Ka” (it means "thank you very much") a lot and bow a ton. So to remedy this I will try to learn a bit of Thai while I am here. I do not think I will become anywhere near fluent (There are five different tones used in Thai. So you can have the same word but it will be said in 5 different tones and mean 5 different things.) So just when you think you got a word right, it sorta feels like this.

My brother and I discovered this when he thought he was introducing me to people as “his sister” but instead he was accidentally introducing me as “his beard.” I understand their laughter now.

Also I have forgotten how to change my language settings so now everything on my computer is written in Thai. So I am just guessing when I hit different buttons. A fabulous game of Russian Roulette. 

On Veganity Violations and Food Finding:

On another note, being vegan and vegetarian in Thailand can be a bit difficult at first but I have decided to turn my dilemma into a learning experience. First up? Learn Thai words that mean “I am vegan.” Etc. There are a ton of resources online about how to do this. Happy Cow is also an awesome site for finding vegan and vegetarian restaurants! And yes, I have already managed to eat my weight in Rose Apples. DELICIOUS.

On Thai Massages and How It Can Hurt So Good: 

You can get a 2 hour Thai Oil Massage for 23 USD here.
Amazing. And they had me dress in these really cool pant and shirt things. (Confession: The pants have to be tied in a difficult way and I admit they got the better of me for about 5 minutes before I finally (maybe) figured out how they worked.) 
Thai massages HURT. The wonderful massage ladies here ( I am determined to learn their names as soon as possible) somehow managed to find every single muscle in my body and bend and stretch and pull and press them every which way. There was a point where the lovely lady who was massaging me managed to get my left foot up by my right ear whilst pushing my other leg  straight down when I realized the next phrase I needed to learn in Thai was "I think I've broken something."

Their feet are like daggers of relaxation and their forearms like razor blades. And I LOVE IT. I have never felt more relaxed than after a Thai Massage. They are really in tune with tension. It is magical. It is like they read my mind and know exactly where I need to relax. Who needs yoga when you can get Thai Massages? 

On Family and Foreign Countries:

The most exciting news I have to report is that in a few hours I will have a SECOND NEPHEW! Hi. So now Tia (as I am called by my nephew Ranimyr Heston Streeby) will have twice the fun (and, quite possibly, twice the headache depending on how excited my nephews get when I am babysitting.) 

The hospitals here are awesome and top-notch. The doctors often do residencies in America and can speak English very well.

On Transportation: 

Cabs and the Sky-train can be tricky to navigate but I have only been here a few days so hopefully I get better at it soon. Until then I'm just,

I am also in the process of becoming a teacher at Brighton Second Language school here in Bangkok and I will Sub and proctor tests every once in a while for my Mom, Dad, or Brother’s classes. STOKED. My parents and brother teach at The University of the Assumption in Bangkok Thailand!

So far life in Thailand has been fun :) Coffee Shops abound and the people are really really nice! 
More tales of misadventures and the magic of traveling soon to come!