I am officially across the world! My father told me before I left that I made it further than what he ever expected (literally and metaphorically).
In total I have flown for a day. It was a 14 hour flight to Tokyo. Once I landed there I waited a few hours for the plane that took me to Bangkok (7 hour flight). Bangkok is humid, hot and busy. The streets are flooded with cars and mopeds. I saw one moped taxi driving on the sidewalk! It reminded me of New York City because of all the busy traffic and the giant buildings.
The hustle is real in Bangkok. People find ways to make money. Every corner you turn there are street vendors selling all kinds of things, such as whole coconuts (my favorite), relics, full meals, sweets, and even pants! The hustle is truly admirable.
The other students that are going to Bhutan are truly amazing people. Five minutes with any of us will inspire anyone to love life. I have noticed each one stands out with a certain characteristic like:
- Niceness towards others 🙂
- Support of others
- Fighter and challenger of social norms/constructs
- Courageous, outdoor explorer
We all went together for one of Thailand’s great massages. I have never had a massage in the past so I was excited for the experience. My body was lifted, turned, stretched, and tickled for 2 hours. It was truly a memorable experience, especially when the masseuse cracks your back without warning.
We visited the Grand Palace and the giant reclining Buddha. It was all so beautiful to see. It takes your breath away and your eyes do not know what to look at first. I learned this: it is disrespectful to buy or have Buddha’s symbol as decoration, let it rest on the floor, or get Buddha as a tattoo. Buddha is for worship, not entertainment.
Now for my favorite part! Our Resident Director, the woman who has been looking out for us, taking us everywhere, letting us have a blast, helping us in every way she can is Deki. She truly is an amazing human being. I hope her family knows how appreciative we all are of her. It is a beautiful thing to find people who do their job with kindness and genuine care.
I was very intimidated when I arrived in Bangkok. That changed when I saw the people were kind, the food was great, and the hustle was real. I cannot stop feeling so grateful to be here. The funny thing is that we are not even in Bhutan yet. This is not even the beginning!
Stay tuned for Bhutan!
Benjamin is a student at the University of Rhode Island and an official API student blogger. Benjamin is currently studying abroad with API in Thimphu, Bhutan.