The Simple Life in Thailand

By Tracy W., Teach in Thailand 

Let’s see, it’s been about 3 weeks since my last update on our lives. I will do my best to cram it all in here without boring you too much.

We have had dinner a few different times with some of our Thai friends now. They are so generous and welcoming; it almost makes you feel like you have to do something in return. Believe me, we have tried but they refuse to accept gifts or money. One Thai lady took us out to dinner with her friends and relatives that were visiting from Singapore, it was very nice. They took us to a fishing cove and we watched the sunset while eating. This is where we were served the live shrimp. I was so shocked I almost lost my appetite and had to leave the table. Joey was a brave soul and tried a spoon full!

The week before Christmas weekend was quite entertaining. The school gave the foreign teacher department 3,000 baht to go to the store and buy as much Christmas decorations as possible. We then were asked to decorate the school and put on a Christmas show for the students. I was asked to choreograph a dance to Jingle Bell Rock and teach it to the other teachers. We danced for the entire school and they loved it! I have a video on face book for those who want to watch it! The show/festival was quite a success and the director was very happy with us. (In case I haven’t mentioned, it’s hard to keep the director happy, so we are thankful when he is!) Joey and I enjoyed work the week of Christmas because we got to teach the children about our Christmas traditions all week long. I even had some of my classes make paper snowflakes and they loved it!

If you read in my last blog, you already know how the Prime Minister of Phrae came to visit our school the week before Christmas. He spoke English very well and was very kind. He invited us to what he called a Christmas festival and we really didn’t have a choice to attend. Initially we were very excited, thinking we were going to a festival with music and games etc. We dressed up with Santa hats and wore as much red and green as we could find. However, when we arrived it was just a stage with a Christmas tree. The Christian Thais put on their traditional Christmas play wearing all sorts of crazy costumes. The only problem for us was that the entire show was in Thai and didn’t seem to have anything to do with Christmas. Very disappointed, we smiled and pretended to have a good time. On our way home the leader of the church rode with us while serenading us with songs about God loving us. It was quite the adventure and a perfect example of how most of the time you never get what you are expecting here in Thailand.

As you all already heard, Christmas day wasn’t the best Christmas, as Joey and I were very sick on Christmas morning. I was so happy that my brother John was able to visit, but very disappointed in myself for being so sick. At least we were able to have Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and go out to the club after. The dinner was a proper American dinner, with turkey, chicken, mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables! We were very happy to eat a feast and feel stuffed for once.

After a week of recovering from being so sick, we were able to take the train we reserved to take us to Koh Chang. Actually we took an 8 hour sleeper train to Bangkok first, then a 5 hour bus to the province Trat, and finally a ferry ride over to the island. A lot of traveling to get there, but well worth it! The sleeper train was amazing. Everyone got their own bed and it took us straight to Bangkok through the night. This is the best way to travel, as it doesn’t even seem like you are on a train for 8 hours. When we arrived in Koh Chang we were dropped off at our resort. It was so nice and not to expensive! It had an infinity pool and was right on the beach! It felt like heaven! We reserved two different tours, snorkeling and swimming with the elephants. It was unbelievable how cheap the tours were compared to other places. We paid 3,100 baht all together for both tours, that’s $88.00 U.S.! The snorkeling was very fun; we went to 3 different islands and had lunch on one of them. The water was just as blue as it was in the Cayman Islands, but the coral wasn’t the best coral I have seen….nothing compares to Hawaii! J The elephant adventure was great too! You may wonder why we would do it again, but really every tour is different and besides, how often do you get to ride elephants? This place we went to was nice because we got to ride them ourselves through the jungle and then swim and bathe them afterwards.

On New Years Eve we attended dinner at our hotel. We were very impressed, although it was a little pricey, it included a huge buffet on the beach, music, dancing, and a fire and cabaret show. At midnight we were able to walk along the beach and watch all the fireworks. I don’t think either of us had ever been on a beach for New Years, it was fantastic being able to watch the fireworks above the water while sitting on the beach with a drink in our hands.

On our last night in Koh Chang we went exploring to find a bungalow (a hut made of straw and wood und a very beautiful private beach with bungalows along the shore. Sleeping in a is what the Thais call camping. Inside the bungalow is nothing but a fan and a thin mattress. We actually had to get in a small canoe boat to get over to our bungalow, it was a challenge boating across with our luggage, but we made it! Joey and I really enjoyed the scenery; watching the sunset and “camping on the beach was totally right up our alley.

For now, Joey and I are back to work enjoying the lovely, adorable, crazy children (Actually it was really nice coming back to work and seeing the children so happy to see us!)

I hope this extensive blog makes up for the times I have not written. Happy New Year to all! Love and miss you!

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