I’ve put a lot of thought into how to start this blog post, but I really couldn’t find the best sentence or word to start talking about my whirlwind adventure of getting to Thailand and figuring life out. It’s mostly just been overwhelming, but in a good way. Imagine moving to a new place where you don’t know the language, the climate hot and humid (like Florida in the summer time), you have no idea how transportation works, and you haven’t slept for days. It’s disorienting and new, beautiful and ugly, tropical and industrial, Asian with hints of Westernization. You don’t know how to properly greet people (shake hands? bow like everyone else?) or if you’re being polite or insulting.
It’s honestly just like being a child again.
Jonathan and I began our journey at RDU airport and took about 27 hours to get to our hotel in Bangkok. We had a decent experience on all of our flights (we were able to order ramen noodles on a flight by pressing a button while watching newly-released films. Obviously we liked this). In Chicago, most of the passengers on our flight spoke English to one another. When we landed in Hong Kong, everyone pulled out their Asian cell phones and spoke Chinese. We quickly became the conspicuous minority, being tall and white and pretty clueless.
Pre-flight photo at RDU
We eventually made it to Bangkok (and our bags did as well, much to our relief). We were welcomed by the screams of hundreds of Thai pre-teens yelling, waving homemade signs and crying for a Korean boy band that exited the airport at the same time as us. Think about the hysteria for N’sync and the Backstreet Boys in the ’90s, and you get the picture. We eventually fell into bed at a hotel recommended by my best friend, Jenny, who has been to Thailand before. The jet lag kept us awake for a lot of the night.
We were picked up by a taxi the next morning that brought us to Lopburi, our new home in Thailand. I’ll do a more thorough introduction to the city in another post, but here’s a picture of the main road of where we live.
The main road in Lopburi. I took this photo on a foot bridge that crosses the road.
So we’ve been here for four days and we’ve already signed a lease on our apartment (with the help of our new Thai co-workers), bought essentials for the room, found toiletries (surprisingly, I found all my usual hair care products with ease), met other foreign co-workers, and become settled in our new home. Every day is a fun and challenging. We’re leanring to master the art of simple English and pantomime (24/7 charades!). We’re planning to learn Thai, but it hasn’t been a priority yet.
Jonathan enjoying a Thai pork omelette with rice at the restaurant in our apartment complex (which doubles as a hotel). Jonathan friends and family will be happy to know we have many non-spicy dish options for him, haha.
The view from our apartment. Mountains and houses and cows, etc.
Our rowdy next-door neighbors. They enjoy making bizarre noises at night.
I already have so many stories and anecdotes to share, but don’t want to go too in depth on my first post in Thailand. I will say that Jonathan and I are both excited and happy to be here. There is a lot to learn and I can tell it’s going to be a great experience that will live with us for the rest of our lives. I’m sure we won’t find many other couples who can say the rent for the first place together was $150 a month, or that they could take each other out to meals for $1 a person.
Many days, we fall into random fits of laughter about how absurd and wonderful our life is right now as we look at our new world with child’s eyes and learn to exist all over again.
This is the beauty of travel.