Friday, February 12, 2016

A Month in Review

Hi! I'm Sophia and I'm studying abroad in Thailand
I really don't know where to start but let me just go back to when it all began. It was the morning of the 27th of December 2015, a day that I had long envisioned had finally arrived. It was one of the hardest and regretful day of my life. I knew that I was going to a new place, that everything the study abroad staff had mentioned is going to happen. That I will be homesick or culture shock, but what I did not know is how hard I will have to take it all in and pretend that I was fine especially when I said my last goodbye to mom and dad. I was so close to calling it off and forget about this whole idea of studying abroad, but I'm glad I did it anyways - like they always say, "Fake it till you Make it!"

I can go on and on about my sixteen hour flight but I'll just say that I was relieved to have arrived safely. Literally, because the moment I saw that MUIC staff standing in front of the Exit Gate 3 with that blue uniform and my name held before him, all my inside lit with joy and I nearly hugged him. You should have seen my face as if I have known this person for a long time. That early morning after setting foot for the first time in Thailand, I was overwhelmed with mix feelings and uncertainty of what's ahead but I knew that if I take one day at a time...I'll be just fine.

With every beginning there is always an introduction. I am currently staying in Chaiyapruk Village. It is such a beautiful and luxurious place for a college student to stay at. That is where I first met some of the nicest people from all over the world that I have now call friends. I even got to meet two lovely ladies, Pannee and Thongda who work there as our housekeepers and our three very dedicated guards. I managed to get a photo of one of them while I was randomly taking pictures of our housing. 

Meet Mr. Tawan
I got to learn more about their backgrounds and interesting cultures. We even started a tradition where each group would cook their own meal on every Tuesday night for dinner for everyone. The Hawaiians had their chance and it was such a wonderful experience to share our Aloha to all of them. I would say that this is also the best medicine to get rid of being homesick. I learned that surrounding yourself with people makes you feel a lot better. 

My first experience with Thai food was a bit rough though. I should call it food shock since my first try of Pad Thai made me lose my appetite for a week. On the bright side, I had a taste of their coconut ice cream and I just can't get enough of it. One thing you will always see here and by here I mean everywhere is 7 Eleven. You will find it wherever you go, so don't worry about missing some of the things back home. The locals are very nice and although English is very limited, most of them are always willing to help. My favorite part is taking a taxi or the tuk tuk and oh the hard part of trying to communicate and letting them know about your destination. Good thing I had my cheat sheet of how to say the directions in Thai posted on the back of my ipod. It got me to places until I finally had it engrave in my head. 

Riding in a Tuk Tuk
I was scared to go to most of the places that I was invited to, especially when it was New Year's Eve. After a month in Thailand, I got used to living here that I somehow forgot about all the fears that I had of such place. I had visited markets, palace, some temples, and seen elephants for the first time which took my breath away. I have lived amongst the locals that most of the times I wish I could speak Thai. I even made friends with my Thai neighbors and those who own shops along the street.  
Watching the Elephants

Distant View of the Wat Arun Temple

"This experience is so far the best choice I have ever made and I will keep you posted for more to come!"

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