‘Surprise!’ -Mae

6/15/16 Previously mentioned, “I couldn’t sleep,” in: https://elainewanderlusts2.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/may-june-whops/

At In less than 8 hours I was going to see my mom! What?! Also she didn’t call me when she landed or got to the hotel so I was pretty worried (RUDE!)

Sukhothai!:  6/16/16 In the morning I met with my Thai father’s ex-students who were visiting home (Sawankhalok) from university. He pretty much has these two boys whom I’ve never met to drive me and my mom around. I swear I can never repay him. We go to the airport and finally she arrives… I see her in the distance and thought, ‘Yeaup there she is.‘ Then I saw someone oddly behind her and I thought she made a friend, but then I realized that was MY FRIEND :0  I was truly surprised and kept on looking at SAM (my friend) for the first hour in disbelief.

It felt normal REALLY quick it was weird showing them around and talking but I could tell there was almost a spell between us. A strange distance was in the air and I didn’t feel like I had with them in the past; in America. 20160616_094843

A quick stop to a coffee shop then to the Sukhothai Historical Park for my 8th time! I swear I have an annual pass.

There after they OF COURSE had dinner with my Thai father who treated us all ALL Day by even giving his ex students money and not letting us pay for ourselves.

There was a lot of chats and silences in observances upon one another. Taking it in. 9 months: a lot can change. I think my Mom’s and Sam’s visit was the most reflective I’ve been about myself. It was almost overwhelming.

They came to classes with me after the caught up on a bit of sleep and we went to lunch with 2 of my host teachers: P’Yu and P’Am. It was I think the first time since October that I had 2 of my host teachers together. 20160617_114608

Kayaked (I love it!- Round 3) And it was their first time too! 13475171_1212434332108551_1169261791733254764_o

After I took them to my famous Ice cream shop and… What do you know we get caught in a STORM! water levels were even with the side walks and there was a lot of thunder and lightning cracking nearby to the point we thought we were going to get electrocuted. What normally takes me at MOST 20 minutes to walk too us 1 hour and 15 minutes running and hiding from shop to shop. Welcome to Thailand Mom & Sam! 🙂

Phuket!

When planning for only my Mom to come we planned to go to Phuket since I hadn’t been there yet. Personally I could have done without it. It felt like no other place in Thailand but at least I got to go and see. 20160618_083209

We saw the Big Buddha with an awesome view

Wat Chalong 20160619_123235

Siam Cabaret show

Patong Beach strip

Koh Phi Phi Island Hopping (round 2)

and had an awesome Thai massage. There was a lot of needed down time, eating and shopping for souvenirs (weird, I have yet to do this)

Bangkok!20160625_181424_HDR

Siam Museum (round 2)

Wat Pho (round 2)

REUINION!- So Celeste was an impromptu plan, sorta. We idealized her coming in December but it was forgotten. She messaged me again in May and BAM there she was. 3 friends/ family from Calexico in Thailand… NEVER in my dreams. But I was so happy it happened.

Lumphini Park (round 100?)

Grand Palace (round 3)

Wat Arun (round 2)

Golden mountain (round 2)

JJ Market (round 2)

Famous Khao San Road (round 3)

Malls- Who can say they’ve been to Bangkok without checking out the acres of malls…

Rooftop bar (round 3)

I really want to say Thank You to my Mom & Sam; this one is for you both! love you!

Elaine ❤

p.s. for those wondering ‘What about work Elaine??’ -I did ask for my 1 week off to welcome my mom to Thailand since April. Luckily for me, the week I asked for off was the week right before a scheduled week off -Sports week- so I did have 2 weeks off YAY!

p.p.s Mae= Mom in Thai.

April = SUMMER!

Heat & Strides: April in Bangkok, and it is burning! I’ve seen that April has gifted snow to parts of the US regardless if it’s spring. As for Bangkok last week’s average was 93 F with 79% humidity. The craziest thing about this weather is me walking in it. I have a pedometer on my phone, but never really used it. This month is different. When I got the phone I chose for my goal to be 4 miles everyday (that was back in America). It never happened. This month, I’ve accomplished that everyday and more but once a week(ish). So thats about 5+ miles max I’ve done being 10 miles.

The difference from February to March is drastic

The goal for the year was to eat all the pad thai and thai tea I could before going back to America. Turns out pad thai is my least eaten food in Thailand and I have found other teas more refreshing like lemon tea or ceylon tea with ‘mai wan’ (no sweet) that don’t make my stomach hurt as much [I think I may be lactose intolerant *crying*]…. I’d joke with my friends how they were going to have to roll me into the plane back to America since I thought I would just indulge.

Reality is I’ve lost weight and can’t eat as much as I did in America. I try; trust me, and I still have WAY too much sugar and sweets but that’s what makes me so nice, so it’s okay. This is just the 6th month and in a city were walking is permitted. Sukhothai is different so maybe I’ve lost these 11lbs and will gain 20 after going back to my little province where I get looked at with crazy eyes for walking to the market. I’ll keep you updated.

20160331_175010DANCE: As for this past week’s events it was a lot of work but I also found a dance studio! I signed up for 5 classes with a student deal and just have 2 more. It was funny since the Zumba instructor was from Spain and asked if I could speak Spanish and we ended up having a tri-lingual conversation from English-Spanish-Thai.

WORK: Friday I got to go to another University and answer questions about the US culture and how to choose the right college. I love moments like these because I can push students to go for their goal without having to be a teacher. A student was told she wasn’t capable of doing a MA program in Michigan; they didn’t look at her credentials and barely spoke to her not realizing this chick was on point. I told her to prove them wrong and still apply and really hope she does.

 

 

Ladies night photos before I got bored and walked 45 mins home… (I miss going out in Mex).

Museum Siam: Is a great museum and highly recommended it was very interactive, interesting and one can touch everything and take photos too. I wish I could take my students here becuase a lot of them make fun of others who aren’t ‘full Thai,’ and the the theme was how, “Real Thainess has a multitude of roots.” They also had a Myanmar Up-Close section that was eye opening and moving too. I got to chose my Burmese name and it’s ‘May Sanda Win’ meaning ‘Sweet heart, Moon, Bright.’ Fun stuff.

Failed Attempt: At going up the Ghost Tower in Saphin Taksin. Yes it’s illegal. Did I think that? Not really. I saw so many people post pictures and even my own friends, I thought it was okay until we reached the gate. With talking to the guard he admitted to letting people in before but then said he couldn’t anymore since they’ve been keeping a closer watch. OH WELL. Probably best to not to do illegal actions in a foreign country, I guess…

What was initially a failure turned into a yummy success with Sushi. Also I braided and ‘curled’ my hair. It had been a while since it got styled.

I’m sitting on my last week of internship finishing projects and taking a deep breathe before I dive into my month of becoming a backpacker.  Itinerary: Laos; Chiang Mai, & Pai (Thailand); South Korea; & Rayong (Thailand).

Still debating whether I’ll be blogging for the month or not.

Wish me luck!

Elaine ❤

 

Bangkok to Ayutthaya

My challenge of Girl vs. City is about:    Girl 3   City 3.

When I went to Bali, I took out money at the atm of the airport. Not until it was my 3rd day in Bali did I realize I lost my atm card. It was an easy fix of calling the Thai bank and canceling my card just like I would in America. I didn’t have to start worrying about this until last Monday.

Long story short, people leave their cards in the atm ALL THE TIME in Thailand. It was also heavily warned upon my fellow Fulbrighters and I in October. Opps. They assured they’d find the card and send it to the nearest branch. I picked it up and no harm done on Thursday; Except for the taxi ride back of course… (city 1)

Work: Has been really good to me. After events in Sukhothai that made me nervous to stay in an office for a long period of time, I’m again comfortable and happy in my 5 week working environment. They never let me off the hook of being lonely. Even if my space is more closed off, I have a lot of the P’s come and visit and chat about anything. Oh and of course they continue teaching me Thai. (girl 1)

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Me with Mr. Fulbright himself!

Wearing my new ZALORA dress which can be found at http://www.zalora.co.th/women/clothing/dresses/

AMCHAM Networking Party: I went to one of these in October and the results were not as …comfortable as this time. This time we got to go to Vertigo a bar on the 60th floor of Banyan Tree Hotel. Yes everything was deliciously free, even the countless glasses of wine we enjoyed. (girl 1)

~~~~Moment you walk 3 miles to accompany a friend to the Vietnam Embassy and pass it by a 10 minute walk…then need to walk back…~~~~

(city 1)

Housing: I’m a 15 minute walk from work which is nifty, thrifty, and HOT. It’s okay I can shed all the yummy street food I have right? Truthfully I was in complete shock when I entered my room. I read that the room was the size of the bed, but didn’t take it literally until I saw it for myself. I found the place on Airbnb. Small, very very small, but good location & and pretty okay pricing for set location. ALSO the host also owns 3 beautiful playful huskies! It really makes up for the small room. As well as the host, he’s really friendly and is always down to help….Along with the room comes great company from all over, pictured is food from Sri Lanka that a guy brought down to me when he found out I only at a 7/11 microwaved corn. It’s hard to explain to people that I’m a social eater and eating dinner alone just doesn’t sound appetizing.

Ayutthaya! I’ve been waiting to go here for a long time now. Ayutthaya is one of the first cities of Thailand, where it was a country all in its self. The Burmese destroyed it in 1767 and was founded in 1350. Can you say History? Any way we caught a 60 baht van in Victory Monument to get there, rented bikes at December House for 50 baht, and saw the old city and it’s coffee shops for A/C. A great day trip from Bangkok for sure. I do suggest not visiting in March/April since it is the hotter months in Thailand. Lesson learned.

Bangkok Trekking: A rather small trek really. Visited the Nation Art Museum, Learned the bus system (still learning [City 1]), and went to Golden Mountain. (featured are other places like Lumpini and other parts of Bangkok

A successful first week, but I’m really glad I have a few of my Fulbright fam. to tag along with. (Girl 1)

Elaine ❤