Home At Last

February 19, 2015

in Asia, Gabrielle Fishbaine, Spring 2015, Thailand

It seems as if all my pictures have been entirely taken at the beach…and that I am actually living at the beach and partaking in no such thing as school. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Fortunately, I finally have reached a point of comfort with Bangkok, and for the first time the other weekend, I was ready to leave the sunny beach and head home to the bustling city.

As a traveler, Bangkok can appear to be very overwhelming; cars and motorbikes moving in every direction, food that sometimes may look a bit mysterious, scents unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before, and so on. I don’t know if the city will ever have a sense of calm to me, but it will surely keep me on my toes! I am finally figuring out the in and out’s of this lively city and the following are some random lessons I have learned thus far along the way:

  1.     Try to avoid restaurants; the best food is on the street! You just have to muster up the courage to try the unknown.
  2.     No woman can touch or give food to a monk. If they do so, the monk supposedly will have to burn his clothing.
  3.     Always carry toilet paper: Thais prefer the little hose next to the toilet and many public restrooms, even some restaurants, won’t have any!
  4.     Only take a taxi that will turn on the meter! Many tourists think that price is still so little in comparison to what it would be back home… but save your money! It can go a long way here.
  5.     Speaking of taxi… a few words that may come in handy that sound like this:

-“sigh”- means left

-“kwah”-means right

-“throng”-means straight

-“sawadee-kha”- for a female speaker means hello in a polite manner

-“ka-poon-ka”-for a female speaker means thank you

-“mai-pet”- not spicy (which can be very useful in some cases)

-“ka-toe-ka””-excuse me

The number one thing I wish I had done before coming to Thailand is to have learnt a few basic words in Thai! Sure, I had looked up how to say hello and goodbye, but words that can assist you in finding your way are definitely a good place to start! The first week being here, the language barrier was the biggest culture shock I had endured. Thai is a tricky language for native English speakers because it uses tones and sounds that are not explored within our vocabulary. Being surrounded by not only a different language, but also one that sounds so distant and foreign to the ear is thrilling but at times a bit overwhelming! I think this can stand true for anyone traveling to a foreign country, but having a few simple words down will, if anything, guarantee a smoother transition.

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