It's been 6 days and 22 hours since I arrived in Thailand and I already feel like I've been here forever (in a good way). A few hours ago I finally departed from my orientation family and moved onward to the school I will be teaching English at - Wangchanwittaya. After many months of mispronouncing it, I think I finally have it down.
Now that I'm away from the big cities of Bangkok and Pattaya, the word "Farang" is getting passed around quickly and frequently. "Farang" means 'Westerner'. The other teacher, Angela, and myself took a quick tour of the campus and met the principal of our school. After which I had the most delicious cashew chicken and "omelet". It appears getting an elephant guest during your dinner is not the most unheard of occurrence - although it is annoying and makes you feel bad for the elephant that's being led around town by men. I'll wait to visit the elephant sanctuaries up north before I hop on that ride.
During my few days in Bangkok I was able to see the Grand Palace, ChaoSahn (spelling?), and hang out with some fellow amazing human beings. I still think the local bar hangout was my favorite take away from Bangkok. I heard that the street it was on is now under flood waters, and I hope that everyone stayed safe and dry in that area - especially the pork-on-a-stick-man!
Going to Pattaya was also quite an adventure. There I got to see the Gulf of Thailand for the very first time. It's much like other Gulfs, a bit murky but still fun to be at. It appears that elderly men frequent the Pattaya area for cheap sex. Yes, that is correct. In fact one Irish 'gentleman' hopped on the back of our truck ride and explained that he hates Thailand. "It's filthy, full of garbage everywhere, the women sell themselves for money - I hate Thailand" but then quickly explained that he "just can't leave the women!". One of many dirty old men you'll find in the sex capital of Thailand.
But now I'm in beautiful Wang Chan, Rayong. The people are welcoming and the campus is gorgeous. There's a rather large ancient tropical looking tree with a picnic table below it - I think it has my name on it during any lunch hours. I have internet, a bicycle, and a cold shower. Life is pretty amazing in Thailand.