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Sunday 7 Oct
Bangkok, Thailand

Sawat dee kaaaaaaaaaaaap (Hi)

I think I've been here for like 3 and a half weeks now? Time flies when you can't speak Thai for shit and you don't know which way is left. The best way I can explain Thai language is that it's sort of like singing, but if you sing the wrong note, then you've said a completely different word. As cliche as it is, it puts a whole new perspective on language. It frustrates me that Thais can't understand me, and I'm in their country. But they're used to it, right? So it's ok. America.

I've seen some really cool things since I've posted last. On the top of that list is Phuttamonthon Park, which is fortunately about a ten or fifteen minute down the street from where I live...supposedly the largest Buddhist site in the world, although I really don't care how big it is. But it is big. I'm having trouble uploading pictures onto here, but if you are my Facebook friend there are pictures on there. The park has the walking Buddha statue and a couple of temples. One temple in particular has become a personal favorite. There are hundreds of marble tablets with what I assume are Buddhist scripts written on them. There is a statue of the Buddha in the middle, and art covers the walls and ceilings. There usually aren't many people there, if any at all, which I can't understand. In the back of the temple, there is a lake with nice green scenery. It's very comforting to me...something I guess I can't explain with words, or even by showing someone. My mind becomes very clear and I just feel at peace when I'm there. Often times when we pass the park in a taxi on our way home, the taxi drive will take both hands off the wheel and do the wai (prayer position). And then he tries to charge you 200 baht more than you agreed to pay when you get home. Jesus Christ. Some 94% of Thailand is Buddhist....and 99% of them have no problem charging you twice an item's worth just because you're white. Racism isn't hateful here...but so prevalent. A Chinese man or woman can live in Thailand for 5+ years and become Thai. A white person will never be Thai. It bothers me a bit, not on a personal level, but just in general. But like I said, none of it is from animosity. There are so many fun, happy go lucky people here. The rest of it is just part of their lifestyle.

This weekend a few friends and I took a trip to Kanchanaburi, which is a city and a province. We stayed in the city, which is about 2 and a half hours west of Bangkok, and ventured a bit further north in the province. Erawan National Park (about 65 km north of Kanchanaburi) contains 7 levels of pretty amazing waterfalls. So we could take a bus from Kanchanaburi to Erawan....or we could rent motorbikes for 150 Baht per day...sorry, Mom. It was a great ride though. Scenic and in control of where I was going for once. We also saw a pretty historic bridge...they just call it the bridge over the River Kwae. Original, I know. It was part of the Death Railway, which many of you at home are probably familiar with. Again, pictures are on Facebook. If you don't have Facebook, then burn in hell because you are a dinosaur.

Other than that, just been keeping up with my studies I guess. My friend signed me up for tennis club, so I guess I'm doing that. Tennis isn't very popular here, so the quality is naturally pretty low. Badminton and ping pong are different stories. Not much else to say. Learning a lot, taking it all in. Liking things, not liking things. The honeymoon phase with the food is over. Not that it tastes bad...just that there's only so much you can do with rice and noodles. Glad to be here, though. Lots more exciting things to see. Miss you all.

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Blake vs. Thailand - Round 1

Travel blog by blakewareham

 


Hey there! I'll be studying at Mahidol University for 3 months in Salaya, Thailand just outside of Bangkok. Here's a little about the country through my eyes. Hope you enjoy!

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