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My Year in Thailand "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."


THAILAND | Sunday, 29 January 2012 | Views [494]

Hi all!

So it’s been three weeks now here in Bangkok and everything is as amazing as I expected, if not better! I’m sharing a room with 3 other girls, all Gap Staff - two Colombians and a South African. There are two boys, both Colombian too and that makes 6 of us as Gap Staff here at The Regents School. Four of us are new so the other 2 have been great in showing us the ropes and introducing us to life in Bangkok! After doing a few ‘airport runs’ to pick up boarding students we got straight into work 4 days after arriving and sorting out our timetables. We work mainly in Primary and my schedule contains things like Swimming and doing P.E with 2 yr olds, working in the classroom with Yr2, taking a small group of Year 6 for swimming as well as a full day in Primary Drama and another full day in Secondary DT. We all have quite a lot of “admin” work to do, which is basically the teachers dirty work, cutting and glueing, stapling and making display boards for around the school, which can be boring, and I know we’ll be sick of it after doing so for a few months but there’s nothing we can do about that - often it’s fun anyway. We start at 8 most mornings but the Primary Campus is 10 minutes down the road so that means leaving here at 7.30. Luckily I get Friday’s off which is fantastic for a sleep in and a day to do washing and things like that. Some afternoons we have activities, for example I supervise a group doing Irish Dancing and sometimes have to go to the pool to watch that no one drowns and stuff like that but it gets to about 7-8pm and we’ve run out of things to do (dinner’s at 5.30 - way too early) so we’ve been out quite a few times to discover the nightlife in the touristy areas and around our local area, we’ve been to the movies because they’re so incredibly cheap here ($5) and I’ve already gone through 3 books. Other afternoons we babysit the Head of Primary’s two kids which is LOTS of fun and she pays us too which is a bonus! Next Thursday the teacher’s have requested that all of us Gaps go on the Early Years trip to the Butterfly park so that’ll be really nice too. Overall work is really great though, we get to spend a lot of time with the kids which is always fun and at the same time it’s rewarding.

The first weekend we didn’t go out much because we were waiting for one of the boys to arrive before we did touristy things, the two Colombian girls and I went out for lunch and discovered a nice park in a major area of the city. This last week Thursday we went to a Jazz Bar, and listened to a Thai Jazz band playing tunes from famous soundtracks which was really nice and then on Friday night we went to Khao San Road which is the tourist mecca for Bangkok, we walked through the stalls until we found a place called “Hippie de Bar Bangkok” which had good food, music and nice people! Saturday we went to Chatuchak Markets, which are huge weekend markets, so big we got lost a few times but the clothes are really cheap here! After this we went to Wat Traimi, temple of The Golden Buddha. I’ve attached a few photos of the Buddha itself and some of us outside it. On Monday the entire Primary school was wearing red to celebrate Chinese New Year so Monday night called for a trip to Chinatown to experience a festival of red, red and more red. It’s the Year 2555 according to them and year of the Dragon so it was a big one. I’ve attached some pictures of this too. I’ve been to places like MBK (a huge shopping centre filled with tech gadgets and cheap clothes, popular for Thai Teenagers), Terminal 21 (a shopping centre with each level themed on a world city - it was here in a gourmet market I found Weet-Bix and many Australian owned branded items, yay!), a few parks and many of the local little perky places around the school. I also went to a couch surfers meeting with two of the others which was good for meeting new people from around the world traveling through Bangkok! I’ve caught a motorbike Taxi and quite often I’ve got the “Song Thaew” which is a red open air van which does shuttles between areas for 6 baht (20c) no matter where you’re going. I’ve also been introduced to what the staff say is the best Pad Thai in Bangkok, just a short walk from the school for only $1. About a 25 minute walk from the school or a 5 minute taxi ride for $1.10 is the “MRT” - the train in Aussie terms.. It does a shuttle run between about 15 stations, ours being in the middle and this connects with the “BTS” - sky train, so we’ve found it pretty easy to get to most areas of Bangkok and anywhere that is slightly difficult by public transport is just as cheap in a taxi. It’s rained three times since I’ve been here, and when I mentioned how incredibly torrential it was I was told it’s about 8 times as hard during the Monsoon and that even crossing the road will get you soaked down to your undies. I’ll have to purchase a big poncho or something! Apparently the Monsoon’s will be coming earlier this year, and they generally run from June through to October.

Coming up is my February ‘half-term’ break. We get a week off and I’m still deciding where to go, 3 Gaps are off to Burma, they’ve been personally invited to a Home-stay by someone they know. The South African girl is heading to Chaing Mai but I don’t want to do that because I’ll be doing that in June with Mum, Dad and Max and the other girl is off to North-Eastern Thailand to Craft Villages. I could join her for this but I’d like to find out more info about where she’s going. I’ll have to have a look in my growing collection of borrowed Guide Books for places to go and hopefully decide in the next few days what I’ll be doing - I’ll keep you posted!

Tags: arrival, bangkok, first month, working

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Behind me is where you throw money in the hope of health and happiness. It took me 4 goes to get a coin in the pot :(

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