Week two in Thailand in the books, but it feels like I’ve been here much longer. Every day I have this feeling come over me that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, that this is exactly what I should be doing in my life. Clearly, spending 4 hours a day learning how to speak Thai and another 4 hours learning teacher basics is what I’m meant to be doing.
Last week I met my host family, Ma and Pa and Gift (my host sister). Immediately, Ma began calling me her third daughter (Kung the eldest lives in Bangkok, Gift also lives there but comes home on the weekends.) That evening we went to the Don Chedi festival which was part state fair and part elephant battle reenactment. Yes. Elephant battle reenactments are a thing. It was so awesome to watch, even though I didn’t understand a lick of the Thai narration that was going on. (Pictures to come later.) In the area surrounding the show, there are stalls and stalls of places selling food, fruit, shoes, shirts and chances to play carnival games. In this area there are elephants rides and the elephants are walking around and no one is impressed by the fact that there are elephants just taking a stroll.
I spent the week riding to Wat Ban Kraeng for language lessons in the morning and then going across the river to the market for our afternoon sessions. Each day I’ve gone to a different raan-ahaan (restaurant) and had a different dish of amazing Thai food.
Speaking of food, my family has been super accommodating of my vegetarianism; my Ma even said to my language teacher that she was glad that I am a vegetarian and she admires me in that because she wants to become a vegetarian too. I have wonderful vegetables: pumpkin, broccoli, Chinese vegetables, water chestnuts and amazing fruit from my yard: coconuts, mangos, papaya, longons, limes, starfruit and jackfruit (yes, those are all in my yard). Some of the most amazing eggs I’ve ever had, I eat at least once a day. The food has exceeded expectations.
This weekend, I mapped the area that I live in with the three others in my language class, played a made up game of billiards, played soccer barefoot in the shadow of a wat and spent Sunday making several kinds of traditional Thai dessert.
Life is good.