I am losing track in my memory of what I have written about and what I have not, and I don’t have the desire to re-read all the stuff I have written. SO, if any repeats occur, humor me please.
Orientation was pretty fun. I met some interesting people and the South Americans were loud and obnoxious as always. But they are good for keeping the atmosphere light and just having a good time. There were no Europeans there, only north and south Americans and one Japanese guy. Because of events surrounding my orientation weekend, my host father could not accompany me and I ended up riding back home with my host uncle who is a policeman. So I rode in a police car; or a truck rather. It wasn’t that cool actually. Oh, at orientation I brought all my pins and things to trade. Among these I brought the Hello Kitty pins that Gigi left behind when she went back to Taiwan. These were a huge hit; especially amongst the guys. Take that as you will. Monday after I returned from Korat I went with Art to pick up his friends at the airport. We then toured around Ubon a bit and ate a bunch. Then we ate dinner at his house and then the next morning we set off for somewhere else. We ended up going to the Mekong river bordering Laos and some a temple and some other places. It was quite fun and as it turned out my last day with Art; he went back to Bangkok the next day and after a couple of weeks there he is off to Japan to finish his studies. Tuesday night we stopped by a shop and I decided to buy myself some Thai fisherman pants. They are pink as everyone there agreed that was the best choice for me. I don’t know why. Sometime before this I found out a bit about Buddhism here. They place emphasis on the day of the week on which a person is born and each day has a representative color, animal and Buddha. Each Buddha is in a different position and they mean different things. My Buddha is one which is standing and holding an alms bowl, my color is green and my animal is the elephant. I was born on a Wednesday. When you visit a temple and it is available, you can put a bit of money into a thing for your day of the week. This is basically used for wish making. You ask for something and the gift of money provides you with good merit in return.
School was pretty uneventful except for a couple of event: Friday when in my theory of knowledge class the teacher gave me his fan. He was a very eccentric fellow and very good humored and nice. Then on Thursday I think my class had a fundraiser and some of the guys in my class played music and we just had a couple of different things going on. One thing that occurred was my classmate who was MC-ing called me up to participate in a game. The game was you tie balloons onto your feet-one on each- and try to step on and pop the balloons of the other players. I didn’t do particularly good at this game but I didn’t do too terribly. Thursday night some friends from school asked me out to dinner with them which was really fun. It was me and four classmates and a guy from another school who sings in the band that my classmates are in. He is a very funny fellow and everyone decided that I should call him by a different nickname from Zach. That nickname is Ya Suun which basically means don’t show out. He is always showing out so someone is always saying ya suun to him. It’s all in good humor here of course. As I also found that night at dinner Thai people are quite blunt with their friends. If someone is fat they call them fat; if someone is ugly they call them ugly. I say it’s in good humor but I don’t suppose I know that for a fact. I think rather that it is more complex than it appears-as are most things when it comes to culture-, and in order to do this blog justice I will say no more on it until I can glean something more from my host culture. I asked Mike, my classmate who I had dinner with and who takes me around places on his scooter occasionally, if he would mind taking me to look at a watch, as my old one, being made of leather, started to stink quite badly; because of the sweat, presumably. We went and a couple of friends tagged along-zach and someone else who’s name I can’t recall- and then more people ended up running into us there; one of which is in yet another class and expressed interest in getting to know me last week. Eventually I found a watch. They were all quite cheap. A popular watch is a G-Shock which in the U.S. will run you about 70-120 dollars but here all the ones I saw were 500 baht, about $16.50. So I got myself a 200 baht watch and when I showed it to my host father he said he could have taken me somewhere and gotten it for 100 baht. Then today Best, my host brother, was here and we went out to eat dinner- my host father was busy doing something else- and then we went to the local park so he could take some pictures for Khun Pa(that’s my host dad, or what I call him at least). He told me to go walk around a bit if I wanted and so I did and ended up running into someone who recognized me and called out “Na Det!” They were some people playing badminton and asked me to come play so I did and we played for about 40 mins or so I would say. It was good fun and they asked me to come back tomorrow at around 17.30. Of course that means around 18.00 though as in Thailand everyone runs on “Thai Time”.
With time in mind it’s time for me to go to bed. Tomorrow is some Buddhist holiday and I will be getting up around 7 in order to go to the temple with my family.