Slacking a bit on my promise to maintain this. Apologies!
I’ve updated on my travels to Singapore, Bali, Vietnam and Cambodia, but I’ve neglected to update about my newest adventure: Chiang Mai, Thailand!
After getting back from traveling, I made my way to Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is in the northern part of Thailand, and it’s very different from the rest of the country. This city reminds me of a small, asian Austin. It’s so eclectic, and I’m absolutely in love. When I arrived I made my way to JJ’s Guesthouse (after being rejected by Julie’s Guesthouse just next door. Hotel review coming soon!) where I stayed for nearly a month. Maybe a little over. My quest: to find a job. I had heard that it was pretty competitive trying to find work in Chiang Mai, but fortunately with my TESOL Certificate and experience teaching in Thailand, I found a job. I’m currently working at Prince Royal’s College as a Matthayom 1 (grade 7) teacher in the Focused English Program. It’s fun, it’s challenging… I can honestly say I know more about the English language than I’ve ever known before. The kids are great, aside from their understandable apathy when it comes to sitting in a classroom and the abundance of more important things they’ve got to talk about. They’re young, I remember being that age, but I don’t like acting as “disciplinarian.” By this, I don’t mean I pull out the cane stick and punish them, I just constantly feel like I’m telling them to stop talking, pay attention or threatening to move them away from their friends. I think (hope!) that after a couple weeks I’ll be able to have more fun with them and won’t have to get onto them as often.
A couple weeks ago, my friends James (aka Chief) and Simon came for a visit. If you remember from my Vietnam post, I met them in Hue. They spent about two weeks here, and even though I had to work, we had such a good time. Simon’s friend from home, Don, acted as our tour guide and took us up into the mountains on motorbikes. It was really my first trip to see Chiang Mai outside the Old City, and a great one it was! We took nearly the entire day to go up into the mountains to a restaurant at the very top. Then, after a quick bite, we made our way back down the mountain. Since I had never driven a motorbike before, I was riding on the back of James’ bike… We decided that the route down would be a good time to learn! Fortunately, there were no accidents, despite driving with a grizzly as my passenger. I can’t say I’ve been on many motorbike trips (ok, I’ve been on TWO.. this was my first, more on the second later), but this one will be a hard one to top in the future.
A big event: the Chelsea football match. Since I’ve been in Thailand, I’ve grown to like watching football matches (soccer), but never had I been so into one! Chelsea played Bayern-München, and Simon is the biggest Chelsea fan. Since the game wasn’t until 2am our time, we prepared to pull an all-nighter to support him. When evening rolled around, Chief and I dressed in all blue, the three of us painted our nails and we got ready with Thai Redbull. We made our way over to Fabrique, a Thai club that said they were playing the match, where we met up with friends Don, Michelle, Becca and Cody. Come to find out, they were going to play the match, but they weren’t going to have sound! This was unacceptable. At about 1am, we headed over to John’s Place, a sport’s bar, and found ourselves front row seats. If you didn’t see it, the game. was. intense. That’s the understatement of the year. Chelsea won, Simon was ecstatic, and we didn’t end up getting back to the guesthouse until 6am. Fortunately, it was the weekend. The next time I’m asked who my favorite football team is, I will say Chelsea without hesitation. Chelsea: Champions of Europe.
While the boys were here, we ate a lot of western food, and Thai food as well. But, since they’re from the UK, and I’ve never had a proper English breakfast, the morning after the Chelsea match we went to find one. The thing was massive. Fortunately for them, I couldn’t eat the whole thing. I did enjoy it very much, though! I could eat it once a week. I shouldn’t, but I definitely could. Icing on the cake: there was a full color comics section in the Bangkok Post. Simply put, amazing.
After two weeks of fun, Chief and Simon had to be on their way… They’re traveling the world! It’s not forever, though… Another time, another country.
Last weekend, my friends Becca and Cody, who are living in Chiang Mai (I did my TESOL course with Becca), took a motorbike ride up into the same mountain I had gone on with the guys. This time, though, I had my own motorbike! It was so much fun to whiz about, and with the difficulties in finding rides in the mornings/afternoons to/from my school, I’m on the hunt for one of my own.
So I’m mostly caught up on my life! Aside from the fact that I took quite the spill down the stairs at my apartment yesterday. I’m feeling pretty good, though. I got some awesome painkillers from the pharmacy that make me feel top of the world! No broken bones, a few scrapes and bruises, a tweak in my back, and an embarrassed self (there were two kids who were walking down the stairs behind me). Nothing time and meds won’t heal.