December is always the time for reviews and reflections. What happened, what was good, what not, etc. Since this blog is about Thailand I would like to only review my time in Thailand. Until now, only three months. But already a lot to talk and think about.
Same same, but different
At first there is to say that Thailand is NOT a third world country. I know many of you folks back at home think that there is no electricity here, nobody knows internet and people go to work by elephant. But that is – at least in the cities – not true. Thailand is very much up to date, students use their iPhones everywhere and elephants can only be seen from time to time. So there is a lot in common compared to Europe.
But – on the other hand – if you hear me saying that elephants can be seen from time to time – you see that there IS INDEED a lot different. Yes, there are elephants walking through the city (guided, of course). And yes, there are different fruits, animals, food and clothing styles. Right now my mood changes from day to day. Is Thailand the same like Europe with some differences or is it completely different with some similarities? I am still not quite sure about that. But I am very sure about the fact that being in Thailand is a great choice.
The good, the bad & the ugly
High noon. Time to talk straight! Yes there are ugly things in Thailand. For example: The city styles. Many cities are not beautiful to see or nice to walk by when thinking in European terms. We used to consider cities as beautiful when they have great castles, a clean surrounding, green parks and stuff like that.
In Thailand you will not find many great old buildings within the common city sight. Most of them look the same. Not beautiful. Furthermore there is a lot of traffic with Minibusses being the number 1 public transport. So there is a lot going on on the streets. Nevertheless, there are some beautiful sights as well (check my pictures at facebook). Don’t get me wrong. Every city has temples, temples and temples. And mostly one or two parks (which are often lacking in terms of GREEN – very often it is a lake with a walkway around. That’s it).
Besides these ugly seeings, there are some bad habbits too. The pollution for example. The only I thing I really really can not stand: People do not care about the environment. They throw their rubbish everywhere, do not really recycle, use plastic bags for every little thing (even if you buy a single Tim Tam) and almost never shut down the air condition. So there is a lot to learn for Thailand in terms of protecting the environment. But at least the topic of this year’s english contest was ‘Global Warming‘ – so they know what is going on. Right now they only have to learn how to take action in an easy way.
Despite the complaining in the past two paragraphs there are, of course, many many many good things here in Thailand. The number one thing? Easy! The people! Most of them are really amazing, polite, helpful, friendly and very lovely (just said that because my students like this word ;-) ). Even though it is sometimes very hard to understand each other due to cultural differences, it is always fun and I am very thankful for the people I met so far. Teachers, shop staff, bus drivers and – most important – the students. Of course there is sometimes a reason for anger, but it usually never lasts long. You can not be upset for a long time when living in the Land Of Smile :-)
Another good thing, of course: The weather. Some of you might think I miss the snow. And yes, indeed. I would have loved to see the snow – for a short time. Considering the months of ugly rain that usually surround the 4 weeks of snow I am very happy to see the sun every day and to wear a t-shirt right now, in the end of december, while writing this post.
The next positive factor: Travelling is quite affordable – thanks to the busses that go to almost every bigger city. So far I’ve been to Koh Tao (vacation before work started. AMAZING!) Bangkok, Khon Kaen, Mahasarakham & Nong Khai. Tomorrow I will head to Chiang Mai for a hopefully great new years party. Still a lot to see but everything is within reach.
The End is the beginning
The end of this year is more of a beginning for me. Now that social life and the thai way of living a life are improving by the day I am very happy to see what is coming up next. So far I am really happy about the step I took and do not regret it at any time. And now let me wish all of you a very happy new year. Lets rock 2011 / 2554.
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