Greetings from Thailand: ‘Crazy Taxi’ Bangkok
Traffic in Bangkok is ridiculous. There are lanes, but they aren’t used. Cars cut off others whenever they want while motorcycles zoom past.
Vehicles don’t stop for others unless they have absolutely no choice, and everyone makes sure there is absolutely no choice. These absurdities are commonplace. It’s bizarre because I don’t feel danger when I’m caught in traffic, even when riding a motorcycle taxi.
I’ve been taken down the wrong direction on a back street, up an off ramp, and straight into highway traffic, all the while thinking about my delicious lunch.
You can often see up to five people at a time cozily squashed together on a single motorcycle.
Though traffic is horrendous, the weather is worse. We are currently in the rainy season. Last year, the water level rose so much that classes were cancelled for months.
Students were put in hotels in the city center and all of the crocodiles escaped over the fence in the crocodile farm.
This year, we are said to have the heaviest rainfall in the last fifty years.
The other day had 93 millimeters of rain in just a few short hours.
This amount of water takes at least a couple hours to drain and clogs up traffic further on the roads. People are being warned of flash floods and that small boats should not be put out to sea.
Hopefully the rain subsides and classes won’t be postponed this year. I have started my classes and I really enjoy them.
Now that the semester is underway, this semester looks sunuk (fun). My marketing classes seem comparable to ones at home.
The Thai language class will be a blast, especially since I have been working hard to learn what Thai I can.
But the shining star is golf class. It is designed for people who have never golfed before. I practice in America so this class will be outstanding and a great chance to relax and enjoy the hot and humid mosquito weather.
The golf course I will frequent is close, only 20 baht to get there by motorcycle taxi. That’s pretty cheap, considering one US dollar is about 30 baht. It will be too tempting to head over to the course every day to work on my swing.
The hard part will be remembering how to tell taxis to take me there. The name is something like ‘kram yut ta suk sa tha han rua.’ I have it written on a piece of paper in Thai, which will be a lot easier for drivers to decipher.
Despite language difficulties, sporadic traffic and the impending doom of flooding and thunderstorms, this semester looks to be quite enjoyable. Thai people are friendly and accommodating.
Students in class are always open to conversation, and teachers welcome participation from foreign students.
The cafeteria on campus is equally pleasant.
It has all kinds of Thai food for about a dollar a dish and is one of the cleanest places around to eat.
The experience seems so good, I may never reach stage two of the culture shock rollercoaster.