Greetings from Thailand: Thailand’s scariest situations
The semester is halfway over. I am in the middle of midterms and you are in the middle of Hurricane Sandy. I’ll take midterms over a hurricane. The rainy season is over in Thailand, so the days are regularly 90 degrees fahrenheit, sunny and cheerful. My condolences to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. It’s a bit ironic that I am in Bangkok and the United States is flooded.
I don’t have much to write about this week, so I will write about several highlights.
Last weekend, we ate pizza and smoked hookah at an Italian restaurant called Mamma Mia’s. By the time we left, the cabs had vacated the area, so like any logical traveler, we hitchhiked down the road to our next destination. It was a pleasant experience. My slightly inebriated friends were goofing off in the bed of the truck and I was chatting with the driver in Thai.
I think he was impressed by my unusual, but still mediocre knowledge of Thai vocabulary. He ended up giving me his nearly full pack of cigarettes. This is unusual, according to my English-speaking Thai friends.
Getting a taxi is not an event anymore. I can easily say “go there, please” and be taken to my destination. Life has settled in. The study abroad students all agree that they are feeling more comfortable. I’m afraid I will finally get my groove on then leave shortly after. I guess I won’t really know until it’s time to leave.
Despite being comfortable, there is a creeping feeling of futility situated next to my motivation to learn the language. I am struggling to see how I will be able to use the language in the future, seeing as I plan on being in Thailand for only a little over a month more.
Few people celebrate Halloween here. Despite this, some of us foreigners are dressing up and going to Bangkok to celebrate in fashion. People will laugh, be confused, maybe cry. Some of my German friends are dressing like hobos.
I’ll likely dress like a normal tourist in Bangkok. Funny story, we were walking around one of the malls in Bangkok called MBK, and my friend asked where the costume shop was. The lady kindly said, “You are in it, sir.” It turns out, we had stumbled into a parlor called “The Costume Shop” that sells t-shirts and bags. We laughed and so did the mall workers.
As for school, I had my first midterm today and it was no joke. The classroom was rearranged so the chairs were as spread out as possible. There were about four people roaming around as moderators, making sure no one cheated. On top of this, they check your ID to make sure it is you taking the test.
Cheating has dire penalties. If a student is caught cheating, they fail all the classes they are currently enrolled in. It isn’t just the single test or the single class, it is every one of their current classes. I don’t know if these measures are in place because people cheat a lot or if administration is afraid that people cheat a lot. If it’s anything like home, it’s the former.
Needless to say, I did not cheat and do not plan to.