Our Town

Alas, we made it. If you take a plane from Minneapolis to Dallas (3 hours), Dallas to Tokyo (16 hours), Tokyo to Bangkok (6 hours), and a bus down to the coast (3 hours) you, too, can find yourself on the other side of the world, nestled in ocean on the outskirts of a little town named Ban Phe.  Thailand is called the Land of Smiles. Clearly this was a quite literal translation.  The people are very friendly and are always smiling, especially when greeted by a “Farang” (Foreigner) – a rare site for the people out here. There are vendors on the streets all day and evening selling a variety of drinks and foods, such as chicken on a stick, fish on a stick, pork balls on a stick… you get the idea.  Everything looks unusual but delicious; that is except for the dried and salted fish… on a stick.  Beyond looking disgusting fish on a stick also smells putrid, which is very much exacerbated by the heat.  Every morning the Thais come out and give food to the monks who live nearby as a way to increase their good merit for their next reincarnated life.  They pray, eat breakfast, play on the beach, and take pictures of us TEFL farangs.  Sometimes they even touch us for good luck.  All this activity takes place before 7am when the sun’s rays begin to lay down its fury.  The ocean is expansive.  The beaches have nice sand but are a bit scattered with broken shells, tiny hermit crabs, and unfortunately washed up plastic bags-  (People, after seeing this I urge you to use reusable bags… especially those that begin with “A Friend of the Earth” : ) ).  Lounge chairs are spread out just behind the beaches. They’re set up below pine trees that line the backside of the beaches.  These chairs are the perfect place to take a break from the sun. There are restaurants that look more like little junkyards cluttered with all the owners possessions.  If it’s a bigger restaurant they may even have a couple of tables for us to sit down.  Despite its unfavorable appearance, these restaurants have very tasty simple Thai dishes, and we eat at them several times a day for only about 40 baht a meal (just over a dollar).  We live in a run down condo with a pool on the beach with about 30 other students from Australia, the UK and the US. Surprisingly enough there are 8 people out here from MN or WI.  The room is about the size of our studio back home- actually it may be a little bigger.  The weather’s hot, the air is always thick with humidity, the smell of garbage and fish often times fill the air, but everyone here is “quam su” (happy).  This is the place that Vince and I live.



~ by The Piersas on May 3, 2008.

One Response to “Our Town”

  1. So glad to see you posting! Sounds like you are going to be greatly immersed in the local culture, and clearly up for the challenge. Best of luck!

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