Picture
Kara Loveday
Thammasat University, Thailand

So I’ve not blogged for a while because I’ve had little to blog about. This is because as most of you know, I’ve been sick the last few weeks. I thought I would omit this part of my trip from the records but now have decided “What the heck”, sickness abroad is worth blogging about. For those of you who’ve been sick abroad, I’d imagine my three weeks worth of sickness would bring you to sympathize with me. As for those of you who have not yet been sick abroad, it’s terrible. At times you feel like you are on your death bed, waiting for the Good Lord to take you from your misery. I’m pretty sure that the rest of the time you literally are on your death bed, slowing dying. I have now been to two different hospitals, three different times, seen three different doctors, had a shot, blood taken, prescribed everything in the book, and been reminded of how much my decaying body weighs multiple times (the best part of course).
Despite the feeling like death and constant reminder that Bangkok has it out for me, I’ve had a pretty awesome support system and think that I might just make it out alive. Being sick abroad is nothing like being sick at home: different pillow, different bed, weird smells, and a sewage system that doesn’t quite support the mess that your body is ridding. The positive thing about being sick abroad is that you get to see how willing those around you are to help out. I’ll take this time to give a shout out to my awesome roommate Lorraine who’s taken wonderful care of me , my neighbor Le’Chelle who’s always checking on me, and my teacher who cares enough about her students to make a doctor’s appointment for one of them. I’d have to say I’ve been placed in pretty good hands while dying in Bangkok. I’ve also had some seasoned travelers (my parents) who have been able to show me where I went wrong (Ohh, you actually meant it when you said not to eat raw veggies, drink the water, and be careful of street foods). Got ya. So now I officially can give first hand advice to future travelers- don’t eat raw veggies or fruit without peelings, don’t drink the water, and be cautious when partaking in street vending. Oh, and listen to your parents who’ve spent over 20% of their lives abroad.
So as I wait for my test results I can happily say that I feel much better and have hit a milestone in my life that most cannot claim. That is that I’ve officially, successfully lived in Bangkok, Thailand for a month and although Bangkok has come after my life pretty hard, I’m still alive and kicking. So here’s to you Bangkok, bring it on.
Also, this picture has no significance other that it was taken on my way home from the hospital. It’s the UN building in Thailand!

To follow more of Kara's adventures in Thailand check out her blog Mai Pen Rai at http://karaloveday.wordpress.com/

 
 

Kara Loveday
Thammasat University, Thailand

So this past weekend we decided that we’d hope on a greyhound and head to the beach. For those of you who have never been by bus anywhere, it is quite the experience and one that everyone should have at least once. The bus was just like an airplane that would never leave the ground with seat numbers, a ticket, and an uncomfortably small and gross bathroom. Perfection. As we made this short trip to Pattaya beach, we drove past the non Bangkok part of Thailand. This was the Thailand that looked familiar and less foreign until we drove past small fires on the sides of the road that were unattended with possibly no intentions of becoming attended. Once we arrived at Pattaya we realized that this was no ordinary Myrtle Beach. It was a place primarily for single men. Despite this fact, we had fun with it and stayed away from the madness that it is known for. The beach is lined with vendors selling you a prime piece of real state on the sand and various foods and souvenirs. For someone who would like to be catered to, this was the perfect spot. Your entire job was to sit while anything you wanted or needed was within reach. What I learned from this experience is two things: first, although something is deemed a certain way, you do not have to conform to that and second, nothing is free in Thailand including a place in the sand.

To follow more of Kara's adventures in Thailand check out her blog Mai Pen Rai at http://karaloveday.wordpress.com/
 
 
Kara Loveday
Thammasat University, Thailand

So yesterday, after sitting through a course about Thai food, we decided to become more gutsy about what we were eating here. For the first few days, everything looks foreign and dangerous to eat. This is partly due to the fact that I do not understand the language in which things are described in and more so because everything is cooked on the street. As an American, I have been raised to believe that what we eat should be of the most quality in terms of freshness, cleanlyness, and type of food. That’s why we eat McDonalds and Taco Bell. This week I’ve learned to come away from the traditional views about food and try something new. The picture is of the most amazing street food! It’s rice with fresh veggies and chicken. The lady who made it literally cut the veggies in front of my face. There is also egg in this dish. Egg that had been sitting out on a hot street corner all day. As an American I think how dangerous the egg is without refridigeration but the truth is that fresh eggs do not need to be refriderated. It was amazing and way more than I could ever imagin eating. This fresh meal cost me $1. So my lesson I’ve learned this week is eat to learn about the area, culture, truth about food and also learn to eat things that might not seems so appealing at first.

To follow more of Kara's adventures in Thailand check out her blog Mai Pen Rai at http://karaloveday.wordpress.com/
 
 
Picture
Kara Loveday
Thammasat University, Thailand

This week I have learned many things about the Thai culture, one of which I feel is very important for those who truly want to emerse themselves in it. This is the wai. The wai is a traditional Thai greeting that is displayed in a few different forms. Because Thai culture is based traditionally on hirachy, each wai is developed from ones status in society. For example, if I was to wai at a monk, it would look very reverent because he is of a high status in Thai society. My hands would be at the top of my forehead, pressed firmly together, with my sholders bowed toward the monk. If I was greating a child, my hands would be at my chest, pressed firmly together, with a slight bow in my sholders.
As a person in a foreign land, showing reverence for those who claim this culture is important. It signifies an understanding of their culture, even if you do not agree with the the ideas behind it. Respect the hiarchy and follow it traditonally. Do not do it to fit in or look like you belong. Wai because you understand and embrace the culture. Wai because you respect the Thai people. Remember, you are on someone else’s turf so do as they do, wai.

This week I have learned many things about the Thai culture, one of which I feel is very important for those who truly want to emerse themselves in it. This is the wai. The wai is a traditional Thai greeting that is displayed in a few different forms. Because Thai culture is based traditionally on hirachy, each wai is developed from ones status in society. For example, if I was to wai at a monk, it would look very reverent because he is of a high status in Thai society. My hands would be at the top of my forehead, pressed firmly together, with my sholders bowed toward the monk. If I was greating a child, my hands would be at my chest, pressed firmly together, with a slight bow in my sholders.
As a person in a foreign land, showing reverence for those who claim this culture is important. It signifies an understanding of their culture, even if you do not agree with the the ideas behind it. Respect the hiarchy and follow it traditonally. Do not do it to fit in or look like you belong. Wai because you understand and embrace the culture. Wai because you respect the Thai people. Remember, you are on someone else’s turf so do as they do, wai.

To follow more of Kara's adventures in Thailand check out her blog Mai Pen Rai at http://karaloveday.wordpress.com/