the randomness that is my wonderful life

the randomness that is my wonderful life
so it’s been a minute since i updated the random things i’ve been doing here in thailand. bear with me as i attempt to write a super long blog post!
a couple of weeks ago, wanderlust got the best of us and we ventured to bangkok for a short, getaway weekend. we caught the 9ish hour overnight bus to bangkok on friday night and arrived bright and early around 530 on saturday morning. there was a dunkin’ donuts in the bus station, but thailand doesn’t run on dunkin’ and it was closed. needless to say, i was quite disappointed at the lack of coffee fix to early in the morning. however, the starbucks and american style breakfast of eggs, sausage, and toast a little later made up for it in no time! we checked into our hostel on sukhumvit 21, grabbed breakfast, and then set off for wandering around bangkok.
ruby and i decided to go to the mbk mall. it was probably one of the biggest market style shopping areas i’ve been to in thailand, thus far.
times square is in…. bangkok?
inside mbk
after our trip to mbk (where i found another dunkin’ donuts and had my dunkin’ fix), we decided it was nap time and worked our way back to the hostel. along the way, we stopped to get a thai oil massage. needless to say, that was an experience. it was nice and did help with the tight muscles from the overnight bus ride. then, after a quick nap and a shower, we headed out for a night on the town.
one street in bangkok that everyone says is a ‘must’ is cowboy street. ruby and i aren’t exactly into thai girls, so we didn’t stick around too long.
cowboy street
we did end up finding a pretty cool, little place for dinner. they had a ton of little lantern lights hanging from the ceiling and everything was brightly colored. i opted for fried rice inside a pineapple for dinner. definitely worth the extra 80 baht for it to come inside the pineapple.
my dinner of fried rice in a pineapple. yum! 
after our dinner, we wandered around looking for somewhere to stop and grab a drink and hang out. we ended up wandering all over the area we stayed in. we walked through the middle eastern part of bangkok, through the street markets, up and down and all over, then ended up in a sky bar. we met up with some other friends and sat to talk and hang out here for a bit before calling it a night.
view of bangkok at night from the sky bar
the next day, we went to a fancy mall that was themed. each floor was designed after a different place in the world, so that was pretty cool. it was, however, quite expensive. so we caught the sky train, or bst, to chatuchak or jj market. it’s the biggest market in thailand.
this was definitely a sight to see. more stores and shops and things to buy than you can imagine. so much food, as well. there were also more foreigners than i’ve seen since i got to thailand. found myself staring at them like the thai stare at me haha
we wandered around for quite some time, bought some clothes and various other things, then had to head back to the bus station to catch the overnight bus back to mukdahan.
chatuchak market
sooo many people
 the main bus station in bangkok, mochit station
we got back to mukdahan around 530 in the morning. had a quick rest in my room, showered, and headed to school for a week of teaching.
later in the week, i walked down to see the sunset on the mekhong river. and then proceeded to take about 200 other sunset pictures in the last couple weeks. there have been some crazy storms, clouds, and sunsets lately.
enough of pretty sunsets (even though i can’t get enough of them!) and onto a couple random/weird things that you don’t see in america.
please look at the electric box the man is leaning against
how do you even know which electric line to fix?!
the mug i use at work sometimes. uh… translation error?
seen at the local grocery store.
ermagherd. basil lerf.
what graffiti should look like
school has been a little bit crazy since the semester is coming to an end. one activity that we had was ASEAN Day. ASEAN stands for asian countries coming together and working together as a whole. so, to celebrate, we dressed up as different countries. my students decorated the hall and put on a little show. we had dancers and a costume contest.
my costume was vietnamese
all of the teachers!
my co-teacher for my older students, P Hong, has taken in ruby and me as her own. (in thailand, people who are older than you are referred to as ‘P’ and those younger are referred to as ‘Nong’. i call her P Hong and she calls me Nong Amber. the same goes for the other teachers. however, my students call me Teacher Amber or Ajan Amber. Ajan means teacher in thai.) she has taken us to lunch, to the immigration office, taught us about thai culture and thai language, and is a wonderful person. she’s so sweet and invited us to her home for dinner. her husband works at the public health office and they were having a celebration. so who else would come to this other than the mayor of mukdahan. he brought a guest with him, as well. pretty sure this dog was a stuffed animal. so cute.
the mayor with his manly, attack dog
the morning after our dinner party at P Hong’s house, ruby and i were invited to be guest speakers at a conference. it was a three day seminar for directors and supervisors at primary schools. we taught them basic daily life things, symptoms when you are sick and the types of drugs to take for those symptoms, travel terms, and hotel terms. it was a lot of fun and since there were only about 20 people, we were able to get through a lot of material and have a good time.
some of the people from the conference
after the conference, we got to relax by the pool
 we finished the conference and i wanted some fresh air.
i grabbed some food and walked down to the river and saw a full rainbow coming out of the river!
the reason we had monday and tuesday off from school was mother’s day. in thailand, mother’s day is the queen’s birthday and they do fireworks to celebrate. i was in my room and couldn’t figure out what the noise was, so it was nice to find out it was only fireworks
 it’s been really hot some days and pouring rain the other days. but i’ve managed to stay pretty active despite the crazy weather. the park i run in has a little tunnel thing in it, which gets super slippery when it’s been raining.
the gym i’ve been going to on occasion
can you say sweaty?
the park also has random events sometimes. not sure what this one was for, but there were a bunch of people and dancers out and about. fun fact about thailand. the national anthem plays all over the country at 8 in the morning (i’m at school) and at 6 at night. if you’re anywhere where the anthem plays, everyone stops moving and turns toward the flag or turns to where the song is coming from and listens to the anthem. once it’s over, everyone resumes what they are doing. if you’re at the park, every single person stops walking or running and listens to the anthem play, then they resume their workout.
we also had a really big full moon. this shot is also from the same park and show the hotel where we did the conference.
here is the noodle soup shop right across the street from where i live. her soup is my favorite and there’s always some form of animal company there as well.
one example of animal friends at dinner 🙂
how i do laundry. pick a random machine on the side of the street:
insert 20 baht and come back in an hour
laundry done
it also rains a lot in thailand. and almost every day. some days though, it reeeealllly rains/floods. torrential downpour in 2.5 seconds. here are some pics from around the school when it’s pouring.
the sidewalk turned river 
this is roof above the second floor/a swimming pool according to my student
inside the building i teach in
remember my really wonderful co teacher? she invited all of the foreign teachers to her home one night for dinner. she cooked a bunch of thai food (i made chicken fajitas with tortillas taco seasonings from america. ruby made guacamole. can you say one happy girl?) we had pad thai, fried rice, stir fried veggies with meat, and one of my favorite dishes, stir fried morning glory with chiles and other goodies.
p hong’s husband cooking fried rice in their kitchen
also, a really nice person
the weekend after dinner at p hong’s house, she took us to the overlook on the ‘mountain’, which is really more of a big hill you have to drive up. the overlook is really pretty though. you can see all of mukdahan, the mekhong river, and laos. i went up there with some friends and had the thai version of a grapefruit. gonna miss all of the delicious fruits here!
 ruby, line, me, and amy at the overlook
me with p hong
the cool painting on the ground
panoramic shot of mukdahan, the river, and laos on the other side
there’s a temple just behind the overlook, as well
sorry for the random collage of events. guess that’s what happens when you don’t update your blog for weeks! eventful weekend to a nearby province coming up, so more to come!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *