Thung Song thus far…

Thung Song thus far…
It’s been 2 weeks since I have moved into my new ‘home’ here in Thung Song. Pronounced like tune song for all you that have been referring to it as thong song back home! However, I have noticed when I am having a conversation with a local thai and they ask me where I live and I say Thung Song like tune song, they act like I pronounce it wrong, but pronounce it back to me the same way I said it so who knows!
Thung Song is located in southern Thailand in the Nakhon Si Thammart province. I will admit when I first found out that I was going to be moving to Thung Song I had quite the panic attack. I typed Thung Song into Google and barely anything was coming up about this so called ‘city’. I couldn’t find any information and was freaking out that I was going to be living in the middle of nowhere! So I did what I do best and started to cry and panic. After a good nights sleep and a Face Time call with my parents the next morning, I was much more calm and was trying to look on the positive side of things. Over the next week or so I was able to talk to a few more people who had information on Thung Song and it wasn’t sounding all that bad. I mean it is in the south and in easy travel distance to all of the major islands down here! My friends from the TESOL course started getting their placements and they were in the same situation as me trying to find information on their future locations, so that was making feel a bit better as well.  I wasn’t truly going to know what it was going to be like until I got there so I did my best to keep a positive attitude and kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason and that this is where I am meant to be at this time.
Thursday night, April 24th I left Hua Hin on a night train and traveled 9 hours south to Thung Song. And that train ride was not an enjoyable one let me tell you. First off, the train was supposed to be a sleeping train with A/C. Well there was no more A/C carts left when I bought my ticket so problem number 1. I obviously packed way too much coming over here too. I thought that I packed pretty decently for a year trip, but I did not. Two suitcases where one is basically like a body bag is way too much. In typical thai style the train that was supposed to leave at 9:50pm didn’t arrive till 10:45pm. This country is always on thai time which is basically never on time. I have to give a shout out to one of my best friends Jacque because if your reading this which you best be… this country was made for you… no one is ever on time 🙂
Train ticket from Hua Hin to Thung Song
 Waiting at the train station…
Anyways once the train finally had arrived I had about 3 minutes to find my section and get on. Well getting my massive luggage on to the train was a SERIOUS struggle. As I was pulling up the second suitcase (I barely had it on the train) the train started to drive away. Luckily myself and my luggage made it on the train at the very last second. Struggle number 1 was done. Now I had to get my luggage into the over head compartments. Struggle number 2. I got the first one up after almost dropping it on a Thai ladies head.Woops. There was NO way I was going to be able to get my body bag up there so after a few hand gestures and some broken up English to a Thai woman in the front she understood I was trying to ask to leave my luggage in the open space and she kindly nodded her head. Okay so that’s all done and now I am sweating. I look up to start to head to my seat and everyone is just staring at me probably wondering what the heck is this white girl doing here. I am the only white person in my train cart.  Of course once I find my seat someone is sitting in it, so I find the next available seat next to an old very large Thai man who does not look thrilled to have me sitting next to him, but oh well I sat there anyways.
Okay, so I am on the train and it is gross and I mean gross. All the windows are wide open so luckily it didn’t matter there was no A/C because there was quite the breeze. It’s a little after 11 at night at this point and I just want to sleep I am so exhausted, but unfortunately for me I do not sleep well on public transportation. So I read a bit of my book and started to doze off. Woke up around 12:30 a.m. and wanted to cry thinking that I had 8 more hours left on this train. Did I mention it was pretty cold with all the windows down so I was using my purse for a blanket (it was all I had and no it did not work) plus my hair wouldn’t stop getting in my face even with it up. I looked around and there were people sleeping in the aisles and under their seats. Anyways I nodded off and on the whole night. Luckily around 5am the two girls sitting in front of me got off and I was able to take their spot and lay down. The sun came up around 6 or so and around 7 I was up. The ride was actually nice with the sun out being able to see the views. My arrival time in Thung Song was supposed to be at 8:55a.m. but seeing how we got off to a late start I wasn’t too sure. Oh and as you could imagine everything was written in Thai. Luckily around 9:45 a.m I had made it to Thung Song. The only reason I knew it was my stop was because I looked at the lady next to me and pointed/asked “Thung Song?”
 So glamorous
Alright so I am here and it doesn’t look like the middle of nowhere. Good sign. A lady from Tantiwatra school (the school I will be working at) was picking me up to bring me to my apartment. I was very impressed when I saw where I will be living because it was new and more modern than I expected. Good sign number 2.

A few pictures of my new room down below…

The views from my balcony…

After being shown my room, I had a few hours to shower and get settled in before I was getting picked up to go to my new school to be shown around. I arrived to my school and I was surprised to see how big and nice it was! It also had a random, but pretty awesome dinosaur park out in front. There is a pool and all the rooms are air conditioned. Once there I met the director of the English Program and a few of the other foreign teachers. Well in true Thai style once again, I was informed that I wasn’t going to be teaching Kindergarten anymore. I’ve learned not to count on information given to you until whatever you were told about is actually happening because nothing seems to be set in stone over here. Anyways I wasn’t that devastated, instead of kindergarten I am going to be teaching 4th grade now which I am still super excited about! I will also be teaching them math and science and not only English. School starts May 16th (which is a Friday kind of strange). So for the past week and a half I have been going to school to start getting lesson plans and all that good stuff ready for the first term.
Tantiwatra International School where I will be teaching!!
Some key points I’ve noticed about Thung Song so far…
  • Everyone stares at you, everyone
  • No one walks anywhere 
  • Everyone rides a motor bike.. which I am a proud new owner of… or has a car
  • Barely any rules to the road
  • You will get shouted at by the Thai men
  • The only white people in Thung Song are the foreign teachers (definitely not a tourist area)
  • Geckos or tik-toks in Thai, will be your new roommates whether you like it or not (I’ve accepted it after the first three that have entered my room)
  • Barking dogs everywhere and they will bark/run after me during my daily jog
  • As long as you smile, the Thai’s will smile back at you 🙂
  • Everyone stares at you (yes I know I repeated this)
A few things I am thankful for in Thung Song
(that remind me of home)
  • TESCO Supermarket… Where you can basically find anything you need
  • 7-elevens all over 
  • The PIZZA Company (that delivers too)
  • Swensens and Dairy Queen 
  • The mall (which I know the name, but am gonna save myself from butchering the spelling)
 A few starting goals for living in Thung Song …
  • Learn to speak more Thai 
  • Definitely learn how to say/order the food in Thai 
  • Make lasting friendships
  • Explore more of the area…There are waterfalls all around that I am eager to go see and a cave nearby 
  • Check out the night markets more frequently
  • Make friends with local Thais 
  • Travel as much as possible
  • Be a great teacher!
From the first two weeks of being here in Thung Song I have been able to meet some of the other foreign teachers living here. Everyone has been super kind, welcoming, and helpful.  I can’t wait to see what Thung Song and Thailand in general has in store for me. The journey is just beginning…

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