Hello? Is there anybody out there?
Oct 12, 2006
Thanks for being so patient with us. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and we have a lot to say but no time to say it. We have thought of you often and hope we still have any regular blog viewers left. Since so much has happened, we're going to break it up into three entries.
While hanging out in Jomtien, we got a reply about two teaching positions in a small town called Thung Song in the middle of the southern peninsula (above the danger for all you news followers). So we packed up our bags and headed took a 2-hour bus to Bangkok so could catch a train to Thung Song. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived in Bangkok the only train seats available were 3rd class no A/C. While some of you may have shyed away from this quality of transportation, CB and I took it on full force. Oh, did I mention that the train ride was 15-hours? As we took our seat (three people to a bench about the size of a school bus seat) we realized that we were the only farangs (foreigners) that car. After about 20 minutes on the train and many curious stares, we realized we maybe were the only farang EVER to ride in 3rd class no A/C (I think it was the travel Scrabble and ipods that gave us away). Ok, so we could run faster than the train, but we challenge you to find another way to travel 500 miles for less than $5 a person. All in all, it was an interesting experience with no regrets.
We arrived in Thung Song at 7am with bright eyes and a phone number. It would have been more useful to arrive with glazed eyes and a little bit of Thai. We realized pretty quickly it was sink or swim time. We found ourselves fairly sorted but only with the immediate help of Tookta, our new boss/surgate mother/landlord (at least for the first few days). Within 48 hours of our arrival, Tookta helped us get cell phones (we'll post the number and details at the bottom and homepage), an apartment, and a promise of legally working in Thailand (more to come on that in the next couple of entries). We would like to mention that with the cell phones it is free for us to recieve calls, even from other countries (hint, hint). We also met the other farangs in town who number less than 10 in a town of over 30,000. Nothing is in English though there is one place you can buy the Bangkok Post in English, but you have to wait until 11:00am.
Our first night out with the farangs, we met Jamie and Steve. Jamie is a crazy Irishman who is our coworker and our first contact in Thung Song. Steve is a British expat who will only drink Johnny Walker (Kathy, you'll be glad to hear your brand fans are die hard). The boys took us to two of the three farang friendly bars in Thung Song (we're saving the third for next week, we don't want to blow it all too early). The second of the two bars is called Western and we're pretty sure we'll be regulars. Within about 45 minutes of our arrival the band played Bon Jovi and we were sold.
Our third day in Thung Song was the day we got our apartment. It's very Kate-and-Carla friendly complete with a cafe on the first floor where we can hang out, play cards, and drink coffee. Learning Rummy in Jomtien has made us the most popular (only) farangs in the cafe among the motorcycle taxi drivers. We spent a day in Tesco Lotus (one of our favorite places to hang out....it's a store similar to Target) making our place our own.
So that's it on our first couple days in Thung Song. Stay tuned for adventures of English Camp and a new feature for audience participation interactive games :)
Kate and Carla
How to call Thailand from the States (we hope) 011+66+phone number
Carla Cell: 0847506948
Kate Cell: 0848560139