May 12, 2012 (Bangkok)
This morning we headed out fairly early to meet with our students at Rajamangala University. There was an opening ceremony (a few speeches and camp leader introductions) and then we got to meet our students. I have Tip, Beer, EA (pronounced 'A!', Joyz, Love Love, Gift and Toey Toey. They seem to be a super nice group of kids, but shy. But I get that. It's the first day. They were probably trying to figure our what sort of teacher I was going to be. They are all about my age (19-22 age range), which is sort of strange because I really do have this 'kids' mentality stuck in my head. Their majors rang from International Business to Accounting to Culinary Arts. Since today was the very first day we only spent about an hour with them.
After which, we headed over to the super malls to do some shopping. We all found some tank-tops we all really liked from the same vendor. I managed to bargain the price down all the way to almost half-price. Pretty cool if I do say so myself.
That night we took the BTS to the very end of the Mo Chit line, got off, and walked for a mile or so to night market. And I can now mark eating street food off my Thailand to-do list. At the far end of this market there were several food places. I got two chicken feathers (tenders without the breading) covered in a sweet sauce (the Thai equivalent of ketchup) and a Chile sauce, on wood skewers and cooked on a grill. Holy Cabooses Barnaby Tucker, it was amazing! After dinner we walked around this out door market. The majority of it was junk, but they did have some really cool vintage stuff.
May 13, 2012 (Bangkok to Pattaya)
Today we started out really early. We were picked up at the hotel at 6:30. It was an interesting ride. Bangkok is a very big city but it was cool to drive through it and get to see the 'burbs. We also got to see the merest hint of farm land. We made a pit stop at a market and tried this traditional Thai dessert that comes in a bamboo shoot. It's a sticky rice that has purple fruit and sugar in it. It was delicious.
Pattaya is a reasonably big city on the northern gulf-coast of Thailand. It's a huge resort area. And out hotel was really nice with the exception of all the little ants crawling around in the bathroom. But they were in the bathroom and not the bedroom. --There's also a saying here among the group that I'm with, "This is Thailand" and the Thais have a saying (and I don't know how you spell it) that is pronounced Sa-bye Sa-bye. Let it be. Go with the flow. Don't stress. There's a huge concept of Face over here, and making sure you don't loose yours...in the figurative sense of the word.
When we got to Pattaya we were immidenetnly thrown into the class room for about a hour. There was no teaching everyone just socialized. We hand lunch and then it was straight on to teaching. I started out with this icebreaker I came up with on the plane ride over. A deck of cards, face down on the table and a bag of questions. If the campers guessed the color of the card correctly then they could ask me any question, not just the ones in the bags. If they guessed the questions incorrectly I got to ask them a question out of the bag. I learned that my kids don't like Rock 'n' Roll or Chocolate Ice cream!After that we played competative hangman. And they rock at competative hangman. If you don't do really long ones as soon a one letter is up ont the board they can guess it. Then they taught us a word game the like to play. Someone would go to the board and right 'October', and then the next person would right, 'Rain' &ct. So you'd end up with a board full of: 'Octoberainamexamplelephantimegguess'. It's pretty cool.
We hit the pool before and after dinner. It's hot but the constant sea-breeze is wonderful.