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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

That Time I Moved to Bangkok

The June heat of North Carolina had just started to kick in. Humidity was on the rise. Grass needed to be cut. Mosquitoes were swarming, and the call of the road was beckoning once again. I was only in NC 3 weeks since my job in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ended. Yet it seemed like a lifetime.

I love almost everything about Charlotte, NC. But being back home and not working proved to be somewhat difficult for me. I missed life as an expat like a puppy misses its owner. My time in NC was divided between visiting friends and family and looking for the next adventure. Before long, I was offered a job at Saipanya Rangsit School in the suburbs of Bangkok. 

On July 2nd, I boarded a Singapore Airlines flight with a final destination of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Anyone who has traveled in SE Asia has probably passed through Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. It is the regions cheapest international hub and offers reasonably priced flights to most corners of the globe.  The airport handles around 53 million passengers a year.

After navigating my way down endless corridors and moving sidewalks, I exited customs with my bags and grabbed a taxi for the city. My first week or so in Thailand was just like all of my other visits here. I spent time in the “foreigner ghetto” area of Sukhumvit. 

The area is a mix of expats from all over the world and resourceful Thais who are skillful at making a buck from these foreigners. There are bars, night clubs, street markets, western food places, and numerous hotels from 1 to 5 stars. By American standards, the area is super cheap and exciting.

 However, the following week I started to learn what true Thai life is like. I found an apartment a few km beyond Don Meaung Airport and only 5 minutes from my new job location.  This was my inductions to living in a true Thai lifestyle, albeit with most of the conveniences that locals could not afford.

My apartment was rather simple. There was a queen sized bed, two windows, a bathroom with a shower, a small balcony, lcd tv, a few small tables, a mini fridge, and a breakfast table and chairs by the window. The building is brand new, so everything was in nice working order. My place was on the 6th floor.  On the first floor there was a 24 hour 7/11. Very convenient.

Just outside my apartment there were about 20 or so food vendors offering the most delicious items I could imagine.

This is a look down my street or Soi in the suburbs of Bangkok.

 I love the Thai use of plants and water.

 No shoes in class!

 Endless supplies of exotic fruits.
 I even had a chance to eat scorpion.

 And I was always eating grilled squid!

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