Confusing Day in Bangkok

August 13, 2008
Wednesday, August 13th

Woke up this morning at 8am. Was supposed to be at a “counselor meeting” at 8:30 am at school. Oops. I leave my apartment at 8:20, walk to the ferry and sit down at ~ 8:45. Look down at my uniform (black skirt, white button up, brown belt. Why brown belt with black skirt is a mystery to me) and think “Wait, wasn’t I wearing a belt this morning!?” The belt had just fallen right off my hips and I never even noticed. A few hours later another exchange student said he saw a belt lying on the ground while he was walking to school. Guess he found my belt…

I get to school at ~9, without a clue where everyone is. I ask a Thai girl for help and she walks with me all the way to the other building…Thai students are so nice! I finally walk into the “counselor’s meeting” at a bit past 9. 5-10 minutes later, they dismiss us. Oops again!

I hang around the classroom to figure out what I missed. I happen to glance behind some people and see the TU (University here I am attending) website on the computer screen. I see one of my classes, Principles of Marketing, has been canceled for next Tuesday and rescheduled for this Saturday!! Not only that, but it is rescheduled for 9:00- 14:00 o’clock!!! A 5 hour class, are you kidding me? And, were they planning on telling us about this “little” change?!?!?  They are so inefficient here!  I would have missed class this Saturday (well, I’ll be missing it anyway. 5 hour class on Saturday? No thank you, I think I will go to the islands instead. Sorry Mom and Dad!), and shown up on Tuesday, really confused as to why the professor wasn’t there.Unbelievable. TU is like a backwards version of UT (ha, get it?)

Thammasat University

Later, I am told I need to get my picture taken at a photo place so I can put it on my student id. I go to the street behind TU (so crazy, one block from TU is 3rd world country, complete with street vendors and stray dogs. Oh a word on stray dogs. They are EVERYWHERE in Thailand. Hundreds of dogs. It is so sad….you can tell they have a tough life). I get my picture taken and in true Tracey style, the picture is horrendous!! That’s okay, I just wont show it to anyone 😉

Maharat Market, behind TU

Afterwards, I have lunch at this hidden gem of a restaurant on the 2nd floor of the cafeteria at TU. I spend 5 minutes trying to ask the waiter if the chicken is fried or stir-fried. He just looks at me. I keep talking. He keeps looking. I determinedly press forward, asking “Is this meal fried?” He doesn’t says a word for 5 minutes; it is just me talking. I eventually concede, “okay, we’ll just order this and be surprised”. Ended up being a great meal! 🙂

After lunch, I head to class. It is a 3 hour class and I am bored after 20 minutes. I leave (again, sorry Mom and Dad!). I head off to find Narisa, the bba exchange coordinator, to get my classes settled. The class I left was one that hasn’t yet (and probably won’t) be approved by UT (my home university), so I met with Narisa to figure out if I can take another marketing class in its place, to avoid falling behind in credits. Again, nothing gets accomplished by this conversation. More funny looks and confusion.

After this, I meet up with my Thai friend, Warren, and we attempt to open a Thai bank account for me, bc I am almost out of money! I decide not to do it, as I opened up a citibank account, which has branches in Bangkok, before I left. I will try to go there asap and get some money… I need to pay rent!! … I’m sure that trip will be an adventure in itself.

Oh, I also checked out the Muai Thai (thai boxing) club at school—looking forward to potentially joining that!

Most importantly, Warren taught me some thai on the way home from school. Today, I learned how to tell a taxi driver to “turn left/right” and I also learned numbers 1- 900ish. Now, I can bargain with street vendors!

*An aside* I am eating rice which I cooked myself! Even though cooking rice is about as easy as boiling water, I am proud of myself! A true asian in the making….

Until next time!

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