Let’s get into Orientation!
So I wake up hella early on my first day, which is to be expected because jet lag is a real thing. Lucky for me, everyone else seems to be in the same boat.
I would like to start this next part out by saying that there are about 70 foreign teachers here, all getting orientated by these OEG people. So, the confidence I was feeling at the end of the first day with the few names of the few people I had met at that point came crashing down as new face after new face was introduced to me at the beginning of this first day.
Regardless, I push forward with the names. I really feel like my cap is at like 20 new people at any given time. I can say with confidence I know at least 20 people.
They start off with some icebreakers.
Okay, my kingdom for a time where I no longer have to play icebreakers. Can’t they just trust that we are adults by this point and can properly icebreaker ourselves. And tbh hearing the name and one “fun fact” of 70 people at once seriously does nothing for me.
We got a speech on Thai history from a man names Phillip who I swear to God sounded like he was going to cry the whole time. He sounded like he was terrified of public speaking, and in my head I’m like “this guy is going to teach us how to command a classroom”? I completely zoned out during the history part, not because I didn’t want to know but because Phil was just reading off a piece of paper!
Come on people.
So, blah blah blah. First day done. And we went out to look for some drinks. But the king had just died so no one was really serving. And I began to feel awkward even asking. Like “oh, sorry, I didn’t know” Stupid farang.
Oh btw, “farang” is foreigner. It’s like the slang word they use for clueless white people.
Oh yes, much farang.
We finally found this wester-y looking place that would serve us some “big Changs” and we decide to crash there for a while.
This was the first time that we kind of clicked into a little group. At least that’s how it felt to me. It was me, Laura (the very talkative, hilarious, well-travelled Kentuckian), Charlotte (previously mentioned and pictured above), Jeff (also previously mentioned and pictured above), Andrew (the first person I even met at the SFO airport) and Alex (the Canadian, enough said). Yay, the little crew!
Anyway. That night there was yet another market. And
We ate bugs!
Well, I ate a grasshopper
And then Jeff, Andrew, and Laura ate this truly disgusting looking water bug. Basically like a golf-ball sized thing.
They were all appropriately disgusted.
God bless Laura for following along with the boys. She’s fearless.
The face says it all.
Day 2 in Chiang Mai!
So the next day was more of the same on the orientation front. Though we did end up playing jeopardy.
I will go down to my grave thinking the following:
There is nothing that I hate more than being forced as a grown adult to play jeopardy in a group.
I’m over it.
I’m 22, damn it. I shouldn’t have to sit though this anymore. Unless Alex Trebek is actually involved, then I believe no one above the age of 18 that should be playing jeopardy anymore. Enough. And no one can ever get the rules straight.
And that day really pooped us all out. Example AJ:
Overtime I see this photo a crack myself up. Even now I am laughing alone in my apartment.
It was possibly the jeopardy that pushed me over the edge that day and I decided to go out with a vengeance.
Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration.
But I did drink a few big Changs.
I took my new friends to this really fun bar I remembered from my last time in Chiang Mai. It’s called the Rooftop Bar and it was actually right next to our hotel. And thank god it was actually just as cool as I remembered.
Everyone sits on the ground and you can look out over the whole city.
This photo was actually from my last time in Chiang Mai. (But you get the idea)
Me and Andrew. It was cool that I met him the first day because we actually ended up getting along super well!
We went to another bar down the street and I played the best game of pool I have ever played in my life. The Changs definitely made the difference. Of course, the best game of pool for me meant that I made like 2 shots instead of zero. Which is how it usually works for me. I don’t want to mislead anyone on my pool skills.
That night was the first time we hung out with Marina and Fisayo (oh jeez I hope I’m spelling fifi’s name right…). They are a couple from Colorado and I’m kind of obsessed with them. They have only been dating a few months but they were like “fuck it” let’s go to Thailand together. 555
Any way we got home really late, which wasn’t great because the next day
We went to see Elephants! (a.k.a Changs–like the beer)
We were up at the crack of dawn because we were bound on an hour-long bus ride out of the city to an elephant sanctuary.
Now I had been feeling some guilt since my last elephant excursion due to various documentaries about the elephant tourism industry. But this was the good place. This was a sanctuary. You couldn’t ride them. And they had a hospital. So calm down before you start launching criticisms at me, friends.
And we got to make elephant poop paper.
Well, Andrew and Jeff touched it. I did not. So bummed.
Honestly, I was just distracted all day thinking about eating cheeseburgers.
We saw the hospital and then got back into the van for more rides to the second half of the field trip. And that was to see
And I regretted bringing my wide lens because no way in hell was a getting to close to them. They looked angry as shit.
They showed us how the water buffalo’s worked. And some very lucky group members got to stop around in the mud and shit (literally) and pretend to work with them.
I don’t know why people kept volunteering for these activities at this point.
Come on, people. Haven’t we learned?
So I don’t want to sound like a spoiled brat at this point or anything, but I”m pretty sure the mutual feeling between all of us by this point at like 5 in the afternoon was sheer exhaustion. We were all just sort of wondering around waiting for the leaders to tell us it was okay to get back into the van and go home to shower. And eat a cheeseburger.
And shower I did.
And it felt wonderful.
Happy Water Buffalo. (I mean me)
So I didn’t get my cheeseburger. Instead, I ended up being dragged to this restaurant that all these people had been wanting to go to. It was this over-decorated place with huge red flowers and fabric and swings. It was very romantic looking, but made me feel like it was definitely one of those tourist traps where they use their over-the-top decor to upcharge for mediocre food.
And guess what? It totally was!
Any maybe I was just bitter because I really wanted a cheeseburger.