We all know the feeling. The rushing, pulsing of your blood. The grin. That stupid, cotton-candy grin. The wide eyes. The slack jaw. The wonder. The mystery. The fascination. The endless adoration. You’ve fallen in love.
In my life, I have fallen in love with one man, and three countries.
When you fall in love with a country, you go through the same system of shock and awe. You cannot get enough of the country; it courses through your veins. You hate to fall asleep because it will only separate you from spending another day with it. And when you leave, it is a bittersweet flight of tears. You begin a long-distance relationship, bound to return.
What were the three countries, you ask?
1. New Zealand
2. Sri Lanka
If this has happened to you, you’re probably nodding your head along with me. If this hasn’t happened, to you, visit http://www.skyscanner.com and start looking up some flights!
Anyways, this new-found love of mine is with Thailand. We had to fly to Bangkok in the beginning of January as it was time for our next job fair.
Yes, we have decided to move on from Kuwait. This is our last year here as we had only signed a two-year contract. This means we’ve only got three and a half months to enjoy this, interesting, country left! I better stop blogging about other countries and start blogging about the one I actually live in!
Why have we decided to move on, you ask? Well, it’s not because of the school. We love our school. It is a perfect fit for us. We love our students, we love the people we work with, we love the IB program. We are only moving on because of the climate and geography. We can’t sustain life in the desert. It’s been a nice, sunny, warm two years, but we need more outdoor recreation.
We flew to Bangkok for the recruitment fair, which is a hectic, four day chaotic event. Luckily, we had done our homework, and arrived cool, calm, and collected.
We had quite a few interviews…
Even quite a few job offers… and….
We accepted positions in Cambodia!
That’s right, tropical, beautiful, lush, Southeast Asia. Miles of quiet beaches, elephants, monkeys, temples, color, flowers, love, life, smiles, music, dancing, iced coffee on the street and cold beer at night. Cambodia. Angkor Wat. We couldn’t be happier. Further, the school we signed with is also an IB school; check it out at ‘Northbridge International School’ in Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh is the capital. We’ve got family friends who live there and rave about it. We are incredibly excited.
So, maybe you can say I’ve fallen in love with a country I haven’t even been to yet…
But first, Bangkok. We only got to snap a few pictures because we were at the job fair the entire time, then had to fly back to Kuwait to work. We did get out and about a bit, though, which I am excited to share with you.
Out of the airport, we took the metro all the way downtown Bangkok to our hotel. I loved how clean and organized the city was!
A street in downtown Bangkok. I loved all the dogs that lounged around! Look at how clean and green it was…. *sigh*
Just some alley with cool architecture. Yeah, I can’t wait to live in Southeast Asia.
A tuk tuk. It’s like a taxi, but far more dangerous.
One afternoon we had free, we decided to walk around a bit. We found this ordeal going on outside a restaurant. I am not sure what kind of animal it is, but everyone sure was excited to cut it open.
You can tell by the script behind these men that it is a Japanese restaurant, and I even wonder if the picture on the wall is the animal they’re cutting up. What do you think?
Sean loved this picture of men playing chess on their break. I loved how everyone was socializing with each other! Just relaxing outside, enjoying each other’s company. The whole city made me feel so happy.
After we signed the contract with Cambodia, we had a free day to enjoy Bangkok. Unfortunately, and most likely due to all of the stress and travel, Sean became quite sick and stayed holed up in the hotel watching television and coughing. I gave him spoonfuls of cough syrup, bought him lunch, hung the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, and started my own walking tour of Bangkok.
I loved all the temples (and color!) everywhere.
I took a water taxi to another part of the city. Look at all these homes built right on the river.
A view of a temple (that I read was built in Cambodian style) across the river.
When I got off the boat, I found a street vendor selling pad thai. I sat down at her table and ate the most delicious pad thai of my life. How much did it cost? 60 Thai Baht, or $2. Paradise. (And all you flower lovers, can you spot the orchids sprinkling her kitchen? Love it!)
Want some dried fish?
I’m pretty sure this was at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
This guy was creepily life-size. I expected him to turn and look at me!
Ssssh, I snuck a picture inside the monastery where the monks live!
An intersection in Bangkok.
A road that I just hated. I had heard that it would be fun to see “Khao San Road”, so I decided to check it out. What a mistake that was. Thank goodness I went during the day and not at night. It was a drunken tourist trap! I can only imagine what else is going on behind closed doors here…
I only stuck around long enough to take a few pictures and laughingly continue on my way. Adios, Khao San Road. No thanks.
After all this walking around, I decided to grab some fried banana strips. Mmmmm! (I love the middle east for their hummus, but as a vegetarian they really don’t have anything you can eat on a stick. I don’t eat kebab or shawarma, that’s for sure.)
I returned back home to my loving husband, who claimed he was feeling a bit better. I got us some fried rice and we celebrated our successful job fair, and looked forward to an exciting future in Southeast Asia.
Well, there you have it. If you were motivated by the beginning of my blog, and want to travel somewhere new, come see us this fall in the land of palm trees, coconuts, and ancient temples. Hopefully I will speak enough of the language by then, and Sean and I can help you fall in love with a country, like we have…