… the process of adapting or becoming used to a new situation.
One reason I chose to come here was because I wanted to be uncomfortable. To stretch myself in order to test my limits … and there have been plenty of opportunities already to do so. For one thing, the culture here is pretty different. There are a number of very important things to keep in mind when navigating the public terrain. Making sure to be dressed riap roy (appropriately) for instance in every situation, respecting the Thai Royal Family including the royal portrait on bills and coins, remembering to wai and smile, regarding the head as the highest part of the body and feet as the lowest in both a literal as well as figurative sense, keeping books off the floor, running across the street in order to dodge cars and motorbikes coming at you in multiple directions, etc.
The food here is crazy cheap and good. One dollar is equivalent to about 35 baht which is about all you need to spend for a nice meal. You could honestly live off of around 150 baht a day which is a little over 4 dollars. I’m seriously amazed at how affordable things are here in comparison to the U.S. There is also no tax on goods purchased in stores, so the price you see is the price you get! You can also bargain with most vendors on the street and at the night markets. Still, the food is very different as well. I’m spending today eating bananas and toast to get over you-know-what.
On the real though, today is kind of a recovery day for me. Believe it or not, these Peace Corps peeps really know how to party. Sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet have been in short supply these last few days, but I am more than happy to take it all in the name of first week festivities. Some serious working days are up ahead. I feel like we are still in the priming stages. Our mettle is going to soon be tested. We have two days left here at the hotel before we move in with our host families. There is a lot of information that still needs to be covered and my lesson plan needs work. My biggest fear at the moment is not being prepared. I have so many manuals and informational packets to read through. So many words and phrases to learn. A million and one things to experience and adjust to. And yet here I am blogging. I guess procrastination crosses all borders. I’d better get to work studying and trying to make sense of my new “professional” life here as a volunteer. Oh yeah, and hydration. Definitely need to make sure I stay hydrated …