When I first arrived in Lang Suan it was 3:30 in the morning, I was expecting to be in Chumphon, and nestled in a little house by the sea. What I got was an hour outside the city of Chumphon, a house by the train tracks, and complete seclusion. I didn’t sleep a wink because as I was closing my eyes, the roosters from next door started crowing and the trains were in full force. There was nothing in my apartment except a thin mattress on the floor and there was no sink in the “bathroom.” Now this was me being out of my element. I was furious. I felt like I was completely lied to about where I was going. I was the first person to be confirmed in Chumphon and somehow I was the one that ended up all the way outside of it. I was bawling crying and livid at the same time. I didn’t know how the heck I got put into this situation. I felt utterly and completely alone.
Two of the teachers picked me up in the morning to show me around town and take me to breakfast. Thais don’t really do breakfast like we do in America. Any food can be breakfast. Defintely something I have to get used to especially since breakfast food is my favorite!! There are only two main roads and it took all of five minutes to see the place. Of course I had no idea how to get anywhere after our short tour. We stopped by the school as well. It was pretty big and looked pretty nice. School was starting the next day so I got to see the classrooms and my little desk. Later I met up with James (an AYC teacher that I happened to have met a few weeks before) and he introduced me to the only other female foreigner in this little town. Jackie is from England and she’s great. She speaks pretty much fluent Thai and we have come to the agreement that we will work out together and she will attempt to teach me Thai. What a great little deal! Still unsure of the place, still in my little house by the train tracks, and still feeling completely alone despite the nice people, I pressed on to my first day of teaching.
The first day of school made the difference. These kids were amazing. They were full of smiles and they absolutely LOVE me. I look over and I see little boys pressing their faces against the door to see in. It’s incredible! I walk through the school and every student says hello to me with huge grins on their face. I think I’m one of the first female farang (what they call foreigners in Thailand) teachers at the school, which is why I’m treated like a superstar. Maybe this place isn’t going to be so bad afterall. Oh, and I found out that I only have a three and a half day work week so that will make going to the islands almost every weekend a definite feasible option.
The town is tiny, but I think that’s what I needed. I’m going to get the real Thailand experience here and I think I’m going to get everything out of this situation I can. The people here are great, the food is delicious, and I think I’m going to be ok here…