After about a week of non-stop activities and getting settled into our new home, Alex and I are starting to feel quite comfortable here in Bangkok. Our neighborhood reminds us so much of our place in KL that it almost feels like we never left. As the locals would say, it’s “same same, but different.”
The best part is that we have all the conveniences of an expat neighborhood (medical clinic, fancy grocery store, and all sorts of restaurants), but our compound is actually within a quiet Thai neighborhood (moo ban), which makes it even more special. We love stepping outside the gates and being among the locals in a more typical residential area. We will definitely be exploring our local moo ban as much as we can!
So far, the most obvious difference between KL and Bangkok is the language. Thai seems to encompass everything that scares me about learning a new language: the tones, the lack of spaces between words, and of course, the Thai alphabet. We were certainly spoiled in Malaysia, with English being so widely spoken and Bahasa being fairly easy to understand (at least we could read the letters!). So far it seems that only very basic English is spoken outside of major tourist centers. Thankfully I signed us up for Thai lessons today…
Unfortunately, we haven’t strayed too far from our home-base yet because we’ve been super busy getting ready for the new school year (students return on Wednesday), but we did take a beautiful dinner cruise down the Chao Praya River last night (as part of our new teacher orientation).
We started up in the Nonthaburi area and sailed for about an hour and half to downtown, and then back again. The view was spectacular! Almost every half a kilometer there would be a beautiful Buddhist temple with the traditional Thai architecture and glittering mosaics. As the sun started to set, we could see the temples shining in the distance.