First day in Chiang Mai! Orientation is over and now onto real life. We took an overnight bus to get here. The busses are so different from the U.S. *ahem, unlike Greyhound in particular* There is much more space between the seats, the seats recline far back for comfortable sleep, a hostess serves food and drink throughout the night, and the bus stops once at a rest stop for food/beverage/bathrooms. Although I wasn’t exactly looking for another long ride, these bus perks certainly made the ride less painful! We got in at 6am and it’s 3:12PM as write this… I am TIRED.
Our school coordinator, Waree, rode the bus with us overnight and arranged for a car to pick us up at the bus station in the city. From there we drove to Sanpatong - my new home for the next 5 months.
Sanpatong is much more bustling than I’d imagined. The photos looked rather quiet, but there are actually a lot of little shops, restaurants and food stands around the area as well as several bright and colorful primary schools! Waree took us to the school we’ll be teaching at - it’s in a really beautiful area. The campus is definitely something I could get used to… I think! We met April, another foreign teacher from North Carolina who arrived here just a week ago. She told us not to be nervous about teaching and that it’s already fun and interesting for her. That puts me a bit at ease although I am definitely still a bit anxious! I just hope my TEFL practice and theory pay off :) I definitely feel a bit more prepared than others going into this without any training. We’ll see though as I have 6 classes on Monday! Diving right in!
My apartment complex is quite nice as well. The two other CIEE teachers, Claire and Nicole, are living here right across the hall and April is on the 2nd floor. We all have studios with queen size beds, a bathroom, dresser and mini-fridge. The heat is still an adjustment so I do feel better with the AC on at this point, but hopefully I’ll require it a little less as time goes on. Disclaimer about Thai beds - they are HARD. I have to buy a mattress topper. I just can’t do it. I'm not sure sleeping on the floor would feel much different...!
Tonight is the Loi Krathong Festival in Chiang Mai city so we’re going to try and partake in the festivities. From the pictures we’ve all seen, it should be pretty magical… see pic above!