Posted in TEFL experiences

Becoming an Expat and adapting to Thai life

Getting a job in a school was the hard part, looking for somewhere to live was easy, we managed to find an apartment and move in all within 24 hours. I think that’d be a record for anyone. So the day consisted of five apartment viewings, all of which needed to complete the checklist my boyfriend and I had put together. If you’re going to live in a foreign country, you have to go as big as you can afford and live somewhere you could only dream of living back home. To be honest, with the weather like it is in England it would only ever be just that, a dream! Our checklist consisted of: A pool, a mountain view, a balcony and a gym on site so we could never have an excuse not to go to the gym (oh how naïve we were!). Life can’t get much better than waking up to see the view we have out of our corner flat, where there are amazing views whichever way you look.

So once we had the employment and the apartment, the next step was to rent a bike. Now I was never crazy about the idea, especially when you see the Asian style traffic. However it was the only feasible option to get around in such a big city. That said, I will never be the one driving, being left-handed and trying to drive an automatic motorbike which is designed for right-handed people would never work, and apparently I have the balance of a four year old so that wouldn’t work either!

The final step to becoming an expat in Thailand is settling in to the Thai way of life. Four months on and although we feel very settled to life here now, there are always surprises. Take a few weekends back for example, we went for a drive to some hot springs about an hour and a half’s drive from our condo. On the way back we hit another annoying set of traffic lights, go to pull off and guess what, we get a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere. No shops around, no people around, nothing! So we pull over and start to push the bike, traffic stops at the lights and we are gestured to walk down a small road. We start to walk and push this really heavy bike, some local Thai’s see us and pick up our bike in their pickup truck and drive us to the nearest garage. Bear in mind that we speak very little Thai and these guys spoke no English at all! We were amazed at the generosity; they didn’t want anything for it, purely there to help us out.

So that’s that, my journey to becoming an expat living and teaching in Thailand. Undoubtedly, there will be more surprises along the way but one thing’s for sure, this country will never get boring!

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