Budget Sights in Bangkok: Wat Pariwat and Queen Sirakit Butterfly Garden

Well, we are finally finishing up the school year at Assumption College. 😀

For a final class project, I had my 5th graders create and present PowerPoint slides on various countries from around the world.

It was a great way for them to review the vocabulary we had learned about different seasons, foods, clothing, and describing flags. presentsdfsThey put a lot of effort into their slides, trying to model an example I provided. When they got up to present, many were nervous, and one student even asked, “Will I lose points if I don’t wear shoes?” Haha. Thai kids typically take their shoes off in the classroom. 😛

One even cracked a homophone joke when talking about famous soccer player, Lionel Messi. He goes, “Look teacher! Messy and Messi! Get it?”

What a clever play-on-words, comparing the player’s last name, Messi, and how messy his desk looked. Too funny! 😀

pic
messy desk vs. Lionel Messi

One of the students even got me this belated Valentine’s gift. It’s the perfect travel pillow. So sweet! ❤
IMG_8741The end of this week also meant my last beginner Thai class. My Thai teacher, Jacey, was great. She had done a homestay in North Carolina through an exchange program, and speaks English very well. She’s even been back to the States three times to visit that same family. She loves it there, but said she gained 10 pounds when she lived there. Her American host family loved having buttered rolls, and she never realized there were so many types of salad dressings for vegetables. Hah. She said the size of their side dishes would have been her whole meal back home. Only in America. ❤

Pretty much its own food group 😛Ranch-DressingAnyway, she’s taught me quite a few introductions in Thai. 

For example, My name is Megan” isChun Chue Megan Kha” or literally, I name Megan.” 

Chun=I (girls only)

Kha=placed after every sentence to signify a girl is speaking

Also, Thais don’t usually ask, “How are you?” but instead, “Where are you going?” or “Have you eaten yet?”

They obviously have their priorities straight. Hah. 😛

Likewise, the next topic we discussed was food.

For example, “I like fish” is “Chun chop plaa kha.” 

Chop= like

Plaa=fish

Funny enough, moo=pork and kow=rice. Neither are related to beef. 😕
confused_cow_by_venkman_projectI also learned in Thai that nom means BOTH milk and boob. This could get a little awkward at Starbucks. :/8606867_orig

Yes, I’d like an Americano with a little boob, please. 😛

Thai language is also funny when describing people too. 😛

If you think someone is unkind, you call them “jai-dam” or “black heart.”30571

If you think they are lazy, you call them “khii-kiat” or “sh*t hate.” 8c65e5de808ec301754508366480250c

Overall, we’ve covered introductions, food, time, and describing people. I’ll try to share more phrases in future posts. We can all learn Thai together. 😀

Anyway, this past weekend was leisurely.

I went for a run around the beautiful Queen Sirikit Park and butterfly garden.

Queen Sirakit Park and Butterfly Garden

DSC_0012DSC_0032I think I found my happy place. 😉PicMonkey CollageWhile running through the park, I had a chance to think about the last time I ran outside. :/

I distinctly remember it was October of 2014.

You see, one thing I have learned while living abroad, is that you have to make certain adjustments based on the culture you live in.

In October of 2014, I was living in Querétaro, and Mexican culture was all about machismo.

Machismo= exaggerated masculinity

Basically, I found men always trying to pick me up.pick-up-chicksBeing cat-called,  and bombarded with Spanish terms of endearment was nearly a daily occurrence there.tumblr_n2g8i8e1XZ1trvy07o1_50011111And of course, it was never the tall, dark and handsome Mexican. It was usually someone like this:

download
Guerita=light-skinned cutie

Immediate reaction:
635836746099728188-1250892673_grossed-out-faceAfter 15 minutes of jogging that day, and 50+ cat-calls later, I gave up on my run. 😦

Now, luckily I suffer from R.B.F syndrome, which repels creepy men in most cases. 😛

R.B.F a.k.a resting b* face(face naturally looks angry or annoyed)

11111883_1245052315511259_1092521613917734434_nThat being said, with my blonde hair and fair skin, I was exotic looking, and not even my R.B.F could save me! Hah.

Over time, I learned to tolerate this machismo culture, and also to embrace the indoor treadmill. 😛

Well, now, the nice thing about Thailand is that I can run wherever I want, worry free! Thais are very passive by nature, so cat-calling here would be unheard of! Jogging outside in shorts is a beautiful thing. 😀

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Mexico and its culture. I’ve actually been reminiscing a lot about my life back there, so I went out with my co-workers for some Mexican in Bangkok. 😀DSC_0011Seafood ceviche with onions, cilantro and lime. All washed down with an iced cold beer. Olé! DSC_0003It reminded me of the delicious ceviche my co-worker Doris made back in Mexico, using shrimp and mango. Yum! IMG_0332IMG_0331I got along so well with my co-workers back in Querétaro, and I’ve been getting on very well with my co-workers here as well. 😀DSC_0009 I even taught them how to cheers in Spanish. “Arriba, abajo, al centro, adentro!”

Mexico will always have a place in my heart. ❤

The next day, I even met up with my co-worker for drinks at her apartment. 

When getting directions there, I had to laugh. She said there were literally too many signs for me to miss it. She wasn’t kidding! Hah. 😛flawShe is a proper British girl, and lives here with her boyfriend, who also teaches English. They hosted quite the shindig on their roof. 😀
581931_10153871232791226_3293087104709770111_nGetting along with everyone makes the work environment so much nicer. Co-workers who play together, stay (and work better) together. 😀

Anyway, on Monday, Thailand celebrated Makha Bucka Day, a holiday commemorating the first time monks heard the Buddha preach.

To celebrate, I decided to visit Wat Pariwat in the Yannawa district.

Wat Pariwat

DSC_0048Supposedly the grand temple has a statue of David Beckham, but it was closed when I went to visit. 😦DSC_0098David Beckham statue, courtesy of Google. 1839-1410168102-1When I asked why it was closed, the response I got was, “Sometimes open; sometimes closed. If door open, you can go in.” 😕

They man further explained that it’s usually closed now, since they shifted their worship to a new temple nearby. Although is was not what I planned to see, it was absolutely stunning on the inside, and made my trip well-worth it! 😀DSC_0054 DSC_0052DSC_0066DSC_0068This temple oozed elegance with sparkling, royal blue gems, hanging chandeliers, and a central, shinning gold Buddha.DSC_0072 (1)This new temple has quite a few quirky statues as well. 😛wersdfcvvevIt’s no David Beckham, but standouts include a pirate, a flying monkey, and Che Guevara, a famous leader of the Cuban revolution. 10254044_10105025691785257_7319914336391429562_nAfter walking over an hour, exploring the temple, I decided to treat myself to an ice cream. 😀
DSC_0095This pretty purple treat is taro flavored. It was sugary, creamy, and you can even spot bits of taro root, a starchy vegetable, mixed in. DSC_0101Now the rest of this week I’ve been packing and prepping to meet my mom in China.

I haven’t seen her since last summer, so needless to say, I am anxious to hop on that plane. 😀
I arrive at 10 AM on Saturday in Beijing, and my mom will get in at 4 PM. I’ll try to post blogs as often as possible to keep everyone updated.

I know there is a lot of censorship in China, but I purchased Express VPN, so hopefully I will still have access to Gmail, WordPress, and Facebook. *fingers crossed*express-vpn-header https://www.expressvpn.com/

After my mom leaves, I still have two full weeks of solo travel throughout China, so there will be lots of experiences to talk about.

I felt that this quote was appropriate considering the upcoming 7 weeks of holiday that lie ahead.

Photo taken in Puebla, Mexico at sunset, enjoyed with a Russian traveler from Moscow. 🙂dfTravel teaches you so much about the world, and about yourself.

It makes you more patient, tolerant, and accepting of cultural differences.

You can’t learn about the world and its people just through books and media. You have to go to these places to truly understand.

I may be going on an extended holiday for the next few months, but I won’t quit learning once I’ve left the classroom.

Travel is not reward for working, it’s education for living.

Can’t wait to explore China, and for all the adventures it will bring. Until then. Take care everyone! 😀

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