Weekend Get-Away

Hua Hin Travel Blog

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The hour-long bus ride to school has prompted me to take along my laptop and write an update for everyone as my integration with Thai culture has evolved quite a bit.

I’m sipping from my ice cappuccino or in this case “capushino” as the lady spells it. The iced coffee is the result of an energy boost after a mere three hours of sleep, and me forgetting my yoghurt & water breakfast combo. These things are made with crushed ice however, which generally means it wasn’t made with mineral water. So basically, I better not drink too many or I’ll end up with some kind of bacterial infection from the water.

Speaking of diseases, so far so good. I’ve decided to trust most places around here as the university tests various vendors for cleanliness each year, hence I see workers using gloves etc.

I must also admit that I haven’t tried the largest variety of foods yet as I’m still in preference of chicken over other meats, and can’t handle the spiciness of most foods. The resort is often a chicken and rice-based dish order “mai pat” or, “mild.” Generally, I still finish the entire bottle of water. I know, I’m a wimp.

This past weekend six of the exchange students and I visited Hua Hin. Before I left Holland I met a man who recommended this place for a quick get-away from Bangkok. I must say that he was correct, although, one must not expect bright blue waters and sandy-white beaches.
Hua Hin is only 3.5 hours from Bangkok and has a nice little beach with various pier restaurants. Charlene and Capuccine (my roommate, and a lovely French girl respectfully) and I stayed in a lovely guest house with intricate wood carvings. Don’t get me wrong however; the word rustic is applicable here!

Hua Hin has a lovely night market full of food and touristic trinkets where Charlene and I bought our first souvenir to decorate the shelving in our living room. This was our first attempt at haggling and I must say that we are proud of ourselves.

Transportation to and from Hua Hin? Well, one must first take a taxi to Sai Tai Mai, the south-end bus station in Bangkok. One does this by flagging down a taxi, making sure he does not try to charge you 450 baht but turns on the meter, and then pulls our a map to follow hoe he goes so that one does not end up taking a longer route.
Whilst navigating, one must also listen to the taxi driver offer to take you all the way to Hua Hin for 2000 baht the entire of the 30 minute drive. Once at the station, one pays the driver 200 baht, who ver grumpily takes it, annoyed that he wasn’t able to scam the white tourists.

Once at the station, police immediate spot you, ask you where you are going, and usher you to some 1980 VW bus wher you are basically pushed on whilst hoping the police officer isn’t corrupt and that the bus will not ex[lode when the ignition is turned on. This 3.5 hour busride from costs 150 baht and is not by any means enjoyable.

The way back to Bangkok is similar, although I must say the we had an interesting taxi ride back to our living quarters; I accidentally put my map in the trunk of the taxi, so the driver took us on a 20 minute detour whilst pretending not to understand me when I told him he was going the wrong way. Whilst driving, this guy was basically putting me at more danger than I have ever been in while in a moving vehicle; he drove 120 km in 80 zones, created his own lane in between cars (at the same speed!), used the emergency brake instead of slowing down, and got within inches of other vehicles whether motorcycle, semi-truck, or other passenger cars.. The whole time, this guy is playing music at high volumes and drumming on his steering wheel.- this was an adventure to say the least. And naturally, I was the darn sucker sitting in the front seat. Have I mentioned Thailand doesn’t have seatbelts?

All in all, I would say my first venture outside of the city was a success. We had a good time, I was able to soak up some sun, and the best of all was that te people in Hua Hin actually spoke a little bit of English!

Yesterday I haggled for a new cell phone. I was able to knock off 900 baht, and now people can call me! I was so happy to speak with people! It kept me from doing my schoolwork however so I’m curious to see what my crazy-ass seventy-nine year-old finance teacher will do. This is terribly to say, but because I’m white, I will probably get away with it.

In this country white people get away with so much! I’m not sure if it is because they can’t/won’t speak English, or because they grant us more lucrative rights but I get away with so much; this iced-cappuccino for example, not allowed on the bus. When I visit the Huamak campus for internet I’m supposed to be in Uniform- never am. I also wear flip-flops and sometimes pants to the campus while bringing food/drinks- that’s like four rules I’m breaking at once!

The security people at my condo always jump up and say hello to us (although I must say Thai people never bother to say hello), and they even brought me an umbrella to use when it was raining yesterday. I’ve also decided they are brilliant for holding my keys when I go for a run. But in al seriousness, this treatment is ridiculous! People stare at us whilst walking down the street, and go out of their way to tell me I’m beautiful. Although at times flattering, I whish that the people would not have such a large hierarchical influence and treat me like an equal.

I’m now driving through the pearly gates of Assumption University. The campus is gorgeous as you can see in the pictures. Absolutely gorgeous, I’m quite fortunate to study here, but seriously, with all this luxury, how in the world is it possible the bathroom isn’t supplied with toilet paper?! Some things baffle me.

Well, off I go to enjoy me some learning.

Best wishes to all!

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Hua Hin
photo by: yuness