First Day in Bangkok

» Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in Thailand Mission Trip | Comments Off

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There is nothing, and I mean nothing, like traveling for twenty four hours (staying awake almost that whole time) and arriving at your destination at 10:00am… When the day is just getting started!

And oh, what a tiring/eventful/thrilling day it was! We went from the airport to our room (in a taxi), where I was able to shower and prepare for my day.

At lunch I met my group. Which for all intents and purposes was my family and closest friends for the next six weeks. As well as counselors, encourages, and every other title you might need when you are out of your country for the first time and in a place nothing like your own. A place where calling your sister isn’t quite that simple and very expensive. A place where your bed is harder than a piece of plywood. A place that is never silent and covered in concrete, where finding grass (a field) is a scavenger hunt. A place that at first glance I found ugly and loud.

I must add that during the six weeks my view did, indeed, change. God helped me with that. Near the end of the trip we visited an art museum, there I found what first struck me as a hideous painting! It was a huge face, and it was contorted and blue and completely strange. It caught my eye from the other side of the room. Slowly I walked over to it, and the closer I got the more awed I was. The face I once saw as hideous I now saw as ingenious and beautiful! It was completely made up of people and animals all doing their own thing. Some were smiling and others were obviously struggling. It was amazing! As I looked at the painting I realized something, to me, this was Bangkok, at first glance I found it grotesque, but then I took a closer look and got to know it, I met the people, I ate the food, and something inside me changed. I no longer saw Bangkok as ugly and filled with graffiti, I saw it as lovely and filled with God’s creation.

Besides meeting my group at lunch, I also tried Thai cuisine. Two large lessons hit me during our lunch break: take the sky train, see stray dogs EVERYWHERE, and eat Thai food for the first time.

My first lesson: Thai food is spicy!

My second lesson: They don’t serve southern sweet tea!

These two things may need a “duh” response, but as previously mentioned, they were new to me and sent up red flags saying I was out of my league in going across the world by myself. I pushed the thoughts out of my head and finished my lunch.

Afterwords, we went shopping and, while in the store, I got my hands on some Thai currency, baht. I learned that 30 Baht is equal to one US dollar and finally understood how to take a dollar and spend it in more than one place.

That evening we had a church small group meeting where I was able to meet people from all over the world. Including Gambia, which was pretty cool!

But, alas, my body needed sleep and my evening was called to an end. We headed back to our room where I fell into bed and did not budge until late the next morning. When I awoke, I momentarily forgot where I was, when my memory returned it came with the reminder that today was the day we would explore the big city, be split into teams, scavenger hunt for points, and compete for a prize.