Hello and welcome to my blog! This blog will be keeping a record of my time in Thailand over the summer of 2012. I will be spending time volunteering and doing leadership training with Student Volunteer Movement 2, so check back often to see what’s going on.
Well it’s been a long time since I last updated, but to be honest I’ve been quite busy. The classes I’ve been taking were intensives the last few weeks and I actually got a bit ill too! So, because of that, I didn’t really have too much time for anything besides sleeping and eating. And hey, if I’m going to snack in Thailand then its gonna be Thai food dagnabbit! Or, if nothing else, I’ll settle with pseudo Thai-American junk food…
As a Westerner living in an increasingly Westernized world, I sometimes forget that other people in other parts of the world developed the same sorts of ideas but with different implementations. Things I take for granted – for example, a base 10 number system – are not always the same around the world. One of these things happens to be the Gregorian Calendar. You know, the thing that tells you what day it is today? Well, while Thais use will often use the Gregorian calendar, they more commonly use a unique Buddhist Calender. The Thai Solar Calender is the official calendar of Thailand and, while it never used to line up, it currently follows the same pattern as the Gregorian (i.e. New Years is the same, 7 days a week, etc.). As confusing as this might seem, it’s relatively easy to convert the dates because the only real difference today is the year. Simply add 543 to the year and you’re good to go! So, while Year 0 on the Gregorian was instituted as the supposed birth of Christ, the Thai calendar sees Year 0 as the supposed death of Gautama Buddha.
The Thai Baht (฿) is the currency of Thailand. Though it is divided into 100 satang, you never really use those coins because there is next to nothing available for less than one baht. In fact, I’ve only ever seen one or two satang coins. At any rate, you can click on the picture to see it in larger detail or head past the break for more pictures and information.
Well, it seems I’ve wasted no time getting to the nitty-gritty aspects of Thai culture. Actually, it’s been a busy week for me as I’ve been going through orientation. I’ll have more time to post in the next few weeks, but I might only be able to make a post per week. Nonetheless, one might be feeling a little peckish after such a long flight over, so why not indulge in a little comfort food from the nearby 7-11?
Hey all, I’m just checking in here to say that I’ve made it; I am safely in Thailand. The trip, although long, went as smoothly as one could hope for, so I’ll have to ham it up a little bit for the story to be any kind of entertainment. You can check that out after the break, but know that I am currently enjoying the heat, food, and hospitality of the Thai people. Oh and by the way, feel free to comment at the end of this post and let me know what sort of things you’d like to see in future updates. Devoid of suggestions, this blog’s content will likely look a lot like my last blog.
I feel this may be relevant:
As Dr. Cooper points out, you don’t need chopsticks for most food in Thailand. Traditionally, like many cultures around the world, food was eaten by hand, but this changed in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Siamese King Mongkut brought about this and many other reforms that included adopting a spherical world geography as well as improvements to woman’s rights.
But it was his brother, vice-king Pinklao, who devised and implemented the modern Thai use of utensils. After watching the dinner etiquette of an American missionary, he chose the set of utensils from among those presented to be used at his dinners. In practice, this most often includes a fork, held in the left hand, and a spoon in the right. Knives are rarely used, and chopsticks are usually reserved for noodle dishes or dishes from other Asian cultures.