Alrighty, folks, here you have it: your thrilling new source of entertainment for the year, complete with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the dramatic spectacular that is the life of Melanie Hering. I've only been in Thailand for four days, and I can tell you that I've already experienced high-speed tuk-tuk chases (definitely almost died, NBD), an awe-inspiring palace, stress and tears from 100+ future teachers awaiting placement, a trained prairie dog on a leash, my wallet literally melting in my hand, and being that white girl Asian tourists want to take a photo with. Clearly the next twelve months are going to be awesome.
For those of you who don't know, I am currently going through orientation and training through GeoVisions/Xplore Asia for a month in Hua Hin, Thailand before being placed and teaching English in a school somewhere in this country. I'm going to be here for a year, and plan on doing plenty of traveling throughout Thailand and in neighboring countries on the breaks and long weekends (apparently there isn't a month of the school year that doesn't have at least one four-day weekend--I'm not complaining). But my primary purpose here is, of course, teaching. Seeing as I'm still trying to figure out my vocational direction, teaching abroad offered an opportunity to gain some experience in a field I'm interested in while also satiating my desire to get out of the states and experience something completely different for a while. I knew I'd miss free water and the feeling of being cold (which I have pretty much forgotten already), but I can already tell that being in this country is going to be, if nothing else, the adventure of a lifetime.
Inspirational, overly-meditative blogging isn't really my style, and my soapbox and I have a pretty firm contractual agreement when it comes to online presence. This blog isn't about how I'm saving the world, because I'm not, and it's not to reflect upon how "we really ARE all the same after all!" because that's far too simplistic a statement to be true. The stories I tell won't be saccharine, but they will be meaningful, I hope, while also being straight up bizarre or silly at times. The goal is to keep you updated while also sharing my experiences, observations, and anything that falls into the category of "plain old good stories."
In the next couple of days, I'll attempt to catch up, and post some vignettes of my more notable escapades. Right now, however, I need to study some Thai so I don't go to my language class tomorrow looking like a grade-A idiot because today I felt like I was back in high school Spanish, and any of you who were there with me know exactly what I'm talking about. For those of you who weren't there, let's just say it isn't a feeling of overwhelming competence. Role-playing is involved. Lots of mass repetition is used and it makes you feel like you've been cast in some Orwellian movie. But I digress.