Friday, April 17, 2015
Chiang Mai City
New destination, new people and a new story to tell, but question is, How shall i tell my story. A story that is filled with amazing people, extraordinary experience, beautiful scenery, memorable moments and of course, funny encounters with lots of lady boys. These four months have been filled with adjusting myself to the environment to the workloads i faced in Chiang Mai University, and everything in between. Before embarking on my so-called wild nights to Chiang Mai, I thought to myself, "I am so going to party it up!!" Upon arrival, it hit me - it wasn't close to what i have imagined. First off, Chiang Mai is a laid back yet charming cultural capital of Thailand that is famous for its sightseeing, adventure, mountainous view and good food. Or in my best of words, quaint.
I embarked my journey to Chiang Mai on the 13th January where i had a 4-hour layover at Bangkok. Since i have never been to Bangkok before, I decided to stay inside Suvarbhumni AIrport and browsed through the stores. To be honest, i was quite dissappointed with all the hassle my friends told me - there wasn't much to look at. I then decided to take a quick nap while Jas was on alert for our next flight. It was scorching hot and the heat was getting on my nerve. We reached Chiang Mai at approximately 7pm where we were gracefully welcomed by a bubbly woman named P.Eve. She was our coordinator (or supervisor...i still have no idea who she really is..really) during our stay in Chiang Mai. She arranged our accommodation that is so close to the back gate of the university. Jastina got the 3rd floor while I got the 5th floor - a much bigger room with a huge balcony that overlooks the infamous Doi Suthep. Apart from that, she also took care of our modules (namely, Introduction to Southeast Asia, Globalization, Migration and, Religion and Social Change - what the hell was I thinking?!). I have to say she was very helpful to us. I couldn't thank her enough with the hard work she put into and how well she handled two spoiled brats from Brunei. Haha!
Our first day of school was a bitch as we needed to wake up early in the morning to attend some classes. On our way to our faculty, we were amazed how huge CMU was and the only way to get to our faculty was by using this cute white buggy. As we reached at our destination, we were bewildered by how old the building was - compared to the others. Although the amenities wasn't as new as i thought it would be, it was nice - a cute coffee shop can be found near the classes, self proclaimed smoking area at the car park, lots of picturesque places nearby and air-conditioned classrooms. So, there needn't much to complain. During the first month of school, we always arrived to class late as the buggy we took made a lots of pit-stop and the fact that I am not a morning person. When there is no buggy that day, we didn't want to sweat ourselves so we went back home and went back to sleep. I shouldn't tell you this but it was part of my experience in CMU. I was just starting to adjust myself to the environment here.
Oh, i almost forgot that we were always the centre of attention - that moment when there's literally spotlight on you, everyone's looking and waiting anticipatedly for our answers. Of course, they want to know about Brunei but to be honest, i too don't know what to say about Brunei. I feel pity for that girl from China who always take the fall when we're not there haha. Blessed that child. With that being said, some of the typical obvious statements i hear were "Where is Brunei?", "We don't know much about it..tell us what do they have there?" or even "Oh...Brunei is a rich country!" We always resort to some random answers that always got us away with anything...i remember vividly that one lecturer thought Bhutan is the same country as Brunei. Lol. But we did clarify some real answers like "Brunei is boring.." or "Brunei's dead by 10..ghost town!" Haha. Just kidding.
Whilst being abroad, you always have that sense of abandonment by your friends back home, that's why, you need to go out and look for them. I am always being label as shy and a quiet one in class but a couple of friends came into my life and introduced themselves to me and letting me see them in a different light. it made me more relaxed. I have found some that have made me feel accepted especially Niino who first approached me and giving me survival tips in CMU. You couldn't imagine her being so nice to me as she have this exotic bitchy rest face (that i totally adore). Apart from her, there's E Lin and the pals who brought us a night out in the city. It was funny group that made us fit in real nice. Theres also Nimfon, Tanniti, Sai Long, that funny preppy long haired guy name i keep forgetting and others. Funny thing is about CMU is that there was no campus tour, ice breaking session and all those sorts that I faced in Hanoi, FPT University. I believe it would be nice for the next batch to have so that we get to familiarize with everything before starting the course.
Turning to our experience outside campus was a funny one where we discovered Maya Mall was just near to our apartment, we decided to walk all the way -crossing bridges, roads under a hot sun. It didn't stop there as it shocked us to the core as we stood up before watching a movie at a cinema to a national anthem. Furthermore, I have also tried some exotic fried food and ate scorpions, worms, crickets and some other insects. I have fell in love with the food here, especially at my favorite places like Jazz Me, Something to eat before you die, Why Not?, Volcano and of course, the endless cheap on the go food at 7/11.
However, I am quite disappointed with myself for not learning Thai language but all i can say is Sawaadeekap (Hello!), Kap Kun Kap (Thank you!), Sub bu ri dai mai? (Can I smoke?), Pikkap, toi dai ka? (How much is this?) and some funny ones like Kuai Ya Yaw (you just have to figure out yourself haha). Its sad to say that these are the only words I know.
But what i absolutely love about Thailand is that i don't have to dress up. Because even when you dress up, you need Song Teaw (that red pick up truck they call taxi) to get around town.
Monday, April 6, 2015
that last vietnam post
Hello readers. Its been a while since i last wrote a post on my adventure. I was busy enjoying life and adjusting to new environment. Before i tell you where i am at the moment, i will wrap up my Vietnam Adventure that has been collecting dust for its long overdue ending. I would like to apologize to my readers (if there is even any? haha!) for not writing. I have my reasons i.e after getting back to Brunei, i have been spending my time indulging some good Bruneian foods that have been on my list for about 3 months. Also,i was busy doing some necessities for my Student Exchange Programme in my next assigned destination. I only have 10 days to get my shit together. I didn't even waste my time while i was in Brunei. It was like I wake up, go eat, spent time with as many people as i can, family and friends included, and sleep at my comfortable squishy old bed.
The end of my Vietnam adventure went surprisingly sad. I remember saying this in the beginning of my Community Outreach Program; i cant wait to go home!! But when i do , i started to miss Vietnam, Hanoi to be specific. It wasn't always the place i miss but its the moments i shared with some amazing people. How 5 months turned strangers into friends. I will definitely cherish those moments.
I couldn't thank enough to those who made my stay in Hanoi fun and a memorable one. BUT what i can say is "Càm Òn, bán tôi".
Here are the last few days of memories before i went to back to Brunei Darussalam. Hope you all enjoy looking at these funny pictures.
P/s: it is not in order.
Vietnam was never dull when u end it with the people you love. That's for sure.