Natalie here –
It’s been quite the trip so far! We arrived in Bangkok late Wednesday night after 40 hours of tough traveling. The trip was hard for me. I couldn’t grasp the concept of it never being dark out, the 13 hours of sitting on our longest flight, and all the time zones we were going through. It was exciting though, and worth it when we finally arrived in Thailand. The past few days have been all about exploring Bangkok. The first day we went to a bunch of really beautiful temples which I really enjoyed because I remembered a lot about the religious aspect of the structures from my World Religions class last year. It was cool to see the stories I’d heard about the deities painted out in gold across these huge walls. The boys all had to put zip-off pants over their shorts and tuck their shorts in (really quite the look) and I had to put a sweater on which made everyone a little grumpy since the heat is on the verge of unbearable. It was worth it though, and on our way from temple to temple we got to shop around. I think the vendors might be my favorite part of the city so far; the fruit is all so colorful and really tastes good when it’s 90 degrees and humid. The vendors who sell knock-off purses and such are fun too; it’s amazing how much you can get for almost nothing here. I bought my graduation dress for 9 dollars yesterday (bet you’re happy to hear that Dad c: ) and Lynn bought a Longchamp purse that looks really real. We’ve all had great finds with the vendors and are learning how to bargain effectively. The streets at night are crazy, all the good vendors come out around 8:00 and people crowd the streets shopping and trying to get by. It’s like a whole different city after dark. Last night we went to a Thai Kick-boxing fight; it’s amazing how into it all the locals are. They were all crammed into the stands shouting things and holding up signs with their hands that we didn’t understand. It was really fun to watch and the guys were very into it. I’ve had some trouble with the food just because the heat makes my appetite very small and I never want to eat anything hot, which all Thai food is. But there’s usually more Americanized options around. Today we’re going to a torture museum and a place where they make singing bowls which should be interesting. Everyone else is doing well too. Tonight we have a ten-hour train ride to Chang Mai where the elephant park is. I’m nervous and excited for the service part of the trip, 50 hours is a lot of work but I’m hoping it’ll be fun since I’m with my closest friends and elephants are involved. I’m not sure I’ll be able to blog once we are there but I will try my hardest to keep you all updated. We’re all having a blast and are looking forward to everything that is to come from this trip (: Stay tuned!