Hot, Hot­ter and Hottest!

Business Bhutan - - Editorial - LOBZANG NIMA The writer blogs at lobzangn.blogspot.com

Greet­ings from the land of smiles. This is my very first up­date af­ter com­ing to Thai­land. I am one of the hun­dreds of Bhutanese stu­dents study­ing in Thai­land and my batch here in­cludes eleven, of which four and ladies. When I was in­ter­viewed for the schol­ar­ship I was asked, how will you man­age to com­mu­ni­cate with the Thais who are not very flu­ent with English? He al­ready an­swered his ques­tion. I said, “I can man­age”. True to what the in­ter­viewer asked I am hav­ing dif­fi­culty speak­ing but what they write in English is a whole dif­fer­ent story. I am be­gin­ning to pick some ba­sics al­ready. I have come to re­al­ize that their writ­ten English is sky high es­pe­cially of Ajarns (Teacher/Pro­fes­sor). Log­ging into my univer­sity’s web­site I was amazed at the ed­u­ca­tional back­ground of the fac­ulty here; Har­vard, Ox­ford, Prince­ton etc… Per­haps a re­minder that good/big things come in small pack­ages. An­other strik­ing fea­ture of my Ajarns-no male Ajarns. My fac­ulty, ed­u­ca­tion is women power-all women show. No won­der my course di­rec­tor re­marks, “This year we have a lot of guys”. A week into com­ing to Rangsit Univer­sity sit­u­ated in Pathum Thani, an hour north of Bangkok I come face to face with my first cul­ture shocks.

1. Whether you board a pub­lic trans­port, a sky train (BTS) or any other modes of trans­port, most Thais es­pe­cially the young never talk to each other in­stead fid­dle their cell phones un­til their stop is reached. I am yet to ex­pe­ri­ence the mo­tor­cy­cle Taxi. 2. I re­side in an apart­ment named ‘Pen­thip House’ where stu­dents of many dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties re­side. We Bhutanese and Moses, a Burmese friend are the only ones to cook and eat. Rest of the dwellers just walk, grab some­thing, eat and come back. 3. Ev­ery­one smiles here-back in Bhutan only fa­mil­iar faces smile. 4. The sound- Just by lis­ten­ing to the roar of an en­gine one can­not make out whether it’s an SUV or a mo­tor­cy­cle. Here, they fuel up their cars with some sort of gas-a lit­eral air which I am not aware of. 5. Bangkok and its out­skirts are known for its vast su­per ex­press­ways and high­ways. Traf­fic jams and con­voy are a daily sight. De­spite the speed­ing cars and Lor­ries, no one honks at each other which is not in our case. Per­haps, some­thing to learn from the driv­ers here. But if one is caught up in an ac­ci­dent the sur­vival rate is sec­ond only to none. 6. Food-Even be­fore com­ing to Thai­land, I have had ex­pe­ri­ences of eat­ing Thai foods and what is salt to us is su­gar for them and lots of it. I see many a young a lit­tle plump than their age be­cause Thais love their food. One can see food stalls in which­ever mar­ket and what­ever malls. This is my 15th night here in Thai­land and I am an­tic­i­pat­ing more of such shocks. I will keep up­dated on things hap­pen­ing and yeah like ev­ery­one else here I do miss my fam­ily back home and I tell you there’s noth­ing like the air of our coun­try. Here, they say, Thai­land has only two sea­sons; hot and very hot. Happy breath­ing folks for those of you back home and happy blis­ter­ing for the ones like me here. Thank you for vis­it­ing… Khab poon khab…

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