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SE Asia – Contrasts « Brandon Marsh's Blog


SE Asia – Contrasts

So, I posted some first and second impressions and another blog or two.  Today wraps up 3 FULL weeks of training.  The 48 steps that we take up to the rooftop to cook our meals have become a challenge.  Sutto said today “when you are dead you are dead” meaning, when you are as tired as we are, you need to rest a bit…so maybe tomorrow is an easier day.

Anyhoo, 3 weeks is about enough time to settle in, get your bearings, and really kind of figure things out.  This is the first time that I have been in one place for that length of time besides home.  There are definitely some contrasts between attitudes and life here in Thailand when compared to those in the US…and these are generalizations, so yes, it is not always the case, but more often than not it is…

- Out on long rides, we are typically greeted by the “beep beep” of a horn followed by a scooter with smiling faces and a wave.  Or the “beep beep” of a horn followed by the pass of a passenger car or truck or a large truck carrying logs or Palm Fruit.  In the US we are greeted with a blaring horn, someone shouting get off the road, and many times a single finger salute.

- Amy and I live near a school at home.  Daily we see kids walking to school, torn jeans, messy shirts, and generally pretty unkept looking.  Here, kids come out of what would amount to shacks at home wearing crisp clean uniforms.  It was the same in Jamaica when I visited for work years ago.  Kids came out of shacks dressed like they were going to church, but instead it was school.

- People here seem very happy.  A quick hi or wave generally gets you a smile in return.  For a very poor country, happiness seems everywhere.  Now I know why a friend of mine from Vietnam says that we always look angry…we do not smile enough.

Those are kind of my third impressions, and ones that I will definitely take home with me.

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