07:00: Rise and Shine
Open your eyes to another glorious day of LIVING IN THAILAND! Take a nice, cold shower (because there’s no hot water, but also because you’ll be sticky with sweat). Slip into some professional and modest work attire (so as not to offend your Thai co-workers), grab your bags, and head outside to slip on your shoes.
07:30: Catching the Songtao
Depending where you are housed, you may have the luxury of walking to work every day; but here on Soi 94 we prefer to sleep in and take the songtao (taxi bus). A green one or a white one will do (I prefer the white ones, as they will take you all the way for just 10 baht; whereas the green ones stop at the market, and will cost you 20 baht to go the full route). You can ask them to stop right at Soi 43, but if you take my advice, you’ll keep going till you hit Soi 39 for
08:00: Breakfast at the Baguette
The Baguette is a popular Thai-European Bakery located just a few blocks down from the office, and is a staff favorite. Why get your morning dose of carbs, milk, and sugar from a bowl of over-priced Frosted Flakes when you can enjoy a delicious pastry and sweet creamy beverage for a fraction of what you’d pay at Starbucks? I was going to list my recommendations here, but I don’t need you judging me for the amount of food I’ve managed to consume from this restaurant alone in the last two months (and I’ve yet to order something from the Baguette I wouldn’t recommend).
08:30: Work Day Begins
To recap: XploreAsia is an NGO which offers a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) course here in Hua Hin (and another in Chiang Mai), and places teachers with their TESOL certification in schools across Asia (including Thailand, China, Myanmar, South Korea, and Vietnam).
Work in the Programs office can vary immensely. Basic responsibilities of the job include administrative work such as drafting emails, formatting documents, creating presentations, inputting data into spreadsheets, organizing and coordinating participants and events, administering surveys, gossiping by the water cooler, taking photographs, posting on social media, and acting as a liaison between XA, its partner agencies (like Greenheart), and the TESOL program participants.
12:00: Break for Lunch
There are so many great options for grabbing lunch near Soi 43, but perhaps the greatest of them all is “The Corner Lady,” so-called because her eatery sits on a corner, around the corner, (make that three corners,) from the office. Here you will find some of the best (and cheapest) Thai food around. Lunch will cost you an average of 40 baht, and my favorite dish by far has to be the pad see ew.
13:00: Resume Work
Okay, so it sounds like a pretty typical office job so far…but working in Thailand is not without its benefits! Every month, a new group of TESOL participants fly in from all over the world to participate in XA’s Teach in Thailand Program. That makes for plenty of time spent out of the office coordinating participants and helping to ensure things run smoothly – a great opportunity to share your acquired wisdom and learn from fellow travelers!
The program kicks off with a week of cultural excursions, which include activities such as kicking-ass in Muay Thai class, visiting a local pineapple Farm, feeding the elephants at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, shopping and exploring a local Thai market, learning how to cook your own somtam and pad Thai, meditating with a Buddhist monk, hiking up the Khao Tao temple, and running with the pack at Rescue Paws. As an intern, you have the opportunity to join in all the fun!
17:30: End of Work Day
Which is really just the beginning.
You live in Thailand; the possibilities are endless! Grab a beer with your new friends, or watch the sun set from a rooftop. Walk to the beach. Take a kite-surfing lesson. Enjoy a Thai massage. Go shopping for clothes and goodies at the mall, or practice your language skills at the night market. Watch a movie at the Cineplex. Hop the bento bars on Soi 55. Go dancing at the club. Try a new restaurant. Explore a new neighborhood. Make a new friend. Play with your local street dog(s) or cat(s). Relish the moment. Take pictures of everything. Write a blog post about how awesome your life is.
Written by: Tabitha Frahm