Moving To Thailand | The First 24 Hours
We made it!! The dog, the child and the parents have all made it over safely, and now we are ready to begin our adventure! We are disoriented and completely jet lagged, but excited nonetheless. We are staying in a condo right on the beach in Hua Hin with P’s parents, and this morning we took Luna on a long run on the sand. Sadly, this will be her last run with us for a few weeks, since she will be staying in a kennel until we move into an actual house. Dogs are not allowed in the condo, and the fact that she is here with us now is due to some sweet talking by my mother-in-law. There are a surprising amount of dogs in Hua Hin that look well-cared for, though they still roam the beaches and streets without collars and no sign of their owners (and beware of the little treats they leave on the beach–dog owners here generally do not pick up after their furry friends).
Moving to Thailand = A Good Night’s Sleep
Because we missed our connecting flight to Bangkok and consequently were delayed two hours, and then had to fill out some paperwork for Luna upon arriving at the airport (the whole process being surprisingly uncomplicated and straightforward, to our immense relief!), we didn’t arrive at our hotel until nearly 2AM. P’s parents met us at the airport with a rented van, which was all the more generous since they are usually in bed by 8PM. Because I cannot sleep on airplanes and thus went for nearly 30 hours without sleeping, I was a wreck by the time my head finally met the pillow. I slept for a refreshing six hours and when I awoke, I found that everyone else had been up for ages. P runs on an amazingly effective combination of adrenaline and caffeine when traveling, so he had already eaten breakfast and taken an exploratory walk by the time I got up. We bummed around Bangkok for a couple of hours and then made our way down to Hua Hin via the rented van that accommodated Luna and her crate, our five large suitcases, and five family members. It took roughly two and a half hours to drive from Bangkok to Hua Hin, which is not bad for a weekend getaway.
Moving To Thailand…For Thai Food
The first thing that struck us when we arrived was how quiet the town is. Aside from the ceaseless construction, that is. There is a new hotel/residence being built next door to our condo building, and it appears that a lot of new growth is happening around town. I just don’t know where all the people are yet. On recommendation from P’s parents yesterday afternoon we made our way through the sand to a cute little seafood restaurant. Our meal schedule was off, so we were eating lunch at around 4PM, and we were the only ones at the restaurant. I had been craving some good Thai food before we left the states, and I finally got my fix yesterday. We had a thom yum soup with mixed seafood and a stir fry with peppers, basil, young peppercorns and mixed seafood. The food was good, but still not as good as P’s mom can make (and now, thanks to her, I can make too). I’m so excited to try all the new food, and I can’t wait to learn how to cook with all these different ingredients. We had a delicious breakfast of rice porridge this morning, and while it’s a departure from my routine of homemade granola and almond milk, I really enjoyed the soup.
My first impression of Hua Hin is an incredibly charming small town, and the people are very gracious and friendly. They all speak English much better than we speak Thai, and one of our first goals will be to enroll in a Thai language class as soon as possible. We also want to matriculate Ingrid in a Thai Catholic school up the road, which is supposedly the best school in town. Apparently, there are a couple of international schools with an entirely English curriculum, but this Catholic school would give Ingrid the advantage of total immersion, and would ensure that she learned Thai quickly. We’ve seen a few Westerners here in Hua Hin, and some are obviously tourists, but many walk around with the confidence of calling this place home. And there are so many children! We stumbled upon a ballet class this morning, where a Thai woman was teaching a room full of little girls in tutus and slippers. Ingrid immediately wanted to join in, so I think that’s what we’ll be doing on Sunday mornings for the next few months.
Moving to Thailand–Now What?
This afternoon we met a Brit named Glenn who’s been living and working in Hua Hin for the past seven years. He was a high-powered businessman in Hong Kong, and decided one day that he wanted a change of pace. He came to Hua Hin, opened a real estate franchise, and has never looked back. He’s busier now than he ever imagined. He sold P’s parents their house last week. According to P’s dad, he probably sells on average about four houses a week! And after about 45 minutes of chatting with him, he basically offered Paul and me a job. He had to dash off, as a “cranky, old Belgian” for whom he had just closed a deal needed more than the usual hand holding. Our meeting left Paul and me bewildered, overwhelmed and very excited. We are anxious to begin our adventure here in Hua Hin, but didn’t expect to plunge into the thick of things immediately. At the end of the day, however, that blind jump of faith into the unknown is what really makes us feel alive.
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