I know a lot of you are curious as to how i'm handling the change back to Thai life. Wondering if there's some sort of reverse-reverse-culture shock after being in back in the states for so long. There's not. There are cultural differences for sure, but they are far from shocking this time around. Bowing to people, taking off shoes before entering rooms, even the foreign language is very unforeign to me. The big difference i'm getting used to isn't USA -> Thailand, it's Chatham -> Bangkok. Now there's subways and skytrains and events and concerts and noise and pollution and stores that stay open past 9pm and 6.3 billion people. It takes a litle getting used to but, like i said, i've done this before.
One thing I'm taking advantage of and loving is the use of the Bangkok bus system. I never had much use for it before since I only lived 5 minutes from work, but now I'm doing part-time stuff at I Can Read centers all over town and have started to really dig it. Unless there's a lot of people getting on or off, the bus doesn't stop it just slows down. You hop aboard a rusty, smelly bus with wooden floorboards. All the windows are open and there's several fans rotating around above you. You try to find a seat quickly since the bus has pulled into traffic while you were still climbing the stairs and then someone staggers over to collect your fare (8฿) and hand you a small ticket stub. I'm not totally familiar with the areas where i've been working but there's always huge crowds getting off where i'm going so I don't need to pay too much attention. I can just enjoy the ride. I think I enjoy it so much because it's one of the things in Bangkok that seems genuinely foreign. Bangkok is a cosmopolitan city and in a lot of ways not so different from New York or Madrid or any major city. It's refreshing when I can experience something new that's really, truely different here. Just a little culturally shocking.