Monday, January 20, 2014

One Night in Bangkok

I am currently on winter vacation in Thailand.  I know.  It's a hard life.  Teachers back in the states got their two weeks during Christmas, but I had to work.  I brought my laptop with me so I wouldn't have thousands of pictures to upload when I got home.  I'm a little bit obsessed with taking pictures.  I will be the first to admit it.  However, I am happy to be that way.

Case in point....

I have never in my life been a part of history before.  Until now.

We arrived in Bangkok on Monday, January 13th.  If you didn't know, Thailand is going through some rough spots with the government.  The people say that the government is corrupt and have been protesting against it for several months.  They decided to do a big resurgence on Monday, January 13th where thousands and thousands of people protested in 7 different parts of the city.  They call it the "Bangkok Shutdown 13 January 2014".

So when my friend and I booked our hostel, we did not know that the hostel was right smack dab in the middle of one of the major protests.  Literally.  You walk out the door of the hostel, and there it is.

This is our view as we got off the subway for our hostel.  Our mouths literally dropped open.

I love to teach history.  I taught two years of 6th grade world cultures, and I loved it.  But I've never witnessed or been a part of a historical event.  To be able to be a part of history is amazing.  I will definitely be bringing this to my classroom.

I've also learned this and will be bringing it to my classroom.  Don't believe everything the media tells you.  Throughout the news and media, we kept hearing about the protests in Bangkok.  "Stay away."  "Protestors have died."  "It is dangerous.  Don't go there."

I have traveled to 45 countries.  I know about traveling.  I have been scared in a foreign country before.  I was in Russia the day that 9 suicide bombers died, and they closed the Red Square.  And I got lost.  I will never forget that day.

However, in Bangkok, I was not scared.  Not one bit.  The so-called dangerous protestors were the nicest, most welcoming people.  Way more welcoming and nice than the Korean people....where I live mind you.  They were there to show their support, like one big sit-in.  There were people sitting and talking with each other, wearing whistles to show their pride and support, selling red, white, and blue goodies, and cooking and selling food.  People brought their tents to sleep in or they just slept on the street.  It was an amazing sight to see.  Several people wanted us to take their picture.  People even wanted their pictures taken with us.

I am SO glad it worked out this way that we were able to be there on the big day.  I wouldn't have traded this for the world.

As I mentioned before, I'm a bit obsessed with taking pictures.  I took A LOT more pictures from our first night in Bangkok.  If you want to check them out, please hop on over to my personal blog, The Elephant Hat.

There will be more posts coming from my adventures in Thailand!  By the way....I love this place SO much that you might have to drag me back to Korea.  The food, the people, the everything here is amazing.  And to think....I can go back home to Korea and have baby octopus, fish heads, and kimchi.  Oh joy.

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