Because of the flooding in Ayuthaya and Central Thailand, the overnight trains, which I absolutely love, have not been running. Instead of a grueling long bus ride, and then another bus ride, I opted for a quick and cheap flight to Bangkok on Air Asia. From the plane I could see some of the flood devastation. It looked as if miles and miles of land were underwater…because they were.

I arrived in Bangkok and wanted to take a bus to Trat. Trat is a small town that is a jumping off point for Ko Chang and other surrounding islands. Most tourists don’t opt to go to Trat itself, so getting a bus directly there proved a bit more difficult than planned. I remember liking Trat on my way back from Cambodia in 2000, so I hoped I still would. I’d also seen a job post available there.

The bus down made me glad that I was staying in the north of Thailand. When I arrived in Trat, it started pouring so I ducked into a cafe, perhaps the only one in town. There was a young foreign guy sitting there with a Thai woman. I somehow knew he was living there and found out he was working at the school I had applied to. He told me that I didn’t want to work there, it was horrible, and the only reason he was staying was his girlfriend. Another vote for Chiang Mai.

I looked at a few very basic guesthouses, and ended up at one that although basic was clean, had a bathroom inside, and supposedly free wifi.

The next day I took the bus to the Cambodian border and on the way back I met an inspirational Cambodian woman named Sokny, who works here: would like to volunteer there when I get a job on a break from school.

Sokny and I had dinner together. While we were at dinner talking about things we interested in, I blurted out, “We have yoga at my school once a week.” I realized that I actually didn’t have a job yet, and that was wishful thinking about Panyaden.

That night was the most incredible thunder and lightning storm I have ever experienced. The sound of the heavy rain woke me up, and then lightning struck corrugated steel roof about 25 feet away from me. I screamed because it looked and sounded like an explosion.  All ended fine, but what a storm!

I did not love Trat the way I had remembered and soon left for an island near Ko Chang called Ko Mak  I looked online for accommodation and when I turned on my computer I saw that I WAS OFFERED THE JOB AT PANYADEN!! Naturally, I accepted the offer. I will be teaching 3rd and 4th grade with a very small class size and have a decent salary for living very comfortably in Thailand. I will start on October 25, just like I wanted. I am absolutely delighted!

I’m off to Ko Mak. I will stay a little bit nicer place now that I will soon be earning a salary.


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