Published: March 3rd 2012January 27th 2012
Before meeting Leslie in Bangkok on Saturday, Erika and I had a "date" with some of her students. One of her students, Mew, has become quite the facebook stalker on our teacher facebook account and finally asked us to go on a trip with her. She wanted to take us to Amphawa, a well known floating market about 40 minutes from Mahachai. We requested that she take us via train so that we could see the scenery outside of Mahachai, factory city. Just meeting up with her at the train station was a huge communication hassle and finally after an hour we found Mew and her two friends. So even though Mew is really into hanging out with Teacher Erika, she can not or will not speak a single word of English. It's pretty awkward. Erika says she does great in class but when Mew and her friends were with us in person there was no conversation to be had. Just a bunch of nodding and gesturing. They were very cute though, they grabbed our hands to protect us while we crossed the busy streets. It was a funny sight to see Erika towering over Mew but Mew taking charge and
taking care of her. It's like we have never experienced walking on the streets before and they were very worried for us. I guess it would be a bad thing if the foreign teacher was hit by a car or something while spending an afternoon with their students.
The train ride was really neat. I felt like we stepped back into time. It was a very old looking cabin and there was no air conditioning. The seats were comfortable though and the scenery was green and lush.. So different from our dirty factory city. We passed by many salt plantations and random small Thai towns. The train track was literally people's backyard and I could have touched their houses if I dared to stick my arm out of the window. As we neared our destination the scenery began to transform into a local market. The market vendors had to lower their tents so that the train could pass through and we watched as they repositioned their tents back up once we were through. It was a fun sight to see. Every available space really is used here in Thailand. We took videos/pictures of the Thai market and
the Thai tourists in the market took pictures of us in the train as we passed through.
As we arrived we then took a local bus to the actual floating market area. We missed the actual floating market by a couple hours but were still able to take a boat tour to 5 different temples along the river front. While on this tour, I spotted a local taking his morning shower in the river! The temple tour was interesting. The girls hung out with us and never really said a word but we still felt honored to be able to spend time with our students outside of the classroom. With over 1,000 of them, you never really get to know any one of them at all. One temple had a petting zoo where you could feed the various animals. The cows were really funny to watch eat with their massive tongues reaching out of their cage to get their grass. I made a massive mistake of getting too close to the monkey cage to get a cute picture. Within a millisecond I felt my camera fly from my hands and watched it crash to the ground. The
monkey quickly noticed my "bling" camera wristlet and made a go for it. The camera was luckily too wide for the fence and didn't make it through.. As for my "bling" wristlet.. That was quickly in the monkey's mouth. I felt completely awful! I didn't want to have the poor monkey eat my wristlet and get hurt from it. The zoo keepers were able to get the wristlet and handed it back to me. I believe they did this more for me than the safety of the monkey because there was piles of trash in the cage and it was a really sad sight to see. I do hate how the animals are used for tourism like this though. There is no need for that monkey to be chained up in a trash filled cage just for my enjoyment. :(
At any rate, the trip to Amphawa was an interesting experience. This is not the last we see of Mew and it only gets more awkward from here. She is sweet but we really do wish that she would make more of an effort to speak with us rather than just sit and stare…
There are more photos below