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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back in my sleepy little town!

Well I survived my first three days of teaching and I was SUPER nervous at first and they didn't give me any training, they just told me to start. But, I am starting to get the hang of this. The kids are super nice and respectful much better than I was at that age haha. They are so curious about me and America in general they ask me lots of questions but I certainly don't mind. The staff is super nice and helpful. I have one week of my trial left then we will see if they want to keep me but the signs look good so far!

I have just moved into a house RIGHT on the beach (pictures coming soon) I have been meeting some good people and starting to settle in here. I went back up to Bangkok to get my things and bring them back here. I got to see my friends and do some shopping for school stuff like clothes. I am on day 27 and counting of my no Western food vow. I don't count ice cream as Western food because I still have that all that time haha.

Tonight I went to a party that was hosted by my new land lady (she is super nice) and I met a lot of cool people. I may also rent a motor scooter from her so I can get to and from work easily. If I was to bike it, it would take a long time!! I am going to start exercising on the beach and doing my push ups again because I have just been eating and eating and doing nothing! I don't want to lose all I have worked for but, I will have to get creative because there is nothing that even remotely resembles a gym here :(  and learning Thai (because living here in this town I really NEED too) everyone has been super nice here so far though.

I was sad to miss Turkey Day since you can't get any Turkey here but, I had the most amazing duck/baby clam dish I have ever had in my entire life so it was a great substitute. I am the only white person at my school and there is very few white people here that are my age but I have met some pretty awesome retirees on the beach here lol. I am just five hours south of Bangkok so I can always go back to visit.

Inner Bangkok never flooded but, there is still flood waters there for sure. I was always safe and dry the whole time I was there though. There certainly is not any flooding down here. It is hot and dry! I don't have hot water or a functional toilet in the western sense, Internet is spotty and I really don't have much creature comforts but I am really truly pretty happy right now :) I hope yall are too.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

I got a trial teaching job!

So I walked into a school here in my sleepy little beach town and applied for a teaching job. They have given me a trial two week teaching job here! For one hour a day, five days a week I will be teaching English to three rotating groups of kids. Yesterday ( my first day) I had 10-12 year olds and they were super attentive and TOTALLY way more respectful than North American kids lol. They were so curious about me and America and they asked me lots of questions. One kid asked me if I had ever met Michael Jackson and someone else asked me if I had ever seen a UFO lol.

They are sweet curious kids and are eager to learn. I was super nervous at first because the director of the school was observing me in the classroom but she is super nice and she asked me a lot of questions too. She asked me if I voted for Obama haha. I think I can do this teaching thing, thus far my biggest problem is trying to remember/pronounce all their extremely complicated hard names. :P For the two weeks I will be teaching on a rotating basis. Yesterday I had 10-12 year olds, today I will have 4-5 year olds and tomorrow I will have 7-8 year olds.

If they hire me I am hoping to get the 10-12 year olds but I will be happy just to have a job really. Everyday when class is over they sing a song for me. They call me Mr Tyler and they say "Mr Tyler,Mr Tyler thank you for being our teacher we hope to see you again!" haha it was nice. I have never been in such a position of authority before! But wish me luck and I will let you know how this goes.

Soon I will be moving to a fully furnished house on the beach with an amazing view! I will be putting pictures on Facebook soon so you can all be jealous of my ocean view haha. I thought I was going to be an old man before I got a beach house but it seems I will still be young and have one :P

I worked with the little ones today and they were cute and really wanted to know a lot about me! I had to be way more active though always walking around and monitoring them. I think they were somewhat intimidated by me this first time around but it helped them be on their best behaviour haha.  I think they really liked me and it went well, it went so well that the school director left me alone in the room for most of the time! I am hoping I get to teach kids a little bit older than 4 or 5 though.

Now that Maurice has gone back to Bangkok I am one of the very few non retiree white people in town and I am really treated like a celeb here haha. Everyone has been super nice and I am making friends and practicing my Thai.  I have also eaten almost every kind of organ,meat,fruit and veggie and bug known to man haha. Some stuff I didn't even know what it was, some stuff so hot I thought my mouth would explode and some stuff that would disgust my Western readers haha. But, nearly everything (minus bean sprouts) I have really loved even if it looks disgusting, if you just try it, it is usually really good! They eat it for a reason over here! I have even taken to drinking the water here in small doses and I have eaten everything here in Thailand and so far not been sick once. I think my body is adjusting to it all.

Maurice and I have had a contest to NOT eat any Western food (hamburgers,hotdogs etc) for as long as possible In this little town even if I wanted Western food I couldn't get it lol. But, I have now been 24 days and counting without a bite of Western food. I really do like Thai food and my diet is actually quite a bit healthier now that I have stopped eating so much processed crap, it is all super fresh! Anyway I am the new guy in town but everything is great I don't mind the beach life :P

Yall take care,Tyler

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hotel California

Well ladies and gents I think I just might have found my Hotel California.  I have moved from Bangkok to a sleepy little beach town which I won't name on this blog because since I have SO many followers I don't want you bringing all the tourists here and spoiling it ( insert sarcasm here) but seriously it is so drastically different from Bangkok I love it! There is VERY few tourists here and not many people speak English. I got a two week trial job here teaching English and if they like me I get to stay!

My new friend Maurice from Australia brought me here and it is 5 hours south of Bangkok and right on the beach. I was staying at a beach bungalow literally just steps from the beach. Well now I have found an even cheaper place for rent and I am seriously going to snatch it up. It is a fully furnished house right on the beach and super cheap! I will be sharing with the Thai lady who owns it but I don't mind!

Since so few people speak proper English I think I will be forced to learn Thai which is good for me but it is so hard! In English you can say " I have a dog" that same sentence in Spanish would be "Yo Tengo un perro" (yo= I Tengo=have un=a pero=dog.) pretty simple right? In Thai they have 5 different tones which means the same word can mean five different things depending on your voice! Not only that but, there is no spacing at all between their words so it all blends together. There is something like 44 consonants and 16 vowels  plus irregulars. Ka is the ending that girls say and Krup is what guys say on the end of the words. So as you can see it is NOTHING like English.

The only issue I see with living here is I may get bored easily and hopefully not to isolated. I have made a few friends here and tend to meet people easily so hopefully I will do alright. If I really start to go stir crazy I can go on the weekends up to Bangkok just five hours away. Anyway that's all I have for the moment. Wish me luck with the new job! Everyone seems super nice though.

This is my view every night :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

My life plan

My life plan is to not plan out my life. I can freely admit I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Too many people put their lives in boxes. They think you need to do X by age 25, have kids,a house,a car,a family by age X. I have chosen not to do this. I have chosen to live my life the way I see fit and not the way society says I should. So, if I am breaking the mold then more power too me!

I have some things that interest me in life, (mainly traveling) I have a future business idea, and I have my friends and family. That is all I need. In the future I may have a house and a dog and a car and kids and the typical things that most adults have. Then again I may not. I am totally ok with this. I am living for the here and now and in the moment.

At age 26 I have traveled to over 17+ countries and been super lucky to see and so many amazing things that most people don't get the chance to do. But, in reality I haven't done anything that any one of you couldn't do. I just chose to step outside the box and take a leap of faith and try something new. I have learned that the one thing in my life that makes me truly fulfilled and happy in life is traveling and seeing the world. Meeting new people and seeing new places.

My life style is not for everyone and that is ok. I have a restless soul. I have a minimal no strings life syle. I am totally happy with this and have always told myself I will stop traveling and settle down when I feel like I have seen enough of this world. That day has not come yet.

I k ow this blog entry seems random but I really felt I should write this. Yall take care,Tyler

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Food and other ramblings

It has been a while since I have updated yall so I thought I would let you know what has been going on with me! I have been job hunting (had an interview but it didn't pan out for me) I lost my phone which really sucked so trying to sort out a new one... I have now moved to a new much quieter guest house that has much more of a family atmosphere the owner of the guest house even told us to call her "Mama" and she is about 70 years old she takes good care of us all. It only cost me 5 USD per night for my own private room with a fan :)

I have met a core group of really good friends and we all hang out together. Other than job hunting and hanging out I have been eating. alot. haha for super cheap! Today I had duck soup for breakfast and it cost 1.20 USD for a huge bowl! The most expensive meal I have had here is 6 USD!  Last night I had roasted duck with rice (on a duck kick lately haha) I have had noodle soup,rice dishes (lots of rice!) curries,everything Asian! I have not had a single bite of Western food in the whole time I have been here! and I am totally not missing Western food at all, although I am getting a little sick of rice haha.

I have also eaten some "crazy" stuff which is normal for here. Grilled pig intestines,bugs,octopus tentacles,scorpion, a few other things... I haven't been sick yet and love trying new things. I despise eating like a tourist and I love to go to local places where the local Thais are super surprised to see me and my adventurous friends lol. It is so much better,fresher,local and its cheaper! prepared right in front of your eyes and not Westernized.

Here in Thailand their sewer system can't handle toilet paper so if you are lucky enough to actually get toilet paper you must throw it in the trash can. But, I have also mastered the art of the "bum gun" imagine the hose that is attached to your kitchen sink at home.  Now imagine that for your bum in the bathroom haha. You have to point it at the right angles so you don't soak yourself but, done properly it is actually so much easier and more hygienic than toilet paper. All you need is something to dry yourself off with at the end. If you don't have that, well.... then it is not so much fun haha.Also, make sure you test the pressure of the water coming out of the bum gun BEFORE you squirt it on yourself :P

Here in Thailand one of the biggest scams around is hotels/hostels/guest houses charging tourists extra for hot water in the shower. You TOTALLY don't need it! It is so hot here that a cold shower is totally refreshing. One last thing, to all of my readers in a Westernized country when you wake up in the morning and are able to turn on the tap and get a drink of water think of me. Because I can't do that. I can't drink the tap water here so I have to pay for bottled water everyday. It is not that expensive but over the course of a year I bet I will have spent quite a bit on just water to drink. So don't take it for granted at home because some people don't have it.

Today we ate in a place that was so authentic to Thailand it didn't even have an English menu haha. But, the food was great! I wanted to touch on a few other topics while I have a bit of time. Here in Bangkok there is almost a complete lack of trash cans/bins all over the city! You just cannot find them anywhere! it is so frustrating when you have something to throw away! Here in Thailand you can buy (and haggle) for almost anything you want. It is all for sale as long as you have the money and haggling skills to buy it. Some people are afraid to haggle or look down on it. I certainly am not one of those people, because if you don't haggle you pay the "tourist price" which means things can be marked up 300% or more! I love haggling knowing I got what I want for cheap and they still get the sale.

There is a HUGE shopping centre here in Bangkok called MBK ( don't ask me what that stands for because I don't know lol) everyone knows this place and it is 7 storeys tall and FULL of anything and everything you can imagine. It is physically and mentally exhausting to go there but, I went there today because I had to buy a new phone since I lost mine. I got one, not a good one but a working phone none the less for 25 USD and it is unlockd to use anywhere in the world. Most shop keepers speak at least passable English there but some do not. Not being able to communicate effectively in the same language is one of the most frustrating things in the world! Effective communication is something that no one should take for granted.

One of the largest scams here in Thailand other than the hot water scam I previously mentioned is the tuk-tuk scams. Ok imagine a motorcycle connected to a carriage like thing to carry people. Well they are loud,crazy and wild drivers but it is something everyone should experience once and only once. I will tell you why. Here is how it works. a tuk-tuk driver pulls up and says "Where you go?" you tell him and then he quotes you a price. Say 150 baht, that is about 5 USD sounds cheap right? Well you can get a metered taxi for half that price and you get AC in there! It is a little secret that most new tourist don't know. Not only do the tuk-tuk drivers rip you off they also have "stops". Basically they get commission and/or fuel cards from say a suit shop (They hassle you for suits here ALL the time, I just tune it out totally now) and if the tuk-tuk driver takes you to this suit shop he gets a commission.

So, rather than taking you directly to your destination if you don't say NO STOPS he will make a stop. Then they pressure you into buying something you don't want. It is such a scam! I rarely take tuk-tuks anymore. Although, if you want to get discounts on something,say a muy thai fight the tuk-tuk drivers have the hook up. Not every taxi driver has a meter or if they do they sometimes don't want to use it because they know they will make less money on the meter so I ask BEFORE I get in the taxi if they have a working meter and if they don't I move on. But, 90% of taxi drivers are honest here and there is only the 10% you have to watch out for.

I guess that is it for now, this weekend I am going to a beach town like 3 hours from Bangkok for the weekend (hard life I know lol) yall take care,Tyler

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Back in Bangkok!

So I guess its time for a little update. I left Bangkok last week due to the still ever present threat of flooding (Hasn't happened yet Thank God) and went with Amber,Melissa and Sarah down south to an island called Ko Phangan for the annual Full Moon Party (Every month on the cycle of the full moon) only this one was extra special because it was 11/11/11!

So we took a two hour bus ride from Bangkok and a two ferry ride and soon enough we were on the island! We got settled into our guest house which was right on the beach and totally peaceful and amazing (pictures to come) and then as night came we went down to the party on the beach. It was absolutely massive! There was 20,000 people there!

I got my face painted and got all fixed up and was ready to party :) we spent the night walking around and having fun and having a few drinks, we got to watch fire dancers and had a really great time. After my weekend on the island I  took the reverse bus/ferry journey arrived back to Bangkok and am now back on the job hunt (schools are still closed but where I am staying still has not flooded.) and looking for a permanent place to stay.

Amber and Melissa had to go back home to America and Sarah stayed one more week down on the island. On the way home to Bangkok I met a really cool couple of Aussie's,a couple of Americans from Denver, two Danish guys, a couple of really cool local Thais headed back to Bangkok and one super amazing French Dive Instructor named Sarah. If you can't tell already I love to chat to people haha.

One of the hardest things about traveling is coming to terms with the fact that you will meet some really amazing people and have a great time with them,get on so well together and then you have to split up, possibly never seeing them again. It is hard but necessary.  I have many many great friends from around the world and lasting memories with people that I just had a brief moment in time with. Traveling forces you to live in the moment, in the here and now. Although there is times where you meet people again and again and that makes it all the more great when you do. I won't forget the people I have met thus far nor the ones I will continue to meet.

The humidity is pretty horrible right now but other than that I am happy healthy, and hopefully will have more to report soon. -Tyler

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Cost of living life in Thailand

This is gonna be a quick one because I am almost ready to leave for my weekend island trip (hard life I know :P) but, I wanted to let you know an average day here in Thailand looks like. I had lunch today for 3 USD,a taxi ride to the movies (there and back) cost me 4.25 USD and I went to see a movie but it wasn't playing. Had that movie been playing the ticket would have cost me 3 USD. I had a half hour massage for 4 USD and yesterday I had a half hour "Fish Massage" (little fish eat the dead skin cells on the bottom of your feet) yes it really is fun hehe. That cost me 3 USD. A large Beer here in 2 USD. Bottled water is never more than 1 USD at the most. Ice cream is 75 cents.

As you can see life is cheap as chips here and so far the only thing I hate is the humidity and the threat of being flooded. Not having proper bathrooms/toilet paper or consistent electricity is also a downside lol. Anyway I am off to the islands for the weekend so yall have fun. This is just a short little blog so I will fill yall in with more later!

Stay happy,Tyler

Monday, November 07, 2011


Well here I am finally arrived in Bangkok! But I have a lot of drama to fill you in on. Amber,Sarah,Rob and myself are all here in Thailand we met Amber's roommate Melissa here in Bangkok. Well we got off our flight from Beijing and soon found out that half the plan didn't get their bags! us included :( So I have been here for two days with nothing but my money and my carry on and the clothes on my back. They assure us they are getting our bags here but we haven't seen them as of yet. We didn't even get settled into a guest house until 5am!

I am glad to be here in one piece and having a great time with my new friends (and seeing some old friends from last time) but because of the flooding here in Thailand the school year has been put on hold. The flood water has not reached where I am yet but much of Bangkok is underwater. There is a slight water shortage here in Bangkok but I am still getting enough to drink (many of the street vendors have bought up huge stocks of water and are selling them at higher prices) but I can still buy Gatorade and other things at normal prices.

Bangkok is subdued and quiet because of the floods. I am in no danger and I am dry, Most things are functioning normally but I can feel a definite difference here in Thailand. I feel bad for the people but not being able to speak Thai there is not much I can do. I want to help but I feel that I would be in the way really. I don't have a job as of yet (and no clothes to go interview in) but, I have been told that many of the teachers have left Bangkok due to the flooding so it should be easy for me to get a job I hope. I am also going to be looking for a permanent place to stay soon but due to the floods I won't be able to find anything until this all blows over because all of the displaced Thais have taken the apartments for now.

That is all I have for you now but I am doing fine and just trying to adjust to this damn humidity and getting familar with with Bangkok and the craziness again but I am having fun and will keep yall updated. I have been eating good and getting enough to drink. I have a place to stay and a shower (not a hot one but don't need it!) Soon I will post pictures of Thailand on Facebook.

Yall take care until next time, Your once again Traveling Texan,Tyler

I must eat some crow about China

Well I am man enough to admit when I am wrong so here goes nothing... For most of my adult life I have had no desire to go to China. I really disagree with their govt. there and how they treat the people by restricting the flow of information and freedom of speech. There are over 1 billion people in China so I had always imagined it as dirty and polluted and generally just not a place I ever wanted to go.

So when I found out that my flight to Thailand was being diverted to Beijing,China for a day I was not to thrilled at all. Oh how wrong I was! I soon found out that since I was in China for only 24 hours they would let me stay without the required visa (and 160 dollar fee to go along with it) not only that but the airline paid for the hotel!

So I was starting to get slightly more excited about going to China. Now enter Rob,Thomas,Amber and Sarah. 4 of the coolest people I have had a chance to meet in a long time! So all of us were in the same boat so to speak. We decided to leave the hotel and explore China for the day we had. We all got along really well and had a great time!

Beijing has over 20 million people living there but it is one of the most organised,orderly cities I have ever been too! The pollution was not overly bad and I never once felt over crowded. There was just not tons and tons of people on the streets. The public transport system is cheap,fast and organised. The Chinese people are some of the most friendly,happy,curious people I have met. They bent over backwards to make us feel welcome and enjoy our stay. Everyone was super super nice and made an effort to speak English for us. in my 24 hours in China I learned how to say Hello and Thank You in Chinese :)

We took a whirlwind tour of Tienanmen Square,The Forbidden City and a really really pretty natural park with a great overview of Beijing. The weather was perfect and we had the most amazing lunch! They were playing Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift on the radio in the restaurant (it constantly amuses and amazes me how pervasively American Culture is everywhere!) the only thing I didn't get to see that I wanted to do was the Great Wall.

So to wrap this up I just wanted to say that I really loved China and totally totally want to go back and spend more time there! I will post my pictures to Facebook very soon.

Yall take care,Tyler


Well it is that time again folks. Time for Traveling With Tyler Volume Two! I am now in Bangkok,Thailand looking to teach English here. First though I need to catch you up on my journey to get here. It all started with my week long trip to California. I had never been to California before and my flight to Bangkok was out of San Francisco so I decided to visit my good friend Sean Ryan who I met in Argentina. He lives in Coronado,California on an island just outside San Diego.

So he picked me up at the airport and the fun began. It was Halloween weekend so we decided to go to the L.A. area to meet with his friends and go to a party. My costume for Halloween this year was a Morph Suit (a full body skin tight suit that looks like a black and white tuxedo). Now obviously since it is skin tight there is no pockets or anything so I had SR carry all my stuff.

This plan was working out great until I got separated from him and his friends on my very first day in California without anything on me. I decided as logically as I could at the time that going to the police station and asking them for help would be a great idea lol. So I found my way there (I was pretty cold at this point) and told the police Sargent lady my problem. She agreed to look up SR on Facebook for me and actually succeeded in finding him on there. The only problem was that his phone number was not listed.

From there my problems got worse. I really had to pee and unfortunately when you are wearing that suit the zipper is in the back and completely unreachable by yourself. So I politely asked the police lady to unzip me so I could pee but she said no lol. Well she wasn't of much help from that point on so I left the station and literally stumbled into the arms of my friends so I was saved! it was quite the adventure haha. The next night out I wore a costume with pockets and had no further issues :P

After our partying we went back to Coronado to recharge our batteries. I really enjoyed staying with SR on the island and just relaxing. I took some great pictures which I have put on Facebook.I also did the touristy thing and went to San Diego proper and looked around. It was really fun and the weather was amazing, I was in shorts and a T shirt the whole time!

I left SR's place three days before I was to fly out to Bangkok. I traveled to San Francisco to see another friend of mine and the weather was much colder there but I still had a great time! I visited all the typical tourist stuff and even got to see Alcatraz which was really really neat! Next I will tell you about how totally wrong I have been about China all this time....


Traveling With Tyler Volume Two

Well my friends it is that time again! I am once again traveling and spending a year teaching English in Thailand. I am restarting my blog again so for those of you who are interested in keeping up with me here is the link.

Yall take care,Tyler