Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Culture Shock in Thailand

     Having traveled my fair share now, I was unprepared for the culture shock that hit me like a tsunami once we arrived in Chiang Mai. After a really great traveling experience all the way the Bangkok, we were kicked off our flight to Chiang Mai because I was too pregnant and needed a doctor's note in order to fly. Poor Maggie was exhausted (and so was her mama!), but we has to rush through the airport to go to a clinic, get a check up, then make the next flight. Now, for those of you who have not traveled with children, boarding a plane with a bunch of people pushing to get the seat they want while you are just trying to stay upright with a big belly, a baby on one hip, and your carry-ons precariously balanced on both shoulders makes for a pretty horrible experience. Add three previous days of travel to that, and exhaustion turns into a kind of anger and frustration that are the perfect set-up for culture shock.
     Upon arrival, I quickly learned that Thailand only remotely resembles Cambodia, I could not communicate with anyone, and settling in would be much more difficult than I had anticipated. Days of tears and frustration ensued. I would not try out speaking in Thai and constantly complained to my poor husband.
     Looking back now, I see things went very smoothly and quickly. We now have a house, a car (kind is a piece of work!), and a schedule full of wonderful activities. I praise God that the extreme culture shock I experienced did not last very long. He has been our provision, and I know He will continue to be. Please pray for me to grow in my trust of him, and pray for our continued transition here in Chiang Mai.

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